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Detail of photograph by Joe Rosenthal
Detail of photograph by Joe Rosenthal

Six men, one flag: it is the defining image of the Greatest Generation.

No bodies, no planes or tanks, and yet it has become one of the most recognizable images of that worldwide conflict that killed tens of millions and changed history forever. It was 74 ago, on Feb. 23, 1945, that U.S. photographer Joe Rosenthal captured image later dubbed Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima. The photograph shows five U.S. Marines and a Navy corpsman planting the American flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in Japan. Three of the men — Sergeant Michael Strank, Corporal Harlon Block and Private First Class Franklin Sousley — died in combat later that same week.

The photo was distributed in newspapers two days after it was taken and quickly gained popularity nationwide, while Joe Rosenthal became the only photographer to win the Pulitzer Prize award within the same year of taking the picture. From memorial statues, postage stamps to countless homages (and parodies) in popular culture, few photographs have garnered such an iconic status.

In commemoration of the 74th anniversary of Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, OneShot brings this powerful photo to life.

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima — © Joe Rosenthal/Associated Press

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Geopolitics

The Days After: What Would Happen If Putin Opts For A Tactical Nuclear Strike

The risk of the Kremlin launching a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine is small but not impossible. The Western response would itself set off a counter-response, which might contain or spiral to the worst-case scenario.

An anti-nuclear activist impersonates Vladimir Putin at a rally in Berlin.

Yves Bourdillon

-Analysis-

PARISVladimir Putin could “go nuclear” in Ukraine. Yes, this expression, which metaphorically means “taking the extreme, drastic action,” is now literally considered a possibility as well. Cornered and humiliated by a now plausible military defeat, experts say the Kremlin could launch a tactical nuclear bomb on a Ukrainian site in a desperate attempt to turn the tables.

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In any case, this is what Putin — who put Russia's nuclear forces on alert just after the start of the invasion in late February — is aiming to achieve: to terrorize populations in Western countries to push their leaders to let go of Ukraine.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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