CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The horrors of World War II in the Western Front taken by four-star general

 

 

 

 

 

     

The horrors of World War II revealed in never-before-seen pictures of the Western Front taken by four-star general

 

A four-star general's personal photos of the battlefields of France and Germany from World War II are being published for the first time, shedding new light on the bloodshed and violence that darkened Europe during the Nazi era.

General Charles Day Palmer spent most of the war fighting on the Western Front, and took photos of the bombed-out cities and lifeless bodies he witnessed along his European march.

After sitting in his personal files for years, the photos were shared for the first time by his grandson Daniel Palmer earlier this month, on the website Argunners.com.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT 

Forest burial for an unknown soldier: An American soldier decorates the grave of an unknown U.S. soldier, which was buried by the enemy before retreating

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Forest burial for an unknown soldier: An American soldier decorates the grave of an unknown U.S. soldier, which was buried by the enemy before retreating

Through his eyes: Brigadier General Charles D Palmer (right) receives the Legion of Merit from Lieutenant General Alexander M Patch. The below pictures were taken by Palmer during his time in Europe during WWII 

Through his eyes: Brigadier General Charles D Palmer (right) receives the Legion of Merit from Lieutenant General Alexander M Patch. The below pictures were taken by Palmer during his time in Europe during WWII

General Palmer was born in Chicago, Illinois on February 20, 1902, and went on to study at the U.S. Military Academy, which he graduated from in 1924.

At the break-out of World War II, Palmer worked in the British West Indies, helping to establish military bases there and run projects on anti-submarine warfare.

When the U.S. entered the war in 1941, Palmer became involved in plans to invade Europe. In 1944, he was named chief-of-staff of the Second Armored Division, which took part in the invasion of Normandy and pushed through to Belgium and the western front of Germany.

In October 1944, he transferred as chief of staff of VI Corps, where he was promoted to a brigadier general.

After World War II, Palmer went on to serve in the Korean War and then earning later posts as commander of the U.S. Army in California, deputy commander of U.S. forces in Europe and deputy commander in chief of U.S. European Central Command.

He retired in 1962, and settled in Washington DC where he worked for some years as a military consultant. Palmer died in 1999 from cardiac arrest at his home and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

His pictures of World War II were for many years unpublishable,  since they were considered confidential. But his family have now been able to share them after censoring some of the information from the pictures. 

Fort: A pill box located just on the outskirts of a fort shows damage, probably caused by American tankfire during the battle to take the stronghold

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Fort: A pill box located just on the outskirts of a fort shows damage, probably caused by American tankfire during the battle to take the stronghold

When a fire starts to burn: This French two-and-a-half ton truck burned when its cargo of 800 gallons of gasoline caught fire and exploded 

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When a fire starts to burn: This French two-and-a-half ton truck burned when its cargo of 800 gallons of gasoline caught fire and exploded

Decimated: There is practically nothing left of this town in France, which was heavily hit on the Western front. 'Remains of a friendly little town, that was "scorched,"' Gen. Palmer wrote on the backside

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Decimated: There is practically nothing left of this town in France, which was heavily hit on the Western front. 'Remains of a friendly little town, that was "scorched,"' Gen. Palmer wrote on the backside

Lifeless: Bodies of German soldiers on top of each other lying in a street gutter in France 

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Lifeless: Bodies of German soldiers on top of each other lying in a street gutter in France

Dead in the street: Troops string wire past four dead German artillery horses which were killed along with five German soldiers

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Dead in the street: Troops string wire past four dead German artillery horses which were killed along with five German soldiers

Roaming: An American tank destroyed is seen driving down a street in  Rohrwiller, France on February 4, 1945 

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Roaming: An American tank destroyed is seen driving down a street in Rohrwiller, France on February 4, 1945

Parked: A knocked out American tank sits next to a German tank side by side on a street on the Western Front

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Parked: A knocked out American tank sits next to a German tank side by side on a street on the Western Front

New territory: A tank destroyed moves past another tank that was knocked out when Americans retook the above town. In the background of the image, two medics are seen attending to a fallen soldier

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New territory: A tank destroyed moves past another tank that was knocked out when Americans retook the above town. In the background of the image, two medics are seen attending to a fallen soldier

Totaled: American soldiers father around the aftermath of a shell that landed in the early morning. General Palmer wrote: 'Shell from Railway did this. Not far from where I live. Five bigger ones hit about 150 yards from my place the others .. (?). One blew the door in on my caravan. The place was a mess. Nice guys!'

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Totaled: American soldiers father around the aftermath of a shell that landed in the early morning. General Palmer wrote: 'Shell from Railway did this. Not far from where I live. Five bigger ones hit about 150 yards from my place the others .. (?). One blew the door in on my caravan. The place was a mess. Nice guys!'

Looking for the enemy: American soldiers raid a building where German soldiers were thought to be hiding out and holding prisoners at the end of a three day battle

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Looking for the enemy: American soldiers raid a building where German soldiers were thought to be hiding out and holding prisoners at the end of a three day battle

Last fight: Three dead German Waffen-SS Troops like on the ground after trying to stop an advance of an American armored column

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Last fight: Three dead German Waffen-SS Troops like on the ground after trying to stop an advance of an American armored column

Marching on: Advancing U.S. troops are seen moving through a city, with a U.S. soldier lying dead on the ground

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Marching on: Advancing U.S. troops are seen moving through a city, with a U.S. soldier lying dead on the ground

Crash: This photo taken on March 15, 1945, shows the charred remains of a German pilot whose plane was brought down on the first day of the Seventh Army offensive in Germany

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Crash: This photo taken on March 15, 1945, shows the charred remains of a German pilot whose plane was brought down on the first day of the Seventh Army offensive in Germany

Sad sight: dead horses and wrecked equipment cover the road near Lug, Germany after an attack by the U.S. Army

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Sad sight: dead horses and wrecked equipment cover the road near Lug, Germany after an attack by the U.S. Army

Wreckage: A U.S. soldier looks down at a German soldier lying on the ground near a pair of German Howitzers that were destroyed in an attack by the Seventh Army

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Wreckage: A U.S. soldier looks down at a German soldier lying on the ground near a pair of German Howitzers that were destroyed in an attack by the Seventh Army

On the lookout: In Bobenthal, Germany, U.S. soldiers gather around and keep guard for snipers

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On the lookout: In Bobenthal, Germany, U.S. soldiers gather around and keep guard for snipers

Resting place: The bodies of infantrymen lay in a ditch at the side of a road near Saarbrucken, and are marked with a helmet placed upon a rifle stuck in the ground

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Resting place: The bodies of infantrymen lay in a ditch at the side of a road near Saarbrucken, and are marked with a helmet placed upon a rifle stuck in the ground

Explosion: U.S. engineers blow up a bridge in a German town as a defense measure against troops trying to invade the settlement

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Explosion: U.S. engineers blow up a bridge in a German town as a defense measure against troops trying to invade the settlement

Black smoke: Mines are used to blow up German pill boxes, using 400 pounds of TNT 

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Black smoke: Mines are used to blow up German pill boxes, using 400 pounds of TNT

Breaking through: Germans lie dead on the ground in a German town after the Seventh Army broke through the Siegfried Line 

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Breaking through: Germans lie dead on the ground in a German town after the Seventh Army broke through the Siegfried Line

Never the same: This bombed-out town may be Freiburg im Breisgau, which was on the southern part of the German Siegfried line 

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Never the same: This bombed-out town may be Freiburg im Breisgau, which was on the southern part of the German Siegfried line

Leveled: Above, yet another obliterated German town on the Western Front captured by General Palmer

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Leveled: Above, yet another obliterated German town on the Western Front captured by General Palmer

Picking up the pieces: German civilians pick up the pieces of their bombed-out town. General Palmer wrote: 'Well liberated town' on this photo

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Picking up the pieces: German civilians pick up the pieces of their bombed-out town. General Palmer wrote: 'Well liberated town' on this photo

Careful: Seventh Army soldiers have their guns at the ready as they raid a home in Bobenthal, Germany, looking for snipers

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Careful: Seventh Army soldiers have their guns at the ready as they raid a home in Bobenthal, Germany, looking for snipers

Snow and fire: The above pictures shows the recapture of the French town of Wingen-sur-Moder from German troops

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Snow and fire: The above pictures shows the recapture of the French town of Wingen-sur-Moder from German troops

All quiet: A German machine gunner lays dead on the ground after suffering a shot through the head in Germany

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All quiet: A German machine gunner lays dead on the ground after suffering a shot through the head in Germany

Makeshift tarmac: Soldiers gather around the side of a B-17 that crashed into a snow-covered field on the Seventh Army front. The pilot escaped the crash relatively unharmed after the rest of the crew bailed out

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Makeshift tarmac: Soldiers gather around the side of a B-17 that crashed into a snow-covered field on the Seventh Army front. The pilot escaped the crash relatively unharmed after the rest of the crew bailed out

Scarring images: The bodies of dead German soldiers are piled up on the ground as snow falls in France

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Scarring images: The bodies of dead German soldiers are piled up on the ground as snow falls in France

Those that were lost: German prisoners help to dig graves for scores of American and German soldiers in a makeshift cemetery 

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Those that were lost: German prisoners help to dig graves for scores of American and German soldiers in a makeshift cemetery

'End of the line,' General Palmer said about this photo of German troops surrendering to the allies near the town of Landeck, Austria

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'End of the line,' General Palmer said about this photo of German troops surrendering to the allies near the town of Landeck, Austria

Walking the line: Prisoners of War from the German military police and Gestapo of Strasbourg, France are led by French resistance fighters to the Third Infantry Division

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Walking the line: Prisoners of War from the German military police and Gestapo of Strasbourg, France are led by French resistance fighters to the Third Infantry Division

Last march: One thousand German soldiers march down the mountains that lead to an important Austrian town as they surrender to Allied troops

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Last march: One thousand German soldiers march down the mountains that lead to an important Austrian town as they surrender to Allied troops

Defeated: Hungarian troops surrender to the Seventh Army in the German Bavarian mountain town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where the last winter Olympics were held before the war

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Defeated: Hungarian troops surrender to the Seventh Army in the German Bavarian mountain town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where the last winter Olympics were held before the war

 

 

  

 

 

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