US tanks pictured in Schevenhütte, Germany, sometime during 1945, vs. modern days.
We can see that, quite remarkably, the buildings and architecture captured in the photograph have not changed at all in the 80 years since the end of the war (although the cafe on the left seems to have been reconstructed, as it took heavy damage and the brick layout is different).
Schevenhütte is a mining village of just 700 people situated near Germany’s border with Belgium and was a massive point of conflict following the Allied landings in Normandy. On September 16th 1944, when the town was occupied by the 3nd Battalion of the 47th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division, US First Army, it was the deepest point of penetration into German territory from the West.
Artillery attacks, air raids and urban fighting transformed the village into a nightmarish battleground, which makes the preservation of the architecture from the photographs even more astonishing. What’s more, it is being said that many residents refused to leave their homes during the heavy battle – some of them sharing their shelter with US soldiers.
A well researched (and heartbreaking) article about Schevenhutte after the Normandy landings can be found at jimsudmeier.com/schevenhuette/.
Book suggestion ⤵️
📖 D-Day: Untold stories of the Normandy Landings inspired by 20 real-life people (Michael Noble, 2019)
TV Series suggestion ⤵️
🎥 Band of Brothers (2001)