05 September 2023
It’s a bit of a grainy picture, isn’t it? Not so special… That’s what I thought too when I first glimpsed it on Archive.org, writes Family Tree editor Helen Tovey...
I came across it while researching imagery to accompany a fascinating article about the lighthouse and the people of Flamborough Head (in the October 2023 issue of Family Tree), and I nearly just scooted on by in search of better pictures. But the caption ‘Neuer Leichtturm a’ – caught my eye. Why the German?
It turns out that this was ‘View 9’ of Flamborough Head, taken by the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) – aka the Nazi German Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.
This rather blurry image of the much-loved lighthouse at Flamborough was just one image of the 1,500 photographs taken by the German military in preparation for Operation Sea Lion – the planned Nazi invasion of England and Wales early in the Second World War. Fortunately, of course, no such invasion went on to take place.
Picture research, to help illustrate the fascinating articles in Family Tree, is definitely one of the fun bits of the job – and one that never fails to surprise too. If you’ve found a picture, in the course of doing your research, we would love to hear.