Italy in April 1944 was anything but pastoral. The Battle for Anzio was in full swing and would continue for another month, resulting in 7,000 Allied casualties and 36,000 wounded. Easter masses celebrated in the cathedrals in Italy and in the field were a brief relief.

Meanwhile in the Pacific, Allied servicemen were nearly halfway through the first phase of the Bougainville Campaign, which would stretch through November and then continue until nearly the end of the war.

See the Italian images and more at the Digital Collections of the National WWII Museum.

Post by Curator Kimberly Guise.

All images from the Collection of The National WWII Museum


Dendrobium gouldii (pink) Solomon Islands.

Grower:  Godfrey Seeto, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Photograph:  July 2014

'This species has several common names such as Bouganville white, Guadalcanal gold, the diversity in common names reflecting the variable nature of the flowers which range in colour with white, blue, brown and gold colours predominating.  Often the form from an individual island is unique.The flowers are up to 5cm across, lasts for about 6 weeks and are borne in long arching inflorescences that arise from the apical nodes'.

Source:  Dendrobium and its relatives., 2006., Lavarack, B., Harris, W., Stocker, F,. p. 257.


Doveva essere fine luglio, le giornate profumavano di gelsi e salsedine, avevo trovato una piccola casa accanto al faro, era malandata, con un patio magnifico che si affacciava sul mare;

La casa aveva due grandi finestre, occhi puntati verso l’orizzonte, coperta da bouganville come capelli  ad adornare un viso consumato dalla vita, circondata da un muretto a secco e in un angolo a godersi il tramonto, una vecchia sedia a dondolo sembrava aspettare qualcuno da tempo.

Parlava, mi parlava mi raccontava storie di pescatori e urla di bambini, mi parlava d’amore e sacrifici, di mare grosso e barche sfasciate sugli scogli, di attese e profumi di sarde sul fuoco, e non potevo non ascoltarla, senza immaginare…

Bougainvillea At Daybreak
Bougainvillea, also known as Napoleón, veranera, trinitaria, Santa Rita or papelillo is a genus of flowering plants native to South America.
They are thorny, woody vines growing anywhere from 1 to 12 metres tall, scrambling over other plants with their spiky thorns. The thorns are tipped with a black, waxy substance. They are evergreen where rainfall occurs all year, or deciduous if there is a dry season. The leaves are alternate, simple ovate-acuminate, 4–13 cm long and 2–6 cm broad. The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts with the bright colours associated with the plant, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow. Bougainvillea glabra is sometimes referred to as “paper flower” because the bracts are thin and papery. The fruit is a narrow five-lobed achene.
Bougainvillea are relatively pest-free plants, but may suffer from worms, snails and aphids. The larvae of some Lepidoptera species also use them as food plants, for example the giant leopard moth (Hypercompe scribonia).