Hoaxes & Rumors

WWII Foxhole Photos a Hoax

WWII Foxhole Photos a Hoax

A set of photos which circulated last week allegedly showed newly-discovered shots at the Battle of the Bulge. The story, however, proved to be a hoax.

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The Story

Several websites published the story about the seemingly impossible discovery of a camera discovered in an old foxhole in Luxembourg with film still inside. The film was developed and the discoverers soon realized that they had unearthed a valuable collection of shots from the historic battle.

A lengthy back-story was given about the discovery by U.S. Navy Captain Mark Anderson and historian Jean Muller. The mysterious roll of film was eventually tracked back to a soldier named Louis J. Archambeau of Chicago who was declared MIA in late 1944.

Below is one of the images allegedly discovered in a roll of film in an old foxhole.

foxhole-fake

Hoax

Not long after the story broke, editors who covered the account began receiving emails from readers who had seen the images before. The photos, it turned out, were not discovered in recent years in Luxembourg, but have existed in the US Wartime Archives for decades. You can also find them in the 2005 book Images of War: Battle of the Bulge by Andrew Rawson.

foxhole-real

The photo above appears to have been edited to make it look weather-worn for the hoax and back-story about its discovery in a foxhole.

At least one website has issued an apology for publishing the original hoax.

Battle of the Bulge

The photos, although not recently discovered, do show the harsh conditions endured at the Battle of the Bulge on December 16, 1944. The US Army website describes the battle as:

“…the German army launched a counteroffensive that was intended to cut through the Allied forces in a manner that would turn the tide of the war in Hitler’s favor. The battle that ensued is known historically as The Battle of the Bulge. The courage and fortitude of the American Soldier was tested against great adversity. Nevertheless, the quality of his response ultimately meant the victory of freedom over tyranny.”

Bottom Line

The story about the discovery of a roll of film containing new photos from the Battle of the Bulge is not real. The photos circulated as part of the story have been widely available for decades.

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