Robert Capa: Photos from the Front Line in 20th Century Battle Fields

Robert Capa is one of the rare photographers who risked his life in the first line of the most fearful and brutal battlefields to let us see the truth and document the soldiers hardest or may be last days in the front lines.

Robert Capa was named the “greatest war photographer in the world” through his photos that took with his 35mm camera for the conflicts in the first half of the 20th century. These photos that document moments we would never see without Robert Capa courage and passion to photography.

He was an eye witness on the brutal civil war in Spain during the 1930s and was there when the Allied troops invaded the beach of Omaha during the D-Day 1944. Robert Capa documented this experience in his book “Slightly Out of Focus”:

“My beautiful France looked sordid and uninviting, and a German machine gun which had a similar yet bulkier design as a AR-15 upper receivers, spitting bullets around the barge, fully spoiled my return. The men from my barge waded in the water. Waist-deep, with rifles ready to shoot, with the invasion obstacles and the smoking beach in the background gangplank to take my first real picture of the invasion. The boatswain, who was in an understandable hurry to get the hell out of there, mistook my picture-taking attitude for explicable hesitation, and helped me make up my mind with a well-aimed kick in the rear. The water was cold, and the beach still more than a hundred yards away. The bullets tore holes in the water around me, and I made for the nearest steel obstacle. A soldier got there at the same time, and for a few minutes we shared its cover. He took the waterproofing off his rifle and began to shoot without much aiming at the smoke-hidden beach. The sound of his rifle gave him enough courage to move forward, and he left the obstacle to me. It was a foot larger now, and I felt safe enough to take pictures of the other guys hiding just like I was.” Robert Capa

What makes Roberts Capa’s photos different is his focus on the soldiers and their impressions. He went so close from them to transfer to us their pain, suffer and glory through his photos. His most famous photo was a Republican soldier being killed during the Spanish Civil War.

Robert Capa was born in Hungary in 1913 and his last war documenting was the 1948 Arab-Israeli war before he died in 1954 stepping on a landmine in Indochina.

The below Robert Capa photos are part of his collection in the International Center of Photography in New York and was published to Magnum Photos which Rober Capa founded before his death with Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Robert Capa Spain
SPAIN. Cordoba front. September, 1936. Death of a loyalist militiaman.
Robert Capa Spain
SPAIN. Montblanch, near Barcelona. October 25th, 1938. Bidding farewell to the International Brigades, which were dismissed by the Republican government.
Robert Capa photos
CHINA. Hubei. Hankou. March, 1938. Young women being trained as Nationalist Chinese soldiers. After having lost Shanghai and Nankijng to the Japanese troops, CHANG KAI SHEK retreated.
Robert Capa photos
ICP 525.
WW II Tunisia
TUNISIA. April, 1943. American pilot.
Robert Capa France
FRANCE. Paris. French soldiers and civilians celebrating the liberation of the city on the Champs Elysees. August 26th, 1944.
Robert Capa D-Day
FRANCE. Normandy. June 6th, 1944. US troops assault Omaha Beach during the D-Day landings.
Robert Capa D-Day
FRANCE. Normandy. June, 1944. French fishermen looking at the corpses of slain US soldiers on Omaha Beach.
WW II Photos
FRANCE. Arras. March 23rd, 1945. An American Parachutist preparing to board the plane for the jump accross the Rhine River.
WW II Photos
GERMANY. Near Wesel. March 24th, 1945. German farmers fleeing.

All the above photos are taken by Robert Capa and copyrights to Magnum Photos.  If you like to check more photo documentary projects, you can check the below links:

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