10 Moving and gut wrenching images of WW II
World War II or the Second World War was a global war fought between the years of 1939 and 1945. The war took place between the Axis powers comprising of Germany, Italy, Japan and their supportive countries led by German chancellor Adolf Hitler and Mussolini against the Allied forces of the Great Britain, the Soviet Russia, France and the United States of America led by Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin.
The war caused death of over 85 million civilians and soldiers and has got the moniker of the deadliest conflict in human history. It saw the first ever use of atomic bombs in war when America dropped two atom bombs on Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The war ended in 1945 with the death of Adolf Hitler and surrender of Japan. Here are some heart-wrenching images from the WW II that will remind you that war was indeed hellish.
1 Starved to death
During the invasion of Russia, Hitler decided to lay siege in one of the biggest cities of Russia in Leningrad (present day Saint Petersburg). The siege began on 8th September 1941 and ended on 27th January 1944, lasting for 872 days. It caused severe shortage of rations like food items and other items essential for living. Anywhere from 1,117,000–4,500,000 people, like the little child in the image died due to starvation or disease during the siege.
2 Night sky lit up due to bombing
On 22 June 1941, Axis soldiers invaded the Soviet Union using blitzkrieg tactics. The operation was named as Operation Typhoon by the German forces and included heavy use of the German Air Force Luftwaffe’s strength in order to help the troops on the ground. The image above is from the first air raid conducted by the German Luftwaffe on Moscow on July 12th.
3 The single largest battle of the war
The Battle of Stalingrad (July 17 1942-Feb 2 1943) is considered to be one of the greatest battles in the WW II. It involved the Russian forces successfully defending the city of Stalingrad against the Axis forces consisting majorly of the German army. Total causalities in the battle Stalingrad was close to 2 million including both military and civilian lives.
4 Clouds of doom
The United States of America had been neutral for most of the war, until Japan decided to conduct an aerial attack on US Pearl Harbor, trying to destroy their battleships. This instigated the US so much, that it declared war on the Axis forces and joined the Allies. On August 6, 1945, an American B29 bomber dropped the world’s first ever atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, which immediately killed 80,000 people and destroyed 90% of the city. 3 days later, another US bomber dropped another atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki killing 40,000 people. Japan surrendered on August 15 unconditionally.
5 Wedding rings of Holocaust victims
The holocaust or ethnic killing of over 6 million European Jewish people along with gypsies and homosexuals at the hands of German Nazi army is the big black mark in the history of mankind. The anti Semitic ideology of Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler and his belief in the superior Aryan race, led to systematic killings of Jews under the cover of World War II.
6 Plight of Indian soldiers
The image is of Japanese army personnel ensuring that the Indian soldier is dead or not during the Second World War. The British Indian Army was comprised of 2.5 million soldiers from then united India. Majority of Indian soldiers were deployed in Singapore and Burma to fight Japan and when Japan got hold of Burma, it executed every Indian soldier who didn’t surrendered or joined the Japanese army.
7 Japanese Kamikaze aircraft
The image is of a Japanese Kamikaze aircraft being shot by anti aircraft missile from USS Hornet. The Kamikaze fleet of aircraft from the Japanese air force was a group of pilots who were willing to die for their country. These pilots usually flew planes filled with explosives and tried to crash their planes into enemy ships in order to cause maximum damage.
8 Death in real time
The picture is of a German soldier who was hit by a bullet and was taken at the exact moment, he was hit with the fatal shot. The picture was taken in Ukraine sometime in 1943.
9 Hamburg aftermath
The image is of the German city of Hamburg, a day after it was bombed by the Allied forces in July 1943. It was a part of Operation Gomorrah, led jointly by the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces. The campaign of air raids lasted for 8 days beginning on 24 July 1943 and cost the lives of 42,600 civilians and injuring 37,000 others.
10 Poland locals hanged till death
Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939, which triggered the start of World War II and throughout the World War, Poland was divided between Germany controlled territory and Soviet Union controlled territory. Germany began ethnic cleansing of Jews from Poland and they killed them either by sending them to extermination camps or by simply hanging them in public.