Lighthearted Photographs of Soldiers Having Fun

Over 250,000 underage soldiers fought for the British Army during World War 1.

The average age of a US GI in World War II was 26 but this number includes all older high ranking officers and does not include the number of soldiers who lied about their age to join the war. The real average is significantly lower than 26.

The average age of soldiers in the Korean War is estimated to be between 17 and 24.

The average age of soldiers who died in the Vietnam war is 19.

The average age of soldiers who have died in Iraq is 30.

The average age of soldiers who have died in Afghanistan is 26.

The heroes we have sent to fight and die for our countries have been young, vibrant men and women. They were never automatons. They suffered, they felt fear, they were homesick, they had doubt. They were heroic, they were courageous, they risked their lives for the greater good. They were able to, at times, have fun, laugh, smile, play, and joke around.

A British general is about to kick off a friendly football match between the British and Italian troops on the Italian Front in 1917. Imperial War Museum via Open University
A group of US soldiers in Afghanistan playing a Quidditch match. likecool
A large group of the 1st Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment join in on a football match, France in 1916. Courtesy Imperial War Museum via Open University
A Russian soldier playing an abandoned piano in Chechnya in 1994. demilked
American Airforce pilot on a training mission posing for a gag picture while reading the instruction manual of his airplane. xcitefun
American combat engineers in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, May 1944 eat their dinner on top of stockpiled crates of ammunition shells. history
American paratroopers playing cards during WWII. Tumblr
American soldiers having a good time during World War II. Tumblr
American soldiers having some fun with their weapons during World War II. Tumblr
American soldiers jousting on bicycles during the Iraq War. Tumblr
American soldiers relaxing in Italy during World War II. Tumblr
American soldiers relaxing with a beer during World War I. Ranker
American Soldiers watching Mickey Rooney perform during World War II. Ranker
An American soldier uses piles of ammunition shells for furniture as he eats his dinner. England 1944. history
An impromptu game of football kicks off between British and Italian troops, as others take some time out to rest on the hills and watch on in 1917. Courtesy Imperial War Museum via Open University
Brigadier John Rockingham drops the puck for a match between 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (left) and 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment “Vandoos” (right) during the Korean War. Rare Historical Photos
British aircraft carrier pilots relax on the deck near Indonesia while waiting for the next strike. December 1944. history
British Pilot taking a nap during World War II. Ranker
British soldiers playing with a ball in the water at Corfu. Imperial War Museums
British soldiers splashing in the water at Corfu. Imperial War Museums
British soldiers watching a boxing match during World War II. Ranker
British troops in the River Tigris, Baghdad, 1917. Imperial War Museums
Canadian soldiers going on leave during World War I. ranker
Canadian soldiers having a beer during World War II. Ranker
Canadian soldiers playing hockey on a rink they built in Korea, 1952. Rare Historical Photos
Child soldiers playing a game using bones. Amnesty International
Enthusiastic splashing in the sea at Etaples, France, 1917. Imperial War Museums
Final of the 48th Divisional Fanshawe Cup. The 1:7th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment versus 1:7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Trissino, Italy in 1918. Imperial War Museum
French Troops getting haircuts during World War I. Tumblr
German soldiers having a beer during World War I. Ranker
German soldiers playing cards together next to their trenches ‘garden’ give an insight into the reality of the boredom, as well as the violence, of warfare. Daily Mail
Hungarian soldiers having a drink during World War II. Ranker
Marilyn Monroe entertaining American troops in Korea, 1954. Pinterest
Marines making faces in downtime during the Vietnam War. Tumblr
May 1944, American troops relax, play cards, read and write letters while aboard a troop transport ship carrying them to their deployment. history
Navy jazz band members rehearsing during World War II. Tumblr.
Nazi soldiers putting odds and ends on a sleeping soldier, World War II. Ranker
Nazi soldiers staging a bayonet fight during World War II. Tumblr
Nazi soldiers working on their tans during World War II. Tumblr
New Zealand soldiers resting during the Vietnam War. Ranker
October 26, 1944. Three American military men in Italy play cards on top of their recon vehicle during a break in the fighting. history
Patients from a convalescent hospital playing in the sea, France, 1918. Imperial War Museums