Kohl and Mitterand in Verdun, 1984

The Battle of Verdun is considered by many the most blood-stained battlefield in world history. Never before or since has there been such a lengthy battle, involving so many men, situated on such a tiny piece of land. The battle, which lasted from 21 February 1916 until 19 December 1916 caused over an estimated 800,000 casualties (dead, wounded and missing). The battlefield was not even… Read More »

Harold Whittles hearing sound for the first time, 1974

Harold Whittles, the 5 year little boy, has just been fitted with a hearing aid. Deaf until then, Harold was introduced to sound with the arrival of technology at his doorstep. From a world of silence, he has suddenly been transported to a world of rich, vibrant sound. It is new, it is strange, and it’s also a little scary. His little eyes grow wide… Read More »

Building the Hoover Dam, 1935

Conveying the officials in the photograph is a section of 30ft diameter steel penstock of the soon-to-be-completed Hoover Dam. In the same year, the pouring of the project’s concrete had concluded – a total of 3.25million cubic yards. As the United States developed the Southwest, the Colorado River was seen as a potential source of irrigation water. In 1928, the U.S. Congress authorized the Boulder… Read More »

Pyramid of captured German helmets, New York, 1918

This interesting picture, taken in 1918, shows employees of the New York Central Railroad at a celebration in Victory Way, showing off a pyramid of recovered German helmets in front of Grand Central Terminal. There were over 12,000 German Pickelhaubes on the pyramid, sent from warehouses in Germany at the end of the war. Victory Way was set up on Park Avenue to raise money… Read More »

French soldiers in the Ruhr, 1923

In January 1923 France and Belgium invaded the Ruhr, an industrial area of German bordering their own countries. The occupation of Ruhr was in response to the Wiemar Republic’s failure to continue its reparation payments in the aftermath of World War I. This region, full of factories and coalmines, contained resources the French and Belgians intended to use to make up for the unpaid reparations.… Read More »

Three archers, Japan, 1860s

The men are practitioners of Kyudo, Japanese Zen archery. Their outfits and the way they hold their second arrows (Ya) between their fourth and fifth fingers give this away. The target is most likely 28m away from the men, since they are shooting outdoors at what appears to be a makeshift range. Traditionally, 28m outdoor shooting is the final and most advanced stage of training… Read More »

Boxing in 1913

This picture shows the end of a brutal boxing match between Ray Campbell and Dick Hyland. Take a look at the condition of the two fighters, battered, bloodied, bruised and staring down each other at the end of the fight. Boxing in those days was very different. There was no mandatory eight count. There was no neutral corner. If your opponent knocked you down, the… Read More »

The headquarters of Mussolini’s Italian Fascist Party, 1934

The building in the picture is Palazzo Braschi in Rome, the headquarters of the Fascist Party Federation (the local one, not the national Party headquarters). It was not always covered up like that; this set-up was displayed for the 1934 elections, in which Italians were called to vote either for or against the Fascist representatives list. The “SI SI…” lettering (meaning “Yes Yes…”) was propaganda… Read More »

Astronaut Edwin Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon, 1969

At 10:39 pm on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong opened the hatch of the lunar module. As he made his way down the lunar module’s ladder, a television camera attached to the craft recorded his progress and beamed the signal back to Earth, where hundreds of millions watched in great anticipation. At 10:56 pm, Armstrong spoke his famous quote, which he later contended was slightly… Read More »

B-24 Liberator in flames after being attacked over Austria, 1944

These are the last moments of a Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber of USAF. It was part of a squadron engaged in a raid on an industrial target in Austria. German fighters came up in force, downing all the bombers except the one from which this photograph was made. The aircraft, named “Extra Joker”, was attacked by at least two German fighters Focke-Wulf Fw 190 while… Read More »

Category: WW2

Omayra Sanchez, young victim of the Armero Tragedy in Colombia, 1985

On November 13, 1985, the Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupted. Pyroclastic flows exploding from the crater melted the mountain’s icecap, forming lahars (volcanic mudflows and debris flows) which cascaded into river valleys below. One lahar, consisting of three pulses, did most of the damage. Traveling at 6 meters (20 ft) per second, the first pulse enveloped most of the town of Armero, killing up to… Read More »

The Trinity explosion 0.016 seconds after detonation, 1945

On July 16, 1945, the United States became the first country to successfully detonate an atomic weapon, signalling the beginning of a new era in warfare and in politics. In the early 1940s, the U.S. government authorized a top-secret program of nuclear testing and development, codenamed “The Manhattan Project”. Its goal was the development of the world’s first atomic bomb. Much of the research and… Read More »