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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • 99 Rue D'Isly, home for a few weeks, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A room in a private apartment at 99 Rue D'Isly, Algiers, that we were able to rent for a few weeks. Our commanding officer later discovered this flirtation with luxury and ordered us back to base. Typical of the time, this apartment belonged to a...
    • Algiers harbor by moonlight

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • The port of Algiers by moonlight. Beautiful, undamaged by the conflict, Algiers was an exciting and interesting place. [paragraph] This photograph was entered into a competition sponsored by the Allied Service Women's Club in Algiers and was...
    • Algiers Harbor, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A view of Algiers harbor with wartime shipping anchored and waiting to unload. Much of the war material for the African campaign came through this harbor. It was also a vital supply link in the battles of Sicily and Italy. [paragraph] The Germans...
    • Algiers, Ferris wheel

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • In Algiers we frequently came across attempts by the locals to lead normal (i.e., peacetime) lives. This scene depicts a small Ferris wheel in one of the city's parks. Mostly it was hauling American soldiers around. A very unstable looking...
    • Amalfi, 1943

    • 1943
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The village of Amalfi, familiar to millions of tourists as it looked in 1943.
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • Berlin, early June 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • By early June the Berlin population was showing amazing resilience. A sports car was brought out, some buses were running and people were out in their "Sunday best." Their demeanor had also changed. They had some utility service restored; they had...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • Berlin, Unter den Linden, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • Along the Unter den Linden towards the Brandenburg Gate. The German civilians frequently walked and stared with an expression of agony and despair on their faces. While my German was limited I could frequently make out remarks such as,"Oh this was...
    • Bismarck Statue, Berlin, 1945

    • 1945
    • Germany
    • The Bismarck Statue, Berlin, late May 1945. In contrast to most other soldiers, Americans generally were gawking tourists and the US Army made serious efforts to give opportunities for sight-seeing whenever it could. Most combat soldiers, though,...
    • Caravan entering Biskra, December 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A traditional camel caravan moving into Biskra after a long journey from the southern edge of the Sahara. Measured distance is not a concept these caravans use; days to travel and time are the measure. A trip from Biskra to Bou Saada is 6 days if a...
    • Caravan, December 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A traditional camel caravan moving into Biskra after a long journey from the southern edge of the Sahara. Measured distance is not a concept these caravans use; days to travel and time are the measure. A trip from Biskra to Bou Saada is 6 days if a...
    • Children, Italy

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The children universally liked American soldiers; we returned the feeling by saving up candy and food from our rations and sharing with the kids. It was not unusual for the first soldiers to occupy an area -- almost immediately upon arrival -- to...
    • Children, Italy

    • 1945
    • Italy and Southern France
    • The children universally liked American soldiers; we returned the feeling by saving up candy and food from our rations and sharing with the kids. It was not unusual for the first soldiers to occupy an area -- almost immediately upon arrival -- to...
    • Craftsman, the Medina, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • A craftsman working metal in the Medina, Algiers, November 1943. He is typical of the workers whose skill with simple tools could produce a gun, a sword or a spoon. They were completely essential members of their society; most of the things owned...

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