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  • Doug Haley

    Rare Photos: Hitler's Bunker, Captured by LIFE Photographer - LIFE

  • Philip Wilson

    After the Fall: Photos of Hitler’s Bunker and the Ruins of Berlin | LIFE.com An American soldier mimics Adolf Hitler in the bombed ruins of the Berliner Sportspalast 1945

  • Pentax

    An American soldier, Pfc. Douglas Page, offers a mocking Nazi salute inside the bombed-out ruins of the Berliner Sportspalast, or Sport Palace, photographed by William Vandivert for LIFE Magazine (May 1945). The venue, destroyed during an Allied bombing raid in January 1944, was where the Third Reich often held political rallies.

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The Battle of Berlin rages on but this German soldier needs to take a break. Behind him the Reichstag building is in flames but he would care less. April 1945.

The moment a German soldier is hit by enemy fire, Ukraine, c. 1943

Elderly German man sitting in ruins, Berlin... ~ moving moment in time captured

Welcome Home, November 24, 1945.... These women were true heroes! No phone calls, no email, no video chat, weeks or months between letters, no idea when their soldier would be home.... They sucked it up, drove on and got the job done! I don't know how I would have done it, had I been in their position. It's already so hard just being apart.

German women and children walk through the ruins of Berlin, 1945.

Audie Murphy, most decorated u.s. soldier from wwii

Robert Capa - Chartres, France, August 18th, 1944: Just after the liberation of the town, this French woman who had had a baby with a German soldier has her head shaved as punishment. During the middle ages, this mark of shame, denuding a woman of what was supposed to be her most seductive feature, was commonly a punishment for adultery. Shaving women's heads as a mark of retribution and humiliation was reintroduced in the 20th century and was widespread post WW2.

While Helen Fairchild is one of the lesser-known figures in nursing history, she is one of the most important. She was a nurse in the World War I, volunteering for the American Expeditionary Force that helped over 2,000 fallen soldiers. Unfortunately, her time was cut short due to a mustard gas bombing & a severe ulcer.

Propaganda images like this one can often warp our intepretation of history. Although children certainly served in the latter period of the Second World War, we should remember that it was extremely rare for a child of under 10 years of age to serve (which this kid seems to be).

German soldiers surround a captured French heavy 240 mm howitzer "Saint-Chamond" Model 84. Several of these howitzers captured during the invasion of France in 1940 were put to service by the Germans under the designation K 556(f) and were deployed along the Atlantic Wall. Photo taken in June 1940.

A soldier inspects a church stored with the stolen art of Europe. Elligen, Germany, 1945. NARA