Rare Historical Photos



And the story behind them...


The story of two Soviet prisoners of war who were killed in the Murmansk foothills, 1941

It was the night of June 29, 1941 in the foothills of Murmansk, Soviet Union. Commander Oberleutnant Rode ordered some officer candidates "Gruppe Ostermann" to climb "Ridge Musta" to a height of 122m and scout the situation and then report back to him and his company back down below. Right after they disappeared past the [...]

The post The story of two Soviet prisoners of war who were killed in the Murmansk foothills, 1941 appeared first on Rare Historical Photos.


One of the last cowboys of the dying Old West chilling in Texas, 1910

The most fascinating part about this picture is how it conveys the rapid social evolution from the era of the old west to incredible technological advancement of the 20th century. You have to remember, this picture was taken only four years prior to World War I. By this time, automobiles were becoming more commonplace, the [...]

The post One of the last cowboys of the dying Old West chilling in Texas, 1910 appeared first on Rare Historical Photos.


The German Occupation of Kharkov in color, 1941

These photos taken by Johannes Hähle depict the civilian population of Kharkov under occupation by Nazi Germany (all pictures are taken on October and November 1941). As a member of Construction Battalion 146, Hähle participated in the invasion of France. He was later transferred to Propaganda Company 637 on the Eastern Front to serve as a [...]

The post The German Occupation of Kharkov in color, 1941 appeared first on Rare Historical Photos.


A race education class at a school for German girls, 1943

The three groups displayed on the poster are, from top to bottom, "ostbaltische Rasse" ("East Baltic race"), "ostische Rasse" ("Alpine race"), and "dinarische Rasse" ("Dinaric race"). All these three groups were considered part of the sub-races of the Caucasian race, others including the Nordic and Mediterranean. The Nazis went to great extents on teaching the [...]

The post A race education class at a school for German girls, 1943 appeared first on Rare Historical Photos.


US Marine discovers a near-dead baby in a cave in the jungle of Saipan island, 1944

In a photo that somehow comprises both tenderness and horror, an American Marine cradles a near-dead infant pulled from under a rock while troops cleared Japanese fighters and civilians from caves on Saipan in the summer of 1944. The child was the only person found alive among hundreds of corpses in one cave. The battle [...]

The post US Marine discovers a near-dead baby in a cave in the jungle of Saipan island, 1944 appeared first on Rare Historical Photos.


The inflatable dummy tanks of battlefields, 1918-1945

What use is an inflatable dummy tank in a very real war? A lot, if the enemy believes that it’s real. During World War I, Allied forces made use of dummy versions of the British heavy tanks. These were constructed from a wooden framework and covered with painted Hessian cloth. The tracks were non-functional so [...]

The post The inflatable dummy tanks of battlefields, 1918-1945 appeared first on Rare Historical Photos.


Petain meeting Hitler, 1940

Few men over the last century can have experienced such a change of fortune as Philippe Pétain. During the First World War, Pétain was hailed as the ‘Saviour of Verdun’, helping the French keep the Germans at bay during the 1916 Battle of Verdun. In May 1917 he was made commander-in-chief of French forces. Following [...]

The post Petain meeting Hitler, 1940 appeared first on Rare Historical Photos.


Protesters flee after police fire machine guns into a crowd during the infamous July Days in Russia, 1917

In the first days of July 1917, a spontaneous uprising erupted in Petrograd. The July Days, as this uprising became known, was fuelled by several factors: the Provisional Government’s attempt to escalate the war effort, a collapse in the government ministry and a constant stream of Bolshevik propaganda condemning the government and calling for a [...]

The post Protesters flee after police fire machine guns into a crowd during the infamous July Days in Russia, 1917 appeared first on Rare Historical Photos.


The internment of Japanese-Americans in pictures, 1942-1944

The internment of Japanese-Americans into camps during World War II was one of the most flagrant violations of civil liberties in American history. According to the census of 1940, 127,000 persons of Japanese ancestry lived in the United States, the majority on the West Coast. One-third had been born in Japan, and in some states [...]

The post The internment of Japanese-Americans in pictures, 1942-1944 appeared first on Rare Historical Photos.


Wilhelm ‘Willi’ Hübner – one of the youngest recipients of the Iron Cross, 1945

As casualties mounted during the Second World War, Germany was forced to call up ever younger conscripts to fill the ranks of the Wehrmacht. So dire was the situation at the end of 1944, that boys born in 1928 were called up to serve the Fatherland. They were 15 or 16 years old and had [...]

The post Wilhelm 'Willi' Hübner – one of the youngest recipients of the Iron Cross, 1945 appeared first on Rare Historical Photos.