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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • Mt. Vesuvius eruption, San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The Allied forces invaded Italy in September, 1943. This was followed in March, 1944 by a massive eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Lava flowed for days and covered many villages and farms to the northwest from the ancient ruins of Pompeii. At least 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...
    • Attending the opera in Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • It was not unusual to be at the "front" during the early part of the Italian campaign, only to retreat late in the day and return to Naples to attend the opera or engage in some other activity that had nothing to do with the war. On the morning of...
    • St. Peter's, Rome, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The famous basilica designed by Giacomo della Porta, shortly after the breakthrough at Anzio. Thousands of American soldiers came here on their way north in pursuit of the retreating German forces. It was not uncommon to see entire military...
    • Opera, Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The stage at the Teatro di San Carlo, Naples demonstrating simple staging made necessary by wartime scarcities. That said, talent was still in abundance.
    • San Marco, Venice, Summer 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Then as now a "must-see" place. Note the large number of soldiers, nearly all American (including myself, in the light-colored uniform). This was a common occurrence in the immediate post-war period. Remarkably very few soldiers of other...
    • Approaching San Gimignano, 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 too because of heavy land mining in the area, it was a romantic city and favorite getaway spot for American Military officers and their Red...
    • Vesuvius, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Mt. Vesuvius in eruption near the village of San Sebastiano al Vesuvio.
    • Vesuvius, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Mt. Vesuvius in eruption near the village of San Sebastiano al Vesuvio.
    • The stage of San Carlos opera, Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The stage at the Teatro di San Carlo, Naples demonstrating simple staging made necessary by wartime scarcities. That said, talent was still in abundance.
    • The Via S. Agata, San Gimignano

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This Alpine community was used by the German forces as a rest area. It was also used by German and Austrian families as a shelter, yet it remained virtually untouched by the war. Fresh supplies of wood products, including decorative items and...

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