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December 15, 2017

28 Vintage Photographs of Troops Celebrating the Holidays During World War II

Christmas is a time when normal routine is suspended for many people – and so it was in the depths of World War II. For civilians and military alike during the 1939-45 period, normality was a loose concept, but these vintage photos show how they attempted to put on a brave face and observe some of the traditions that they would have enjoyed during peacetime.

Men of the USS Lexington celebrating Christmas with a Santa suited up for firefighting. 1944.

Christmas sign and tree at the Italian front, 1944.

American WACs decorate their tent at the Italian front, 1944.

American WACs make paper chains to decorate their tiny tree, Italy, 1944.

American servicemen (with Santa centre) celebrating Christmas on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 1942.

A Christmas singsong on a British warship, 1942.

Holiday mail for the troops, USA, c. 1944.

Sailors carrying the Christmas tree and holly for Christmas celebrations aboard a British ship, 1941.

American servicemen at a Christmas midnight mass, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 1942.

Singing and lighting candles at midnight mass, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 1942.

Chickens for Christmas dinner, Holland, 1944.

Gunners with geese and turkeys for the Christmas pot, Italy, 1944.

Aloft two geese destined to become Christmas dinner, Germany, 1944.

Soldiers preparing Christmas dinner, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 1942.

Soldiers preparing Christmas dinner, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 1942.

Finnish soldiers watching a woman stirring the pot for Christmas dinner, Finland, 1939.

British soldier peeling potatoes for Christmas dinner, Germany, 1944.

The Brits, of course, had to have their Christmas pudding. The commander of a destroyer stirs the pudding, while the first lieutenant adds rum, 1942.

Scots preparing Christmas pudding in the Western Sahara, 1942.

Announcing the Christmas pudding is ready, the Netherlands, 1944.

British soldiers unpacking a Christmas parcel, complete with pudding, the Netherlands, 1944.

The crew who are shown with their camouflaged tank looking like a 'travelling Christmas tree' had been together for three years. They had seen action in Libya and Italy before coming to Holland.

Christmas dinner in Naples, 1944.

British soldier eating Christmas meal in his slit trench w. holiday cards from home propped up outside, Netherlands, 1944.

British and French troops sharing Christmas drinks in France, 1939.

Christmas drinks in Burma, 1944.

British soldiers celebrating Christmas in Italy, 1943.

Aussie soldiers and their Christmas drinks, New Guinea, WWII.



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