One of the most jarring things about scenes of war is seeing how casually weapons of extreme violence are handled and just ever-present. Here you can see Brazilian soldiers of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force firing an 81 mm mortar at enemy German troops. These firings would have taken place at the end of the Spring 1945 Offensive, also known as Operation Grapeshot, a part of the of the Italian Campaign. The campaign went from April to May 1945, only ending after the signing of the Surrender of Caserta. Although here the men appear isolated and the scene is almost peaceful, the Italian campaign was brutal — with tens of thousands being lost on both sides.
Sassomolare, Province of Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. April 1945.