PHOTO OF THE WEEK



The World War II Photo of the Week
for 14 August 2000


BIKINIS AT CANNES (51 K)

A Fine Example of French "Architecture"

   This is a U.S. Signal Corps proof photograph of an "architectural scene" in Cannes, France, taken shortly after V-E Day. The photo is unclassified and was passed by the U.S. Army Censor on 2 July 1945. The photo itself is dated 23 June 1945 and the source is the 168th Signal Photo Company, and is from a series taken at an officer's recreation area in Cannes. It is quite apparent why it took a military censor over a week to pass the photo (normal delay is 2-4 days). This is one of those photographs that makes one wonder if perhaps the Signal Corps wasn't occasionally having a little fun at taxpayer expense. The caption reads:
"ETO HQ 45 56146 23 JUNE CREDIT ... U S ARMY SIGNAL CORPS PHOTOG ... CAPT HOPE 9TH ARMY 1ST LT WAYNE LARABEE OF NEW YORK CITY, A MEMBER OF THE 168TH SIGNAL PHOTO COMPANY, TAKES AN ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPH. NOTE THE DORMER WINDOWS AND BALUSTRADES -- TYPICAL OF FRENCH ARCHITECTURE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AREA (15) CANNES, FRANCE."
   This photograph is demonstrable proof of the dedication and willingness of the combat photographer to get the shot, despite the hazards encountered in the process. You have to admire them. All kidding aside, the young ladies shown in the photograph are wearing very extreme swimsuits for that particular time in history. Photographs of bikinis in 1945 are rarer than combat photos — after all, combat was everywhere you pointed a camera, for the most part. One can see why Germany was so interested in conquering France (again). The architectural features are superlative! From the Webmaster's collection.


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