They say it takes decades to understand a war. In one case, it took decades to understand one soldier’s last moments.
An American soldier during the Second World War, Louis Archambeau was an infantry rifleman in 1st battalion, 317 Infantry Regiment. His combat death came on an icy battlefield during the Battle of the Bulge. A brutal engagement fought in horrific winter conditions, the Battle of the Bulge was one of the last major campaigns of the war and American casualties were at their highest. Declared missing in December, 1944, Archambeau’s frozen corpse was discovered three months later in February of 1945.
70 years later, a U.S. Navy captain and a historian friend were investigating areas where the heaviest fighting took place in Luxembourg. There, in a foxhole, they discovered Archambeau’s personal possessions and a camera that contained a roll of exposed film.
The pictures help tell the story of the battle from a personal perspective that captures the effects of winter and war on ordinary people placed in extraordinary circumstances.
It took 70 years, but a soldier’s final days finally came home.
Weary faces reveal conflict
Units on a highway as a vehicle passes
Men and machines of war
Trudging through the snow