Behind The Image

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BEHIND THE IMAGE: Churchill visits the docks

In the Second World War, the dockyards and riverside factories of London’s East End were essential to the country’s struggle against the Nazis. But this also made them a key target for enemy attack.

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BEHIND THE IMAGE: D-Day in colour

This image, Into the Jaws of Death, is one of the most famous of the Second World War. It was taken by US Coast Guard photographer Robert F. Sargent early in the morning of 6 June 1944, as Allied soldiers at Omaha Beach began their attack on Nazi-occupied Europe.

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BEHIND THE IMAGE: The Paris Exodus

This campaign of terror provoked an exodus – and the Biblical term is appropriate. The French government fled, soon followed by many of the city’s inhabitants.

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BEHIND THE IMAGE: The Unknown Warrior, 1920

On 11 November 1920, one of the largest funerals ever held in London took place – and yet the deceased was a man unknown to the hundreds of thousands of mourners who turned out in his honour.

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BEHIND THE IMAGE: Number of people mobilised in World War II

The Second World War was the deadliest conflict in human history – involving 30 belligerent nations, it was fought from the far north of Europe to the South Pacific, and mobilised 1 in 9 of the global population. Estimates of the total number of soldiers and civilians killed range from 56 million to 85 million.

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BEHIND THE IMAGE: The Liberation of Paris, August 1944

De Gaulle strode down the centre of the grand route, hailed by banners that proclaimed, ‘Long live de Gaulle’ and ‘De Gaulle to power’ – but his journey to this moment of triumph had not been by any means inevitable, and a few hours later it may even have ended in tragedy.

4.Warsaw Pact troops invasion, Prague, Czechoslovakia, August 19

BEHIND THE IMAGE: The Prague Spring, 1968

Fifty years ago, during the so-called ‘Prague Spring’ of 1968, the citizens of Czechoslovakia enjoyed a few brief, tantalising months of liberation from some of the worst effects of Soviet domination.

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