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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • 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...
    • The Tempelhof, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Housing near the Tempelhof airport, which had survived the devastation of war and was taken over by the US military for its personnel. [M.C.S.] [paragraph] In 1948, during the Berlin Airlift (a.k.a,"Operation Vittles", this same airport was used...
    • Parade ground, Berlin, 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...
    • 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...
    • Mt. Vesuvius at night, eruption of 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The fury of the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius was more apparent at night when lava flow could nearly always be seen, a pattern of outcroppings that changed nightly. Here the front is advancing towards Naples. This flow occurred irregularly...
    • 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"...
    • 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...
    • Cutting hemp stalks, Naples, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This woman is harvesting hemp straw for the rope industry that was so predominant in and around Naples. Hemp was a major crop in the area of Naples. A large family enterprise, the making of hemp rope flourished all during the period of military...
    • The Altare della Patria, Rome, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This monumental complex was finally completed by Mussolini, who transformed it from a dedication to the Italian "unknown soldiers" who died during the First World War into an egocentric expression of his pride in Italian military achievement.
    • Col. Edward "Pete" Churchill, Epinal, France, 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Colonel Edward "Pete" Churchill, Chief of Surgery for the Mediterranean Theater of operations is pictured here in Epinal, France during the final push across France and Southern Germany. Dr. Churchill, Professor of Surgery at Harvard and an...
    • 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...
    • La Mostra, site of 15th Medical General Laboratory, Naples

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • This picture shows La Mostra d'Oltremare as it was during the days prior to its conversion for war purposes. A few years before the war Bennito Mussolini had built a World's Fair-type exhibition on the outskirts of Naples. Its purpose was to...
    • Gasthof Zur, Italian Alps, 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The Gasthof Zur in the Italian Alps near the village of Santa Cristina. Undamaged by war, it was open for business during the entire period of conflict. In July 1945 (my time there), it served good food and provided comfortable housing for anyone...
    • American soldier tourists, Venice, Summer 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The Venetians were pleased to have American soldiers as visitors to their city, even this ad hoc group. They had been denied the benefits of tourism for several years. Many of the traditional Venetian craftsmen had worked during the war years and...
    • Liberty ship, November 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The best sight of all: the rigging of a liberty ship on the way home. This ship had been used for hauling mules to Italy, said mules to be employed for ammunition carrying in the Apennines. The ship had during that year-long term of this...
    • Mt. Vesuvius

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • Mt. Vesuvius seen during eruption, 1944. This farmland was near the northwestern sector.

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