This is a photograph of US Army soldiers, all bustling at a port in Southern England, boarding a Landing Craft Infantry. They are in the middle of their preparations for the big day. In fact, this was taken on the eve of D-Day, where they would soon cross English Channels and face their fears in pursuit of their main objectives, for being in the forefront of the war.
Most of the men in this photograph, taken on June 5th, are from the Engineer Special Brigade. You may readily identify them by the white symbol on their helmets. Behind the troops are barrage balloons. These silver objects were used as a defense against low-flying enemy aircraft.
The 3rd Canadian Infantry Division
When the Canadian government approved the sending of troops to be part of the Allied forces, it created the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, officially authorized on May 17th, 1940. They were fully-trained, and 16,000 strong. They fought and some of them died alongside US troops in the critical Battle of Normandy.
Of all the Canadian troops sent out to war, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division suffered the most losses. They posed problems to the German Luftwaffe warplanes with their anti-aircraft weapons installed around Juno Beach after they landed on Bernieres-sur-Mer.
Prisoners Of War
The German soldiers became as weary as their Allied counterparts, as the Second World War tore away beautiful places and innocent lives for so many years. As the battle wore on, many of them were captured. Over time, a number of these captured soldiers began to wonder if all the suffering was truly worth it. Was it time to stop fighting?
Here is a dramatic photo of some of the German captives, enclosed with twirling barbed wires. Private Helmut Roemer, one of those captured early on in battle, said in an interview with the BBC, “[we] were exhausted and we decided to hand ourselves over to the British, thinking, ‘Either they will shoot us or they’ll take us prisoner.’”
Polish Refugees Hoping to be Rescued
Migration was a prominent consequence of the war; as the scale of Nazi crimes increased, families left burned-down towns, and children were sent to safer areas. Out of 150 refugees who escaped Lodz, Poland, only a handful survived. They walked along the railway lines on the outskirts of Berlin, in the brutal cold, hoping to be picked up by a British train.
Some estimate that a total of 60 million Europeans became refugees during the World War II period. And the United Nations stat ed that by by 1951, more than five years after the fighting stopped, more than a million people still hadn't found a place to call home.
Dogs have been used in human warfare since ancient times, serving as mascots, sentries, messengers, and even attackers. Both the Allied and Axis powers had large amounts of chemical weapons and countermeasures for use in the western front of World War II, but neither side wanted to be the first to use chemical weapons offensively, considering the inevitable counter response. Even so, both sides were prepared for chemical warfare, and because of their critical combat role, as were their dogs.
This photo from 1939 shows three Airedale dogs wearing their custom made gas masks at a Surrey kennel. The canines were being trained by Lt Col E. H. Richardson.