There’s something so striking about the blank space in this photograph of the Chinese National Army. Here you can see Chinese soldiers as they go through training in the courtyard of a temple. Taken during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the intensity of the photo is so overwhelming that it feels like it could be combat, rather than a training exercise. The conflict continued until the unconditional surrender of the Empire of Japan to the United Nations in September 1945 — but not before the death toll had reached tens of millions.

Chinese National Army

Tongguan County, Shaanxi Province, Republic of China (now, the People’s Republic of China.)

1941.

Image taken by Carl and Shelley Mydans.

Credit: Anti-Worlds