Saturday, December 30, 2017

Crazy Eyes of World War II


Hitler Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Hitler didn't have to try to hard to get the crazy-eyes look.

Crazy eyes. There was nothing new about photography during World War II. It had been around for a hundred years, and there were color photos of extremely high quality as well as the typical black and white ones. However, the war pulled a lot of people into sudden prominence, and they also were undergoing intense emotions. This combined for some memorable shots of people not getting it quite right when hearing the shutter click shut.

Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
This Soviet partisan boy revealing a little too much about how he feels about things.

Anyway, on this page the eyes have it. If the picture is worth anything, it is because the eyes tell the story - even if you can't see them clearly. Happy or sad, the eyes are the window to the soul, and in these shots they say more than words can convey.

Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Battle of Britain.

I will be adding photos to this page from time to time, but I think these will give you the idea I'm trying to convey.

Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
German concentration camp guards.

Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Child soldiers.

Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Evdokia Pasko, a Soviet military aviatrix in World War II, trying a little too hard for that intense look.

Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Robert Capa photo of Wehrmacht captives at Normandy.

Hitler Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Hitler in a rare shot where he has a pistol in his pocket. Behind him appears to be Hess.

Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Who knows what this poor lady had just been through during an Allied bombing raid. 

Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Going into battle.

Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Stalingrad after the surrender but before being sent to prison camps. The guys in the background in the shadows tell the real tale.

Hitler Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Adolf Hitler and German Crown Prince Wilhelm at Potsdam, Germany on Potsdam Day, 21 March 1933.

Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Battle of Britain.

One of the issues I have with many World War II articles and blogs is that they give very short shrift to the wounded. I am guilty of that, too, but am at least trying to blend in such pictures now and then to give a more realistic portrayal. There were a lot of wounded soldiers (and civilians, for that matter) during World War II, they deserve recognition. When you make war look pretty, what do you get? More wars.

Wounded Wehrmacht Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Here are two of the wounded (out of millions) of World War II, who appear to have had burn injuries.

Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
It's Stalingrad, it's 10 below, you've just surrendered, and now they want you to walk to your prison camp in Siberia.

Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Wehrmacht soldier after a desperate, failed counterattack against Canadians at Otterloo, Netherlands on 17 April 1945. After an attack by about 1000 Germans, 400 were dead (many by flamethrower) and 250 were taken prisoner like this fellow.

Hitler Crazy eyes worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Hitler at Christmas - this picture, apparently from a postcard, always creeps me out.


2017

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Color Photos of World War 2 Part 3


BDM Girls Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM) girls on a fundraising drive.

This page continues my series on color photographs of World War II. The page concentrates on German forces and the Reich homefront.

Almost all color photographs of World War II are colorized recently from black-and-white originals, and these are few exceptions. Unfortunately, with all the colorization, it now is difficult to pick out the genuine color photographs - and there were a small number of them. There definitely were color photographs in the 1930s and 1940s, and more color shots than you might think, but major publications with only a few notable exceptions (such as Life magazine) had no need for color photos. I try to point out when I am certain which photos are colorized, but you can assume that all are.

Personally, I have no issues with colorization as long as it it done well and shows colors that we know from other sources to be accurate. If a little added color makes World War II photos a little more accessible for people, so much the better.

These types of general pages, which span the entire war, provide a chance to look at the war from a different perspective than usual. Rather than focus on individuals or events, we instead look at random images from the time period. A page like this would be a good place to start when studying the World War II era, but also a good place to review after you've delved deeply into the details of the war. Looking at random images that are pleasing to the eye is like flying in an airplane over an event, taking in the broadest view but without getting bogged down in who won what and what happened before and after the picture was taken.

There is an immediacy to color photographs that makes you understand the reality of the times, the feelings that symbols and backgrounds gave to a central image. They also provide a chance to look at random aspects of the war that may get short shrift elsewhere. They also remove some of the distance of time, with little girls looking just like little girls today... only wearing Swastikas.

You may find more color photos of World War II on page 1 and page 2 of this series.

Hope you enjoy your stay.


Hitler rally Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Note the symmetry in this picture. The Germans understood that the human brain finds symmetry pleasing and beautiful.

BDM girl Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A BDM girl cleaning some shoes.

Hitler and Mussolini Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Hitler and Mussolini.

Tiger Tank Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Gustav gun Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Firing the Gustav gun (colorized).
German maiden Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
German maidens were enthusiastic participants in sports.

German 88mm FLAK gun Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
16.Luft.Field Div. - 8,8cm FlaK - Normandy, France 1944.

Bad Tölz soldier Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Waffen-SS Scharführer of at the military academy (Junkerschule) at Bad Tölz.

U-331 Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
U-331, a Type VIIC U-boat (Oberleutnant zur See Freiherr Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen).
German girl Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A BDM girl (colorized).

MG-42 mountain troops Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Gebirgsjägers (mountain troops) with a MG-42.

German fallschirmjaeger Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Fallschirmjäger.

Kubelwagen Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Kubelwagen in North Africa with the Afrika Korps (DAK).
German girl Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A BDM girl (colorized).

Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Wehrmacht soldier at Dunkirk, 1940.

Hitler Himmler Obersalzberg Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler taking a walk on the Obersalzberg, ca. 1944.

Coastal defense gunner Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Küstenverteidigung (coastal defense) using a MG-34.
German tank ditch Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A typical anti-tank ditch (Panzergräben) with a panzer in the background (colorized).
German girl Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A BDM girl (colorized).

U-boat captain Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A U-boat commander in 1942 (Life).

German maidens Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
German maidens celebrating spring.

Kubelwagen Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Another Kubelwagen in North Africa.

Oerlikon antiaircraft gun Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A good shot of a Kriegsmarine 2.0 cm Flak 29 Oerlikon. These guns were highly prized, and the Royal Navy would take them off sinking Axis ships whenever they got the chance.

German celebration Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Germans celebrating the victories of 1940.

Hamburg train station 1938 Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The Hamburg Central Station (west exit on the Glockengießerwall), Hungarian state visit, August 24, 1938 (Credit: Walter Hollnagel).

Viking Division Gerhard Mahn Ukraine 1944 Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
SS-Untersturmführer Gerhard Mahn. 5th SS Panzer Division "Wiking" signaling for troops to advance, Ukraine 1944.

Maykop oil fields Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The German summer offensive in August, 1942. These men are with 17th Army in Army Group South, all under Field Marshal List. This is in the Caucasus during the advance on the oil fields of Baku and Maykop. You can see a Mg-34 and MP-40. Colorized.
German girl Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A German girl, apparently a Helferinnen.


Operation Barbarossa Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Rolling by a burning truck during the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa.

German rally Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com

German soldier Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
I believe this was taken in Italy.

German soldier Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com

German maidens Hitler rally Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Operation Barbarossa Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
On the run during the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa.

German motorcyclist Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com


German soldiers Color Photos World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com

2017