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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • Camel pulling irrigation lift, Casablanca, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The camel is truly the all-purpose animal, here turning the pump on an irrigation post in Morocco. His entire life would be spent walking in this circle, bringing up water from one level to a higher one. An attendant in the shack would not be...
    • Streetcar, Algiers, November 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The streetcar that ran along the coastal road the entire length of the city of Algiers. The cars were nearly always full with passengers clinging to the sides, pushing, and shoving. But the system always seemed to work, not much different than...
    • St. Peter's, Rome, 1944

    • 1944
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The famous basilica designed by Giacomo della Porta, pictured here 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • In the Italian Alps, 1945

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • A pretty home in the Italian Alps near the village of Santa Cristina. This entire area escaped damage from the fighting and remained intact and acted too as a haven for refugees from Europe until May 1945.
    • 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...
    • Creer and Shaffer, Reich Chancellery, Berlin, May 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Ralph Creer and Melvin Shaffer at the entrance to the Reich Chancellery, May 1945. Debris had been removed from the entrance by the Russians in order to enter and search for Hitler and his government. The famous bunker was here and the smell of...
    • 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...
    • 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...

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