From 1939 to 1945, the world watched in horror as war waged on across every continent. Millions of lives were lost, Europe was reduced to rubble and the effects of the war would be felt for generations.
More than seven decades have passed since the unconditional surrender of the Axis powers, and many of the brave men and women who fought for peace around the globe during World War II are gone, but their memory lives on in a remarkable color film that offers a glimpse of those harrowing years.
The incredible pictures show troops marching through cities left in ruins and families fleeing with their loved ones. The film also includes intense battle scenes where soldiers fire off cannons, maneuver tanks and run toward enemy lines.
While countless moments from the war were captured in pictures, the nearly full-color film gives the viewer an even better chance to understand such a significant time period in American and world history.
Most importantly, the film clearly shows the faces of the fearless soldiers who fought on the front lines all those decades ago. The film depicts the more human side of war that often becomes disassociated with time.
You can check out the footage below:
The video shows footage captured during the two-week-long Battle of Berlin, one of the last major offensives against Germany. While some of the pictures do feature the city, other clips appear to show different moments from the war.
Beginning on April 16, 1945, The Soviet Union’s Red Army surrounded the city of Berlin and unleashed a barrage of shells that led to the Nazis’ surrender.
The Battle of Berlin would ultimately lead to Adolf Hitler’s realization that his Nazi forces had finally been defeated. The Soviet Union had taken control of the city in just a matter of days, and Hitler and a number of his officials committed suicide on April 30. By May 2, Germany formally surrendered.
The unprecedented level of destruction as a result of the war stemmed from advances in military technology, the likes of which had not yet been put to battle. World War II would prove to be the most devastating war in history — both in terms of financial and human loss. The war cost some $4 trillion in today’s dollars, and at least 80 million lives were lost as a direct result of the war.