The images are haunting: Ghostly figures marching across modern-day Westminster Bridge, Canadian mortar teams in the ruins at Ortona, Italy, and thousands of weary troops passing tourists and Renault Clios up a French jetty.
It may take your eyes a moment or two to adjust to what is going on, but these extraordinary photographs are the painstaking work of a team of war historians working across Europe to take the viewer on a journey back through time.
They combine a famous historical image with the same setting in 2014, seamlessly blurring scenes to inject the chaos of war into the peace of modern-day France, Britain, Germany and more.
The Ghosts of History project was founded by Devon-based Jack Beckett and the Dutch historian and artist Jo Hedwig Teeuwisse, who travelled around the world picking up old images at flea markets and then finding and photographing their exact settings.
Also supported by two artists based in the UK and Russia, their pictures have received worldwide appreciation and a Facebook page featuring regular batches of new additions has more than 55,000 enthusiastic followers.
In pictures: Ghosts of the World Wars
In pictures: Ghosts of the World Wars
1/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Landing Day: Special engineer brigade landing on Omaha beach D-Day afternoon 1944 – 2014
2/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Aussie Troops march over Westminster Bridge ,London, date unknown
3/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Rest Up: A British Soldier catches a few ZZZs in a trench in Thiepval Woods 1916 – 2014
4/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Verdun Trench: French troops digging a trench Verdun 1916 – 2014
5/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Caught: Paratroopers of the 101st Airborne, 501st PIR gather prisoners at the city hall in Veghel. 1944 – 2014
6/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Ruins: A Canadian mortar team fire on Ortona. Italy 1943 – 2014
7/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Admiral Graf Spee at Portsmouth 1937 (note the huge flag on the stern for propaganda purposes)
8/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Deja Vu: Former Marine Corps Combat Correspondent SSgt Federico Claveria looks at photograph of himself giving an interned Tinian child candy 25 years earlier 1969 - 2014
9/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Rangers loading for D-Day at Weymouth Harbour, Dorset, June 1944 – 2013
10/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Troops of the Royal Norfolk’s in Pastoratstrasse facing the Schloßstrasse in Kervenheim. 1945 – 2014
11/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
White City :Public Schools Battalion at White City, Beaumont Hamel 1916 -2014
12/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
13/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Arromanches: Unidentified troops march onto French soil 1944 -2014
14/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
A Canadian medic tends to a German prisoner ,Trun Hospice, Trun, France 1944 – 2014
15/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Raiders: 4 members of Doolittle’s Raiders after meeting with friendly Chinese forces are escorted through a village on the way back to being re-patriated. 1942 – 2014
16/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Battle of Vimy Ridge: Canadians in the trenches, Vimy Ridge 1917 – 2014
17/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Hermanville:a British paratrooper observes 2 civilians in Hermanville Normandy D-Day – 2014
18/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Perspective: View of Omaha beach from a German bunker 1944 – 2014
19/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
View of a Spitfire from the cockpit of an He111,somewhere over Southern England 1941 – 2014
20/20 Ghosts of the World Wars
Yanks in the Dorset pub in Burton Bradstock
With this year marking both 100 years since the start of the First World War and 70 years since the D-Day landings, imagining what Europe was like for those fighting at the time can be increasingly difficult.
But Mr Beckett, 46, told The Independent that the anniversaries had seen interest in WWI and II history “grow and grow”.
He said: “As a rule that interest is always there in Britain, but its really back again in the national psyche and we're expecting a real spike when the 70th anniversary comes around.”
He said the images initially trick the brain, and people often struggle to work out exactly what they are looking at.
“We are offering people the chance to travel back in time, however slightly,” Mr Beckett said.
Ghosts of History sell the photographs on canvasses and as framed prints, and Mr Beckett said people tell him the pictures offer an unusual “talking point” in the home.
“You can say 'oh, and this is Hitler in front of the [modern day] Eiffel Tower' - and that's a lot more interesting than what many people have on their walls.”
Mr Beckett also praised The Independent's series of articles offering A History of the First World War in 100 Moments. He said: “It's fantastic... that we can celebrate - not war - but the role this country has played in the past.”
Mr Beckett is the founder of War History Online, while Ms Teeuwisse formed the Historical Consultancy 30-45, an agency helping film and TV companies make their historical productions more authentic and accurate.
On the Ghosts of History website it says that “for as long as she can remember she has been fascinated by history”. It adds: “As a little girl she loved looking at old photos and imagining what life would have been like if she was born earlier.”Reuse content