Ghosts of Time: 39 Beautiful Then & Now Pictures of WWII – Including US troops at the water pump in St Marie du Mont 1944 – 2015

On the 1st of September the horror of World War II was unleashed upon the world when the German Army invaded Poland. The Invasion of Poland, also known as a September Campaign in Poland or Fall Weiss (Case White) in Germany, was a joint attack by Nazi Germany, the Free City of Danzig, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent.

WWII was inevitable; despite all the diplomacy and attempts at appeasement, it was a war that Hitler really wanted. A week before the Fall Weiss started (22nd August 1939), he said:

“The object of the war is … physically to destroy the enemy. That is why I have prepared, for the moment only in the East, my ‘Death’s Head’ formations with orders to kill without pity or mercy all men, women, and children of Polish descent or language. Only in this way can we obtain the living space we need.”

The next day, a secret agreement between the Third Reich and the USSR was signed. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, signed on 23rd August 1939, remained in force until Operation Barbarossa began.

This haunting collection of images takes us on a journey across the years, combining historical photographs with their modern-day settings.

You can follow Adam Surrey’s work on Facebook: Ghosts of Time

Bomber Command


US troops inspect a Knocked-out German 4.7 cm PaK(t) auf Panzerkampfwagen 35R(f) self-propelled gun, near Le Molay-Littry, France 20 June 1944 -2015


A knocked out Sherman tank,Villiers Bocage June 1944 – 2015


Passing through: Members of the 101st airborne passing through Sainte Marie du Mont June 1944 – 2015


Joyful greetings: US troops move inland through Colleville sur Mer June 1944 – 2015


A French civilian takes time to chat to a US soldier, Mont Saint Michel 1944 – 2015


Men of the Durham Light Infantry, 49th (West Riding) Division alongside a knocked-out German Tiger tank from the 3rd Company of SS Heavy Tank Battalion in Rauray, during Operation ‘Epsom’, 28 June 1944 – 2015


German soldiers at the gate of Fort de Boncelles in Belgium, May 1940 – 2015.


Universal carriers and motorcycles driving inland from Arromanches during the build-up of Allied reinforcements in the bridgehead, 22 June 1944 -2015 (in reality its Route du Débarquement Saint-Côme-de-Fresné)


German and US medics await the arrival of injured personnel, Aid station #2 St Mere Eglise


A US patrol in the area of Cherbourg Harbour station 1944 – 2015


Firefighters and other emergency personnel respond to the crash of a B-29 prototype at the Frye Meat Packing Plant,Seattle . A total of 32 died on the plane and in the fire. Feb 1943 – 2015 (the present building was built on the same footings as the original)


Dancing Engineers: A GI entertaining his mates,from the Engineer Special Brigade,Weymouth seafront, June 1944 – 2015


On home ground: The Regiment de la Chaudiere in front of Canada House speaking with French civilians June 1944 – 2015


Rations: US troops loading K rations just prior to D-Day Weymouth,Dorset 1944 – 2015


Members of the 82nd AB enter Nijmegen after crossing the Waalbrug 1944 – 2015 (photo courtesy of Toen-nu Koos)


HE 111 on their way to Poland, Kampfgeschwader 1 (KG 1) 1939 – 2015


A truck pulling a 3.7 inch anti-aircraft gun moves along the Quai de Julliet in Caen. In the distance can be seen the Abbaye des Hommes. 1944 – 2015


Dedication of the 1st US cemetery on French soil, Temp cemetery 1 Omaha beach 12th June 1944 – 2015



Honour and sadness:Silver Star award ceremony Carentan (one of the flower girls ,Danielle Laisney, was killed by German artillery during this ceremony, although accounts and dates vary) June 1944 – 2015 (now photo Barbara Wilkinson )


Relief:US troops meet at the corner of what is now Mcauliffe Place, Bastogne .1944 – 2015


WN33: The British 2nd Army: Royal Navy Commandos of LCOCU (Landing Craft Obstacle Clearing Unit) examine a large casemate and its 88mm gun which formed part of German strongpoint WN33 on the western edge of La Riviere, and which caused the forces landing on ‘King’ Beach, GOLD Area considerable trouble before it was silenced. 1944 – 2015


Underground: Russian civilians take shelter from German aerial bombing raids during the Battle of Moscow in the city’s Mayakovskaya metro station. Moscow, 1941 – 2015


Which way now: Major General Manton Sprague Eddy, commander 9th Infantry Division confers with his officers in Beauvain.


The late fine was huge: Italian soldiers requisition library books from the Library of Palazzo Barberini for reading material to be sent to Italian soldiers on the front lines. Rome, Italy 1941 – 2015


US troops dress a shop dummy in a German flag, close to the Roman Gate of Porta Nigra, Trier, Germany


US Airman inspecting V-1 factory. The Mittelwerk occupied large tunnels underneath a mountain near Nordhausen in the Harz Mountains in central Germany 1945 – 2015