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Melvin C. Shaffer World War II Photographs

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    • 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...
    • 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"...
    • 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...
    • 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...
    • Traveling entertainer, Algiers, 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • This traveling entertainer in a small village near Biskra played music on the drum you see here, as well as on various horns hidden beneath his costume. These men would travel across the desert from one market to another making a meager living with...
    • Unidentified café

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • Arab men enjoying tea at a sidewalk cafe, a very popular pastime for these folks who never seemed in a rush and always had plenty to talk about. On rare occasions when I had an interpreter available, he would assure me that they were not discussing...
    • Gardens inside the Sultan's palace, Rabat, September 1943

    • 1943
    • North Africa
    • While there was evidence of activity -- heavily used walkways, a toy now and then, some debris from food, etc. -- never did I see any of the Palace inhabitants out while we (American soldiers) were present. It was as if the palace was deserted, and...

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