Just Click on Any Picture Below to Make it Large for Viewing!!
Beginning on the night of February 13, 1945, more than 1,200 heavy bombers dropped nearly 4,000 tons of high-explosive and incendiary bombs on the city in four successive raids. An estimated 25,000 people were killed in the bombings and the firestorm that raged afterward. More than 75,000 dwellings were destroyed, along with unique monuments of Baroque architecture in the historic city center. The scale of the death and destruction, coming so late in the war, along with significant questions about the legitimacy of the targets destroyed have led to years of debate about whether the attack was justified.
Here, an aerial shot of Cologne taken in 1945.
Surrounded by his captors, a Luftwaffe bomber crewman is given a drink of water from a British soldier’s water bottle, after baling out of his aircraft, August 30,1940.
These young German soldiers, likely taken directly from the rank of a local Hitler Youth group, were captured somewhere outside of Leipzig Germany in May of 1945.
Hermann Göring on what appears to be a subsequent day after his surrendered, sitting down with Major Paul Kubala from U.S. forces.
A group of POW’s in a bomb crater at a the POW Camp at Sinzsig, Germany. One of the prisoners is shown making potato soup, which is the most popular dish of the camp. Several types of living quarters are also shown.
POW camp for women at Sinzig, Germany.
U.S. Army feeding the POWs.
Soviet soldiers moving leftovers in Berlin.
An American infantryman confronts a surrendering German in the town of Illy in the French Ardennes region. September 1944.
7th of June 1944.
Lower Normandy, France.
Members of 2. Panzer Division surrender.
Captured German parachute troops file past a Sherman tank of the New Zealand 4th Armoured Brigade at Cassino, 16 March 1944.
German POWs being escorted along one of the Gold area beaches, Normandy. 6 June 1944.
American officer gives water to an injured soldat.
Surrender At The Elbe River,1945.
US troops inspect an abandoned Sturmtiger of Sturm-Mörser-Kompanie 1002 near Calbe, Germany, April 1945.
German POWs recently captured, and in the custody of American military police (MP).
The day after his official surrender, German Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring (center, Oberbefehlshaber Heeresgruppe Süd) poses with American Major General Maxwell D. Taylor (right, Commander of 101st Airborne Division) and Brigadier General Gerald J. Higgins (left, Assistant Commander 101st Airborne Division) at Berchtesgaden, Germany, May 10, 1945. Kesselring surrendered to an American major at Saalfelden, near Salzburg, in Austria on 9 May 1945. He was taken to see Major General Taylor, who treated him courteously, allowing him to keep his weapons and field marshal’s baton, and to visit the Eastern Front headquarters of Heeresgruppe Mitte and Süd at Zeltweg and Graz unescorted! Taylor then arranged for Kesselring and his staff to move into a hotel at Berchtesgaden.
Captured German generals, May 1945.
Luftwaffe officer entering captivity in England.
U-Boat officers after being captured.
German prisoners of war.
US Army 2nd Infantry Division guard with German prisoners near Schoneseiffen, Germany 1945.
Captive young German soldiers of the 12th SS Panzer Division -Hitlerjugend under the escort of the Military Police of the 3rd U.S. Army. These guys were captured in December of 1944 during the operation in the Ardennes – January 7, 1945.
Young soldiers captured by 6th Armored Division,1945.
White Flag Alley, Cologne 1945.
1945 Norway, elements of the Panzer Brigade Norwegen capitulate to the British troops.
Post War Germany
British Field Marshal Sir Bernard “Monty” Montgomery (17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976) decorates Marshal of the Soviet Union Konstantin Rokossovsky (21 December 1896 – 3 August 1968) with a Knight Commander of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) at the Hindenburg Platz near Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, 12 July 1945, while other Soviet generals are waiting for their turn.
British Field Marshal Sir Bernard “Monty” Montgomery (17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976) decorates The Deputy Supreme Commander in Chief of the Red Army, Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov (1 December 1896 – 18 June 1974) with the sash of the Knight Grand Cross of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (G.C.B.) at the Hindenburg Platz near Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, 12 July 1945.
British Field Marshal Sir Bernard “Monty” Montgomery (17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976) decorates Soviet generals at the Hindenburg Platz near Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, 12 July 1945. The Deputy Supreme Commander in Chief of the Red Army, Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov (1 December 1896 – 18 June 1974), the Commander of the British 21st Army Group, Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery, Marshal of the Soviet Union Konstantin Rokossovsky (21 December 1896 – 3 August 1968) and General of the Army Vasily Sokolovsky (21 July 1897 – 10 May 1968) of the Red Army leave the Brandenburg Gate after the ceremony. Zhukov (Commander of 1st Belorussian Front), on Montgomerys left, was presented with the sash of the Knight Grand Cross of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (G.C.B.), while Rokossovsky (Commander of 2nd Belorussian Front), on Montgomery right, was made a Knight Commander of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.). Sokolovsky (Deputy Commander of 1st Belorussian Front), in the background between Montgomery and Rokossovsky was made a Knight Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (K.B.E.). The same was Colonel General Mikhail Malinin (28 December 1893 – 24 January 1960) who is standing just behind Rokossovsky.
The initial work of reconstruction was done by the rubble women , or rubble women. With so many men in the war, the allies relied on women between the ages of 15 and 50 to do the hard work of clean-up.
With such vast destruction, there was a severe shortage of apartments and living space in Germany immediately after the war. Many Germans had to live in Nissenhütten (in 1946). Others hold up in their largely destroyed homes. This particular camp was the temporary home of the German soldiers who had returned from the front.
For many modernist city planners, the destruction in Germany. In both East and West Germany, planners set about creating a “break” from the past. Pictured her is the monumental boulevard Karl Marxallee (originally Stalinallee) in East Berlin. The demonstrators are marching on the occasion of Stalin’s death in 1953.
Even during World War II, the Nazi planners began to move around. Moderately so called for a departure from the medieval city centers which had dominated Germany for centuries. The results were not always pretty. Pictured here is Germany’s first high-rise apartment complex, Hamburg’s Grindelberg, built in 1957.
Black and White Photos
A captured dump of German landmines.
Panzer IV turret, Berlin ruins 1945.
Aachen tram, 1944.
The gold treasure in German salt mines Kaiserode, 1945, Bavaria.
Berlin, like most cities in Germany, in World War II came to an end.
In a seemingly endless catalog of annihilation, Berlin, Cologne, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Hamburg, Kiel, Lubeck, Munster, Munich, Frankfurt, Wurzburg, Mainz, Nuremberg, Xanten, Worms, Brunswick, Hanover, Freiburg and Dresden were all devastated. This image shows a view of the city of Mainz from its cathedral.
The Reichstag after the conquest of the Red Army. Berlin, May 2, 1945.
Taken in 1943, this image shows a view of the destroyed city from Hanover’s market church church. The entire country was buried under rubble – more than 400 million cubic meters of it alone. Additional damaged buildings were to be demolished, and still others were destroyed to make way for reconstruction.
Ruins of Ludwigshafen,Germany 1945.
A panoramic view of the city of Cologne,1945.
Aerial view of Ludendorff Bridge March,1945.
Aerial photo of the bombed out Focke-Wulf Factory at Marienburg, Germany.
Aerial photo of the bombed out and on fire oil refinery in Hamburg, Germany 1944.
Aerial view of Arnsberg destroyed viaduct Hustener Strasse, March 1945.
Aerial view of the ruins of the IG Farbenindustrie Synthetic Chemical Plant in Ludwigshafen.
Bombed Klockner Humboldt Factory at Köln.
Bombed railroad yard near Köln.
Bremen aerial view Hochbunker F97 Hans Bockler Strasse,1945.
Floating Dock No. 5 at Deschimags Bremen U-Boat Yard.
München aerial view Residenz Feldherrenhalle Hofgarten May 1944.
Ruins of Hildesheim aerial view Binderstrasse Thega St. Andreas 1945.
Wreckage of pre-fabricated u-boat sections in the Submarine Yards at Hamburg 1945.
Tiergarten Flak tower, Berlin 1945.
The Hohenzollern Bridge (center) in Cologne was destroyed after 1 March by German engineers before the Americans could capture it.
After the war, a debate broke out in Germany over whether to rebuild exact copies of old buildings or to radically depart from pre-war Germany. Many felt that it was not. Others felt that radical modernism ignored centuries of pre-war German history. Some projects, like the New Museum in Berlin, pictured here after a 1943 bombing raid.