WW2 Photos They Never Show In History Books
By | November 29, 2016
World War Two was one of the most trying times in the history of mankind, and almost 72 years later, it is still being talked and written about. However, are you aware of the iconic moments they don't show in the history books? Start the slideshow to see some of the rarest WWII photos ever taken.
Resilient London Bridge
German Prisoners of War Captured by Americans
St. Lo destroyed
This picture was taken in the city of St. Lo, France. The massive damage reflects the horrors of World War II. Buildings were reduced to dust and peoples lives were completely destroyed.
The USS Arizona
Bodies and Tanks
A nasty battle ensued when the Americans sought to take control of this German town. One of these two tanks was put out of service during the battle, but the Americans successfully seized the town. Between the tanks, two medics retrieve the body of a fallen American soldier.
In 1943 at the El Guettar Valley, the fight between Germany and America led to a new technology. Maximizing the element of surprise, these soldiers utilized new methods of camouflage in order to blend in with their surroundings. Now stealthily hidden, the encampment can patiently wait for their orders.
These four horses were caught in the crossfire when five German soldiers were killed by American artillery. It just goes to show that the casualties of war even included animals.
As seen in this picture, French tanks were monstrous. They were much larger than German panzers, and were also well armed. Over 3,000 tanks fortified the French army.
To trick the Germans, US soldiers created fake tanks to help confuse the expected positioning of the military forces. These fakes were executed in Operation Fortitude to help keep the attack on Normandy a surprise. These tanks were quite convincing since pre-recorded audio made them sound and look like an army convoy.
There’s nothing like a Coca-Cola
By World War II, Coca-Cola was an integral part of American life. In order to keep the troops refreshed, this bottling plant was established in Saipan in the Pacific.
Italy in ruins
Though it is unclear which Italian town this is, the remnants of war are evident. This image was taken in May, 1944. Here, American servicemen ride through this destruction.
German victims of war
American artillery strolled through this town, destroying everything in its path. Among the victims are these German soldiers who were hit by the shells and died in the same spot where they fell.
Ready for take off
Female Russian Sniper
B-17 Flying Fortress
The siege of Leningrad
The siege of Leningrad was one of the most brutal in history. Residents were left cut off from water, food, energy, and utilities for over 2 years. Due to mass starvation over 1.5 million people died, soldiers and civilians alike.
The Germans used V-1 Missiles as part of their ammunition. However, skilled US pilots would knock these bombs with the tips of the plane wings, sending the bombs crashing into the ground. This picture shows the aftermath of such bombing.
Scene of a U.S attack on Germany
Atomic bomb testing
Poland in ruins
Poland suffered immensely during WWII. They lost 20% of their population in the war, making it the country to suffer the highest casualty per capita. Here, some of its citizens roam among the rubble.
“Waste not, want not” was a principle implemented in war. When fueling the money guzzling war machine of World War II anything that could be reused was reused. Many damaged planes were cannibalized to repair other planes in an effort to maximize the number of working planes.
Pilot and shooter ready for attack
Hitler’s personal retreat
For 10 years, Berghof was Hitler’s sanctuary. It also functioned as one of his headquarters during the war. On April 25th, 1945, Berghof was bombed by the British. Five days later, Hitler committed suicide. However, even after his death, Berghof was burned by retreating SS Troops, then later looted by Allied soldiers.
Carefully moving bombs, 1944
This Boeing B-29 Superfortress Bomber dropped the first of the two atomic bombs used in warfare. They were both detonated in Japan. The first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and the second on Nagasaki. The plane bore the name of the pilot’s mother, Enola Gay Tibbets.
These German soldiers lay frozen on the floor in France. It is unclear whether they froze to death, or if they were first killed. Nevertheless, this haunting image of bodies pilled up for funeral preparation can leave most speechless.
Obliterated German Town
Heilbronn, Germany really felt the stings of war. The town was almost flattened, and the few remaining buildings were left in ruins. Although there were still buildings standing, much of the town was reduced to rubble.
Hiroshima was all but obliterated after the United States detonated a nuclear bomb over the city. About 70% of the buildings were destroyed and 140,000 people perished. Those who lived suffered severe burns and the generational aftereffects of the radiation.
Smashed machine gun, dead soldier
Here a German machine gunner lays killed. He was shot in the head after his position was compromised, and his machine gun became smashed so that no one else could use it.
As much as possible, children were evacuated from areas that were war targets. However, they were oftentimes caught in the crossfire. Here, women try to protect the children from the nearby gunfire.
Inspecting the rubble
Here, three American soldiers inspect an extensively damaged and abandoned German tank. Perhaps they were thinking of ways it could be re-purposed to their advantage. This photo was taken in Italy during May, 1944.
Fighter Plane Tracers
Tracers were bullets with illuminating qualities which were meant to help the pilot determine if the target was hit. They proved misleading. Sometimes if one tracer hit the target, 80% of the regular bullets would fly past. Tracers were also shot consecutively to signal to their colleagues that the plane was out of ammunition, but this signal quickly made them targets for the enemies.
Russians had an interesting strategy for preserving their army. When they moved through open fields, they would place convicts at the very front. These convicts were likely to be fatally injured, allowing the Russian army to move forward unharmed.
In the midst of war, soldiers welcomed breaks from the fighting and suffering. Here, the Soviet troops enjoy a performance by these talented gymnasts. Without a stage, the performers improvised and put on a good show.
Women in Factories
“Fat Man” was the generic name given to bombs with this fat teardrop shape. It was also the type of atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in August, 1945. These bombs weighed over 10,000 lbs and were over 3 meters in length.
The Algiers Sky, 1942
American Prisoners of War
German Prisoners of War
Satisfied American soldiers stand guard behind somber German soldiers who were captured in France during the Normandy invasion in 1944. German captures who were taken to America spoke well of the country, and many emigrated there after the war.
High demand for Penicillin
This life saving antibiotic, discovered in 1928, was in such high demand during World War II that doctors went to extreme measures to recycle it. The drug would be extracted from the urine of soldiers who were currently taking it, so that it could be re-used on other needy soldiers.
Pillboxes were concrete guard posts with slots or holes through which short-range weapons could be fired. This particular German pillbox suffered massive structural damage, most likely from an American tank fire.
The 80cm Nazi Railway Gun
In order to keep the men safe, radio-controlled explosives were sometimes used. These contained bombs that were controlled and detonated remotely, causing significant damage to the target area lowering the risk of friendly casualties.