Wednesday, February 18, 2004

World War Two Aerial Pictures Go Online

The up-to-date copy of this post will be maintained here:

According to an article in Eastman's latest newsletter,
Online RAF Photos of the U.K.:

(The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2006 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at: offers an opportunity for genealogists, historians and others the ability to track down an ancestor's now demolished neighbourhood or learn how their area has changed and developed.

The imagery derived from RAF photographic sheets that were previously subject to censorship - with many military sites removed or clouds painted over secret installations - can be seen in their entirety thanks to the efforts made into uncovering the MOD sites and replacing the censored material. This extensive research, undertaken by's partner, The GeoInformation Group, means the records now provide a breadth of detail not accessible via traditional offline resources.

Spokesperson, Christine Bool, says: "The growing interest in local history and genealogy has given us added impetus to make this fascinating historic photography available to a wider audience, and provide an insight into wartime and postwar Britain. For example it is possible to see military bases in certain city parks, docks full of steam powered shipping and northern factories belching out smoke from brick chimneys. The comparison with modern Britain is startling."

Users can search by town, village, postcode or map grid reference. Imagery can be previewed for free, with more detailed photos available to purchase.

You can see the aerial photos at

Do you have comments, questions or corrections to this article? If so, please post your words at

According to this Guardian article,
Unique aerial photographs of the some of the key events of the Second World War are to be made available for the first time over the internet.

The entire archive of more than five million aerial reconnaissance photographs, shot by the RAF over Western Europe during the conflict, is going online.

They include American troops landing on the Normandy beaches on D-Day, the seizure of the Pegasus bridge by British paratroops, the aftermath of the first 1,000 bomber raid on Cologne, and the German battleship Bismarck as the Royal Navy hunted her down.

There is also a photograph showing thick clouds of smoke pouring from Auschwitz concentration camp during the final months of the war." The site, called The Aerial Reconnaissance Archives, can be found here:

Related material: German Aerial Reconnaissance Maps 1940-1944 (US Captured) at "NARA II" (that's NARA "2"), Address: National Archives and Records Administration, Third Floor, 8601 Adelphia Rd, College Park, MD 20740. Email:

Captured Still Photographs (reconnaisance)
Address: NARA II at College Park: Special Media, 8601 Adelphia Road, College Park MD 20740-6001
Phone: 301.837.3530. For additional information, fill out contact form at, and provide the names of shtetl, town or village with the country name.

Perhaps the real reason the modern liberal so disdains the 2nd amendment, and so loves the 1st, is that the 2nd protects our right to take action in defense of liberty, while the 1st protects our right to talk about it. - Phil Nelson, quoting Steve Tell