NOT a photo of sailors saying goodbye during WW2

The Black and white picture on the left (often titled “The last kiss” is shared all over the internet as a World War Two photo.

It is not.

Although a great picture, it is obviously not from the 1940s.
As someone who analyses old photos as part of my job but also as someone who is specialised in daily life during the 1930s & 1940s, it was immediately clear that this photo was taken long after WW2 ended.
It is quite obvious that the hairstyles and clothing are from a later period.
The box camera on the ground by the second couple, is a Brownie Hawkeye Flash, manufactured between 1949 and 1961 (thank you Mr. Evans for identifying it).

It didn’t take me long to find the origin of this picture.

What we are looking at is the departure of the Amerigo Vespucci from a harbour in Naples, Italy in 1963.
The photo was taken by Roberto Borra.
I soon found other photos taken at that moment, these also show obvious 1960s hairstyles and post WW2 cars in the background.
The car on the far left is a Ford Sedan, 1949-1951 (Thank you Mr. Descarpentri for identifying it.)

And as poignant as these kinds of farewells always are and as scary as the world was back then, these sailors are not on their way to fight in a World War.

The Amerigo Vespucci is the oldest ship in commission in the Italian Navy and is used as a training ship for Naval Academy Cadets and other naval students.
It was launched in 1931 and is quite a well known ship.

History is important, we must treat it with care.
That is why we must fight against the sharing of Fake History.
It is great that this stunning photo is shared online, but we must make sure people know it is not a genuine historical image.
Especially today when social media can help spread a lie faster than any new outlet or outdated history book.

Picture found online, used for (re-)educational purposes only.
I do not own the copyrights to this picture, I only share it here for educational purposes to try and make sure the real story behind it becomes known and people will stop spreading false information.

If the copyright owner of the used image(s) objects to the sharing here, kindly contact me and I shall remove it right away or adapt it, add a link or extra information as requested.


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