WWII 9th Armored Division B/W Negative – Captured Hitler Youth Last-Ditch “Boy Soldiers” Smoking Cigarettes

These young German soldiers, likely taken directly from the rank of a local Hitler Youth group, were captured somewhere outside of Leipzig Germany in May of 1945.  The recent discovery of a 600+ negative grouping from a chaplain in the 9th armored division yielded this yielded this gem of an image.  The emotion and raw sadness of the war can be seen in the eyes of the boy smoking the cigarette in the left side of the photo.  They can’t be more than eight or nine years old.

April 13th, 1945 – 99th Division, 395th Infantry Regiment, in the Ruhr Pocket – Anniversary Post

Earl Denzil Reese

April 13th, 1945 – A combat engineer snapped this series of photos while riding on back of a truck during the Battle of the Ruhr Pocket.   A member of the 395th Infantry Regiment , the photographer captured an amazing scene through the lens of this camera in these images.  A group of German soldiers surrenders while riding a motorcycle, waving a white flag in a desperate attempt at self preservation.  A cigarette dangles from the hand of sidecar rider.

Over 300,000 German troops were taken prisoner during the March and April battles in the Ruhr Valley of Germany.