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Pictures of World War II

One of the most destructive wars the world has ever witnessed, World War II lasted from 1939 to 1945. The war was global, with battles taking place on multiple continents. WWII began with Hitler and Germany's aggression, but most of the world didn't know the worst of it until the war was nearly over: the Holocaust -- the mass murder of Jews and other people seen as "lesser" in the eyes of the Hitler's followers. The war destroyed many cities and claimed the lives of millions of soldiers and civilians. The following images reflect different aspects of this unforgettable conflict. Hopefully, we'll never again see another event like World War II. Check out these images to remember.

Dresden

After the German city of Dresden bombed London, much of it was destroyed in retaliation.

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Stalingrad

This Russian city was the scene of one of the war's bloodiest battles.

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London

London suffered the Blitz and was subjected to heavy German bombing.

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General Patton

This legendary general was celebrated as an American Hero in the 1970 movie Patton.

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Mussolini

Mussolini was Italy's dictator and a German ally.

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Bombing of Hiroshima

This iconic image shows the atomic bomb blast at Hiroshima that destroyed the city and killed tens of thousands. The fallout from the attack was felt for decades.

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Japanese Kamikazes

Japanese kamakazes sacrificed their lives to advance their cause.

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Pacific Front

Fighting in the Pacific War was deadly, but Americans stood their ground.

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Women of War

Women stepped up to the plate to fill jobs vacated by drafted soldiers and support the war effort in munitions companies and elsewhere.

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She Can Do It

Iconic Rosie the Riveter represented the women who went to work in factories during the war.

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Germans March on Paris

In 1940, Germany marched on the City of Light and took it over with their successful Panzer attacks. This image shows American troops marching along theAvenue des Champs-Élysées following the Liberation of Paris four years later.

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Hitler in Paris

This image shows Hitler surveying his victory. Fortunately, his time as victor was short lived.

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Warsaw Ghetto

Life in the Warsaw Ghetto was brutal. Eventually, survivors would lead an heroic uprising against their Nazi persecutors.

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Joseph Stalin

Often placed alongside Hitler as one of the most hated men of the 20th century, Stalin was actually an ally of the U.S. and Britain during the war.

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Dreaded German U-Boat

Germany's U-boats nearly cost Great Britain the war.

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Enigma

The Enigma code-cracking machine aided the allies, enabling them to end the war more quickly and save lives.

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Fearless Leaders

FDR and Churchill pose for a photo. Their legendary leadership is still talked about with admiration today.

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Pearl Harbor

Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor drew the U.S. into the war.

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USO Dances

USO dances gave soldiers some reprieve from the fighting when they were on leave.

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North Africa

Not even the dry desert lands of North Africa were spared the conflagrations of World War II.

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Prison Camps

Japanese prison camps constructed all over the Pacific were notorious for their brutality and the human suffering they caused.

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War Crimes

The Nuremberg trials prosecuted high German officials for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Many were unrepentant even when convicted and sentenced to death.

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The Bombers

Fighting by air came into its own during WWII. The pilots who flew these craft had to develop nerves of steel to fly them into battle in the Pacific and in the English Channel.

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Nanking

The Nanking Massacre committed by the Japanese against the Chinese is regarded as one of the most severe atrocities of the war.

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Polish Destruction

Germany deliberately targeted many of Poland's most illustrious buildings for destruction in their campaign against their neighbors.

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Entertaining the Troops

Some of Hollywood's best-loved figures made a point to get into the war and entertain the troops. This image shows Bob Hope performing in the Solomon Islands.

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Memphis Belle

U.S. flyboys helped turn the tide of the war.

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Captivity

This image reflects the misery to which millions were subjected during the war.

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Victory

This world-famous kiss expressed the joy of millions.

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Marines on Iwo Jima

This iconic picture shows U.S. Marines hoisting the American flag high.

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Nathan

Article WriterNathan

Let us introduce you to the Listicle Liege, the Article Aficionado, the one and only Nathan. Since creating his first photo collage at the age of five with images clipped from his mom’s Chatelaine magazines (all of them), it’s been nearly impossible to stem this one’s tide of visual learning. Be it the annals of history or the latest celeb gossip, Nathan has probably researched it, likely already has a folder of relevant photos on his desktop, and definitely learned a lot of interesting facts to go with those images. Whereas most well-read adults have bookshelves full of classic literature, Nathan’s stacks are composed of National Geographic and TIME special editions and a curated section of first-grade readers (for inspiration). If you prefer picture books to wordy novels, listicles by Nathan are right up your alley.

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