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Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:00 PM

Photo: Snipers on the Streets of Paris, 1944

By Rebecca Onion
Posted Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, at 10:45 AM ET

This striking photo, taken on Aug. 26, 1944, during the liberation of Paris and held in the National Archives' collection of Signal Corps Photographs of American Military Activity, shows Parisians running for cover on the Place de la Concorde as snipers fired on the city's ongoing celebration. The image shows civilians caught in the crossfire, transitioning quickly from party to self-preservation mode.

While the Germans had officially surrendered the city to Allied forces the day before and citizens were out in the streets in force, pockets of French collaborators and German soldiers remained. French Gen. Charles de Gaulle, who paraded through the streets to the Champs-Élysées on the same day this picture was taken, took fire from snipers several times. Later in the day, de Gaulle famously came under sniper fire inside the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

You can see one such attack captured on tape in this newsreel, "de Gaulle in Paris"; start watching at 2:19. Or check out Life's previously unpublished photographs of the liberation of Paris, one of which depicts two French soldiers returning fire on the snipers menacing the de Gaulle parade, while another shows a French family taking cover during the same event.



"Crowds of Parisians celebrating the entry of Allied troops into Paris scatter for cover as a sniper fires from a building on the Place de la Concorde. Although the Germans surrendered the city, small bands of snipers still remained. 08/26/1944." National Archives Identifier 531206. Series: Signal Corps Photographs of American Military Activity, compiled 1754 - 1954; Record Group 111: Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 1860-1985.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2013/01/09/photo_snipers_in_paris_civilians_dive_for_cover_during_the_liberation_of.html

No, this is not a gun thread, just an amazing moment in history captured on film.

4 replies, 1028 views

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Reply Photo: Snipers on the Streets of Paris, 1944 (Original post)
rug Jan 2013 OP
onehandle Jan 2013 #1
rug Jan 2013 #2
riverwalker Jan 2013 #3
rug Jan 2013 #4

Response to rug (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:08 PM

1. I have a book called 'Paris Under the Occupation.' Has some amazing photos. nt

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Response to onehandle (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:12 PM

2. This new history feature at Salon has some great links in it.

Look at this map:



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Response to rug (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:04 PM

3. when my Dad moved in assisted living

we heard another veteran wanted to meet him (Dad was veteran of Normandy and a POW), so I took him to his apartment. The guy was a pilot in the war and told lots of stories, then his wife came home and told her story. Her first husband was in the Army, and survived the entire war, but AFTER the war ended and before coming home, he was killed by one of these snipers in France.

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Response to riverwalker (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:11 AM

4. Geez.

I can only imagine what it must be like getting the news when all over the radio they said it was over.

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