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WWII in Photos: 900 extraordinary photos / 20 part series (43 languages)


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#1 scottnilsson

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:18

WWII in Photos: 900 extraordinary photos - a 20 part series

Atlantic Magazine retrospective: well worthwhile - lots of great work (and quite a perspective, albeit the Allied perspective). Some gut-wrenching images... a lot of history - may we not repeat...

"World War II is the story of the 20th Century. The war officially lasted from 1939 until 1945, but the causes of the conflict and its horrible aftermath echoed for decades in both directions. While feats of bravery and technological breakthroughs still inspire awe today, the majority of the war was dominated by unimaginable misery and destruction. In the late 1930s, the global population stood at approximately 2 billion. In less than a decade, the war between the nations of the Axis Powers and the Allies resulted in some 80 million deaths -- killing off about 4 percent of the whole world."

"This series of entries was published weekly on TheAtlantic.com from June 19 through October 30, 2011, running every Sunday morning for 20 weeks. In this collection of 900 photos spread over 20 essays, I tried to explore the events of the war, the lives of the people fighting at the front and working back home, and the effects of the trauma on everyday activity. These images still give us glimpses into the experiences of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents, moments that shaped the world as it is today. "

~ Alan Taylor
Atlantic Magazine - In Focus



LINK BELOW EACH PHOTO - each set links to a 45-image series

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Before The War


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The Invasion of Poland and the Winter War


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Axis Invasions and the Fall of France


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The Battle of Britain


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Conflict Spreads Around the Globe


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Operation Barbarossa


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Pearl Harbor


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The American Home Front (in Color)


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Raids and Brutal Reprisals


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Internment of Japanese Americans


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Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Campaign


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The North African Campaign


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Women at War


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The Eastern Front


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The Pacific Islands

Edited by scottnilsson, 07 March 2012 - 05:26 .

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#2 scottnilsson

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:19

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The Allied Invasion of Europe


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The Fall of Nazi Germany


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The Holocaust


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The Fall of Imperial Japan


Posted ImageAfter the War


A lot of very powerful, moving, painful imagery...

Whew.

May we never go there again.



Wishing everyone a great week -


Scott

Edited by scottnilsson, 07 March 2012 - 02:20 .

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#3 Carolyn

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 04:07

WOW Scott..... this is amazing. Thanks so much for posting. It reminds me.... my dad was a flight surgeon in the Army Air Corps, and a photographer. Always had his cameras with him. I've GOT to get a decent scanner, and digitize his photographs, slides etc... and print them. He was stationed in England... and took many photos. Throughout the war.

Thanks again for these!
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#4 Larry

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:51

Thank you Scott for sharing the links.

I am mentoring my 17-years old son on photography. He is is very keenly interested in WW II and these photos will be a good supplement to the photos I have in my WW II-books library.

#5 Elsa Hoffmann

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 07:36

Carolyn, my dad was in Germany, Italy and Egypt (amongst other places) and had a huge box of photos from that period. He was a keen amateur only) - Sadly - a week before he died he took the box and burnt the images. Apart form 2 or 3 I have in my possession. My mom claimed he knew he was going to die - (whatever that meant to him.) I was only allowed to see those images once as a child.
The images I have of his - is of Mussolini and Clara's execution.

Scott - War photography is very close to my heart - thank you for sharing this.
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#6 Chris Fabbri

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:46

Many thanks for sharing Scott.
Best Regards,

Chris Fabbri
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#7 Bilbo

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 16:56

WOW - I just spent 4 hours looking at the fantastic images.

Thanks for the link!
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#8 Anthony

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 20:40

These are superb photographs of true horror.

#9 scottnilsson

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 01:59

These resonated for me as well - lots of very powerful imagery. The pain of warfare is beyond all of us that have not existed through that carnage...

Hundreds of thousands, if not millions - in both theatres - gave their lives for our current existence. My grandfathers (two on my dad's side, father and step-father) both served in WWII in the Navy, in the Pacific.

Very much look forward to the scans, Carolyn...

Elsa: I know we'd all appreciate your sharing your dad's surviving images.

Larry, Bilbo & Anthony - gratified that this impacted you all, as well.

Painful testimony... may humanity never endure this again. But it appears we are doomed to repeat these extreme human foibles in an endless cycle. To paraphrase one of the characters in "Playing for Time" (Arthur Miller's story of the Auschwitz orchestra gathered by Mengele for the benefit of administration and guards...) - of the guards: "They're monsters! They're not human!"

Fenelon (Vanessa Redgrave's character) answers: "But they are human. Just like you. Just like me. That's the problem. Here we have learned something about human nature, and it's not very good news."

But here, seventy years later, it is much better news than we had hope for at the end of the war - and through the Cold War...


The pendulum swings, but perhaps there is hope for us all.


May we never forget - the abyss is always there.




Post Script: my ancestors have been involved in wars since before written history, as have all of our ancestors. I am an American of 2nd-generation on my Swedish mother's side (whose parents' ancestors all reside in two church graveyards in two Swedish, Skone-area farming communities for over 1,000 years - and whose Viking ancestors brutalized the western world for centuries), and of many ethnicities on my father's side (whose family has been here, in part, since before the Revolutionary War): I am half-Swedish, nearly-one-quarter German, nearly-one-quarter Scottish-Irish-English, and a bit of Russian, Cherokee Indian and Iroquois Indian. The not-so-peaceful American Indians were historically extraordinarily brutal in their political disputes as well. This is/was not about blame or attribution, but the images of the humanity - and horrors - of war, of which none of our ancestors are innocent.

Edited by scottnilsson, 08 March 2012 - 03:29 .

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#10 Akira

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 02:06

I think it is a very fair and well-balanced collection from the tragic period.

Thank you very much for sharing, Scott.
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#11 scottnilsson

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 03:02

You're most welcome, Akira.

May we all be delivered from future carnage of our own making - to ourselves, or our descendants.

Edited by scottnilsson, 08 March 2012 - 03:31 .

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#12 Larry

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 11:16

WOW - I just spent 4 hours looking at the fantastic images.

Thanks for the link!
Glenn


My son has been at it since past 1:30pm. He has not stood up much and it is now about 7:13pm where I am. I will ask him to break off for dinner but It looks like he will still be at it till late tonight.

Unfortunately, I have had to focus on my work and have not been able to indulge in as much time as you or my son had. Really amazing events and stories captured in the photos.

Thanks again Scott! Posted Image





#13 M4cr0s

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 13:24

Interesting material collected at one place. Being a history buff with WW2 as my speciality I've seen a lot of this material before at other places, but still nice to have one place to find them! :) Only one drawback, several of the captions are obviously wrong, so take them with a grain of salt. For instance. soldiers swiming across a river on the Baltic front (Eastern Front) in January '45...

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Mac

Edited by M4cr0s, 08 March 2012 - 13:25 .

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#14 Akira

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 17:18

I think this thread is worth being marked as sticky, so that anyone can revisit the links easily.
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#15 Larry

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 18:43

Only one drawback, several of the captions are obviously wrong, so take them with a grain of salt.
Mac

I spotted several, particularly with aircraft, calling a fighter as a bomber and vice-versa. In the colored photos, I noticed that an Allison-powered P-51A "Invader" or "Apache" was mislabelled as a "Mustang". It was not until much later that the name "Mustang: came to be in use and by then, the P-51s were already Merlin-powered made under license from Rolls Royce by Packard. Another colored photo of a P-39 was also mislabeled as a "Mustang". But overall, the mistakes I spotted were not too objectionable.

Edited by Larry, 12 March 2012 - 06:36 .


#16 M4cr0s

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 22:26

I spotted several, particularly with aircraft, calling a fighter as a bomber and vice-versa. In the colored photos, I noticed that an Allison-powered P-51A "Invader" or "Apache" was mislabelled as a "Mustang". It was not until much later that the name "Mustang: came to be in use and by then, the P-51s were already Merlin-Packard-powered. Another colored photo of a P-39 was also mislabeled as a "Mustang". But overall, the mistakes I spotted were not too objectionable.



I have a feeling they've just copied old captions in many cases, without giving it much thought. The images speak for themselves mostly anyway.

/Mac

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Lillian Hellman


#17 yunfat

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 23:12

Those Wehrmacht officers are using Zeiss, Schneider, and Leica optics to do their spotting.

It's no wonder the German 88's were so accurate.

#18 simato73

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 20:31

Can I say wow...
It has taken me three days to go through the horror.

The colour images have a strange, shocking effect.
Subconsciously one tends to think that images from the past are black and white, whereas those in colour are from more or less present times (at least, I do).
Seeing the black and white images I know that the events depicted belong to a time past, to History. The colour images are a bit of a shock because they make me realise that those events are not as remote as I would like to believe, they could have happened in my lifetime, and could indeed happen again in the future.

As brutal as many of the war images are, there is nothing as sickening as the images from the Nazi death camps.
It is almost impossible to believe that so many people were capable of such cold, absolute evil.
Simone

#19 scottnilsson

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 14:11

Akira: I think this thread is worth being marked as sticky, so that anyone can revisit the links easily.


Glad you felt it was that worthy, Akira - it was a staggering assembly of images, which were reprinted in astonishing condition overall (particularly the color images, in light of the passage of time). The kind of project I might have expected of Life Magazine, back in the day.


Larry: But overall, the mistakes I spotted were not too objectionable.


Agreed, but still unfortunate - the little things that a good editor can/should catch. It diminishes the presentation - but only a tad, and certainly doesn't adversely impact the power of the body, and individual, images.
Just surprising that they would take the time and make the effort to assemble this body of work, and not properly oversee the captioning.


M4cr0s: I have a feeling they've just copied old captions in many cases, without giving it much thought. The images speak for themselves mostly anyway. /Mac


Yes.


simato73: Can I say wow...It has taken me three days to go through the horror.


Kurtz

The colour images have a strange, shocking effect. Subconsciously one tends to think that images from the past are black and white, whereas those in colour are from more or less present times (at least, I do).Seeing the black and white images I know that the events depicted belong to a time past, to History. The colour images are a bit of a shock because they make me realise that those events are not as remote as I would like to believe, they could have happened in my lifetime, and could indeed happen again in the future.


The color images had a similar impact on me. Many of those photographed in color were just a bit older than my parents - and not many years before my older sister was born. When I was young, WWII seemed a very, very long time ago. Over the years, I came to realize just how recent it - along with the rest of history - really was. Nothing of human history is so very long ago...

simato73: It is almost impossible to believe that so many people were capable of such cold, absolute evil.

Back to Fenelon (Vanessa Redgrave's character): "But they are human. Just like you. Just like me. That's the problem. Here we have learned something about human nature, and it's not very good news."

That's the core of it: all civilizations throughout time have perpetrated untold horrors on others - individually and societally. Here: the horrors we have wrought over the centuries - against each other, against minorities and those who were different, in other lands and countries in wars both just and unjust... It is in our nature, back to our reptilian brain. But the nurture of our families and culture - the choices we make at every turn in the path, during every election, at every decision which thoughts to entertain and which to disallow - make all the difference in the end.

There is a legend among the Cherokee Indians:

An old Cherokee said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at another young brave who had done him an injustice, "Let me tell you a story.

“I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.”

“But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times."


The old Cherokee continued, "It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.”

“But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.”

“One: full of joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The other: full of anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego."

“Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."


The young Indian looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied,

"The one you feed."


I am grateful that so many others also appreciated this collection of images. For me, there was so much here - the individual power of so many of them, they enormity of the sense of time and place that they conveyed - in each section as well as overall, the importance - particularly in light of the ongoing madness of war all across the globe - of remembering. There is so much strength in the memory.


Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend of happy memories and captures -


Scott
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#20 black_bird_blue

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 21:16

There is something that strikes me as curious, but perhaps I shouldn't be too surprised. I'm British, and I am quite disappointed by the "Battle of Britain" group of photos. The facts stand up for themselves; the story portrayed by the pictures is one of sitting out attacks and waiting to be rescued. I don't propose to get into a discussion about it except to say that the unbalanced account in a section about which I have learned a lot makes me quite cautious about just how partisan the selection of pictures has been to tell the story that was desired rather than any sort of proportional representation of the facts as they occurred. Try putting "Battle of Britain" into google images and see what comes up; I am very surprised that such an effort yields a set of pictures entirely (entirely!) different in content to the set in this group.

It's a small niggle, but I am disappointed at the lack of representation of our "finest hour", to quote Winston Churchill. I don't know if it's wilful or accidental but my disappointment needed stating aloud.

Damian
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