Hmm, yes

The Falling Soldier, one of the most famous war photographs ever published, was staged and might not even have been taken by its official author Robert Capa, a Spanish researcher has claimed after spending two decades investigating the image.

I’ve always thought it obvious that it was staged. Opinions differ, obviously…..

13 thoughts on “Hmm, yes”

  1. To me, it looks as if he just slipped coming down a bank. There’s probably a first shot of him posing manfully at the top with his rifle, and then a third one of him rolling on his backside with a sheepish expression on his face.

    If they could be found, it would make a lovely triptych.

  2. Aren’t most/all famous photos fake? The marines holding up the flag at Iwo Jima is. The cockney milkman working on through the Blitz is. The Red Army soldiers at the Reichstag is. There’s a couple of famous couple-kissing photos that are so fake you have to laugh.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    The (in)famous one of the Marines leaving government house with their hands in the air in the Falklands isn’t fake, although the headline and story saying they surrendered without a fight is.

  4. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Wouldn’t surrendering without a fight, when massively outnumbered by more heavily-armed forces, have been the sensible thing to do? Can any of our military experts comment?

    Yeah, I know they didn’t surrender without a fight.

  5. Bi4R- Sensible maybe but in this case they killed the national hero commando leader storming gvt house. And then said ok we’ll come out. Which is a massive credit to those marines and their unit….and then they came back with their mates.

  6. “Aren’t most/all famous photos fake? The marines holding up the flag at Iwo Jima is.” What’s fake about it? They were ordered to replace a small flag with a large one, which they did. The photographer didn’t ask them to do it. In fact, he didn’t know what he had until he developed the film.

  7. It’s fake, as you must surely know, because it was presented to the world as the marines raising the flag on a hill they had just captured. It was not presented as “we’d taken the hill and put up a flag and then our colonel (or whoever it was) wanted a glory shot so some other fellows were sent up the hill to strike a martial pose with a bigger flag.”

    Since the point of the little re-enactment was presumably publicity the yarn that the photographer didn’t know what he’d got is obviously a shaggy dog story.

  8. WKPD agrees about the shaggy dog story. “Realizing he was about to miss the action, Rosenthal quickly swung his camera up and snapped the photograph without using the viewfinder. Ten years after the flag-raising, Rosenthal wrote:
    ‘Out of the corner of my eye, I had seen the men start the flag up. I swung my camera and shot the scene. That is how the picture was taken, and when you take a picture like that, you don’t come away saying you got a great shot. You don’t know.'”

  9. I saw a v interesting documentary about the USA’s film units. George Stevens ( Shane etc) operated in Europe and John Ford in the Pacific.
    Whereas nearly all of Stevens’ footage is proper cinema verite, Ford re enacted a lot of scenes ( in color ) for the newsreels and eventually a feature film.

    Of course footage of El Alamein was faked for the film Desert Victory, but that was admitted in the opening credits.

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