Okay, so if the New York Times has already written a profile piece on it, you know I’m behind the times on this one. However, if you are not already following RealTimeWWII on Twitter, you absolutely should be. It is…well, pretty much exactly what it sounds like: tweets from contemporary news stories from World War II, starting (as of last month) in 1939 and, hopefully, proceeding for the next six years.
Yes, yes, we all know how it ends—but at the risk of sounding like some pothead having a SUPER DEEP EPIPHANY, it is so easy to forget that when history was happening, nobody knew how it was going to end. When—as is going on right now on the feed—the USSR was invading Finland and Britain was waiting out the Phony War, nobody knew it was all going to end in Hitler’s defeat and the Greatest Generation and Tom Hanks storming the beaches somewhere. It was confusing and disorganised and really, really frightening, and I’ve been surprised by how well having these tweets pop up in my feed has gotten that across. And that reaction is only partly motivated by the fact that I keep forgetting it’s a historical feed, so suddenly think Russia is attacking the Finnish people for no reason and we’re about to enter World War III. Which, I suppose, is exactly in the living-history spirit of the thing.