History website Argunners has published a series of previously unseen photos recently uncovered from the archives of an American four-star general who served in Europe during the Second World War. The images show a war-torn Europe as American forces move towards Berlin.
These photos were uncovered in the archives of Brigadier General Charles Day Palmer. Most of them were confidential photos taken by the U.S. Signal Corps, and were deemed unsuitable for publication (many of them are quite graphic). Palmer was allowed to have them for private use after censoring the photos, including the removal of names and places.
Palmer, who served during the invasion of Normandy, the break-out from Saint-Lo, and the crossing of the Siegfried line, went on to serve in the Korean War. He passed away on June 7, 1999. These photos were recently shared to Argunners (here and here) by his grandson, Daniel Palmer, to honor the memories and service of his grandfather.
All photos and captions via Argunners, and are republished at io9 with permission.
Warning: Some of these images are disturbing.
A U.S. soldier examines the grave of an unknown American soldier, who was buried by the enemy before retreating. The first American soldier that noticed the grave decorated it with mortar shells and ferns.
Dead U.S. and German soldiers at a cemetery before burial, at an unknown location. Each body was placed in a mattress cover. German prisoners can be seen doing the work of digging the graves and placing the bodies inside them.
Prisoners of War from the German Military Police force and Gestapo agents of the city of Strasbourg are led to the 3rd Infantry Division. The POWs are being escorted by the French Forces of the Interior.
An M-10 Tank Destroyer from the 636th Tank Destroyer Battalion supporting the 143rd Infantry Regiment, 36th Division in Rohrwiller, 4 February 1945. Notice the extensive damage to the town’s church, which was likely damaged by shell blasts.
Following an attack from U.S. artillery on a German convoy, dead horses, wrecked vehicles and equipment can be seen strewn along the road in the vicinity of Lug, Germany. The Germans were trying to escape encirclement by 3rd and 7th Armies.
A German underground ball-bearing factory in Germany, where all size bearings were made. Shown is a row of polishing and grinding machines used to finish the bearings. This image may have been taken in the vicinity of Schweinfurt.
British M-5 anti-tank mines are used to blow up German pill boxes. Some 400 lbs of TNT were detonated inside the pill box.