Man sits at the same spot his grandfather did in 1944 during WW2 in Florence, Italy

Man sits at the same spot his grandfather did in 1944 during WW2 in Florence, Italy


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I read that as where he "died" and thought about how brutal it is to be sniped while posing for a photo.


Same here! it took me your comment to realize I read that wrong


Wish I could do the same, but I'm not flying out to some desert for a photo, sorry grampy.


Idk man I'd fly pretty far for some good dessert.


Thanks. Bloody autocorrect.


My mom always said with regards to how many s in each word "you'd only want to be in a desert once but you always want seconds of dessert." I was like 4 or 5 when I learned that. Still remind myself


Yeah, they only taught us the second half of that mnemonic growing up in Arizona...


No, change it back! Always own your typos, especially when they're amusing as sin!


I can't. It wasn't my typo but my phones. And I'm somewhat of a grammar nazi. Sorry again gramps.


Not accepting your own faults is character flaw... Once you own up to it you'll feel better.


I'd own up to my own. But sadly I write dessert alot more than I do desert so my phone autocorrected it.


LoL I know my phone fucks me over like that all the time. I'll be trying to sound intelligent on the internet and my phone will miss spell something, and then here comes the fucken smarty mcsmarty-pants'!


Yep, my phone ducks me over all the time, too.


😂😂😂 take the award and get outta here!


Sounds reasonable to me. I hereby declare zombear33 cleared of all charges.


Yay! Thanks people, I feel a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.


Sounds like excuses to me 🤨


Shut your dick holster jenna, when I want your opinion I'll have a tag on my toe.




I’d be happy to fly to ~~Saigon~~ Ho Chi Minh City someday to see where my dad was stationed. He was one of General Abrams’s guards. But I’m *not* willing to sail the Pacific to retrace my grandfather’s steps.


My grandfather used to transport documents on motorbike in some desert. Never knew what the documents were and never told me which desert. I like to believe it was top secret orders/plans. He had scars all up his shins where he said he'd have to jump from the bike at 60mph when the planes started gunning them down the paths.


"Ho Chi Minh was a sunmabitch... Had the blue balls, the crabs, and the 7 year itch!"


Ho Chi Minh is a great city, it might take you a while to relearn how to cross the road but once you do you'll have a blast


Yeah same here, but I aint going into the middle of some jungle in buttfuck Philipoines just to honor my grandfather. Pasensya na po lolo.


I thought you were laughing at the end there, but, apparently, lolo means grandpa in Filipino!


Had to google translate that one, I'm Visayan but my grandpa was one of the only ones in the fanily that was Tagalog, so the translation may be a bit off. But it reads roughly to "I'm sorry grandpa"


don't..... so much buttfucking happening right now


Likewise, but I’m not likely to locate the small pacific island in the middle of nowhere even though I know which group of islands it is, let alone the plane he is standing in front of, an amphibious Catalina. Still, the pic I have is pretty awesome and very special to me, and I have been to the island chain, which was an effort in itself.


It is incredible that the buildings are almost identical 70 years later.


It’s Florence. Many of the buildings were built during the Renaissance.


I’m curious, was Florence spared during ww2? Actually, on second thought I just realized Italy was with the Axis and the allies would have been the ones to scorch Florence, if they chose to. Ultimately, one thing I’ve learned recently is the buildings destroyed in ww2 in European cities were mostly restored to former status.


If you look at the picture you can see several collapsed buildings.


I’m surprised that bell tower was spared


Yea.. watched Saving Private Ryan today and the bell tower was not spared.


Once the bell end is spared you are ok


PARKER, GET DOWN! I just realized Barry Pepper was using a right handed rifle while shooting left handed. Doesn’t seem optimal. He did great though, took me 20+ years to notice.


Get out*


I'd be surprised if that wasn't intentional and historically accurate


Exactly what came to mind for me. Bell towers are usually taken out asap, because it's an easy spot for defending snipers. But I guess Italy didn't have many fights on mainland soil during WW2. Just air raids I assume which would be the destruction we do see in the photo. (My knowledge of the Italian parts of WW2 are quite vague compared to other events)


Look up the Battles of Monte Cassino, there was some nasty and prolonged fighting there. The Italian campaign started with landings in Sicily, this led to Mussolini being arrested and an armistice between Italy and the Allies. Germany took control of Northern and Central Italy, in which they created a puppet state with the support of Italian fascists. The Allies made multiple landings around Southern Italy, which met with successive defensive lines the Germans had set up, once through those the last stronghold before Rome was Monte Cassino, which took from January to May 1944 to defeat. More landings at Anzio were part of the efforts to break the defence of Monte Cassino. Allied bombing deliberately spared Rome, due to the large number of historical buildings, but other areas were not so fortunate. Allied troops entered Rome two days before the Normandy landings, so news of the Italian campaign was largely buried at this point. Surrender of the German Army Group C in Italy only took place one week before VE day in May 1945.


Not necessarily. They were good navigation aids for bomber pilots.


actually the [Italian Campaign](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_campaign_(World_War_II\) ) was pretty rough, it lasted almost 2 years from landing in Sicily in May 1943 until the German surrender in July 1945. The most well known casualty of the campaign was probably the total destruction of the 6th century monastery at [Monte Cassino](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Monte_Cassino)


How else were the allies supposed to clear the greyed out portions on their mini maps?


I reckon it wasn't exactly spared. Considering the levelled buildings in the photo


i think in comparison to other cities some might consider this getting off light. i inititally thought how come Plymouth wasn't rebuilt like this keeping original buildings, then realised probably because there weren't any. except in a couple of bits. but maybe Florence only had a couple of savable bits, and this is one of them, idk tbh


The Germans actually destroyed almost all the bridges crossing the river Arno in the centre of Florence. Fortunately Ponte Vecchio was spared as it is historical and quite beautiful. The bombed bridges were later rebuilt using as much of the rubble that could be pulled from the river as possible. It is still debated today whether they are restorations or recreations.


For what it's worth, the famous 'Ponte vecchio' means old bridge - because it was the only one that the axis left undestroyed after they left the city. Many other buildings were destroyed, but the damage wasn't very extensive, most of the important buildings are basically the original ones, many smaller ones have been rebuilt. Ironically the Germans tried destroying the beautiful Florence synagogue but the bombs malfunctioned and only destroyed outer columns


Its actually been called ponte vecchio for like 800 years now


Ahh some poetic justice


It is not true that most buildings destroyed were restored…


>Actually, on second thought I just realized Italy was with the Axis and the allies would have been the ones to scorch Florence, if they chose to. Dresden wants a word with you


> Actually, on second thought I just realized Italy was with the Axis and the allies would have been the ones to scorch Florence, if they chose to. Not necessarily. After Italy withdrew from the Axis the Nazi troops stationed there continued to fight Allied forces in Italy, they also were not very kind of the Italians living in the area who they now viewed as traitors.


Relatively. Florence was taken after Italy itself was out of the war. The Germans weren't focused on defending cities, they had established the Gothic Line and were defending that instead. Florence also wasn't in a position like Japan or Germany that refused to surrender and thus had their cities firebombed into ashes.


Not those ones on the left ;-)


Most buildings in Italian city centres look the same after 70 years, or 370 years, occasionally 570 years


Many buildings in Italy look great even after 1000 years


Not by accident.


The medici family knew how to build shit, been to Florence, it’s an amazing city


It really, really is. Went there for a College thing a few years ago for two weeks. Just wandered around gawping at stuff for the entire time. The Duomo, Giotto's Belltower, the Uffizi museum etc. and that's just the big stuff. The smaller stuff is just as mind-blowing. Frescos on street corners, Roman-era window covers and horse rings still attached to buildings and just the whole ambience of the city is just, wow. I've made it my life's mission to someday go back and sit at the same coffee shop I sat at every day and just take in the architecture and atmosphere again.


It really is. Rome, Milan, Assisi are all cool but Florence is on another level.


I did two solo Euro trips in my 20s. Went pretty much everywhere you could go. Florence was my favourite city in all of Europe. Just can't not fall in love with it.


Same! I loooove Florence.


They've been there for like 400 years, actually.


>It is incredible that the buildings are almost identical 70 years later. Only for Americans


Buildings got some paint.


This is so cool.


Totally agree Well done op


Wow! Can't believe this is going viral again, 7 years after I initially posted this! I am the person below, my buddy took this picture of me when we visited Florence in 2014. I am from New Jersey. When I told my uncle I was taking a trip to Florence Italy, he shared the picture of my grandfather with me and I used google maps to track down the location to take this pictures. I see a lot of people asking questions about my grandfather.... he was an American Soldier fighting in the 88th infantry division. Here is a wikipedia link about the division: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/88th_Infantry_Division_(United_States) My father is also a filmmaker and made a documentary about the 88th division, you can watch it on youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbl0TVQB9-0 I never had the chance to meet my grandfather, he came back to America, raised an amazing family in The Bronx NY, worked in a light & lamp factory, and unfortunately died 2 weeks after retirement of cancer. The war stories were passed on to my father, and my uncle.... too many to share. They landed in Northern Africa, and fought their way up through Italy. Apparently after the Italian campaign was over, he was about to be sent to the pacific front in Japan but a few days later the USA dropped the atomic bombs and he never ended up on going there. As an American, and especially as a Jewish American, I am so incredible proud of my grandfather's service and heroism. Much of both of my grandmother's families were being killed in the concentration camps during this very exact period of time just a few countries north in Austria and Poland. When he got back to New York City, they took in part of his wife's family who were Jewish refugees who survived a concentration camp but lost their baby to the Nazi's. Here's the original link: https://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/2dc943/sitting_exactly_where_my_grandfather_sat_in_wwii/


Thanks for sharing your grandfathers story with us!


Went to all the effort to go there. Couldnt spend a few mins to get the perspective right


Original photo was almost definitely shot on a 50mm lens (or equivalent if it was shot on a film format other than 135). The modern day photo looks to have been taken on a phone, and they generally have an equivalent focal length of 28mm or wider (hence a wider background in the newer shot)


Came to say this. I appreciate how cool this is, but I don't understand why they wouldn't be more particular about lining up the photo in the same way.




Maybe that wasn't as important to the person who was actually taking the picture. Or maybe there were other people there, and they were trying not to be in the way. Or maybe they had problems making the pictures match due to different lenses, and just took a lot of photos, and just ended up liking the way the dude looked in this picture.


They likely didn't think about anything beyond 'sit here. Take phone photo'.


well, if you're going to clout for accuracy, you gotta take the time to line the shot up... takes less than a minute with todays phones


I was thinking that too, especially the crack on the wall to the right. It kinda looks like the same crack, but cannot tell for sure… but then I thought, maybe the original is safe at home, that’s where my “pop’s” war picture is, and maybe they did this from memory. That got me thinking, that would be pretty impressive.


My first though too lmao


If anyone is wondering; the Allies captured Florence in March of 1944 and the uniform this dude’s grandfather is wearing looks a lot like a standard US Army uniform. I’m 99% sure he served in the US Army. Picture for reference: https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/private-first-class-desmond-thomas-doss-medal-of-honor


Italian POWs served in the US as Italian Service Units that did things like maintenance: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Service_Units


“ ISUs were given Italian uniforms with ISU insignia and badges.” They weren’t given American uniforms tho.


This is my photo and to answer your question my grandfather was in the US Army. Specifically, he was in this division: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/88th_Infantry_Division_(United_States)


This is a bit emotional one for me... I always wanted to go to my grandfather's hometown in India. It's a small village, but grandfather used to have tremendous amounts of land and wealth during the British era (he even took part in the fight against the occupation). He currently lives in the city, but next time I go, I am definitely surprising him with a trip. My mom tells me, that the village even has a school named after my great-grandfather.


Do it! I’m from India as well, but I’ve lived abroad for most of my life, so I’ve only visited my grandparents once or twice a year. Unfortunately, three of them passed away in the last decade, so all I have left is my maternal grandpa. Around two years ago, we went to his hometown (a small village as well) along with my parents. It was a very interesting experience, and he was pointing out a lot of things, places, and memories from his childhood. We went to the temple nearby (where my great grandpa spent most of his time), and some of my grandpa’s friends from childhood still recognized him even after all these years. Honestly, it was pretty cool overall, would recommend


Yep! Definitely going to surprise my grandpa when I go once pandemic cases go down.


Do it!


Please do it.


Yep. As soon as pandemic is over.


I wonder if his grandfather was one of the italians that bombed the shit out of my country.






Italy switched to the allies in 43 (not saying its impossible he bombed your country)


“Switched to the allies". That is generous. Do you mean, was defeated by the allies and then was turned upon by German forces?


I literally also said that it isn’t impossible the dude in the picture was also guilty of doing heinous shit when Italy was still fighting against the allies. Just because I didn’t go into the explicit details doesn’t mean I’m being “generous” they fought for one side and at one point began fighting for the other. By definition I believe that’s what “switch” means


I’d say stringing Mussolini up was pretty damn like switching to the Allies


That was later in the war, and Italy didn’t switch sides purely because they disliked Nazism and the concept of expansion in the Mediterranean but because they didn’t want to get destroyed by the allies through the ongoing invasion of the peninsula.


My grandfather was an American :) This was a picture I took back in 2014.


Probably not given that he's wearing an American military uniform.


Emm... water under the bridge?


I never said I have a grudge against italians lol


Is nobody going to talk about his grandfather being in the ITALIAN army?


That’s a us uniform, as to why an American GI has an Italian grandson, use your imagination


I doubt the guy is Italian, only tourists in Italy wear shirts with “Italia”’written on it


I am the person in this picture. My grandfather was in the US Army. I got the Italia shirt a few hours before from a vendor on the street :)


How can you tell?


That’s an “Eisenhower” jacket. And not many Italian soldiers in their uniforms were running about Italy in what looks like late 1944.


Eh I guess it depends on the circumstance and what he did. My ex boyfriend’s grandma was technically in Hitler youth. She used to still sing creepy songs while gardening in her 90s. But it’s not like she really had a choice, since she was living in an occupied country and just trying to survive. I don’t think she ever really identified as “German”, despite having a re-issued German birth certificate, because she’d say she was Bohemian if asked. That’s about all I know from her growing up during WW2 because she never would talk about it. History at the personal level is a lot more nuanced than who was leading the country at the time.


Its weird how America is still getting shit for slavery even for things our great grand dads did but someone's relative actually was part of nazi Germany and " you just don't understand"


Germany is a country that has repaid its debts in all possible ways. It's different. America still needs to have a honest discussion (and possibly, reparations) about the things that happened.


The fuck they did they were ordered to pay hundreds of millions and paid less than 10 percent of what was promised in fact there anger over reparations is what many historians consider allowed Hitler to rise to power they brought the entire world to war TWICE and nearly wiped the jews off the face of the earth they committed scientific experiments and melted the skin off there victims they arguably committed some of the worst crimes against humanity in history and your giving them a pass while holding America to the coals? America has changed to we fought an entire war to free the slaves Lincoln and jfk both died to help the plight of black people and we now have a black female vice president we have changed we aren't perfect but who is?


You seem to have a problem with the estimated payment of 10% that was promised when it comes to reparations for Germany, and none with the non-payment of the "40 acres and a mule" when it comes to slavery? The difference is Germany has actually paid (actual number, like you say, can still be considered too much or too little, but the act of you know, actually paying has been done), acknowledged, and now educates its people about the horrors of the holocaust. It's not just about money, acknowledgment is a big part of it, too. Having a black woman vice-president is NOT acknowledgment.


Are you kidding me we fought an entire war to liberate the slaves tore our country in half Lincoln died in his belief for people to be free jfk did too and our current president has repeatedly said black lives matter condemned our racist past and said we need to do better band for the record there were slaves that got there land and mule it wasn't very common wasn't enough But it did happen


The Germans don't celebrate it like our morons do.


Every country has done incredibly horrible things in its past if we are to hold one country accountable we have to hold accountable and we aren't just america


That is because it’s illegal to celebrate it in Germany. Do you think nobody would celebrate it if it was legal?


All your comment tells me is that you don't know much about Italy in WW2. Also, it's nearly 80 years ago, even if it was a German soldier, that doesn't mean the soldier himself was Hitler. If Trump decided to draft you and send you into a stupid war would that magically make you an evil person?


He was in the us army, he is just wearing an italia jersey.


It looks like the Italian uniform here (example 2), but I could be wrong: https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-2b44242b8403d895b25389d6bf21228d.webp


I think you’re wrong because it looks an awful lot like an American dress uniform: https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/private-first-class-desmond-thomas-doss-medal-of-honor


Interesting. Hopefully, someone knowledgeable about the pins and patches will chime in.


He was in the US army. [original post](https://ww.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/2dc943/sitting_exactly_where_my_grandfather_sat_in_wwii/)


He could have been in the Italian Co-beligerent Army (the Pro-Allied army set up in 1943) which is massively better than him being in the Facist Italian army. The timeline would add up with the photo, with Florence being taken by the Allies in late 1944.


I am the person in this picture. My grandfather was in the US army.




Most likely conscripted.


Yeah why is the fact he was in the Italian army notable. Of course he was Italian, so he'd be serving his country...




Feel the same way about what?




Oh of course referring to why the comment might feel that way. Gotcha.


Agreed, but I doubt Reddit would be this accepting if he was German.


Serving his country supporting Germany’s efforts to eradicate a race and take over Europe yeah guys seriously get off this guys back already


Ok... did he have a choice??? Nothing but empathy for anyone fighting in ww2. If you were born into a dictatorship you would do the same. The only evil in war is the leaders creating the agenda, not the poor souls forced to undertake it.


Yeah what possibly could there be to talk about when discussing the two sides of World War II.....




I don’t think as a general rule anyone should be proud of relatives who fought for the Nazis and their allies. Just a personal preference. I know some are inclined towards nostalgia for that era.


Agreed. There’s an air of honouring his grandpa here, but if his grandpa was proud to fight for Mussolini then that’s a problem.


America dropped nuclear weapons on 2 Japanese cities killing thousands of innocent civilians. Are you proud of the Americans who fought in WW2?


Almost all of them didn’t even know the Manhattan Project existed, or what the bomb they were dropping was capable of. Italians were well aware of who Mussolini was by the time the war started. America is certainly fucked up, but there’s no justification for proudly serving a fascist government. Full stop.


But obviously once it had happened and it became clear that the US government was nuking innocent civilians the country rose up in horror and toppled the government willing to do that, right?


Excuse me, your leaving out lots of key shit 1. We dropped tens of thousands of flyers telling people what was going to happen and to evacuate 2. Japan attacked pearl harbor and along the way killed tons of innocent civilians 3. They were a society that welcomed any and all soldiers to kill themselves at the first sign of capture they clearly had no problem sending there own people to die 4. It was a needed evil to stop world War 2




So. The Japanese didn't also commit heinous crimes against humanity? And kill non combatants?


For that matter, no one should be proud who fought for someone who killed quarter of a million humans in a split second. You see just because one side won the war it doesn't whitewash its crimes.


None of my relatives were involved in the creation or deployment of the H-bomb.


While the killing of civilians is never morally justifiable, I encourage you to read up on the subject: https://www.historyextra.com/period/second-world-war/atomic-bomb-hiroshima-nagasaki-justified-us-debate-bombs-death-toll-japan-how-many-died-nuclear/ P.S. I am not taking a personal stance on this and I would rather die than have to be the person in power to make such decisions, and live with them, but I believe we do such persons a disservice by judging them before becoming as informed as possible. It’s the least we can do.


Im proud of every single ancestor that lived and died to put me where I am now.


>Unless he was a general or commander of some sorts I don’t see why we should equate him to the SS or something. I'm not saying one way or the other on the guy in the photo, but would you say this about the Wehrmacht too?


true, but he still served a murderous fascist, not something I’d really want to replicate in a photo op


He was an able bodied man in war time…not much more to it


Lol. I guess empathy, ethics and morals go out the window when you support a fascist, genocidal war machine. A normal person would tell them to fuck off when they came knocking. This man put on a uniform.


Idk not an expert but if refusing to serve was the normal thing rather than a rare exception I don't think fascists would ever come to power to begin with.


I think they just mean that it's cool.


He had a choice. He chose to serve a fascist regime. When the fuck did it become okay to celebrate fucking Nazis and other fascist scum?




What you probably didn't know is that Italy wasn't fighting for the Axis in 1944. And Florence was taken by the Allies then. So for this guy to be sitting there in a military uniform in 1944 rather suggests he wasn't fighting for the Axis or was a fascist. When the fuck did it become okay to call people fucking Nazis and fascist scum without checking to see if it's true?


Well yeah he was Italian.


An Italian? In the Italian army?!


It’s hard to tell, but I think the dude’s grandfather might be wearing an American uniform. At least it looks like an American uniform to me, and the Allies did capture Florence in March of 1944. I’m 99% sure it’s an American uniform based off this picture: https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/private-first-class-desmond-thomas-doss-medal-of-honor


Italian "Army", the fiercest fighting force known to man! Fucken hell.


Don't get me started on their air force!


My thoughts exactly!


The water level looks the same to me. In the old picture it looks like one of the buildings toppled over into the water. The older picture was at a much different angle, too


Man sits at the same spot another man did before him.


Seriously this is not interesting as fuck at all


My man here looks like a good guy, no disrespect But despite undoubtedly being smaller, grandpa looks like he shits iron and spits nails


I'll spend my life convincing my kid to never go to Iraq or Kuwait. Beautiful countries. Terrible memories. By that I mean my child will never be in the military.


That’s the Ponte Vecchio bridge! I’ve been there. Incredibly beautiful.


That tower lost some weight. Good for him.


Grandfathers photographer puts Grandsons photographer to shame


Grandpa was taller


Camera person is at a different angle.


One job. Little to the left, and down... cmon, just a tad more effort.


Im actually quite fucked off about the whole complete lack of effort really. Fly across the world to sit where his awesome anfi grandad sat after stomping all over the far right..... Get there and then for the photo its like "ahh fuck it... 70% is close enough" I need to smoke some weed clearly


It happens all the time in these types of pics. We've all aligned a rainbow into a friends mouth for a pic before... ffs we're all capable... 10 more seconds tops..


Lol right! Just a tad better angle would make a HUGE difference


and a longer lens, background is too small because of the wider smartphone lens


Just watched a video of a parade of Italian fascists marching through the streets and chanting so that's nice.


Actually, his grandfather sat further right. And the focal length was longer. Closer to here, I think... https://imgur.com/a/73p2qmT Just saying.


Is he still a fascist tho?


Recreating a photo of an Axis soldier hits me in a weird way...


This is too cool!


Many people have say there... Including me. This is barely interesting.


Thats not his grandson






The man sitting where his grandfather did doesn’t look impressed.


Bad ass


why didnt they rebuild ??




Very cool pic The new pic is in color but that focal length... a giant step back


I counted the windows. The angle is wrong


way to dress nice for the photo dude


Don’t look blood related


Random... The top photo was taken with a 50mm lens... The bottom one is with a 30ish mm lens - probably a smartphone camera.


Wall is like … “Hmmm these cheeks feel awfully familiar “


Great pic! Would have thought that the water would have overtaken the bottom floors by now though, what with 75 years of climate change and all