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December 15, 2016

Keep It Clean! 22 Intimate Vintage Snapshots of World War II Soldiers Showering or Bathing

Between battles soldiers were able to bathe in makeshift showers and in rivers, lakes and streams; to swim; catch a few rays, and just mess around like the kids they recently were. If someone had a camera they’d pose together, to remember their closeness.

These personal snapshots of World War II soldiers bathing and swimming are a record of the unselfconscious camaraderie between young men at war during a period when physical intimacy was less discouraged among straight men. Troops were encouraged by their superiors to form close “buddy” relationships, and these bonds were often cemented through horseplay.

Two German soldiers at an outside washing trough

Early morning ablutions on the Front Line

Flak-gun crew at their morning ablutions

Four handsome German soldiers washing at a well

Two shirtless young German soldiers shaving outside their barrack room

Early morning ablutions for German soldiers

Showering Bulgarians

Marines helping one another out in the showers

Two German soldiers washing their comrade in a stone trough

A watchful eye being kept over eight shirtless young recruits, while they perform their morning ablutions

Wash day for this group of GIs, somewhere in Europe

German soldiers washing in a small lake

Australian airmen in a washroom

Five English soldiers from the Dorsetshire Regiment enjoying a steaming hot bath, after helping to liberate Normandy - France, 1944.
Two naked German soldiers posing for the camera whilst performing their ablutions

A group of German soldiers performing their morning ablutions in a small stream

Airmen preparing for showers

Mobile shower unit #2

Four German soldiers busy at their early morning ablutions

Six German soldiers washing at a pump

German soldiers rinsing each other off

Hardy German soldiers having a quick wash


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