1. An elderly Jewish man, beaten in front of Brygidki prison during the Lviv pogroms, tries to crawl to safety. German soldiers in the foreground pass by him, as Ukrainian civilians in the background cover their faces to shield themselves from the stench of the corpses of prisoners who were killed by members of the Soviet NKVD; a law enforcement agency of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the All Union Communist Party and was closely associated with the Soviet secret police. In late September 1939, following the German and Soviet aggression on Poland, Lwów Voivodeship was divided by the two victorious sides. The western part of the Voivodeship was annexed by Germany and added to the General Goverment. But the city of Lwów was occupied by the Soviets and, together with eastern part of the Voivodeship, was incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Immediately after the Germans entered Lwów following the invasion of the Soviet Union, German Einsatzgruppen (SS paramilitary death squads) with the participation of Ukrainian nationalists organized a pogrom in retaliation for the retreating NKVD’s mass-murder of approximately 2,000 to 10,000 prisoners (including Polish, Ukrainian and Jewish intellectuals and political activists, as well as many common criminals) at Lwów’s three prisons. According to victim lists, a large number of the victims were Ukrainian. Although a significant number of Jews had also been among the victims of the NKVD massacre, Jews were collectively accused by the German authorities of having been active perpetrators of that massacre. German propagandists went to work spreading rumors and showing distorted films that purported to implicate the Jews in the killing of the Ukrainian prisoners. These instigations inflamed the local Ukrainian minority, who then took vigilante action against the Jewish population of the city by rounding up and beating, humiliating and killing thousands. Lviv, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine (before September 1939, Lwów, Lwów Voivodeship, Poland.) July 1941. 

  2. Chinese conscripts practice marching at the Chinese Military Academy in Chengdu. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, the capital city of China was forced to move inland from Nanjing to Wuhan in 1937 and from Wuhan to Chongqing in 1938, as the Kuomintang (KMT, Chinese Nationalist Party) government under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek ultimately retreated to Sichuan province to escape the invading Japanese forces. Chengdu became a military center for the KMT to regroup, and while out of reach of the Imperial Japanese ground forces, Chengdu would be heavily bombed by the Japanese by air. Chengdu, Sichuan, Republic of China. August 1941. Image taken by Cecil Beaton.   

    (Source: media.iwm.org.uk)

  3. A battle weary German Wehrmacht soldier offers a comrade a cigarette during the Battle of Prokhorovka; a massive Soviet counterattack following the German launched Operation Citadel (German: Unternehmen Zitadelle), the aim of enveloping and destroying the Soviet forces in the Kursk salient during the Battle of Kursk. Near Prokhorovka, Belgorod Oblast, Russia, Soviet Union. July 1943.

  4. U.S. Army Cpl. Noel Havenborg slowly recovers from the effects of malnutrition in a U.S. military hospital in the Philippines following his liberation from a Japanese POW camp. Manila, Luzon, Philippines. 9 September 1945.

  5. French and French colonial North African POWs are marched to a collection area under guard of German soldiers during the Battle of France. Following a one month of battle, on 22 June 1940, an armistice was signed between France and Germany, which resulted in a division of France, whereby Germany would occupy the north and west, Italy would control a small occupation zone in the southeast, and an unoccupied zone, the Zone libre (Free Zone), would be governed by the newly formed collaborationist Vichy government led by Marshal Philippe Pétain. Near Avranches, Manche, Lower Normandy, France. June 1940.

  6. Soviet soldiers of the 270th Rifle Division, Soviet 7th Guards Army, begin a counteroffensive during the Battle of Kursk. The battle led to one of the largest armored clashes in military history, the Battle of Prokhorovka.  The German offensive was countered by two Soviet counter offensives, Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev and Operation Kutuzov. For the Germans, the battle represented the final strategic offensive they were able to mount in the east. For the Soviets, the decisive victory during the battle of Kursk gave the Soviet armies the strategic initiative for the rest of the war. Kursk Oblast, Russia, Soviet Union. 12 July 1943. Image taken by Max Alpert.

  7. German POWs captured during the early fighting of the Battle of Anzio are photographed behind barbed wire in a temporary collection area. While the others mill about, one soldiers sits with a resolute glare. The Battle of Anzio began on 22 January 1944 with the Allied amphibious landings (Operation Shingle) in the areas of Anzio and Nettuno and would only end after a stalemate lasting five months. Near Anzio, Lazio, Italy. February 1944.

  8. A French woman tends to the grave of a 23-year-old Canadian soldier who was buried earlier that day; Bombardier Everitt Ivan Hill of the 2nd Anti-Tank Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, killed during the Battle for Caen. Under his name and date of burial is written ”The French Will Never Forget the Canadians.” Beneath that inscription, on a separate piece of paper, is written in French:

    "Rest in peace under the beautiful French sky,

    Son of Canada and glorious martyr.

    You have given your life for our deliverance —

    May your name be forever blessed in Heaven.”

    Hill, originally from Little Britain, Ontario, enlisted with the Royal Canadian Artillery on 24 March 1941 and landed in Normandy on D-Day. He was later reburied at Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery near Cintheaux and was one of approximately 50,539 Allied casualties in the Battle for Caen. Approximately 226,386 Allied soldiers and between 400,000 to 450,000 Axis soldiers would be killed in the Battle of Normandy. Caen, Calvados, Lower Normandy, France. 18 July 1944. Image taken by Canadian Army Lt. Ken Bell.

    (Source: bac-lac.gc.ca)

  9. German Wehrmacht Gebirgsjäger (light infantry alpine troops) of the 2nd Mountain Division (2. Gebirgs-Division) pose for a photograph during Operation Weserübung, Germany’s successful invasion of Denmark and Norway. Trondheim Airport, Værnes, Sør-Trøndelag, Norway. 2 May 1940. Image taken by Karl Marth. 

  10. Refugees return to the destroyed Alsatian village of Mittelwihr following the German retreat. Left behind is a German Jagdpanzer IV 70 (A) tank destroyer. Alsace, a region of France largely populated with ethnic Germanic Alsatians who speak Alsatian (a Low Alemannic German dialect), was occupied by Germany in 1940. Although Germany never formally annexed Alsace, it was incorporated into the Greater German Reich and restructured into a Reichsgau (an administrative subdivision created in a number of the areas annexed to Germany). Alsace was merged with Baden, and Lorraine with the Saarland, to become part of a planned Gau Westmark, an extension of Germany’s western border. During the war, 130,000 young men from Alsace and Lorraine were inducted into the German military, including the Waffen-SS. Following the defeat of Germany, Alsace was returned to France. Mittelwihr, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France. February 1945.

  11. A Hawaiian mother shows off an early Easter gift to her infant: a gas mask, replete with bunny ears. Following the 7 December 1941 Japanese aerial assaults on Pearl Harbor and Kaneohe Naval Air Station, Hawaiian civilians feared an impending Japanese chemical or biological attack. By early 1942, thousands of gas masks were being sold and distributed to islanders. Honolulu, Honolulu County, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii (since 1959, a U.S. state). 3 April 1942.

  12. German Wehrmacht troops watch the bombardment of Soviet positions in the small village of Lyakhovo during Operation Barabarossa; the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union. Lyakhovo, Glinkovsky District, Smolensk Oblast, Russia, Soviet Union. July 1941.

  13. Belgian soldiers of the Belgian 1st Infantry Brigade, Free Belgian Forces, pose for a photograph with their British Daimler Armoured Car (Mk. II) following their liberation of the French village of Sallenelles during the Battle of Normandy. The Belgian 1st Infantry Brigade (also known as the ”Brigade Piron”) was formed in 1940 after the German invasion and defeat of Belgium, when hundreds of Belgian troops had escaped to the U.K. By 1944, the brigade numbered approximately 2,200 soldiers and were trained in the U.K. and Canada. Although they did not take part in the D-Day landings (the Allies wanted them take a leading and symbolic role in the later planned liberation of Belgium), they did arrive in Normandy on 30 July to fight in the Battle of Normandy and would help liberate other regions of France, the Netherlands and their homeland. Following the war, the brigade became the core of the new Belgian Army. Sallenelles, Calvados, Lower Normandy, France. August 1944.

  14. German medics of the 260th Infantry Division, Army Group Center(Heeresgruppe Mitte), assist wounded Soviet POWs during Operation Barbarossa; the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union. Romanischi, Gomel Region, Belarus, Soviet Union. July 1941.

  15. A U.S. Army combat engineer of the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), better known as “Merrill’s Marauders”, discovers the body of a Japanese soldier of the 33rd Imperial Japanese Army who committed suicide by hanging himself as Allied forces took Myitkyina during the Burma Campaign. Myitkyina, Kachin State, Burma (Myanmar). August 1944.