Description

Robert Capa’s photographs of US forces’ assault on Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6 1944, are an invaluable historic record of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France, which contributed to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control a year later. The largest seaborne attack in history, it was also one of the bloodiest, with a combination of strong winds, unruly tidal currents and a formidable German defensive, resulting in the loss of 2,400 American lives by the end of the first day. Capa’s legendary documentation of the event saw him join the soldiers as they advanced, experiencing the landing on Omaha Beach alongside them as he photographed the scene. “Between floating bodies I reached it, paused for a few more pictures, and gathered my guts for the last jump to the beach,” Capa wrote.

If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough

Robert Capa
© Robert Capa | Magnum Photos

Born Andre Friedmann to Jewish parents in Budapest in 1913, Robert Capa studied political science at the Deutsche Hochschule für Politik in Berlin. Driven out of the country by the threat of a Nazi regime, he settled in Paris in 1933. After his companion, Gerda Taro, was killed during the Spanish Civil War, Capa travelled to China in 1938 and emigrated to New York a year later.

Often referred to as the ‘greatest war photographer’, Capa documentation of the Second World War—including the landing of American troops on Omaha Beach on D-Day, the liberation of Paris and the Battle of the Bulge—have become genre-defining. In 1947, Capa founded Magnum Photos with Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour, George Rodger and William Vandivert.

On 25 May 1954, he was photographing for Life in Thai-Binh, Indochina, when he stepped on a landmine and was killed.

© Robert Capa | Magnum Photos

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