The juxtaposition of the pedestrian and the military makes this a stunning image — British infantrymen of the 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade taking cover near family homes that have been abandoned and boarded up. The photo was taken during battle as a mortar bomb exploded in a stream in the village of Nieuwstadt during Operation Blackcock. Operation Blackcock was a concerted effort to clear German troops from the Roer Triangle, which was an area formed by the towns of Roermond and Sittard in the Netherlands and Heinsberg in Germany. Though thousands died during the 12-day battle, the Allied troops emerged victorious.

Operation Blackcock

Nieuwstadt, Limburg, Netherlands.

3 January 1945.

Image taken by Sgt. Smith, No. 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit. 

Credit: Anti-Worlds