Weird History
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Haunting Photos Of Children Who Fought In WWII

Updated October 20, 2020 43.6k views12 items

It's usually the young who do the fighting in war, but children should be exempt. However, the underaged, in addition to being likely civilian victims, are too often called upon to bear arms themselves - particularly in cases where their government is experiencing a manpower shortage.

WWII saw more than its share of teen warriors. The story of child soldiers in WWII ranges from the organizational to the individual. On one end, you have the 12th SS Panzerdivision, comprised of fervent young Germans mostly under 18, which saw heavy action at Normandy and in the Battle of the Bulge, or the late-war recruitment of German children for the hopeless defense of Berlin. On the other hand, you have someone like Calvin Graham, who ran away from home at age 12 to join the U.S. Navy and found himself in the thick of it at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

Sadly, child soldiers remain commonplace in the modern world.