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The World War II Photo of the Week
for 21 May 2001


Gotta Smoke? ...

   A pair of U. S. Marines enjoy a smoke during a break in the fighting somewhere in the Pacific. During wartime, cigarettes were an absolute necessity. As General John J. Pershing wrote, "You ask what we need to win this war. I answer tobacco as much as bullets. Tobacco is as indispensable as the daily ration; we must have thousands of tons without delay." The notion of the cigarette break in the midst of carnage is not strange to the soldier — just look at the blasted landscape in the background and the still-wary gaze of the soldier on the right cradling a .30-caliber machine gun. Yet there seems to be a strange calmness in the scene. From the Webmaster's collection.

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