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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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  • All fields: Photography, Panoramic
(62 results)



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    • Railway station at Stuttgart, Germany, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The railway station at Stuttgart in late April 1945. Railway cars within the destroyed structure provided shelter for hundreds of persons, displaced people, German soldiers waiting to surrender. Even we spent two nights here while waiting for...
    • Berlin, late May 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • This photograph of buildings near the Chancellery, on the Unter den Linden, shows the efficiency of both the population and the Russian forces that had cleared the streets for military traffic and for the delivery of essential goods to the...
    • Kassel, Germany, May 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Within a few days of the end of the war, the city of Kassel was digging itself out. This was the most destroyed city I encountered. There were no useable buildings left. People had made entrances to cellars and were using them as housing. Water...
    • Olympic Pool, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The Olympic swimming pool, constructed for the 1936 event. It was used almost immediately after the surrender by the occupying military and an occasional fraulein.
    • Near the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • A panorama near the Brandenburg Gate. I believe the domed building is the opera house. The opera made an astonishing effort to get back into production and before the end of May and even gave a performance of a Wagnerian opera which I was invited...
    • Olympic stadium, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The 1936 Olympic Stadium. This was a rather moving visit for me, as I recalled listening to the radio broadcasts from the Olympics in 1936. We were all so proud of the Americans who made such a great showing at this event and I had all these...
    • Berlin, parade ground, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Films of Hitler's forces goose-stepping in this great plaza were very fresh in our minds as we strolled this entire area, talking about and reviewing what each of us remembered from those pre-war films of Nazi Germany. It was here that Hitler first...
    • Another view of Kassel, Germany, May 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Within a few days of the end of the war, the city of Kassel was digging itself out. This was the most destroyed city I encountered. There were no useable buildings left. People had made entrances to cellars and were using them as housing. Water...
    • Berlin, mid-June 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Berlin near the Brandenburg Gate; cleaned up somewhat and beginning to restore itself.
    • 8th Evacuation Hospital, Pietramala, Italy, Winter 1944 / 1945

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The 8th Evacuation Hospital -- manned by a unit from the University of Virginia -- at the Pietramala location, about 40 miles north of Florence. The photograph was made from atop a mountain to the west of the Hospital. The highway shown is one of...
    • Naples and Mt. Vesuvius, April 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • A view of the harbor at Naples with Mt. Vesuvius in the background. A truly beautiful city, Naples was a nice retreat from assignments in the forward areas. This photo was made after the massive eruption of Vesuvius and clearly shows the newly...
    • Melvin Shaffer overlooking Pietramala, Italy, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Looking north from Pietramala towards the German lines just at the ridgeline near the top of this photo; the Germans were no doubt watching me, as they had observation points all along this range as well as made frequent sorties at night into the...
    • San Gimignano, Italy, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The city of San Gimignano, just north of Siena, was prominent for its many bell towers. Difficult to get to because of heavy land mining in the area, it was a romantic city and favorite getaway spot for American military officers and their Red...
    • Mt. Vesuvius eruption, Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • A view of Vesuvius from the western part of Naples, clearly showing the massive lava cloud spewing from the volcano's top. This photo, made near the beginning of the eruption, shows a southward flow of lava and a very high concentration of ash in...
    • Moving casualties to the hospital ship, Southern France, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Here a landing craft approaches the hospital ship (the "Shamrock", a United States vessel) with patients on army litters. Having collected my usual contingent of casualties in order to photograph the progress of their treatment, I returned to the...
    • The ruins of the Abbey at Monte Cassino, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The Abbey at Monte Cassino (the Abbazia di Montecassino), bombed into rubble by the Allied forces, only to make ideal cover for the German troops who rapidly re-entered the Abbey after the bombing. As a result, the Allies attempted again to "take"...
    • Leaning tower of Pisa, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The famous tower escaped damage even though major military activity did take place in the vicinity. The Mausoleum next door, however, did sustain damage; the sides of ancient burial vaults were blown away and gave a good view of the bones of the...
    • Village of Santa Cristina, Italian Alps, Summer 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • With the end of hostilities, the people here -- who had largely escaped the effects of the war -- were out doing their daily work again: farming; carving wood; and looking forward to the return of tourists to their picturesque village.

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