TIME D Day

Ruins of Normandy: Portraits From a Post-Invasion Wasteland

Color photos made in northwestern France in the weeks and months after D-Day detail the devastating impact of the invasion and its aftermath

The ruins left behind after warfare speak a language of their own. Even more strikingly, perhaps, no matter where the conflict has taken place —northern Europe or the Pacific, the Middle East or Central Africa — the vernacular of destruction is often the same. Buildings reduced to rubble and dust. A scarred, tortured landscape nearly devoid of life, aside from small human forms trying to piece it back together. Twisted, rusting steel. Burned, abandoned vehicles. And always, above it all, the indifferent sky.

These color photographs made in northwest France by LIFE photographer Frank Scherschel — most of which never ran in LIFE — detail the devastating impact of the Normandy invasion and its aftermath. The impulse behind building this gallery, meanwhile, is really no more complicated than this: to commemorate the Allied troops who fought and died; to honor those who fought and lived; and to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day by remembering what happened to countless towns — and townspeople — in France and around the globe when a world war unleashed hell in the midst of their lives.

[WATCH: 'Behind the Picture: Robert Capa's D-Day']

TIME

Fighting Words: Long-Winded (and Stunning) Wartime Magazine Ads

American magazine ads from the 1940s referenced World War II, obliquely or directly, to an extent that is utterly mind-boggling today

In elemental ways, magazines have not really changed all that much in the past, say, 75 years or so. A striking cover image; some snappy cover lines; a number of articles, some long, some short; and all of the editorial “content,” whether words or photos, surrounded by ads — which, of course, along with subscriptions, help pay the bills and keep the issues coming, week after week, month after month.

In other respects, though, the magazines of three-quarters of a century ago could not have been more different than today’s.

For example: take a look at those ads that we just mentioned. In almost any World War II-era issue of any magazine, you’ll notice two striking characteristics of the ads that differentiate them from those in most contemporary publications. First, there are all those words. Scores, sometimes even hundreds of words, as if the copywriters had been instructed not to get the point across as succinctly and memorably as possible, but to compose a kind of rhetorical argument — or maybe weave a short story — around why the reader should buy a particular cigarette, tire or light bulb.

Second, almost without exception, the ads one encountered in the midst of WWII referenced the conflict, obliquely or directly, to an extent that is mind-boggling today. Anyone seeking proof that the war effort of the 1940s permeated every aspect of everyday American life need only consider magazine ads of the time. From the makers of pens to booze to cars, anyone who was selling anything found a way to tie their product to the fight against the Axis.

Here, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, are 10 examples of ads from TIME in June 1944 — ads that illustrate the era’s intricate nexus of commerce, patriotism and warfare as clearly, and as candidly, as we’re ever likely to see.

[WATCH: 'Behind the Picture: Robert Capa's D-Day']

TIME

Before and After D-Day: Color Photos From England and France

Masterfully restored color photos from England and France in 1944 feel at-once profoundly familiar and utterly, vividly new

It’s no mystery why images of unremitting violence spring to mind when one hears the deceptively simple term, “D-Day.” We’ve all seen — in photos, movies and old news reels, most of them routinely presented in suitably grim black-and-white — what happened on the beaches of Normandy (codenamed Omaha, Utah, Juno, Gold and Sword) as the Allies unleashed their historic assault against German defenses on June 6, 1944. The fury of the monumental attack was matched only by the ferocity of the sustained, withering counterstrike.

But in color photos taken before and after the invasion, LIFE magazine’s Frank Scherschel captured countless other, lesser-known scenes from the run-up to the onslaught and the heady weeks after: American troops training in small English towns; the French countryside, implausibly lush after the spectral landscape of the beachheads; the reception GIs enjoyed en route to the capital; the jubilant liberation of Paris itself.

As presented here, in masterfully restored color, Scherschel’s pictures — most of which were never published in LIFE — feel at-once profoundly familiar and somehow utterly, vividly new.

Finally: Information on specific locations or people in these photographs is not always available; Scherschel and his colleagues did not always provide that data for every one of the many thousands of pictures they made throughout the war. When a locale or person depicted is known, that is noted in the caption.

[WATCH: 'Behind the Picture: Robert Capa's D-Day']

TIME

Band of Brothers WWII Veteran ‘Wild Bill’ Guarnere Dies

South Philly native served in the famed Easy Company, and lost a leg holding the Belgian town of Bastone during the Battle of the Bulge

William “Wild Bill” Guarnere, one of the World War II veterans who gained fame from the book Band of Brothers and its HBO adaptation, died of a ruptured aneurysm on Saturday night. He was 90 years old.

A native of south Philadelphia, Guarnere served as a non-commissioned officer in the famed Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division during World War II, where he participated in some of the biggest battles in the European theater. Guarnere parachuted into Normandy the night before D-Day, fought in Operation Market Garden and helped hold the critical Belgian town of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

His war ended in Bastogne when he lost a leg while trying to help another wounded soldier, and he returned home having been awarded the Silver Star – the nation’s third-highest award for valor – two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts for wounds suffered in combat.

Guarnere and other veterans of Easy Company gained fame decades after the war when historian Stephen Ambrose wrote Band of Brothers about their war experience. HBO turned the book into a highly popular mini-series in 2001. After the war, Guarnere was an active member of many veterans organizations and traveled widely, telling Easy Company’s story. Along with fellow south Philadelphia native Edward “Babe” Heffron, Guarnere published the bestseller Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends in 2008.

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