IT is one of the most iconic war photographs of all time.
But, the image by Robert Capa taken during the Spanish Civil War has been shrouded in controversy for years, with critics claiming it was nothing more than staged propaganda.
Now the famous photographer has been heard talking publicly for the first time in decades, insisting that the picture Fallen Soldier is entirely authentic.
He revealed that the image – taken of a Republican soldier at the moment of his death – was genuinely shot on a front line near Cordoba.
In a sensational recently rediscovered radio interview from 1947, Capa actually explained the chronology of the events that led up to the death.
The interview – which is the only known recording of the photographer’s voice – was bought on eBay by his biographer Richard Whelan.
Discovered in an estate sale, it has now been released by New York’s The International Centre of Photography.
In the remarkable recording, Capa explains how he had taken it from a trench with 20 young Republicans, near the town of Cerro Muriano, above Cordoba.
“My milicianos had been shooting in the direction of the machine gun for five minutes, then stood up, said ‘vamanos’ , got out the trench and began to go after the machine gun.
“Sure enough, the gun opened up and mowed them down.
“This happened three or four times, so the fourth time I just kind of held my camera above my head, didn’t look, and clicked a picture.
“I stayed in Spain for three months and when I came back I was a very famous photographer, because the camera caught a man at the moment he was shot.
“That was probably the best photo I ever took.”
He then added: “The war was kind of romantic. It was in Andalucia and those people were very green – they were not soldiers – and they were dying every minute.
“I figured it was for liberty, and the right kind of fight.”