Old School Pictures from World War 2

World War 2 pictures capture everything from presidents and prime ministers to ordinary soldiers. As cameras became smaller and more portable, World War 2 images were taken in every country at war, and of virtually every battle. These rare World War 2 pictures capture not just the combat and danger, but the mundane moments in the lives of troops on both sides.

Many unseen pictures of World War 2 are just of soldiers goofing around, mugging for the camera, or posing with their weapons. Such candid pictures aren’t just found on the Allied side, but on the Axis as well, as many young German soldiers were captured playing around and carrying out their daily tasks. The photos make the war come alive in a way that most WWII documentaries or history books don’t – showing young men in difficult situations trying to retain their humanity and have a little bit of fun, even with danger all around them.

Here are some of the best old school photos of WW2, taken all over the world. 

Soviet Tank Commander Feeds a Polar Bear

US Troops Pose on a Captured German Railway Gun

Soldiers Prepare a Gift for Hitler

US Marine with a Kitten

US and Soviet Soldiers Pose Together

Paratroopers Prepare to Jump Into Normandy

A Kitten Takes a Nap on a Royal Navy Ship

Motorcycle Troops Pose on Their Harleys

German Soldier Lights His Cigarette with a Flamethrower

US Soldier Mocks Hitler

Weary US Marine with a Cigarette

Maori Troops Practice the Haka

Canadian Soldiers Grab a Beer in Belgium

Boy Swings from a Cannon, Somewhere in Russia

US Soldier with a Monkey

British Rescue Dog, Rip

RAF Pilot Grabs a Nap During the Battle of Britain

A Soldier from New Zealand Smokes His Pipe

Passed Out German Soldier Covered in Garbage by Comrades

German Soldiers with a Man in a Bear Costume

Sailors on Leave Goof Off with a Piano

Navy Anti-Aircraft Gunner with a Cigar

American Tank Crew Poses with Shells

M10 Tank Destroyers in Belgium

British Soldiers Watch a Boxing Match on a Troop Ship

Soviet Tank Crew Mugs for the Camera

Submarine Gunner with a Cup of Coffee

Officers Pose with a Jeep in England

US Soldiers Train with Barbells

Greek Resistance Members Ride a Bear

US Soldiers Dangerously Goofing Around

Sailors Mugging for the Camera