1942 The Second World War in Photographs
On the Offensive
Series: The Second World War in Photographs
15th February 2015
1942 was the turning point of the war. In the words of Winston Churchill, it was ‘not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.’
In the Pacific the Japanese had been soundly defeated at the Battle of Midway, with the loss of four valuable and irreplaceable aircraft carriers, while the Allied landings in North Africa had been a complete success, and the rout of the German and Italian soldiers in the desert war had begun in earnest. Fortress Britain saw the infamous Baedeker raids on English towns and cities, but also the build-up of American troops and material in preparation for the invasion of mainland Europe, of which August’s costly raid on Dieppe was a precursor. Despite some setbacks, the war had changed and the Allies were on the attack on all fronts. In Russia, the German 6th Army spent the New Year surrounded in Stalingrad, the Germans and Italians being squeezed in North Africa, and the Japanese were suffering defeat after defeat.
John Christopher and Campbell McCutcheon tell the story of 1942 at war using many rare and often unpublished images, showing the rapidly changing nature of the conflict, as well as its impact on the everyday person.