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LIFE: World War II, Photos We Remember. World War II 70th Anniversary

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LIFE: World War II, Photos We Remember. World War II 70th Anniversary

  1. 1. William Vandivert, Berlin, Germany, July 1945
  2. 2. William Vandivert, Berlin, Germany, July 1945
  3. 3. World War II 70th Anniversary LIFE: World War II, Photos We Remember
  4. 4. William Vandivert, Berlin, Germany, July 1945
  5. 5. William Vandivert, Berlin, Germany, July 1945
  6. 6. William Vandivert, Berlin, Germany, July 1945
  7. 7. No conflict in recorded history transformed the globe as thoroughly as World War II. Cities were obliterated; national borders were altered; revolutionary and, in some cases, fearsome military, medical, communication and transportation technology were invented; and tens of millions were killed — the majority of them civilians. Simply put, the world of August 1945, when the war ended, bore little resemblance to that of September 1939, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. During those six long, uncertain years, LIFE covered the war with more tenacity and focus than any other magazine on earth. Twenty-one LIFE photographers logged 13,000 days outside the U.S.; half of that time was spent in combat zones. In tribute to those journalists, and to the men, women and even children who sacrificed so much in the Allied war effort, LIFE.com combed the magazine’s unparalleled archives for some of the greatest pictures made during WWII — often searing, occasionally lighthearted, always memorable images from the streets of Blitz-ravaged London to the sands and jungles of Saipan, Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. Seven decades have passed since the war ended, but the power of these pictures (several of which were never published in LIFE) has barely faded: confronting them today, we’re still dumbstruck by the destruction; we still flinch at the scale of the suffering; and we marvel at the courage of the men and women whose unity of purpose kept the flame of hope alive in the darkest hours.
  8. 8. GEORGE STROCK—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Three American soldiers lie half-buried in the sand at Buna Beach on New Guinea. This photo was taken in February 1943, but not published until September, when it became the first image of dead American troops to appear in LIFE during World War II.
  9. 9. ALFRED EISENSTAEDT—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES In this and dozens of other, similar pictures made at New York's Penn Station in 1944, LIFE's Alfred Eisenstaedt captured a private moment repeated in public millions of times over the course of the war: a guy, a girl, a goodbye - and no assurance that he'll make it back. By war's end, more than 400,000 American troops had been killed.
  10. 10. ALFRED EISENSTAEDT—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES
  11. 11. ALFRED EISENSTAEDT—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES
  12. 12. WILLIAM VANDIVERT—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES During 1940's Battle of Britain, Luftwaffe bombers tried to destroy British air power ahead of a planned invasion of the UK. When that failed, Hitler resorted to terror attacks on civilians, including the full-scale bombing of London (pictured) and other English towns. The attacks killed tens of thousands of Britons, but "The Blitz" fizzled: the invasion never materialized.
  13. 13. W. EUGENE SMITH—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES In a picture that captures the violence and sheer destruction inherent in war perhaps more graphically than any other ever published in LIFE, Marines take cover on an Iwo Jima hillside amid the burned-out remains of banyan jungle, as a Japanese bunker is obliterated in March 1945.
  14. 14. ANDREAS FEININGER—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES The Statue of Liberty, photographed during a blackout in 1942 - an eloquent expression of the nation's mood in the first full year of a global conflict with no real end in sight.
  15. 15. MARIE HANSEN—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Members of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps, commonly known as WAACs, don their first gas masks at Fort Des Moines, Iowa, in June 1942. The female troops were famously praised by General Douglas MacArthur, who called them "my best soldiers."
  16. 16. HUGO JAEGER—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES A photo taken by Hitler's personal photographer (and later acquired by LIFE) shows a 1939 rally in which Hitler salutes Luftwaffe troops who fought with Francisco Franco's ultra-right wing nationalist rebels in the Spanish Civil War.
  17. 17. HUGO JAEGER—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Soldiers goose-step past the FŸhrer in honor of Hitler's 50th birthday, April 20, 1939. Less than five months later, on September 1, the Third Reich's forces invaded Poland.
  18. 18. HUGO JAEGER—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGE Austrians cheer Adolf Hitler during his 1938 campaign to unite Austria and Germany. In the rapt faces, straining bodies, and adulation of the crowds swept up in Hitler's mad vision, one senses the eagerness of millions to forge a "Thousand Year Reich" at, literally, any cost.
  19. 19. HUGO JAEGER—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES Invasion of Poland, 1939: Adolf Hitler prepares to fly to the Polish front, 1939.
  20. 20. HUGO JAEGER—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES Invasion of Poland, 1939: Adolf Hitler views victory parade in Warsaw after the German invasion of Poland, 1939.
  21. 21. W. EUGENE SMITH—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGE In a photo that somehow comprises both tenderness and horror, an American Marine cradles a near-dead infant pulled from under a rock while troops cleared Japanese fighters and civilians from caves on Saipan in the summer of 1944. The child was the only person found alive among hundreds of corpses in one cave.
  22. 22. GABRIEL BENZUR—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Members of the U.S. Army Air Corps' legendary 99th Pursuit Squadron, the Tuskegee Airmen, receive instruction about wind currents from a lieutenant in 1942. The Tuskegee fliers - the nation's first African American air squadron - served with distinction in the segregated American military.
  23. 23. BERNARD HOFFMAN—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGE A welder at a boat-and-sub-building yard adjusts her goggles before resuming work, October, 1943. By 1945, women comprised well over a third of the civilian labor force (in 1940, it was closer to a quarter) and millions of those jobs were filled in factories: building bombers, manufacturing munitions, welding, drilling and riveting for the war effort.
  24. 24. RALPH MORSE—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Army medic George Lott, wounded in both arms in November, 1944, grimaces as doctors mold a cast to his body. When Lott embarked on a 4,500-mile, seven-hospital journey of recovery, photographer Ralph Morse - astonished by the high level of medical care wounded troops received both at the front and behind the lines - traveled with him, and chronicled Lott's odyssey in a revelatory cover story for LIFE.
  25. 25. W. EUGENE SMITH—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Photographer W. Eugene Smith's picture of a Marine drinking from his canteen during 1944's Battle of Saipan is as iconic a war picture as any ever made. In fact, when the U.S. Postal Service released a "Masters of American Photography" series of commemorative stamps in 2002, Smith was included - and this image was chosen as representative of his body of work.
  26. 26. W. EUGENE SMITH—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Unpublished. An exemplar of a bitter, grueling land battle, Iwo Jima also saw prodigious air and sea power brought to bear as American and Japanese troops clashed over control of the tiny Pacific island. American forces finally captured Iwo Jima - and its two strategic airfields - in late March, 1945.
  27. 27. PETER STACKPOLE—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Unpublished. A crew maneuvers an enormous piece of artillery during the Battle of Saipan, 1944. In the waning days of the struggle for the island, thousands of Japanese civilians and troops committed suicide, rather than surrender to American troops. Many leapt to their death from the top of sheer cliffs that fall 200 feet to rocks and surf below.
  28. 28. W. EUGENE SMITH—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Unpublished. American troops chat near a dead Japanese soldier on Iwo Jima. The degree to which the Japanese were willing to fight to the death, rather than surrender, is summed up in one remarkable statistic: Close to 20,000 Japanese soldiers were killed during the battle; only around 200 were captured.
  29. 29. FRANK SCHERSCHEL—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES GIs tramp in review across an English field, 1944, as the long-planned Operation Overlord - the D-Day invasion of France - draws near. With 160,000 Allied troops taking part, the cross- Channel attack was the single greatest air-land-and-sea invasion in military history.
  30. 30. WILLIAM VANDIVERT—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES An African-American tank crew prepares a Sherman M4 for battle "somewhere in Germany," spring 1945
  31. 31. 1945 U.S. SIGNAL CORPS—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES An American tank rolls over a Nazi banner laid out in the street after its crew helped take the town of Lembach, spring
  32. 32. GEORGE SILK—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES American soldier Julian Patrick from Kentucky, member of the U.S. 3rd Armored Division, killed in action inside his tank, March 6, 1945
  33. 33. GEORGE SILK—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES A bone-weary Canadian soldier stands atop a stalled tank amid flooding in the Netherlands, 1945
  34. 34. JOHN FLOREA—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES A young German boy sits beside the road as a tank of the U.S. 9th Armored Division passes through his village on its way to Berlin, spring 1945
  35. 35. PHIL STERN ARCHIVES Rangers offloading onto Licata Beach, Invasion Day, July 11, 1943
  36. 36. PHIL STERN ARCHIVES Army Rangers, Comiso, Sicily, 1944
  37. 37. PHIL STERN ARCHIVES Army Rangers, Comiso, Sicily, 1944
  38. 38. RALPH MORSE—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES Liberation Of Paris: A "Free French" soldier races to aid a Resistance fighter firing at a German sniper, Paris, August 1944. The sniper had opened fire during a tour of the city by Gen. Charles de Gaulle
  39. 39. RALPH MORSE—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES Liberation Of Paris: A family seeks safety beside a Jeep as French Resistance fighters and Free French troops try to take out a German sniper during the Liberation of Paris in August 1944
  40. 40. RALPH MORSE—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES Liberation Of Paris: Allied troops and journalists — including photographers Robert Capa (on the back of a Jeep with a camera in front of his face) and George Rodger (with camera, wearing a beret) — in the streets of Paris during the city's liberation, August 1944.
  41. 41. JOE SCHERSCHEL—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Unpublished. An American Marine readies to land on Guadalcanal during the five-month struggle for the island between late 1942 and early 1943. Three thousand miles south of Tokyo, Guadalcanal was a major shipping point for military supplies. The Allied victory there in February, 1943, marked a major turning point in the war after a string of Japanese victories in the Pacific.
  42. 42. . CARL MYDANS—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES American troops in the Philippines celebrate the long-awaited news that Japan has, finally, unconditionally, surrendered in August 1945
  43. 43. FRANK SCHERSCHEL—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES The Ruins Of Normandy: Ruins of a town in northwestern France, summer 1944
  44. 44. MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES Caption from LIFE. Nurnberg [Nuremberg], second largest city in Bavaria, was famous for its Gothic churches. One of them, St. Sebaldus, can be seen here.
  45. 45. MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES Caption from LIFE. On June 2, 1945, RAF night raid of tremendous proportions wrecked key objectives in the center of the city (Nuremberg), leaving skeletal walls and leveled areas pictured.
  46. 46. GEORGE RODGER—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES A small boy strolls down a road lined with dead bodies near the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1945.
  47. 47. GEORGE RODGER—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES Male and female German SS soldiers forced to load corpses onto trucks under British guard at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1945.
  48. 48. . GEORGE RODGER—THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES Female prisoners in the newly liberated Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1945
  49. 49. . MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Survivors gaze at photographer Margaret Bourke-White and rescuers from the United States Third Army during the liberation of Buchenwald, April 1945
  50. 50. MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES The dead at Buchenwald, April 1945.
  51. 51. RALPH MORSE—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Germany Surrenders At Reims, May 7, 1945:Scene at German surrender in World War II, Reims, France, May 7, 1945
  52. 52. RALPH MORSE—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Germany Surrenders At Reims, May 7, 1945: Caption from LIFE. "For Eisenhower, Chief of Staff Lieut. General Bedell Smith signs. At the left is Admiral Sir Harold Burrough, commander of Allied naval forces; right, Russian interpreter Cherniaeff."
  53. 53. RALPH MORSE—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Germany Surrenders At Reims, May 7, 1945: Caption from LIFE."For Red high command, Major General Ivan Susloparov signs, to be followed by French General Francois Sevez for [Alphonse] Juin, commander of French expeditionary forces. At right, [American Gen. Carl Andrew] Spaatz."
  54. 54. RALPH MORSE—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Germany Surrenders At Reims, May 7, 1945: Caption from LIFE."After surrender, Eisenhower (right) seizes hand of General Susloparov and says, 'This is a great moment for us all.' But surrender announcement was held up for Moscow approval."
  55. 55. WILLIAM VANDIVERT—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES After the Fall: Oberwallstrasse, in central Berlin, saw some of the most vicious fighting between German and Sov iet troops in the spring of 1945
  56. 56. WILLIAM VANDIVERT—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES After the Fall: At the Reichstag, evidence of a practice common throughout the centuries: soldiers scrawling graffiti to honor fallen comrades, insult the vanquished or simply announce, I was here. I survived. Berlin, 1945.
  57. 57. WILLIAM VANDIVERT—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES After the Fall: An image almost too perfectly symbolic of Berlin in 1945: A crushed globe and a bust of Hitler amid rubble outside the ruined Reich Chancellery.
  58. 58. WILLIAM VANDIVERT Berlin 1945: Ruins of the Reichstag building showing destruction from Allied bombing and artillery (note abandoned 88mm anti-aircraft gun in foreground).Berlin, Germany July 1945
  59. 59. WILLIAM VANDIVERT Berlin 1945: Ornate archway inside the Reichstag building shows damage as well as graffiti scrawled & scratched on the walls by conquering Russian soldiers. Berlin, Germany July 1945
  60. 60. WILLIAM VANDIVERT Russian military policeman directing traffic at the bullet riddled Brandenburg Tor gate border of the Russian controlled sector of Berlin .July 1945
  61. 61. WILLIAM VANDIVERT—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES After the Fall: Russian soldiers and a civilian struggle to move a large bronze Nazi Party eagle that once loomed over a doorway of the Reich Chancellery, Berlin, 1945.
  62. 62. ALFRED EISENSTAEDT—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGE Peace at last: V-J Day, Times Square, August 14, 1945.
  63. 63. ALFRED EISENSTAEDT—TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES Caption from the Aug. 27, 1945, issue of LIFE. "In the middle of New York's Times Square a white- clad girl clutches her purse and skirt as an uninhibited sailor plants his lips squarely on hers."
  64. 64. end
  65. 65. cast LIFE: World War II, Photos We Remember. World War II 70th Anniversary images and text credit time.com Music Schindler's List - Theme Itzhak Perlman. created olga.e. thanks for watching

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