Sunday, 22 September 2019

Wismar 1945 and 2019

Since I got back from my visit to Wismar, I've found some photographs taken during the time that the city was occupied by the 6th Airborne Division. By comparing them with some of the photographs I had taken, it was possible to locate where in the main square some of the 1945 photographs were taken.

German soldiers surrendering

The roof line of the 1945 photograph ties up nicely with following photograph that was taken in 2019 from outside the City Hall.

Sherman tanks of the Royal Scots Greys
The Royal Scots Greys were tasked to support the 6th Airborne Division's capture of Wismar, and covered 60 miles in eight hours to reach the city of Wismar on 2nd May 1945. They and the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion had to shoot their way past a German roadblock on the outskirts of the city, but leading elements of the division had entered the city by 9.00am. The first Russian troops arrived outside Wismar at 4.00pm.

It was a close-run thing.

The building which has a wall missing is one end of the City Hall ...

... and the buildings on the right-hand side of the 1945 photograph can be easily identified today on the right side of the 2019 photograph shown above ...

... and the left-hand side of the bottom photograph.

Canadian paratroops on parade

The undamaged end of the City Hall can be seen on the right-hand side of the 1945 photograph, as can be seen the building with the three gables.

The troops were parading roughly where the street lamp is now standing on the right of the 2019 photograph.

German Luftwaffe Non-Commissioned Officer surrendering

Despite my best endeavours, I could not identify whereabouts in Wismar's City Square this photograph was taken. The Luftwaffe NCO appears to be wearing the rank badges of an Oberfeldwebel (Flight Sergeant), and was probably one of the many Luftwaffe personnel who were used as ground troops as the Third Reich collapsed.


  1. Fascinating "then and now" photographs from your cruise and you have amply paid your dues to your father's fascinating war service at the end of the war.

    1. Mark, Man of TIN,

      Cheers! It was only when I found the 1945 photographs that I realised that I could use my recent photographs to work out where the wartime photographs were taken.

      Visiting Wismar was a major item on my bucket list, and I am so pleased that I managed to fulfil my promise to my father.

      All the best,


  2. Nice comparison of the before and after.

    For you 4th picture, I think you can find the location also in the 3rd 2019 picture.

    If you look at the building in the top right background, the arches are possibly the same as in the left behind the tree of the 2019 picture.

    I have combined the both image together to make clear what I meant.

    Hope that it helps you out.

    With regards.

    1. Gerard-Jan Gerritsen,

      Thanks for doing the comparison, as I'd missed seeing the similarities between the two photographs. I had thought that the 1945 image might have been taken somewhere near that end of the City Square, but had missed the clues that you saw that prove it.

      All the best,