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American Soldiers In WW2: A Picture Album

They came late to the ballgame by British standards, but they came to play. They were crude, crass and lacking in military finesse according to Montgomery and other Allied leaders, but they won many more times than they lost.


American howitzer pounds retreating Germans near Carentan, France. July 1944

Stomachs shrank and often rebelled at the weeks of steady D and K rations, crammed with calories and carbohydrates, but tasting just a cut above cat food.

An American tank trundles under the Arc de Triomphe after the liberation of Paris, August 1944

No matter what the weather, dehydration was always a concern. Marching made them sweat, and combat left them cotton-mouthed and croaking. Water was often what they could dip out of a shell-hole. Treated with iodine or halezone tablets to kill the bugs. It tasted...well, it tasted like nectar if you were parched and shaking after a firefight.

American Army men and equipment pour across the Remagen Bridge; two knocked out jeeps in foreground.Germany. March 11, 1945

GI Joe was never much for sartorial splendour in the field. Unlike some of his Allied cousins in uniform, regimental insignia and martial trappings were kept to a bare minimum. Usually there was a patch on his left shoulder that told at a glance what division he served. A muted chevron or two - sewn or sometimes painted - on his sleeves gave some indication of his rank, but such markings rarely reflected his actual movements up or down the chain of command in a rifle platoon

American soldiers cross the Siegfried Line and step onto German soil. 1945

On his head, the American GI wore a one-pound steel helmet. This was sometimes covered with netting for camouflage purposes. It was one of his most valued items of equipment.

That 'piss-pot' served a plethora of field purposes beyond keeping his head relatively free of enemy shrapnel. It was a wash-basin, cooking cauldron, emergency latrine, entrenching tool - and even a deadly blunt weapon when combat came to close quarters.

Crossing the Rhine under enemy fire at St. Goar. March 1945. 

What's amazing but true is that virtually any American infantryman would also gladly add the weight of a pistol either a GI .45 or an enemy Luger or Nambu to his load. Call it a placebo or security blanket or a hold-over from the days of the Wild West, but GI Joe liked to have a handgun, even if he was unlikely to ever use it in combat.

Two anti-tank Infantrymen of the 101st Infantry Regiment, dash past a blazing German gasoline trailer in square of Kronach, Germany. April 1945

Americans are generally an aggressive, independent, self-sufficient lot, and nothing in their basic training for combat in World War Two was designed to stifle those characteristics. They knew from their rugged lifestyles on the farms or in their urban schoolyards that you had to be able to take a punch. Or throw the first one and make it count... in order to survive.

That's how they fought down there in the mud and the blood and the gore. While the colonels and the generals waved their hands over the maps, GI Joe waved his rifle in the direction of the enemy, and got the job done in a crude and crass manner without much finesse.

On the streets of Waldenburg

American soldiers walk through the German town of Wernberg. April 1945

Hug of the allies. 2nd Lt. William Robertson and Lt. Alexander Sylvashko, Russian Army show warmth when the Russian and American armies met at Torgau, Germany. April 25, 1945

This American girl is as tough as the boys

These Germans know this is the end of the road for them

The Big Boss: Eisenhower. Just look at the underling; all tensed up!

These Germans think themselves lucky to be captured by the Americans. On the Eastern Front, they wouldn't have been alive to grin

American soldiers in Ardennes
Ardennes again
An American column moves in Ardennes

General Ritzhuey and General Gavin

James Maurice "Jumpin' Jim" Gavin (born as James Nally Ryan; March 22, 1907 – February 23, 1990) was a prominent Lieutenant General in the United States Army during World War II. He was also referred to as "The Jumping General", because of his practice of taking part in combat drops with the paratroopers whom he commanded.

Gavin was the youngest U.S. Major General commanding a division during World War II. During combat, he was known for his habit of carrying an M1 Garand rifle, as opposed to the pistols traditionally carried by officers.

His men respected him a great deal, affectionately referring to him as "Slim Jim" due to his athletic figure. Gavin fought against segregation in the U.S. Army, which gained him some notoriety.

Among his decorations, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star and the Purple Heart. He was also awarded the British Distinguished Service Order.

A medic in Ardennes

Finding time to shave

Searching for Japs in Peleliu

The Battle of Peleliu, codenamed Operation Stalemate II, was fought between the United States and the Empire of Japan in the Pacific Theater of World War II, from September to November 1944 on the island of Peleliu, present-day Palau. U.S. forces (originally consisting of only the 1st Marine Division, but later relieved by the Army's 81st Infantry Division), fought to capture an airstrip on the small coral island.

Americans use the  76-mm divisional gun M1939 (F-22 USV or USV)

76-mm divisional gun M1939 (F-22 USV or USV) was a Soviet 76.2-mm divisional gun, adopted for the Red Army service in 1939 and utilized in the German-Soviet War. The gun was intermediate model between semi-universal divisional gun F-22 and improved and numerous ZiS-3 which eventually replaced it in production and service.

In 1941-42 Wehrmacht captured hundreds of USVs and adopted them as field guns, designated 7.62 cm F.K.297(r). By March 1944 359 pieces were in service, including 295 in the West, 40 in Denmark and 24 in the East. 

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May 1945 - If hell on earth existed, than it existed in Prague after May the 5th. 1945. Old men, women and children were beaten to death and maimed. Rapes, barbaric cruelties, horror-scenarios of hellish proportions - here they had been let lose.

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Snippets from History

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Snippets From History

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The aim of individuals in any society is money and power. Societies that give equal chance to all its members to get them will be the most stable. That is why democracies are more stable than other systems of governance.

China after Deng's reform gave the chance to get rich but power is in the hands of an elite; the Communist Party of China. Membership to the party is at the whims of the local party bosses. This leaves out many people who crave political power dissatisfied and disgruntled. There in lies the roots of instability. The Party suppressed these demands once at Tiananmen in 1989. But force is hardly the way to deal with things like these.

READ MORE: Tiananmen Square Massacre