Photos Colour and Colourised Photos of WW2 & earlier conflicts

Soviet sub-machine gunners in North China after the defeat of the Japanese by the Red Army in the Harbin region, 1945.


Photo by E. Khaldei.
Colour by Olga Shirnina (Klimbim)
Australians land at Weston, North Borneo
On the 17th of June 1945, Australian troops of the 2/32nd aided by artillery and naval gunfire support from HMAS Shropshire, landed at Weston, North Borneo to seize the island and deny oil and other resources to the Japanese.
The landing occurred a week after the landing at Labuan, and would see the Australians push inland along the single track railway that ran from Weston towards the junction at Beaufort, 23 kilometres (14 mi) north-west of Brunei Bay, and then on to Jesselton. The heaviest fighting of the operations on the mainland took place on 27/28 June during the Battle of Beaufort, during which more than 100 Japanese defenders were killed.
You can read more about the Landing at Labuan and the broader North Borneo campaign here:
Image: Troops from the Australian 2/32nd Battalion land at Weston aboard US-crewed landing vehicles

A German prisoner captured in the Battle of Messines, 8th June 1917.


Brooks, Ernest (Lieutenant) (Photographer)
© IWM Q 2294
Color by Frederic Duriez
Messerschmitt Bf 110G4 Zerstorer 5.NJG5 C9+EN Wilhelm Johnen WNr 740055 Dubendorf 1944

Captain Thomas Longworth Dames, Royal Artillery. c.1855 In this photo he held the rank of 1st Lieutenant of No.4 Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Artillery. 2nd Lieutenant - 20 June 1849 1st Lieutenant - 23 May 1850 Captain - 1 September 1855
Battle of Albert. British troops, blinded by gas, assisting each other to the dressing station at Croisilles, France 21 August 1918.

Battle of Albert (21–23 August 1918) was the third battle by that name fought during World War I, following the First Battle of Albert and the Second Battle of Albert, with each of the series of three being fought roughly two years apart.
The attacks developed into an advance, which pushed the German 2nd Army back along a 80 km (50-mile) front line. On 22 August, the 18th (Eastern) Division took Albert, with the British and Americans advancing on Arras. The following day, the Australian 1st Division, which was advancing north-east from Proyart, attacked German fortifications around Chuignes, and succeeded in capturing the town.
On 29 August, during the Second Battle of Bapaume, the town of Bapaume fell into New Zealand hands. This resulted in an advance by the Australian Corps, who crossed the Somme River on 31 August and broke the German lines during the Battle of Mont St. Quentin. The Westheer was pushed back to the Hindenburg Line, from which they had launched their spring offensive.
Photograph taken by Lieutenant John Warwick Brooke.
"See you in Valhalla!”

Despite operating in the far north from bases in Finland and Norway, JG5 ‘Eismeer’ managed to produce some of the highest scorers of the eastern front.
Foremost amongst them was Leutnant, later Major, Heinrich Ehrler with a total estimated at 208 victories, 10 of which on the western front, 8 with the Me 262.
Ehler's end would be a tragic one. It all started on the 12th of November, 1944, when a message reporting incoming British bombers reached the by now, Geschwaderkommodore of JG 5. Ehrler, with his score at 199 victories, scrambled to intercept the Lancasters of 9 and 617 Squadrons at the head of a Gruppe of Bf 109. The fighters were too late. The British Lancasters sank the battleship Tirpitz north of Tromsö with the loss of a thousand sailors. Ehrler was called to account for this disaster and at his court-martial was accused of flying to get his 200th victory, instead of guiding his fighters from ground control.
Stripped of his awards and command, and put under a 'suspended sentence of death’, he was however allowed to keep flying and was able to record his 200th victory on 20 November 1944. Later, on February 27, 1945, Ehrler joined JG 7.
On the 4th of April 1945, Ehrler intercepted a formation of B-24 from 338th BG. He managed to bring down 2 of the bombers before running out of ammo. It is claimed that Herhler then left a last message over the radio to his long-time friend and fellow ace Theodor Weissenberger (the message was heard by witnesses but there are several slightly different versions). This is one of them:
“Theo. Ich habe keine Munition mehr. Ich werde diesen da rammen. Auf Wiedersehen. Wir sehen uns in Walhalla!“
“Theo. I have no more ammo. I will ram this one. Goodbye. See you in Valhalla!”
His body was supposedly found the next day near Berlin. He was 27 years old.
Original source: Bundesarchiv
Colour by: In Colore Veritas
American troops visiting 'A' Company Headquarters, of the 37th Battalion, Picardie, Somme, 21 June 1918.
About this time small detachments of Americans were attached to various Australian units for instructional purposes. Several Australian figures are identified in the original photograph, including Lieutenant (Lt) Norman Gordon McNicol MC, Captain J. A. Carrodus, Officer Commanding, Lt H. Beer, Corporal (Cpl) Waterson, Lance Corporal Le Maitre, Cpl R. Jones, Cpl Maxwell, Private (Pte) Huntly, Pte Rogers, Pte Baldiston, Sergeant Allen, Pte Burrows, Company Sergeant Major Rosing, and Cpl Scott.
This particular image is part of the Maurice Hurry collection held at Trinity College, University of Melbourne. Hurry, an alumnus of the college, purchased a series of official photographs from the sales section of the then Australian War Museum (now Australian War Memorial) in the early 1920s.
This image, slightly cropped on the right margin, corresponds to the original in the Memorial's collections, E 02695.
Colourised and researched by Benjamin Thomas
Universal Carrier and Mortar team of the Indian 6th Battalion, 13th Frontier Force Rifles on the central sector of Eighth Army's front in Italy, December 1943
Liberation of North Brabant along the corridor Bergeijk - Valkenswaard - Aalst - Eindhoven. Children bring soldiers of the Irish Guards apples Date: 18 September 1944 Location: Aalst, Noord-Brabant
Marines climbing down the nets into landing craft during the Battle of Peleliu, September-November 1944. (Photographer: Griffin Image courtesy of the United States Marine Corps History Division, Peleliu 117058. Colourised and researched by Benjamin Thomas from Australia)

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