Take a look at some of the most defining moments of World war II

War is bloody but among the devastation is also victory and defeat. As bystanders, the world may not see glory in war, but for those on the battle field, there is another perspective. Here are 10 moments of World War II that rightly define the war and they have definitely been etched in the memory of many for the very same reason.


1 American Flag Raising At Iwo Jima, 1945

One of the most iconic moments of World War II was the American flag being raised on the island of Iwo Jima By US GI’s on 23rd Feb 1945.The epic moment captured on camera went on to become a symbol of victory and American pride. Capturing Iwo Jima turned out to be one the bloodiest battle for US marines in Central Pacific.

American Flag Raising At Iwo Jima, 1945

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2 Operation Dynamo Evacuation at Dunkirk, 1940

In what appeared to be a heart rending moment of solidarity for allied forces, almost 700 private ships comprising of paddle steamers, cargo ships, frigates and fishing boats set sail from Ramsgate, England across the channel to evacuate British and French forces stranded at Dunkirk. Over a period of 10 days from 26th may to 4th June 1940, the vessels were part of operation dynamo and rescued more than 338,000 soldiers.

Operation Dynamo Evacuation at Dunkirk, 1940

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3 Normandy Landing on D.Day, 1944

In what became a significant turning point in World War II in favor of allied forces, the Normandy landings code-named Operation Neptune took place on June 6th 1944. This particular moment captured during the D Day invasion was that of a landing craft containing soldiers of the 16th infantry regiment, 21st division responsible for capturing Omaha beach.

Normandy Landing on D.Day, 1944

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4 Jewish Boy with Raised Hands, 1943

Perhaps one of the simplest yet defining moments of World War II was that of a photograph showing a little Jewish boy holding up his hands in the Warsaw ghetto. Amazing moments aren’t always happy ones and this particular one of Germans herding the Jews into the ghetto commanding them to keep their hands up will go down in history as testimony to the evil that was Hitler.

Jewish Boy with Raised Hands, 1943

Image Source: www.nytimes.com


5 Sinking of Bismarck, 1941

The Bismarck was a German battle ship considered the pride of the German navy. A thorn in the side of allied presence at sea, the Bismarck inflicted a lot of damage due to its state of the art technology and fire power. A virtual manhunt by allied powers for the Bismarck yielded fruit when she was cornered in what is known as the battle of Denmark straits. She was sunk in the north Atlantic on May 27th 1941 through a collaborated effort of a number of naval warships, boats and swordfish torpedo planes.

Sinking of Bismarck, 1941

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6 Liberation of Paris,France.1944

The liberation of Paris was one of the most memorable moments of World War II, when German forces surrendered the city after a week of bloody combat against allied troops on 19th August 1944. The scene of the British and French tanks and soldiers parading down the Champs Elysses from Arch de Triumphe will always go down as a glorious day of liberty from Hitler’s tyranny.

Liberation of Paris,France.1944

Image Source: www.corbis.com


7 Operation Market Garden, 1944

Those living in the Netherlands will never forget the amazing sight of thousands of war planes and paratroopers landing over the area. Operation market garden was one of the biggest airborne assaults of the allied forces on 17th September 1944. An air and ground assault initiated by General Montgomery behind German lines in a bid to cut through Northern France to Germany failed miserably due to ill coordinated logistics.

Operation Market Garden, 1944

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8 Aerial Battles over Britain,1940

At the end of 1940, Germany trained her guns on England from the air. What ensued was the greatest of aerial battle in war history when England defended her skies form the onslaught of the Luftwaffe. Villages and citizens of England were observers to such scenes of dogfights between the British spitfire and the might of the Luftwaffe’s Messerschmitt 109.

Aerial Battles over Britain,1940

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9 Mushroom Cloud over Hiroshima, 1945

No moment in World War II history could be as devastating as the sight of the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The impact of the explosion captured in this photograph when the atom bomb named ‘little boy’ was dropped from the US bomber plane named Enola gay over Hiroshima on 6th august 1945 is enough to sum up the war and its destruction.

Mushroom Cloud over Hiroshima, 1945

Image Source: www.wikimedia.org

10 Surrendering of the Japanese forces, 1945

On 2nd September 1945, a Japanese delegation with Emperor Hirohito officially surrendered to General Douglas Macarthur ending the WWII. It will always be considered one of the most defining moments of World War II history and was suitably recorded on film as such.

Surrendering of the Japanese forces, 1945

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Take a look at some moments which will restore your faith in humanity.


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