Recently I found a Bellingcat article titled Solving World War II Photo Mysteries With Open Source Techniques. They close the article by saying:

There are still many more images in the IBCC archives whose dates and locations are unknown. They can be found here.

(IBCC stands for: International Bomber Command Centre.)

Following the Bellingcat-provided IBCC link, I found the following group of images:

enter image description here

My focus is on the top left one. IBCC has the following to say about it:

A target photograph showing open countryside. On the left is a line of bomb craters in fields. Roads are also visible here as is a railway line. On the right, the ground is obscured by smoke. The photograph is annotated '3B' but there is no caption to identify the target.

I would like to find out what location the image shows.

A promising line seems to be to look up where Axis-power railways existed at the time, and try to match the nearby roads. I believe it's likely roads haven't moved significantly since then. The description mentions a railway line. I zoom in to the part I believe to be the railway line:

enter image description here

First I thought the two dark lines are the two rails of a single railway line. Knowing that gauge distance is probably around 1.5m (Wikipedia: Standard-gauge railway), and that the two dark lines are around 4 pixels apart, I could conclude that pixel size on this image is less than ~40 cm.

If I zoom in to the roads, I can see that they are not wider than around 3 pixels. Having roads less than ~1.5m is not quite realistic.

This leads me to the belief that the two dark lines on the image are not the two rails of a single railway, but a double-track railway.

If this was true, tracking down the location would become simpler, as I would only need to check the proximity of double-track railways, not every single railway.

Does this WWII photo show a double-track railway?

  • Is this really a question about history? It does not seem to me to be about Historical events, or Cultures and historical practices, or Famous people or Ancient Languages. Commented Mar 18 at 17:05


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