The Pacific Theater in pictures, 1942-1945

After Pearl Harbor the Japanese quickly gained control over a huge area of the Pacific, from the Philippines to Burma to the Aleutians to the Solomons. While the Japanese enjoyed the advantage of interior lines of communication, they had somewhat overextended themselves. Once the Allies became strong enough to threaten their perimeter from several directions, […]

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Finland in World War II, 1939-1945

For most of Finland’s history, the country had lived on the periphery of world events, but for a few weeks during the winter of 1939-40, Finland stood at the center of the world stage. Finland’s stand against Soviet aggression aroused the world’s admiration. The Winter War, however, proved to be only a curtain- raiser for […]

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The story of two Soviet prisoners of war who were killed in the Murmansk foothills, 1941

It was the night of June 29, 1941 in the foothills of Murmansk, Soviet Union. Commander Oberleutnant Rode ordered some officer candidates “Gruppe Ostermann” to climb “Ridge Musta” to a height of 122m and scout the situation and then report back to him and his company back down below. Right after they disappeared past the […]

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German commandos captured in American uniform are prepared for execution, 1944

The soldiers in the picture were executed after a military trial found them on violation  of the Hague convention concerning land warfare, article 23: “It’s especially forbidden […], to make improper use of a flag of truce, of the national flag or of the military insignia and uniform of the enemy”. Their mission was part […]

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Battle of Britain in rare pictures, 1940

In the summer and fall of 1940, German and British air forces clashed in the skies over the United Kingdom, locked in the largest sustained bombing campaign to that date. Victory for the Luftwaffe in the air battle would have exposed Great Britain to invasion by the German army, which was then in control of […]

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The inflatable dummy tanks of battlefields, 1918-1945

What use is an inflatable dummy tank in a very real war? A lot, if the enemy believes that it’s real. During World War I, Allied forces made use of dummy versions of the British heavy tanks. These were constructed from a wooden framework and covered with painted Hessian cloth. The tracks were non-functional so […]

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Hiroshima before and after the atomic bombing, 1945

At the time of its bombing, Hiroshima was a city of both industrial and military significance. A number of military units were located nearby, the most important of which was the headquarters of Field Marshal Shunroku Hata’s Second General Army, which commanded the defense of all of southern Japan, and was located in Hiroshima Castle. […]

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The German Occupation of Kharkov in color, 1941

These photos taken by Johannes Hähle depict the civilian population of Kharkov under occupation by Nazi Germany (all pictures are taken on October and November 1941). As a member of Construction Battalion 146, Hähle participated in the invasion of France. He was later transferred to Propaganda Company 637 on the Eastern Front to serve as a […]

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Wilhelm ‘Willi’ Hübner – one of the youngest recipients of the Iron Cross, 1945

As casualties mounted during the Second World War, Germany was forced to call up ever younger conscripts to fill the ranks of the Wehrmacht. So dire was the situation at the end of 1944, that boys born in 1928 were called up to serve the Fatherland. They were 15 or 16 years old and had […]

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Daily life in the Warsaw Ghetto, 1941

On 2 October 1940, Ludwig Fischer, Governor of the Warsaw District in the occupied General Government of Poland, signed the order to officially create a Jewish district (ghetto) in Warsaw. It was to become the largest ghetto in Nazi-occupied Europe. All Jewish people in Warsaw had to relocate to the area of the ghetto by […]

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