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French Soldiers Passing a Shelled Village near Verdun

French Soldiers Passing a Shelled Village near Verdun

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When World War II broke out in 1939, LIFE magazine sent Carl Mydans and his wife Shelley overseas to document the unfolding events as a photographer/reporter team. The two began by covering the siege in London. They then moved on to Finland where Mydans was first exposed to combat. After a short stay in Italy, they traveled to France where they witnessed its fall to Nazi Germany.
Mydans' words describe the scene: "Each war begins where the last one left off." French soldiers in May 1940 could be mistaken for the poilus or infantrymen of 1914 as they straggle past a shelled village near Verdun after the German breakthrough at Sedan.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Mydans, Carl
place made
France: Grand Est, Verdun
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 8 in x 10 in; 20.32 cm x 25.4 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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Work and Industry: Photographic History
Carl Mydans
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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