denn man (ich) kommt nicht rein.
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Detailed WWII photos going online
Saturday, January 17, 2004 Posted: 9:11 AM EST (1411 GMT)
Aerial view of Pearl Harbor following attack of December 7, 1941.
LONDON, England (Reuters) -- More than 5 million detailed aerial photographs from World War II go onto the Internet from Monday, giving the public their first views of some of the most dramatic and grisly moments of the conflict.
From the smoke billowing from the incinerator of the Auschwitz concentration camp in which millions of Jews were murdered by the Nazis, to the U.S. landings on Omaha beach on D-Day, June 6, 1945, the pictures tell dramatic stories.
"These images allow us to see the real war at first hand," project head Allan William said. "It is like a live action replay."
"They were declassified years ago, but it takes days to find an individual image. Now they have been digitized and will be on the Internet, it takes seconds," he told Reuters.
The pilots who took the highly detailed pictures were some of the most daring in the skies, flying unarmed, unprotected and alone often at very low level to fulfill their missions.
In the Auschwitz pictures for instance, prisoners can be seen queuing up for roll call, and in the D-Day pictures bodies can be seen floating in the sea.
Apart from these gripping images -- some of more than 40 million taken over the years and lodged in the National Archives -- there are also pictures of the German battleship Bismarck hiding in a Norwegian fjord.
Seven days after the picture was taken in May 1941, a combination of Royal Navy bombardment and Royal Air Force attacks had sunk the most feared German surface raider of the war.
There is also a picture showing in stark detail the devastation wrought by the mass bombing raids on the German city of Cologne.
Other pictures show gliders next to Pegasus Bridge, stormed by British airborne troops before dawn on the morning of D-Day in the first action of the Allied invasion to liberate France.
But the images are not just of historic interest. They are still used to this day in the frequent discovery of unexploded bombs left over as deadly mementos of the war.
"We are often contacted when an unexploded bomb is found. We see if we have aerial reconnaissance photographs of the area and send them over so they can see if there may be any more," Williams said.
The images will be available on the Internet from Monday, January 19 at www.evidenceincamera.co.uk, but Williams said the Web site was already under siege.