CMH Pub 70-47;
GPO S/N: 008-020-00247-7
10 full-color 11" X 15 1/2" reproductions of paintings by Army Artists of World War II. Each of the prints includes the name of the work, the general location it depicts, and the name of the artist. The extended caption on each print provides background information on the subject matter illustrated. The artists whose work is represented here actually witnessed the scenes they portrayed, and in some cases the words in the caption are those of the creator of the artwork. In others the caption simply helps put the scene in context. This print set was designed and produced by the U.S. Army Center of Military History to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of World War II. The pictures and words are in remembrance of the sacrifices and accomplishments of all the men and women who served in World War II. Individual prints may not be requested.
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"It was difficult taking the wounded back, because it had to be done by stretcher-bearers. They had to go up and down huge mountains, sometimes carrying the wounded for eight to ten days. Chinese communities in that remote sector organized into teams of stretcher-bearers which took part in this work. The precipitous cliffs and gullies were extremely hazardous."
- Howard Baer
"The evening was perfect, like a dream, calm, a clear sky and the last rays of the sun were melting away. We crossed the Firth, then as we saw the big ship idling we moved down to meet her. As we approached she got bigger and bigger. Never in my life have I seen such a sight-the three of us stared on the starboard side, as we came within several hundred feet I could see the troops, thousands of them, lining the rails-GI Joe's waving and as we got within ear shot they let out a mighty roar. We waved back at them and a thrill went up and down my spine. The majesty of that great ship bringing those boys to war. How human and simple all this is, I feel so much one with them; we are all in it together. Up the rope ladder and we were aboard."
- Byron Thomas
In September 1943 the Allies made their first landings on the European mainland. Although the Italian government capitulated on the eve of the invasion, the German Army did not. The confrontation between Allied and German forces in Italy resulted in some of the most brutal fighting in World War II. The rugged, mountainous terrain which characterizes most of Italy, combined with a determined German defense, made the Allies pay a high price for even the smallest gains. Every new position required troops to dig in quickly in anticipation of a counterattack.
In 1944 U.S. Army camps covered the English countryside, providing temporary housing for units arriving from the United States. Here they would finish their training before joining the battle for France just across the English Channel. Convoys of trucks carrying troops from these camps to marshalling areas on the coast were a common sight. Here the artist records what he termed "a typical scene in the convoy as it swung through the deserted early morning streets of the small English towns on its route."
"Winding mountain roads and rugged terrain are typical of the Italian countryside we fought for, each rain producing new hazards and washouts. With the aid of Italian civilians, American GIs are here at work in the rain in an effort to keep the roads open. Since I was working in watercolor, which is not possible in a steady downpour, this painting was done in the back seat of a covered jeep similar to the one shown on the road."
- Edward Reep
"In the early morning the Lieutenant calls his company out to explain the problem for the day. This usually takes from ten to thirty minutes depending upon the number of questions asked and the intricacy of the problem. The Rangers discipline is excellent but informal during such moments as this. They lie or stand up. Also when moving off like the group in the distance, or on the march, they may hold their arms horizontally balanced on the shoulder if they wish to."
"Several of the new field gas masks can be noted. One soldier is carrying a length of rope for cliff-scaling and every third man carries a short length of rope with a wooden hand-piece when crossing the moors in case of quicksand."
"In the background can be seen the bivouac, the camouflaged chow truck and the command car. The field jackets shown are a new and experimental garment very similar to the British and made for the United States Army by them on Lend Lease."
- Olin Dows
"A lot of the things which look medically wonderful on paper, so far as supplies can, didn't cover all the exigencies of actual combat. For example, there is no way in which our Medical Department Supply Service can see to it that a wounded boy on a stretcher is carried down a horribly precipitous rock-not even dirt-at night time."
- Joseph Hirsch
The successful Allied landings at Normandy on 6 June 1944 marked the beginning of the end for the German occupation of France. When the artist watched the landings on Omaha Beach from one of the supporting warships, however, the issue was still very much in doubt. While landings on Utah Beach, the other American landing site, met early success, a combination of bad weather and heavy German defenses on Omaha Beach left the first assault waves seriously disorganized. Throughout the day forces continued to pour ashore, and by nightfall the Americans had secured a toehold on the enemy shore, a final step in turning the tide of the war in Europe.
In the early morning hours of 7 August 1944, the Germans launched a counterattack against Allied forces in Normandy. American forces in the area were surprised but in a series of small unit actions held their ground, thwarting German plans. This roadblock, near Abbaye-Blanche, was north of Mortain, the initial German objective. Although the Germans succeeded in capturing the town, after almost a week of close combat American forces regained Mortain on 12 August. According to the artist, this roadblock held its ground during that period and destroyed more than twenty-five German vehicles.
Although by 1944 the war was not going well for the Japanese, in a desperate attempt to salvage something from the years of fighting in China they opened an offensive in April to consolidate their gains. One of the aims of ICHIGO, the Japanese code name for what would prove to be the final offensive, was to capture the chain of American air bases in eastern China, one of which was in Liuchow. On 10 November the Japanese captured and occupied the city. Their occupation was short-lived, however. By 26 December the Chinese were actively planning to retake the city, and on 22 June 1945, the Japanese abandoned Liuchow in the face of the advancing Chinese Army.