Robert Capa's battlefields revisited

Marching towards Troina

Robert Capa was a Jewish-Hungarian photographer that became world famous with his pictures from the Spanish Civil War (1936-1938).

Capa's motto was "If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough". No wonder he died by stepping on a mine.

I like very much how he showed the life of everyday people in the middle of war. That is my reason to search for his battlefields when I travel around in Europe.

Read on at Wikipedia: Robert Capa.

World War II on Sicily

In July and August 1943 Robert Capa followed the American troops across Sicily.

Troina Highway

The American troops went along Highway 22 from Agira to Troina. The valley is 1,000 metres above sea level.

Troina View

Troina seen at a distance. The town has been fortified since the Norman King Roger II (1095-1154).

Marching towards Troina

American soldiers marching towards Troina 4 or 5 August 1943.

Troina highway

I never found the place. The photo could have been taken here - if the highway bend has been straightened after the war

American soldiers in Troina

American soldiers beeing greeted in Troina, 6 August 1943

Via Nazionale, Troina

The photo is taken in Via Nazionale, Troina

German prisoners in Troina

The Troina township displays historical posters in the old city. Here are German soldiers captured by the Americans in 1943. They look relieved.

Sperlinga or Troina

There has been a lot of discussion in the Sicilian towns Sperlinga and Troina whether this Capa photo was from Sperlinga or Troina.


Toto Scalisi found the hilltop at a place called "contrada Capostrà" near Sperlinga. Rosimari Virgilio combined the two photographs.

Robert Capa's original

The Americans fighted their way through Agrigento. Capa made this photograph somewhere in the old town. However, I never found the place.

Not in Via San Domenico

Where in Agrigento is Capa's photo taken? Not in Via San Domenico.

Not in Via Neve

Not in Via Neve

- and not in Salita Gubernatis either

- and not in Salita Gubernatis either, even though there is an "Idrante" (fire hydrant) sign on the corner as on the original

Canadian cemetery

The Canadian troops met heavy German resistance near Agira, and 300 Canadian soldiers died. They are buried near lake Pozzillo with a view to the Etna volcano (3,300 metres).

After World War II in Poland

When the Soviet Army attacked the German forces through Poland in 1944, they stopped outside Warsaw and waited while the nationalist uprising in Warsaw was going on.

The Germans made an end to the uprising, expelled the population and demolished all buildings in the Polish capital.

Warsaw flattened

Robert Capa's photo from 1948 with a single church standing.

Warsaw 2012

Now Warsaw is rebuilt, and it is difficult to make a proper photograph of the church.

Warsaw church


All black-and-white photos are made by Robert Capa. They stem from the book "Robert Capa / Fotografias", Aperture, Madrid, 1996, which I recommend.

All colour photos by Ebbe Munk except the Sperlinga photo which is photographed by Toto Scalisi and combined by Rosimari Virgilio, thanks!