Real-Time World War II Is the Best Thing to Ever Come Out of Twitter

Illustration for article titled Real-Time World War II Is the Best Thing to Ever Come Out of Twitter

A 24-year-old Oxford history graduate is doing something wonderful for all of you right now: narrate World War II in Twitter, in real time. It may not be as academic as a John Keegan book, but so far it's excellent.


The first tweet was:

SS Troops dressed as Poles are attacking radio transmitter in Gleiwitz, to provide pretext for Germany to attack Poland.

The beginning of the invasion.

Alwyn Collinson, the name of the Oxford grad, thinks that telling the story in real time will give people a feeling of its gravity and importance. Just like it happened with recent real worldwide events, like the Egypt revolution or the war in Libya.

Indeed, "experiencing" an event of this magnitude evolve in real time is a completely different experience than reading about it as an account of the past, even if it's limited to 140 characters. It is more powerful. It gives you time to pause and understand the scope of what is "happening", the timing of it all. I certainly experienced a sense of wonderment listening in real time to the Apollo 11 landing and transmitting the event live. I'm experiencing the same with this.


If you were ever interested in the war that made the world what it is today, you should follow this account. Even if you are not a WW2 nerd like me, I'm sure you will enjoy it and learn a whole lot at the same time. [Twitter via Toronto Star via Necedades]


This is almost brilliant. However, he's writing in the third-person omniscient, including things we now know from history. I'd like to see it unfold in real time as it happened with no cheating from the history books.