Every war has its iconic pictures, but some of them aren’t well known for everybody. History Key has put together for you, a selection of some war pictures you should know, accompanied by a short description, enough to let you have a glimpse of the moments.
1. Apparently a normal man, a soldier in the cabin of his aircraft
The truth behind the picture is another. The ”Enola Gay” was the American B-29 superfortress which dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, the rest is history.
2. Execution in Poland, 1939
The picture above represents the civilians facing a German firing squad. Note how different their expressions are: one of them is desperate another seems to be calm and composed, another nervous, putting his chest out.
3. The City of Cologne in 1944
Usually when it comes about WW2, all the attention goes in the direction of the Nazi crimes. But there are also some other episodes, coming from the Allies and somehow avoided by the attention they deserve. In 1944 the German city of Cologne was erased by aerial bombings executed by the British RAF and other American bombers. Among hundreds of civilian victims, the entire city was destroyed. The Cathedral was the only building left standing.
4. German soldiers marching in Moscow
The German 6th Army had to embrace the defeat, being surrounded and destroyed by the Soviet troops. The action took place especially in the context of the Battle of Stalingrad (August 1942- February 1943). After the battle, thousands of German prisoners of war were marching through Moscow, presented as a trophy. In this picture from 1944, there are 57.000 German soldiers, most of them never managed to get back home.
5. The moment of death
A famous picture of a Spanish Loyalist Militiaman was taken right at the moment when he is shot. The picture by Robert Capa, a famous war photographer, generated many controversies regarding its authenticity. Many are claiming that the photograph was staged, in order to obtain the ”perfect war picture”. Despite all the polemic, it remains one of the most iconic war pictures.
6. The Italian cavalier
During both World Wars, cavalry was deployed on several battlefields. The union between the soldier and his horse was vital, in order to control the displacement on the battlefield. Here is a great picture of an Italian cavalier from 1906, showing great skills.
7. An interesting ”backstage” picture.
Spectators trying to get a look from the moment of the Versailles treaty being signed. The picture was taken in 1919.
8. The execution of a young German communist
You may think that the following picture is a staged one, maybe for propaganda purposes, but the story is different. This is the picture of a real execution of a very young German communist, in Munich, 1919.
9. Nazi flag over the acropolis in Athens
Probably you have heard several comparisons between the German army from WW II, and the ancient Roman Legions. At some point, the German army controlled vast territories, resulting from an extended blitzkrieg action. Here is a picture of German troops raising their flag over the acropolis, Athens 1941
10. A childhood without toy guns
When the war ended, tons of military equipment remained at sight on the streets, in the cities which were important battlefields. Stalingrad was probably above all other, regarding concentration of troops and weapons. After the war, many kids were collecting all kind of weapons from the city ruins.