A Camera Lost for 70 Years Gives a Glimpse Into the Battle of the Bulge.


Cameras are ubiquitous today.  We’ve all grown somewhat accustomed to seeing combat footage from Iraq and Afghanistan, often taken by the soldiers themselves. 70 years ago, that wasn’t quite the case. There were some cameras, but not many, and film was hard to come by.

U.S. Navy Captain Mark Anderson and his historian friend Jean Muller were out with metal detectors, scavenging around Luxembourg, where the most heated firefights of The Battle of the Bulge took place.

While traveling through the hilly forest that once served as a brutal battleground, the pair came across an empty foxhole, and inside of that foxhole they found the personal possessions of an American soldier, left untouched for almost three-quarters of a century.

Among those possessions was a camera with a partially-exposed roll of film still inside.

The Battle of the Bulge was the largest battle in the history of the US Army, and much of it was fought with an intensity that would rival any other. The Army would suffer 19,000 Killed in Action, over 47,000 wounded, and 23,000 captured or missing. One soldier, first listed as Missing in Action, was later listed as Killed in Action when his remains were recovered.

And it was Louis J. Archambeau’s camera that CAPT Anderson found.

archambeau001_image004

The handful of images may be in poor condition, but they clearly show the discomfort and tension of that awful battlefield.

H/T to Jennifer Holik for sharing this on facebook.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “A Camera Lost for 70 Years Gives a Glimpse Into the Battle of the Bulge.

  1. Esli

    This is what I love about walking the relatively recent battlefields in Europe. Hope to see more when I get back to Germany.

    • We were out for “Volksmarsch” near Dansenberg (Near K-Town) in 1967 and my younger brother found a Stalhelm in a fencerow. I wanted to take a walk through some of the old bunkers in the Saar to see what we could see while we visited some friends, but my parents told us to stay out of them.

      It’s a real shame so much of what I knew has been shut down. The General Walker Hotel, on the Obersalzburg, was given back to the Germans and they tore it down. It was a historic pension that existed before the Nazi regime was even a twinkle in Uncle Adolph’s eye, and they tore it down. The Rec center at Berchtesgaden is gone, along with the main hotel for also being torn down. I think some of the Rec Center at Garmisch is still around.

      Do you have orders yet? Where to, if so?

  2. scottthebadger

    The last photo, of the troops approaching the trees, I have seen winter days here in WI, in December, where that could be a color photo. My Uncle Dan lived through the Bulge. All the other members of my family were Pacific USN vets.

  3. ATG

    The story turned out to be a hoax. The photos have been in the National Archive for decades and someone just photoshopped them to make them look old.

    Here’s the original, and very clear image that someone fiddled with to make up the scam:

  4. Pingback: 70-Year-Old WWII Foxhole Photos Turn Out to Be a Hoax | Bring the heat, Bring the Stupid

  5. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted
    to say great blog!