In Living Color: Reliving the Heroes and Horrors of World War II

May 10, 2024

Walking in the Middle of a Ruined Berlin After the War

Step back in time and immerse yourself in some of these haunting images of World War II. Through a collection of captivating photographs, we uncover the bravery of soldiers on the front lines, the resilience of civilians amidst devastation, and the final battle that would put an end to everything. From Adolph Hitler's invasion of France to the famous battle of Leningrad, these photos relive the heroic actions and horrors of World War II.


source: reddit

After World War II, Berlin bore the heavy scars of conflict, with much of the city lying in ruins. The devastation was staggering, with estimates suggesting that up to 80% of the city was destroyed or severely damaged by the end of the war. By the end of the war, only 2.8 million remained from the original 4.3 million inhabitants. The intense fighting during the Battle of Berlin in 1945 left entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble. Bombs dropped by Allied planes, artillery shelling, and street-to-street combat contributed to the widespread destruction. Landmarks like the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate bore the brunt of the bombings.

The aftermath of the war presented immense challenges for the people of Berlin. Homes, businesses, and buildings lay in ruins, and the city's residents faced shortages of food, water, and shelter. Plus, rebuilding efforts were slow and difficult, due to the city's division into Soviet, American, British, and French sectors.

One of the Longest Sieges in History: the Siege of Leningrad

(Vsevolod Tarasevich/Russian International News Agency via Wikimedia Commons)

The Siege of Leningrad lasted from September 1941 to January 1944, and it was one of the longest and deadliest sieges in history. German forces, along with their Finnish allies, surrounded the city, cutting off its supply lines, trapping its inhabitants, and forcing them to undergo relentless bombardment and starvation.

By January 1943, Leningrad had endured over a year of unimaginable suffering. Food supplies were scarce, and many residents began eating their pets, leather, and even glue to survive. In the middle of this desperation, the Soviet Union launched a major offensive, in an attempt to save the city. While the offensive didn't immediately break the siege, it boosted morale and demonstrated the city's resilience. The Siege of Leningrad continued for another year, finally ending in January 1944 when Soviet forces managed to push back the invaders.