Argunners Magazine published a series of amazing WWII photographs recently uncovered from the archives of General Charles Day Palmer, who was a four-star General. Most of the photographs were confidential photographs taken by the U.S. Signal Corps not fit for publication, Brig. Gen. was allowed to have them for private use after censoring (names of places etc.). Although the first part were more general photographs of WWII. This second part depict the true horrors of world war 2. The final part ends with more photographs on the liberation and “war necessary destruction” as General Palmer remarked on one of the photographs.

Charles Day Palmer was born in Chicago, Illinois on February 20, 1902. After graduating from Washington High School in Washington, D.C., he entered the United States Military Academy, where he graduated in 1924. During World War II, he worked in the British West Indies to establish military bases and ran projects on anti-submarine warfare. In 1944, he became the Chief-of-Staff of the 2nd Armored Division, nicknamed “Hell on Wheels”, participating in the Invasion of Normandy, breakout from Saint-Lo and the crossing of the Siegfried Line. In October, he was transferred as Chief-of-Staff to the VI Corps, where he received a battlefield promotion to Brigadier-General.

After World War II, Palmer took part in the Korean War. During his career, he received various valor and service awards such as the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit and the Bronze and Silver Star. He passed away on June 7, 1999 in Washington, D.C. The photographs were shared by his grandson, Daniel Palmer, honoring the memories and service of his grandfather.

Horrors of World War 2

"End of the Line" General Palmer remarked. The surrender of the 19th Army. The end! With the final capitulation of Germany to the Allies, German soldiers who have bore arms for over five years against almost all of Europe and the U.S., surrender their rifles to their American conquerors near Landeck, Austria. They seem happy that it is all over. Hand grenades and other equipment can be seem piled up beyond the rifles.

“End of the Line” General Palmer remarked. The surrender of the 19th Army. The end! With the final capitulation of Germany to the Allies, German soldiers who have bore arms for over five years against almost all of Europe and the U.S., surrender their rifles to their American conquerors near Landeck, Austria. They seem happy that it is all over. Hand grenades and other equipment can be seem piled up beyond the rifles. (#P22)

One thousands German officers and men taken in the redoubt mountains are showed being marched back over to the mountain road that they once defended. The road leads to an important Austrian town. Although these officers and men gave up without much resistance, other German troops offered fanatical resistance at key towns along the way.

One thousands German officers and men taken in the redoubt mountains are showed being marched back over to the mountain road that they once defended. The road leads to an important Austrian town. Although these officers and men gave up without much resistance, other German troops offered fanatical resistance at key towns along the way. (#P24)

Hungarian surrender: Great mass of Hungarian troops who surrendered to Seventh Army, are rounded up in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, scene of the last winter Olympics held before the war. Troops were claimed by their leader to have been used as service or labor troops.

Hungarian surrender: Great mass of Hungarian troops who surrendered to Seventh Army, are rounded up in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, scene of the last winter Olympics held before the war. Troops were claimed by their leader to have been used as service or labor troops. (#P38)

German civilians in the middle of their town. Gen. Palmer remarked: "Well liberated town."

German civilians in the middle of their town. Gen. Palmer remarked: “Well liberated town.” (#P39)

Wrecked and burned buildings in France. The buildings were mined and burned by the Germans. "Remains of a friendly little town, that was 'scorched'", Gen. Palmer wrote on the backside.

Wrecked and burned buildings in France. The buildings were mined and burned by the Germans. “Remains of a friendly little town, that was ‘scorched'”, Gen. Palmer wrote on the backside. (#P23)

A pill box located just on the outskirts of a Fort, it shows damage, probably caused by American tankfire during the battle to take the stronghold.

A pill box located just on the outskirts of a Fort, it shows damage, probably caused by American tankfire during the battle to take the stronghold. (#P25)

Bodies of German soldiers on top of each other lying in the street gutter, France. The horrors of war.

Horrors of War: Bodies of German soldiers on top of each other lying in the street gutter, France. (#P26)

Dead German soldiers lie where they fell after artillery worked over this German town during the Seventh Army breakthrough.

Dead German soldiers lie where they fell after artillery worked over this German town during the Seventh Army breakthrough. (#P27)

These three dead German Waffen-SS troops were a three man bazooka team that tried to slow up the advance of an American armored column and were killed by a direct hit.

Horrors of War: These three dead German Waffen-SS (looking to there ‘litzen’ it may be actually Heer soldiers) troops were a three man ‘Panzerschreck’ team that tried to slow up the advance of an American armored column and were killed by a direct hit. Note the German Sturmgewehr 44 and Raketenpanzerbüsche near the corpses. (#P28)

This French 2 1/2 ton truck burned when its cargo of 800 gallons of gasoline exploded.

This French 2 1/2 ton truck burned when its cargo of 800 gallons of gasoline exploded. (#P29)

Damage done, when a German 280mm shell landed in the area around 0345 hours. General Palmer wrote: "Shell from Railway did this. Not far from where I live. 5 bigger ones hit about 150 yards from my place the others .. (?). One blew the door in on my caravan. The place was a mess. Nice guys!"

Damage done, when a German 280mm shell landed in the area around 0345 hours. General Palmer wrote: “Shell from Railway did this. Not far from where I live. 5 bigger ones hit about 150 yards from my place the others .. (?). One blew the door in on my caravan. The place was a mess. Nice guys!” (#P30)

A German machine gunner shot through the head, laying next to his smashed gun. Germany.

A German machine gunner shot through the head, laying next to his smashed gun. Germany. (#P31)

Horrors of War: Advancing troops moving under heavy enemy fire; dead American soldier in foreground.

Horrors of War: Advancing troops moving under heavy enemy fire; dead American soldier in foreground. (#P32)

At 1300 hours, after three days of battle, this town was finally retaken. Yanks surrounded the Germans after losing the town during initial German counter attack. The patrol is about to enter the the church to examine the belfry and cellar where snipers are still believed to be hiding. American prisoners where held here.

At 1300 hours, after three days of battle, this town was finally retaken. Yanks surrounded the Germans after losing the town during initial German counter attack. The patrol is about to enter the the church to examine the belfry and cellar where snipers are still believed to be hiding. American prisoners where held here.  (#P33)

NEW CAPTION: Capt Eugene A. Sisson, CO, E/274, followed by his radio operator, enters the church where over 250 American POWs were held captive in the cellar since AM of 4 Jan., 1945. 7 JAN 45. Winger-sur-Moder, France.

A pile of dead German soldiers, France, frozen due to the cold weather.

Horrors of War: A pile of dead German soldiers, France, frozen due to the cold weather. (#P34)

Knocked out American M-4 tank and German Sturmgeschütz IV sit side by side in the street. Note: Hits on the German Stug.

Knocked out American M-4 tank and German Sturmgeschütz IV sit side by side in the street. Note: Hits on the German Stug. (#P35)

A tank destroyer moving past an American tank that was knocked out during the hot battle when the Americans retook the town. Between the two armored vehicles two medical men are picking up an American soldier that was killed in the fight to take the town.

A tank destroyer moving past an American tank that was knocked out during the hot battle when the Americans retook the town. Between the two armored vehicles two medical men are picking up an American soldier that was killed in the fight to take the town. (#P36)

Troops string wire past 4 dead German artillery horses which were killed along with 5 German soldiers when an American artillery burst caught them as the horses were being hitched on Dec 14th. Another German soldier was wounded.

Horrors of War: Troops string wire past 4 dead German artillery horses which were killed along with 5 German soldiers when an American artillery burst caught them as the horses were being hitched on Dec 14th. Another German soldier was wounded. (#P37)

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About Author

Argunners Magazine is an independent online historian and collector's magazine, dedicated to the militaria and history of both Axis and Allied powers during the World War 1 & 2. Argunners is a central resource offering the latest militaria and war history news, journals, articles and press releases related to these themes.

36 Comments

  1. Martin Jones on

    It is sobering to see the reality of war. I live in a sleepy little English town in the Cotswolds yet, when walking in the countryside you can come across concrete machine posts and pill-boxes. They are left over from 1940/41 when the whole of the U.K. was getting ready to become a battlefield as invasion was expected

  2. I recently finished a book called” Fall of Empires” detailing wars, sieges, upheavals, genocides, et al. through the millennia. The only thing that has changed is the weapons-

  3. Allways had a fling..i guess i have to put it that way with WO II.Thank u for sharing the news.I hope this summer to visit normandy and see history with my own eyes.

  4. History told threw photos. never lie . But it is a glimps of what people saw did reflected on a day they survived or died . Yet even today we still don’t learn the lessons. Thank you for this collection of images I love all groups dedicated to preserve what many fought & died for . Thank you

  5. Re: #P36-Text on back reads: “199935-A tank destroyer moves past an American tank, K.O.’d in the battle for Oberhoffen, France. Between the vehicles can be seen two medics picking up a dead American soldier who fell during the fight for the town. 2/3/45 142nd Inf. Reg’t., 36th Inf. Div.”
    TD is from the 636th TD Bn, Company B, and the tank is most likely from the 753rd TK Bn, Company B, per unit diary for 2/3/45.

  6. P#28 appears to be three Heer soldiers, not Waffen SS. They have visible collar insignia(litzen) of what appears to be Heer, not SS. Also, there is an mp40 machine pistol at the feet of the middle soldier and many other details can be seen with clear magnification.

  7. These photos are the nicest one to be shown to the public – Being in this area (Military History) for about 35 years you can really believe me that those are really the nicest one ! …

  8. Hello,

    Thank you for sharing these photos. Is it possible to receive a blow-up of the book in #P28? I’m curious what the book is. Thank you.

  9. Kewi Andy
    I try to look for the WW2 veterans when I go out. Have found many of them by their WW2 ball caps and others by their age,gray hair and the wrinkles that mark their faces.
    I ask them this same question that you posted here.
    Anger does not come close to how they feel. The suffering that they went through,their buddies who died right next to them,the going without their families went through to support the military during the war.
    Then it comes to what has happened to America today. How our military is treated so badly by the current President..how a lot of the American people are so lazy and want the Governent to give them everything they need while taking things away from the working man and his families to give to the lazy Americans. The unwillingness of the young people to work,and want everything given to them today…I mean it went on and on.
    Funny thing is,I served in Vietnam,and had someone from today had come back to tell me how America would be in 2015,I would have laughed and said no way will it be like this.
    Another thing the WW2 veterans said is that a lot of what is wrong with Americans today centers around the families and too many children growing up with no mom or father,to teach them manners and how to live a good life like them and like a lot of us from the Vietnam days grew up with two parents in the house.
    They also said that they look at the medical care for the senior people and it looks to them that after you reach a certain age,they pretty much just let you die. My family have seen this ourselves with our friends losing the seniors in their families due to the poor medical attention their parents or grand parents get.lije,lets make them comfortable and send them home to die.
    Next time your out,look for these men..
    These men and women of the WW2 era,are my true hero’s…

  10. Hi,i saw this on advertised on a UK website.I am very impressed with the pictures and comments.I just wonder what the poor soldiers who died in these wars fighting for freedom would have thought of how the world has turned out now.
    Keep up the good work.

  11. Saw this on the daily mail and I had to come to the site. But have to say that war is terrible. I’m so interested in WWII and these pictures give a better discription on the war. Glad I came across this site.

  12. Probably the best photographs of the war Ive ever seen. The blunt reality of war without the usual contamination of journalistic stereotyping or filtering.

    • Dear Feldheld, thanks for your comment and I try to report it as it is / was, sometimes it’s not that easy as people try to see history with today’s way of thinking. Trying to let people understand how it was 70 years ago, is very difficult.

  13. Great job. Thank you for sharing. I want to thank all those that fought in this war. There are only a few left with us. . You indeed are the Greatest Generation. Without your success we could be speaking, German or Japanese today. Job well done. Thank You

  14. Very nice photos. You’re doing a great job sharing all these things with us! Everything is very interesting and teach a lot from our history. Thanks! 🙂

  15. Very impressive photographs, I really appreciate your job helping us to know more about WWII.
    Thanks and greetings from Spain.

  16. Zou has “delicate sensibilities” and should be protected from “hurtful propaganda” ;0) Keep up the good work and thank you for all the fascinating things you find! T.K.

  17. I appreciate reading those history articles but still… you’re using those propaganda words….
    It seems reading history didn’t teach you humility

    • First: I don’t know what happened to what is seen on the picture, Second: For historical ‘accuracy’ I use the description written on the reverse. Third: Define ‘Propaganda Words’. The war is over for 70 years and after all .. What isn’t propaganda during the war? All posters, all postcards, all pictures, all movies made during the war.. It’s liking showing the Newsreel from a country from during the war. People will interpret it on his or her own way – no matter how I write it. Just like you now.

      • Good points you make in rebuttal to zou. But an additional point to be made is that it is obvious zou is looking at the photos using 2015 sensibilities rather than the ways of thinking of 1945. He makes an error in doing so. We cannot judge the thinking of 70+ years ago by the thinking of today. It is not logical and is highly prone to wrong interpretations.
        Very interesting website. I just found it today. Thanks!

        • Dear, Joe, you are a 100% correct and sadly that is also what ‘modern’ society forgets. They see the history with todays ‘way of thinking’ and they forget what type of situation they lived in 70 years ago or had to go through. Thanks, for the nice remark. Hope you’ll enjoy our other content 😉

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