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Old 06-18-2010   #41
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Girlfriend

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Originally Posted by wblanchard View Post
Poor Capa, what a way to die. Stepping on a land mine. He had survived so much and then that...
Very interesting thread, indeed bad luck with Capa´s fate, have to say his girlfriend, Gerda Taro was run by a tank in brunete or belchite battle (if i rememeber well) during the spanish civil war.

Cheers!
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Old 06-19-2010   #42
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The original factory in Wetzlar was NEVER hit by bombs during WW2, it too was a factory spared by the Allied planners just as IG Farben`s Main Office in Frankfurt was saved for General Eisenhower`s HQ and later European Command HQ.
(building`s all around IG Fabren, were flattened, and the only major damage the IG building got has blown out windows and scrapnel damage.)
Tom
Dear Tom,

No doubt your research has been deeper and more thorough than mine, but from my (reasonably extensive) reading of the history of the Second World War, 'spared' normally meant 'missed', because most Allied bombers had some difficulty in dropping their bombs within a mile of the target, and five mile errors were quite common. The Germans were not significantly better. My home village, some 40 miles from Plymouth Dockyard, was bombed once. It was (and is) several miles from the nearest town, St. Austell, which is itself of negligible strategic importance.

I'd not say you're wrong, because, as I say, I have not researched the matter, but are you certain that both Wetzlar and IG Farben were 'spared' rather than just missed? Pure luck played a very large part in what was hit and what wasn't. My suspicions about the Koeln Dom being 'spared' have apparently been confirmed by the memoirs of several ex-Bomber Command aircrew.

Cheers,

R.

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Just a point...
Old 06-19-2010   #43
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Just a point...

I can't agree with this statement: "After Sept, 3rd 1939 Leica`s and their products from Leitz, Germany were forbidden to be sold in the UK, (hundreds of cameras were also commandeered by His Majesty`s Government) ... "

I've a collection of photo magazines from the 20's, 30's and 40's and it is noticeable that German made cameras were on sale all during that period, new and second-hand. But the supply of new dried up (blindingly obvious) and second-hand prices rocketed. In the end the British Govt ordered (in 1942) that no one was to sell them at a price greater than the pre-war price.

At the same time the Govt was also buying quality cameras for (again) the obvious reasons and many dealers were advertising that they wanted them for the Govt. There were also a few mentions about people cashing in on it and losing money when the prices became controlled. A similar thing happened with binoculars during the Great War of 1914-18.

One last point, the British Govt were very interested in Leica and after the war a report was produced about the factory. You can read the British Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee report at:-

http://www.angelfire.com/biz/Leica/page26.html

Just my 2d worth.

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Old 03-24-2018   #44
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There is now new light on Capa d-day pictures.. Itis now clear that there were only a few rolls of the Normandy landing. Capa was too afraid to go further, but hastily returned to the landing craft. He propably "fried" himself the end of the roll so nobody could see that he just had a couple rolls...
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Old 03-25-2018   #45
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There is, in fact, very little "First Wave" footage from Omaha Beach as pretty much all of the Signal Corps footage that was collected went into the sea during a ship to ship transfer. There's one other roll from that morning that actually survived because a Signal Corps Captain (Wall of the 165th Signal Photo Company) was evacuated with his Leica camera still around his neck after he had stepped on a mine.

For the News Reels the lack of footage was so bad that they used footage from the days after June 6th. For example the "D-Day Rescue" sequence was actually film and photographed on D+1 (By "Detachment P" of the 163rd Signal Photo Company).
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Old 03-26-2018   #46
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Gotta love Capa. He certainly knew how to cut a dash. And drink And womanize. And blow money - mainly other people's money at least according to Henri Cartier Bresson. What a mensch. He reminds me of my Hungarian dad.





And in the interest of balancing the sexes when posting pictures of WW2 photographers, we should not forget Lee Miller who famously was photographed bathing in Hitler's own bathtub in Munich. I cannot recall if she and Capa ever met but I can imagine the fireworks if they did.

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Old 03-26-2018   #47
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Originally Posted by Mr_Flibble View Post
There is, in fact, very little "First Wave" footage from Omaha Beach as pretty much all of the Signal Corps footage that was collected went into the sea during a ship to ship transfer. There's one other roll from that morning that actually survived because a Signal Corps Captain (Wall of the 165th Signal Photo Company) was evacuated with his Leica camera still around his neck after he had stepped on a mine.

For the News Reels the lack of footage was so bad that they used footage from the days after June 6th. For example the "D-Day Rescue" sequence was actually film and photographed on D+1 (By "Detachment P" of the 163rd Signal Photo Company).

You mean it was fake news even then...
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Old 03-26-2018   #48
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You mean it was fake news even then...
Now, now, "Alternative Fact" news.
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Old 03-26-2018   #49
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I cannot recall if she and Capa ever met but I can imagine the fireworks if they did.
They did and formed a friendship in Paris shortly after the liberation of the City.



27th of August 1944; A party given in the home of the Paris Vogue editor Michel de Brunhoff, shortly after the liberation of Paris, brought together John MORRIS (rear center with glasses). On his right: Robert CAPA. On his left (glasses): David SEYMOUR "Chim". Foreground in uniform Lee MILLER. Behind her, man in tweed jacket: Henri CARTIER-BRESSON © Magnum Collection / Magnum Photos
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Old 03-26-2018   #50
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But the supply of new dried up (blindingly obvious) and second-hand prices rocketed. In the end the British Govt ordered (in 1942) that no one was to sell them at a price greater than the pre-war price.
In the early 1980s I worked in a London camera shop. The manager had been there since the war and told me that as soon as the government broadcast that they wanted quality cameras, a few were also set aside for 'special' customers to whom they were discretely sold. The manager himself ended up taking pictures 'behind enemy lines' but never really spoke much about this.
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Omaha D-Day
Old 03-26-2018   #51
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Omaha D-Day

We are very fortunate to have any photographs & film from that first wave to hit Omaha beach. I can't imagine anyone volunteering to jump off a landing craft into that hell hole of a killing zone, just to take photos.
Until you have experienced someone firing at you with the intent of splattering your remains onto the ground, you just don't get it. That terrible first day, and those who went through it, gave the full measure of honor and if we lack the photo documentation of those men and what they went through (as they were going through it) I guess it's just too bad...
I respect Capa's photographic abilities, but as a man, not so much.
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Old 03-26-2018   #52
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Originally Posted by pgk View Post
In the early 1980s I worked in a London camera shop. The manager had been there since the war and told me that as soon as the government broadcast that they wanted quality cameras, a few were also set aside for 'special' customers to whom they were discretely sold. The manager himself ended up taking pictures 'behind enemy lines' but never really spoke much about this.
Many thanks, very interesting...

A sample of the appeal:-



and the response later to raised prices:-



Regards, David
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Old 03-26-2018   #53
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Those are great, David.

I have some American Photography and Popular Photography issues from 1940-1945 that include similar ads for people to turn in their cameras for the military.
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Old 03-26-2018   #54
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I have a IIIf (54 years now and still use it), but never thought about Leica or its history much. This is a really interesting thread, which I had never read. So thanks to whoever brought it back to life.
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Old 03-26-2018   #55
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Originally Posted by Rangefinderfreak View Post
There is now new light on Capa d-day pictures.. Itis now clear that there were only a few rolls of the Normandy landing. Capa was too afraid to go further, but hastily returned to the landing craft. He propably "fried" himself the end of the roll so nobody could see that he just had a couple rolls...
Capa was always pretty honest in his own assessment of how he performed on Omaha beach and admitted he "did a funk" and got off the beach as soon as he decently could. And after all who can blame him? He did not have duty to "do or die" on that piece of sand but he did have a duty to get his images back for publication. So I do not read into his behaviour any cowardice.

The record was pretty clear that he was in fact, in general, pretty brave. His advice to aspiring combat photographers was that "If your pictures are no good, you are not close enough". And in general he seemed willing to follow his own advice - even to the point of jumping out of a plane with a parachute infantry regiment.

"On the 24th March 1945 Robert Capa was dropped by parachute, along with the men of the 513th PIR, 17th Airborne Division, who spearheaded Operation Varsity, the airborne assault across the Rhine."
https://www.slightly-out-of-focus.co...apa_rhine.html

Accordingly I don't believe he sabotaged his own photos at Omaha. And I have never seen evidence or even suggestion of that. In fact Life originally said the images were blurred because the photographer was so shaken by the intensity of the combat, but later retracted that and admitted it was due to a laboratory error. On that I think the record is clear.
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Old 03-26-2018   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Flibble View Post
They did and formed a friendship in Paris shortly after the liberation of the City.



27th of August 1944; A party given in the home of the Paris Vogue editor Michel de Brunhoff, shortly after the liberation of Paris, brought together John MORRIS (rear center with glasses). On his right: Robert CAPA. On his left (glasses): David SEYMOUR "Chim". Foreground in uniform Lee MILLER. Behind her, man in tweed jacket: Henri CARTIER-BRESSON © Magnum Collection / Magnum Photos
Cool. Thanks for that. Capa was a womanizer so I wonder if he chased her? She was after all an attractive woman. I presume if they stayed friends she knocked him back if he did. Probably showed she had sound judgment.

BTW Lee Miller was in the 1930s an acolyte and lover of Man Ray and naturally appeared in some of his photos. But it was one of those fiery relationships that came apart at the seams. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/...y-in-love.html
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Old 03-26-2018   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangefinderfreak View Post
There is now new light on Capa d-day pictures.. Itis now clear that there were only a few rolls of the Normandy landing. Capa was too afraid to go further, but hastily returned to the landing craft. He propably "fried" himself the end of the roll so nobody could see that he just had a couple rolls...
This is absolute rubbish. It's easy for this rumor to circulate 74 years after the fact but I don't think we have any WWII veterans here on RFF who were on Omaha Beach to say how easy it was that first day. If he flashed a roll, who cares? It has nothing to do with his courage.
I've made this argument on RFF before, and I'm saying this as a combat photographer of our recent Iraq war, that Capa was and is basically infallible in my eyes for even getting the photos he did. He was armed with a camera, not a rifle and jumped into one of the worst meat grinders the world has ever seen. He also got one of the most harrowing and iconic images ever to be put to silver, always and forever. I was in some very awful s*** in Fallujah but I can tell you now that I would never have volunteered to do what Capa did on June 6, nor would most.

Phil Forrest
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Old 03-26-2018   #58
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There is also the rumor that the shutter on Capa's Contax had simply stopped working.

Peter M, Lee Miller pestered Man Ray into letting her be his assistent and improving her photography and darkroom techniques (Gerda Taro did the same thing)

Miller was still married to Aziz Eloui Bey, but was already romantically involved with Roland Penrose when she met Capa in Paris.

incidently, the T-14 "Photographers" helmet she is wearing in that couple of well-known photos was painted by Penrose to resemble a medieval knights helmet with the slotted visor.

Aaaanyway, we're getting far far away from discussing WW2 Leica history
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Old 03-26-2018   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
I would never have volunteered to do what Capa did on June 6, nor would most.
"The brave ones shot bullets
The crazy ones shot film"
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Off the chain...
Old 03-27-2018   #60
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Off the chain...

I apologize guys for my little rant (must be my PTSD biting me again) Anyway, I am not upset with the posting. I just get stuck sometimes & concentrate on the naivety of non-combatants & how their assumptions can be hurtful for those who are still suffering the pains of what they saw & did.

Again I hope I have not offended anyone with my posts & if you feel that it would be appropriate for me to remove them just let me know.

Good light & fair winds to all,
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Old 03-27-2018   #61
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Here's a photo of Captain Herman V. Wall with his Leica, prior to the landings on June 6th 1944.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...D-Day_Wall.jpg
(source Wikipedia)

One of his photos from the landings itself, taken somewhere towards midday with re-inforcement waves coming in.


Quote:
Months after D-Day Captain Herman V. Wall and PFC Harold Wordeman met in the coffee shop of an Army Hospital (Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, MI) and started visiting each other regularly.

After a while the conversation went something like this:
Wall: Where were you?
Wordeman: Omaha Beach, Easy Red Sector.
Wall: What outfit were you with?
Wordeman: The Beach Brigade.
Wall: I photographed the landing of the Beach Brigade. Major Martin J. McEvilly of the Signal Corps sent copies of the photos I made. Come up to the ward, take a look and see anyone you know.

Surprise! Wordeman saw himself "Front & Center"
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Old 03-29-2018   #62
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Not sure how interesting this would be to some of you;

Reading through the Table of Organization & Equipment (TO&E) 11-37 for US Signal Photo Companies, dated 14 feb 1944, there is an entry for 12 Leica cameras.

Camera:
Leica. 12. 1 per combat asgmt unit (non-standard item)

Now that doesn't mean every SPC actually had 12 Leicas available to them. For example a TO&E could call for a number of goggles of a certain type (usually the latest), but usually stocks of older types were expended first.


Harking back to the "D-Day rescue" I talked about a few days back, here is a photo of "Detachment P" of the 163rd Signal photo company that photographed and filmed the sequence on June 7th 1944


1st Lt George A. Steck in the middle with a Leica camera.
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Old 03-29-2018   #63
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Late in April 1945 Capa was in Leipzig where famously he photographed one of the last US soldiers to be killed there. This is the story.

I cannot be sure he used a Leica on this occasion though. In fact I have a niggling suspicion he used a Contax but cannot put my finger on the reason I feel this. He is also pictured in the article with what looks like a Rolleiflex TLR but the date of that particular image is not provided. He is known to have used all of these cameras but it seems unlikely to be the camera used for the shot given the aspect ratio of the images made. Also he was in this location following a parachute jump with an air infantry unit so the gear he had with him was the gear he carried on that jump. His account of the jump talks of him strapping his cameras to his leg. Not a probable thing to do with a TLR.More importantly he reported that his Scotch supply was carried in his top pocket next to his heart. :^)

https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/ray...n-sniper-1945/

https://www.democratandchronicle.com...many/30409517/

https://www.theguardian.com/artandde...cond-world-war
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Old 03-29-2018   #64
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Looks like Capa recorded it in both 35mm and medium format.

I'm reasonably sure Capa used nothing but Contax II cameras for 35mm work during the whole of the war. He casually mentions having two of them in "Slightly out of focus" during the Battle of the Bulge, when he was nearly apprehended as a spy.

I do know he upgraded from a Rolleiflex Old Standard to an Automat at some point between the North Africa campaign and the Normandy invasion.
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Old 03-29-2018   #65
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Just for balance can I mention Gold, Juno and Sword beaches?

Regards, David
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Old 03-29-2018   #66
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Ian Grant's "Cameramen at war" is a good book on his experiences with the British Army Film & Photographic Unit from Normandy to Germany.
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Old 03-30-2018   #67
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Hi,

Thanks; I've often wondered if they sent official photographers along when Operation Bagration was launched. There seems to be only one famous photo from that horrendous part of the conflict.

Then there's the Canadians, Poles, French and so on. I blame Hollywood...

And they are so keen on wars these days, so a reminder or two might do some good.

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Old 03-30-2018   #68
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Google Lee Miller Henry Cartier Bresson to see one of my favorite Bresson pics. It shows L. Miller with Paul and Nusch Eluard when they reunited after the Paris liberation. The face of Nusch clearly shows the strain of living in occupied Paris and, indeed, she fell and died on a Paris street in 1946 of a stroke.
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Old 04-03-2018   #69
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We've likely all seen (and possibly read) "Das Boot", by Lothar-Gunter Buchheim.

Buchheim himself served as a propaganda photographer aboard the U96 during World War 2. He kept some 6000 negatives of life on the submarine.

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Old 04-05-2018   #70
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Quote:
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Just for balance can I mention Gold, Juno and Sword beaches?
Of course, the members of the AFPU were not issued 35mm cameras (except for movie cameras). So no Leicas for them.
But the civilian accredited photographers coming ashore on those beaches would've had them.

Funny thing that Grant mentions in his book is how towards the end of the war in Europe, they would drive their jeep into German villages claiming to be an advance party there to 'confiscate cameras for security reason'. I'm sure they got a few nice high-end cameras that way.
This continued until they ran into a German commander. He said he had a Panzer unit nearby that wished to surrender to the Allies. The AFPU men made up some excuse to get the heck out of Dodge then.
"It would only be fair for you to surrender to a soldier of a higher rank, we'll just go and get one! Kaythanksbye!"
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