from Pearl Harbor to the Atomic Bomb

The exhibition consists of 54 digital reproductions of negatives and prints taken during the Second World War on the Pacific front and kept in the US historical archives of US Navy, US Marine Corps and US National Archives Records Administration (NARA). The selection of images tells from the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to the subsequent descent of the Americans in the Far East till the final victory of the United States and its allies. In particular, the exhibition focuses on some of the most famous and important naval and land battles that have gone down in history and are often told on the big screen - Midway, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Guam, etc. The exhibition closes with the battles for the conquest of Iwo Jima and Okinawa and the atomic bombs dropped on Japan that forced the country of the Rising Sun to surrender.


Some of the images on display are very well known, real icons that have entered the history of photography. Others have remained in the archives for decades, seen above all by the operators. Authors were often photographers enlisted in the armed forces, mostly unknown, who risked their lives with their comrades just to tell all the drama of front-line clashes during island landings or Japanese suicide attacks on aircraft carriers. Finally, two images are taken from the Japanese archives seized by the Allies.

Curated by:

Alessandro Luigi Perna

A production of:

Eff&Ci - Facciamo Cose (We Do Things)


Pictures of:

US Navy

US Marine Corps

US NARA (National Archives and Records Administration)

background photo of the page © Courtesy U.S. National Archives