Amateur combat snapshots are nearly impossible to find. I only have a handful in my personal collection, and have only seen them for sale on rare occasions. In this photo, a veteran named Earl Reese snaps a photo while his squad is attacking through a forest on April 13th, 1945 while in the “Ruhr Pocket”. I have a collection of Reese’s photos and personal memoirs that were saved from the trash bin at an estate sale in California. Imagine images like these rotting away in a landfill?
Is that a ricochet dent on the M1 helmet?
Snapped by a member of the 16th Infantry Regiment towards the tail end of the war near Falkenau, Czechoslovakia, the following pair of photos gives a brief glimpse of some of the encounters made by US infantry troops during the closing period of the war. In this instance, a German soldier dressed in civilian garb was shot in the leg with an M1 while attempting to run away from the concentration camp near Falkenau. Luckily for him, a medic is standing in the left center of the image.
As I sift through a recent WWII negative acquisition of 600+ images taken by a Catholic chaplain of the 9th Armored Division, I couldn’t help but post the following series of shots taken somewhere near Regensburg Germany. They show a group of German orphans standing in the rubble of a demolished building. The happy smiles belie the true sadness these children must have felt as they lost their families.
Casual followers of this blog will know that the majority of my slides and photos are mainly portraits and posed scenes, although a few capture moments of combat, the vast majority of WWII snapshots floating around the web were taken at leisure during down-time after combat. A recent set of photos to come into my possession show an uncommon view of front line fighting. This is my third set of photos of this type, the other two being from the 99th and 42nd Divisions. This set comes from a veteran of the 347th Infantry Regiment of the 87th “Golden Acorn” Division.
Russian Slave Laborers Looting
Tanks and Infantry Advance in Schietz
Dead German in Street
Sherman Tanks in Plauen Germany
Captured German Police Helmet
Captured German Belt
Unit Crest of the 347th
The Runner up for Unit Crest Design
Many more to come!