Luftwaffe intelligence has made a number of flights above territory that is now Lithuania during World War II. This is how Lithuanian landscape of the mid-twentieth century was recorded into history.
Such reconnaissance flights were made in all of the Europe. At the end of the war Western allies discovered aerial photos, made by Luftwaffe. It is estimated that more than 1,2 million reconnaissance photos got into hands of allies. Most of those aerial photos are now preserved in National archives and records administration Archival building II, Maryland, USA and some are preserved in Keele university in United Kingdom. These photos were assigned with abbreviation GX. During the Cold war USA intelligence analyzed GX photos to get information on East and Central Europe which was under influence of USSR. GX photos was declassified at the very end of 20th century.
Lithuanian heritage experts identified flights that was made above the Lithuania in 2014. Lithuanian Central State Archives in partnership with Klaipeda University organized the project partly funded by Lithuanian council of culture in 2015 during which experts from Lithuanian archives made approximately 17.5 thousand digital copies of GX photos that are now preserved in Lithuanian Central State Archives and are available to society.
Lithuanian Central State Archives in partnership with Klaipeda University organized the project partly funded by Lithuanian council of culture in 2017 during which photos were identified and attached to contemporary map. The result of project is here. The map is constantly updated with new photos.
Urban areas, natural monuments, cultural heritage objects and other important information are captured in these photos. Photos, taken during World War II helps to determine how these objects looked like more than 70 years ago. Photos serve to investigate the development of cities and towns, help identify extinct cemeteries and destroyed buildings.