Photos Colour and Colourised Photos of WW2 & earlier conflicts


Surrender of the 148th German Division to the Brazilian Expeditionary Force in Fornovo Di Taro (Italy)!

General Otto Fretter-Pico (left of the photo) introduces himself to General Olympio Falconière (right). In the center of the photo are the German Major Kuhn and the journalist and war correspondent Rubem Braga. General Otto Fretter-Pico, of the 148th German Infantry Division, was accompanied by 31 officers from his staff and was the last to surrender. The surrender took place on April 29, 1945. The Brazilians of the 6th RI, commanded by then Colonel Nelson de Mello, surrounded and forced almost 15,000 Germans to surrender at once.


An American Marine with a hole in his helmet poses with 'The Rifle that won the War' on Tarawa, November 1943.

The M1 Garand was the standard US rifle in World War II. Designed to replace the old M1903 Springfield, the M1 was semi-automatic and held 8 rounds of the same ammo the Springfield used (.30-06). The rifle served until the beginning of the Vietnam War. It is quoted by General George S. Patton that "the M1 Garand is the greatest battle implement ever devised."

The M1 Garand is a gas operated, semi-automatic rifle. It was designed by Canadian Springfield Armory worker, John Garand. The military was looking for a semi-automatic rifle to replace the bolt-action M1903 "Springfield" series. Garand competed with most notably, John Browning (who designed a series of key machine guns and shotguns used in both World Wars), and John Thompson (who designed the Thompson Sub-machine Gun).

Garand's first prototype was designed in 1922, but still didn't meet military specifications. Originally, Garand's design was to use the .276 Pedersen cartridge and had an internal magazine capacity of 10 rounds. This caliber was rejected for logistic reasons as the Army wanted a single caliber for all its light rifles and machine guns. Nearly a decade later, Garand's product was finalized and was adopted as the U.S. Rifle Cal. 30 M1. It could shoot faster than the Springfield, at the same range and accuracy the Springfield had. By 1943, the M1 Garand was standard issued to the average soldier.

The rifle was used all across World War II, from Europe to the Pacific. Different variants of the M1 Garand would come up after World War II. The M1C and M1D "Sniper" Variants are most notable. The M1 Garand snipers were used in Korea. The Sniper Garand was unimpressive, because of the en bloc clip system, the scope couldn't be mounted on top of the gun, unlike the Springfield. Instead the scope was on the left hand side on the gun, even then, the scope could still get damaged by the en bloc clip.

The rifle was hailed by soldiers for it's semi-automatic firing ability, it's accuracy and the ability to reload it quickly. However, one feature that soldiers considered a liability was the en bloc clip's ejection after all rounds had been expended. When the clip popped out of the breach, it gave off a distinctive metallic ping.

There are stories that when the sound was heard by enemy soldiers, combined with the sight of the clip's ejection was enough to alert the enemy that a grunt had shot all his rounds and could be charged. Hearing this ping in the middle of a gunfight has been refuted by several veterans as ridiculous.
Soviet prisoners captured in the early stages of Barbarossa. 2 German Pak 36 AT guns are being towed in the background.

It is estimated that at least 3.3 million Soviet POWs died in Nazi custody, out of 5.7 million. This figure represents a total of 57% of all Soviet POWs and it may be contrasted with 8,300 out of 231,000 British and U.S. prisoners, or 3.6%. About 5% of the Soviet prisoners who died were Jews. Most deaths took place between June 1941 and January 1942, when the Germans killed an estimated 2.8 million Soviet POWs primarily through deliberate starvation, exposure, and summary execution. A million at most had been released, most of whom were so-called 'volunteers' (Hilfswillige) for (often compulsory) auxiliary service in the Wehrmacht, 500,000 had fled or were liberated, the remaining 3.3 million had perished as POWs.
The figure of 3.3 million POW dead is based on German figures and analysis. Data published in Russia presents a different view of their POW dead. Viktor Zemskov estimated Soviet POW deaths at 2.3 million; he published statistics that put Soviet POW losses at 2,471,000 (5,734,000 were captured, 821,000 were released for German military service, 72,000 escaped and 2,371,000 liberated ). Of the 823,000 POWS released for service in the German military forces 212,400 were killed or missing, 436,600 were returned to the USSR and imprisoned and 180,000 remained in western countries after the war. Russian military historian Grigori F. Krivosheev maintained POW and MIA losses of the combat forces were actually 1.783 million, according to Krivosheev the higher figures of the dead includes reservists not on active strength, civilians and military personnel who were captured during the course of the war.
By September 1941, the mortality rate among Soviet POWs was in the order of 1% per day. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), by the winter of 1941, "starvation and disease resulted in mass death of unimaginable proportions". This deliberate starvation, despite food being available, led many desperate prisoners to resort to acts of cannibalism, was Nazi policy, and was all in accordance with the Hunger Plan developed by the Reich Minister of Food Herbert Backe. For the Germans, Soviet POWs were expendable: they consumed calories needed by others and, unlike Western POWs, were considered to be subhuman
Wojtek the bear, corporal of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company in the 2nd Polish Corps.


Adopted by the soldiers of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company in the 2nd Polish Corps commanded by General Władysław Anders. The bear took part in the Battle of Monte Cassino. He was given the rank of corporal in the unit
He was famous for having fun and drinking beer with his comrades in arms. During the fight, Wojtek carried artillery shells.
Wojtek's story entered Polish historiography for good and still arouses the interest of many readers who cannot believe that it really happened.
Canadian Infantry fights the streets of Groningen, The Netherlands, mid April, 1945.


The total number of enemy troops defending Groningen has never been properly identified, but is estimated based on recent research to have consisted of over 7,000 men, perhaps as high as 7,500.
It took 4 day's of heavy street-fighting until the German commander in Groningen opted to surrender with his staff on the 16th, though other elements of the garrison continued resistance.
In spite of the severe fighting...great crowds of civilians thronged the streets, apparently more excited than frightened by the sound of nearby rifle and machine-gun fire. Out of regard for these civilians, the Canadians did not shell or bomb the city, thereby accepting the possibility of delay and additional casualties.
One signaler of the Calgary Highlanders noted:
"One of our machine gunners set up his Bren gun in a kind of bay window in the front of the living room. He had the bipod of the Bren resting on a small hardwood table and he was firing through the bay window at a German vehicle down towards the end of the street...
(The lady of the house) must have been so bewildered that she wasn't really aware of what was going on around her. Seeing this Bren gunner in the process of ruining her little hardwood table with his wretched Bren gun, she handed him a little cushion and asked him to put it under the legs of the gun, which he obligingly did. Then she handed him a cup of coffee which he graciously accepted and then continued to fire on the German vehicle down the street. Unbelievable!"
Two unidentified soldiers from the 5th and 6th South Australian Imperial Bushmen take firing positions during operations in the Orange River Country in South Africa.

On the 27th of April 1902, 215 men of the 5th and 6th South Australian Imperial Bushmen returned to Australia.
Despite departing as two separate contingents, the two were amalgamated in South Africa to form a regiment under the command of Lieutenant Colonel R Fanshawe in Colonel De Lisle's column.
The regiment was initially deployed to the Orange River County, before taking part in a daring night attack at Grootvallier which was described by Colonel De Lisle as “worthy of the best traditions of Australian troops in the war."
On the 27th of March, the regiment embarked for transport back to Australia. On its arrival at Port Adelaide on the 27th of April, the unit was subsequently disbanded.
In total, 442 men were deployed. 27 men were killed, and 21 remained in hospital in South Africa.
British cavalry unit crossing a bridge over a communication trench, which some Australian signallers are going through, near Neuve Eglise, 7 May 1917.


(Photo source - © IWM Q 6183)
Brooke, John Warwick (Lieutenant) (Photographer)
Colourised by Royston Leonard
DZ353 and DZ367 of 105 Sqn moved from Horsham St Faith to Marham on 29..42 (along with 139 Sqn).


DZ353 flew its first mission on 23.10.42 and later served with 139 and 627 Sqn before it failed to return from a raid on a railway yard at Rennes, France on 8.6.44. Both crew members, Flt Lt Bill Steere and FO Gale were killed. DZ367 was also lost on 30.1.43 when it failed to return from a raid over Berlin, the aircraft crashing near Altengrabow, killing both Sqn Ldr Donald Darling and FO W Wright.
Pilots of No. 615 Squadron RAF gathered together in front of their Gloster Gladiator Mark IIs at Vitry-en-Artois. March/April 1940


The squadron was formed as an army co-operation squadron in the Auxiliary Air Force in June 1937, but became a fighter squadron in November 1938. It was originally equipped with the Gloster Gauntlet. Gladiators arrived in May 1939, and it was these aircraft that the squadron took to France in November 1939.
In April 1940 the squadron began to convert to the Hurricane, but the process wasn't complete when the German offensive in the west began. A very intense ten days of combat began on 10 May, with some of the squadron's pilots flying six or seven sorties per day. After ten days the squadron was withdrawn to the UK, leaving its Gladiators behind.

(Photo Source - © IWM C 511)
Hensser H (Mr) Royal Air Force official photographer
Battle of St Quentin Canal (Saint-Quentin).
German prisoners with an American escort (30th Division) resting in the foreground. In the background, four 8th Battalion, Tank Corps, Mark V Tanks with 'cribs' on their roofs. These were attached to the 5th Australian Division, Fourth Army Front, near Bellicourt, 29th September 1918.


(Photo source - © IWM Q 9366)
Colourised by Doug
Sd.Kfz.132 Marder II


The Marder II Sd.Kfz. 131 and 132.
Marder was the name for a series of World War II German tank destroyers. They mounted either the modified ex-Soviet 76.2 mm F-22 Model 1936 divisional field gun, or the German 7.5 cm PaK 40, in an open-topped fighting compartment on top of the chassis of the Panzer 38(t).
They offered little protection to the crew, but added significant firepower compared to contemporary German tanks. They were in production from 1942 to 1944 and served on all fronts until the end of the war, along with the similar Marder III.
Last edited:
The Netherlands, Groesbeek, September 17, 1944


Shortly after landing, U.S. Paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division pull their jeeps through Groesbeek on their way to Nijmegen. They are greeted enthusiastically by the local population.
The Americans landed around noon that day at the Wylerbaan in Groesbeek, as part of Operation Market Garden. Its aim was to conquer the bridges over the rivers and canals at Eindhoven, Grave, Nijmegen and Arnhem and thus enable the Allied Ground Army to advance from the Belgian border to the German Ruhr area.
These 82nd Airborne Troopers have the assignment to conquer the Waal bridge near Nijmegen. That works out but a few days later than they had planned for. They are too late to relieve their British colleagues at the Arnhem Rhine Bridge. The Battle of Arnhem is already lost.
One of the three tanks which were put out of action in the fight for Hamel in France, photographed on July 5th, 1918, the day after the operation.


Note the French Tricolour on the roof of the house. It was put there by an officer of the 28th Battalion on the morning of the battle to mark the capture of the position" (Official caption). Australian soldiers and British tank crewmen stand beside 8th Battalion 'H52' Number 9001, one of the three British Mk V tanks which were put out of action in the fight for Hamel. The left track has been ‘thrown’ off the tank.
(Photo source - Australian War memorial - E03843)
A battery of 9.2-inch Howitzers in firing positions at Neuville-Vitasse, 30 April 1917.


(Photo source - © IWM Q 6347)
Brooke, John Warwick (Lieutenant) (Photographer)
Colourised by Royston Leonard
Two Australian soldiers enjoying a rest in a field admiring the wild flowers. The village of Allonville, was the centre of a rest area for troops engaged in the Amiens sector. 20 June 1918


(Australian War Memorial E02642)
Colourised by Doug

Similar threads