Many of us have heard stories, read books and watched films which show the many impacts of WWII across the world. Today we're giving you another way to understand this period in time - by exploring a new set of historical aerial images, taken over European cities during World War II, via the historical imagery feature in Google Earth. They can now be compared directly to images from the present day.

Images taken in 1943 show the effect of wartime bombing on more than 35 European towns and cities. Imagery for Warsaw, which was heavily destroyed at the time, is available from both years 1935 and 1945. They remind us all of the devastating impact of war on the people in those cities and also the remarkable way in which urban environments are reconstructed and regenerated over time.

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