Pixtale.net presents a series of previously unpublished color photographs made in northwest France by photographer Frank Scherschel, detailing the devastating impact of the invasion and its aftermath. The impulse behind posting the gallery, meanwhile, is really no more complicated than this: to commemorate those Allied troops who fought and died; to honor those who fought and lived; and to mark the occasion by also remembering what happened to countless towns — and townspeople — in France and around the globe when the Second World War unleashed hell in the midst of their lives.

The ruins left behind after warfare speak a language of their own. Even more strikingly, no matter where the conflict has taken place — whether it’s in northern Europe or the South Pacific, the Middle East or Central Africa — the vernacular of destruction is often the same. Buildings reduced to rubble and dust. A scarred, tortured landscape seemingly devoid of life, aside from small human forms trying to piece it back together. Twisted, rusting, abandoned vehicles. And always, above it all, the silent, indifferent sky.

[16 photos total]

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1
Ruins, northwestern France, summer 1944, after D-Day. (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #
2
American troops clear wreckage in Saint-Lô, Normandy, 1944 (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #
3
Saint-Lô, Normandy, summer 1944 (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #
4
Destroyed town in northwest France, summer 1944 (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #
5
Armored vehicles on the move past civic buildings in Avranches, summer 1944 (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #
6
American troops in courtyard of ruined building, northwestern France, summer 1944 (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #
7
Post-D-Day destruction, northern France, 1944 (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #
8
Jeeps (including a press vehicle) in the town square, Marigny (Manche), Normandy, 1944 (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #
9
Ruined tank near St. Gilles (or perhaps Hambye), France, 1944 (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #
10
American troops, northwestern France, summer 1944 (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #
11
Ruins of a town in northwestern France, summer 1944 (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #
12
Ruined tank near St. Gilles (or perhaps Hambye), France, 1944 (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #
13
Unloading vehicles and supplies from an LST (landing ship, tank) at Normandy beachhead, summer 1944 (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #
14
An amphibious "duck" comes ashore from its landing craft, Normandy, summer 1944 (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #
15
Beached shipping, Allied beachhead, Normandy, summer 944 (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #
16
Ruined building and sign in French and German, northwestern France, summer 1944 (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images) #

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