Photos Colour and Colourised Photos of WW2 & earlier conflicts

Troops of the 4th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment (29th Division) resting, on their way to the trenches. Note wire cutters attached to rifles; Acheux-en-Amiénois, 27 June 1916.


© IWM Q 718
Brooks, Ernest (Lieutenant) (Photographer)
Wives and sweethearts on board SS EMPIRE FAITH at a port in the north-west to visit before the ship heads out to sea again. Photo shows: Second Mate W J Lee, Second Engineer Arthur Bridgewater and Mrs Lee from Angus, Forfarshire listen to one of Third Engineer Tom Jackson's stories.
Ladies Day.jpg
On June 28, 1914, The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (below), heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, occurred in Sarajevo when they were mortally wounded by Gavrilo Princip.


The assassination led directly to the First World War when Austria-Hungary subsequently issued an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia, which was partially rejected. Austria-Hungary then declared war, triggering actions leading to war between most European states.
Color by Klimbim
Soldiers of the Red Army inspect a wrecked German Horch 901.


In the 1930s, the Horch 901 was developed, complete with four-wheel drive and exterior spare wheel. But like all Einheits-PKWs, the Horch 901 was also simplified from 1940: in the Typ 40, the four-wheel steering made way for front-wheel steering and the side support wheels were no longer needed. The medium-duty all-terrain vehicle was supplied as an order vehicle (Kfz.15) with radio or telephone system, as a measuring vehicle (Kfz.16), as a communications vehicle with radio or telephone exchange (Kfz. 17), as a six-person personnel vehicle (Kfz. 21) and in some cases also in the open Kommandeur version.
Colour by Olga Shirnina (Klimbim)
Bombs rain down on IJN Yahagi during Operation Ten-Go. She has already been disabled by a torpedo hit to the engine room, killing the entire engineering crew. Colourised by Irootoko Jr.
Battalion commander Captain Stepan Neustroev (left) and junior sergeant Pyotr Shcherbina, Berlin 10 May 1945.

Stepan Neustroev was a Soviet officer, commander of the 1st Battalion in the 756th Regiment of the 150th Rifle Division. His unit was the one that stormed the Reichstag. On 22 April 1945, Neustroev’s Battalion reached Berlin. On 30 April at noon, his men stormed the Reichstag, breaking through the main entrance and clearing the building. Pyotr Shcherbina (the man on the right) is claimed to be one of the men that raised one of several banners over the Reichstag during the fighting.

"There appears to be some confusion as to who actually really raised the first banner over the Reichstag. It was kinda hard to find anything definitive and it's made extra hard since most information is in Russian but if there is any knowlegable chaps in the comments that could bring some light to the situation that would be awesome." - colouriser's note


It was December 17, 1941, and Admiral Chester Nimitz, appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was assuming command on the upper deck of the submarine USS Grayling (SS-209). The change of command ceremony would normally have taken place aboard a battleship, but all of the battleships at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, had been sunk or damaged during the attack launched ten days earlier. Besides, Nimitz was a submariner, I don't think he cared too much. There was really a spirit of despair, despondency, and defeat; one would have thought that the Japanese had already won the war, considering also the resounding successes of the Japanese forces in the South Pacific. On Christmas Day 1941, Admiral Nimitz took a tour through the destruction the Japanese had caused on Pearl. Large sunken battleships and navy ships crowded the waters on all sides. When the boat returned to the dock, the young sailor asked, "Well, sir, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?" Admiral Nimitz's response shocked everyone present: "The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes a strike force could make, or God was watching over the United States." Shocked and surprised, the young sailor asked, "What does that mean sir?" Nimitz explained: “Mistake number one: the Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of ten crew members of those ships were ashore with permits. If those same ships had been pulled out to sea and sunk, we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800. Mistake number two: When the Japanese saw all those battleships lined up, they were tempted to sink them and didn't bomb our dry docks once. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow each of those ships to the mainland to be repaired. Today the ships are in shallow water and can be floated. A tugboat can take them to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and out to sea before they have reached the mainland. And I already have ground crews eager to man those ships. Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater is in storage tanks on shore, five miles up that hill. An attack plane could have machine-gunned those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply. That is why I say that the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes a strike force could make, or that God was taking care of the United States. " President Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the right job. A leader was desperately needed who could see the light amid the clouds of despondency, despair, and defeat.

Fortis Leader for Fortis Leader
-The Pacific & Asia Source (with own notes):
“Nimitz, reflections on Pearl Harbor”, by William A. Edwing.
Colorized photo by Johnny Sirlande for Historic photo restored in Color View less

Winston Churchill, his daughter, Mary, and General Sir Frederick Pile (GOC Anti-Aircraft Command) watch a demonstration of measures used to combat flying bombs over the south of England on 30 June 1944.

Colour by Doug

(Photo source - © IWM H 39490)
Horton W. G. (Major) War Office official photographer
Aircrew of No. 252 Squadron RAF climb into the back of a lorry for the drive to their Headquarters at Idku, Egypt, after a successful strike on an enemy supply train carrying guns and ammunition near Bir Abu Mischeifa.


Four Bristol Beaufighters of the Squadron escorted three Bristol Bisleys of No. 15 Squadron SAAF to the target, which was completely destroyed. In the middle of the group sits Wing Commander P H Bragg, Commanding Officer of 252 Squadron, who led the attack, and sitting third from the left is one of his flight commanders, Flight Lieutenant A D Frecker.
Behind them is one of the aircraft which participated in the attack, Beaufighter Mark VIC, T5346, with three victory markings on its nose.
text/image IWM
USAAF P-47D "Ann K" over England in 1944. The pilots name is Harold E. Spicer and he was shot down on the 21st of September 1944 while supporting the Arnhem fighting in Operation Market Garden. Colorisation by Nathan Howland.

Harold Spicer was the pilot of aircraft P-47D-21RE with serial number 43-25515, nickname Ann K. He was on an area support mission to Arnhem, the Netherlands. He crashed 15 miles North East of Arnhem, Denekamp area, in the Netherlands.

The Luftwaffe fighters were totally surprised by the attack and fought for survival. 1st Lt Cameron Hart, leader Red Flight, with 2nd Lt Harold Spicer as his wingman selected a FW-190 and engaged the German fighter. 2nd Lt Harold Spicer also engaged a FW-190 and was last seen chasing it northeast but was never heard from again and was later declared killed in action.

The recovery of this USAAF P47D 43-25515 UN-T took place in the summer 1999 and 2001. This a/c was shot down during heavy air battles over Lochem during Operation Market Garden. The pilot, 2nd Lt Harold E. Spicer, was killed in action. He was buried by the German forces. He was buried on 23 September 1944 in Barchem (row 2, grave 162), After the war they reburied him on 12 March 1946 at the American WWII Cemetery, Margraten, the Netherlands, H, 5, 20.

Eyewitness statement of 1st Lt Richard B. Anderson.
At approximately 1515 hours, from 3500 feet, we sighted 15 to 20 FW’s , 15 miles NE of Arnhem. I was flying Daily Red Three and followed Daily Red Leader on the initial bounce. Lt Spicer followed the leader also and I bounced another FW 190. After turning, I saw Daily Red Leader on the deck after his FW 190 and Lt Spicer was not with him at that time. I last saw Lt Spicer on the initial bounce when he followed the leader down from our altitude which was 3,500 feet.
Sunderland Mark III/Mark V prototype conversion, ML839/a, of No. 10 Squadron RAAF based at Mount Batten, Devon, making a test flight off the South Coast. ML839 was refitted with Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90 Twin Wasps in place of its Bristol Pegasus XVIIIs by No. 10 Squadron.


No. 10 Squadron was formed on 1 July 1939 at RAAF Base Point Cook, under the command of Wing Commander Leon Lachal. Later that month aircrew and ground staff from the squadron departed for Britain to be trained on the Short Sunderland aircraft which had been acquired to equip the squadron.
While it was intended that the aircrew would fly these aircraft to Australia after completing their training, following the outbreak of war the Australian government offered to retain the squadron in Britain. As a result, No. 10 Squadron was both the first RAAF squadron and the first British Commonwealth squadron to see active service in the Second World War, when one of its aircraft made a flight to Tunisia on 10 October 1939. It was also the only RAAF squadron to see continuous active service throughout the war.
The squadron's major tasks during the war were escorting convoys, conducting anti-submarine patrols, and air-sea rescue.
It sank its first U-boat on 1 July 1940. Operating mainly from bases in southern Britain such as RAF Mount Batten in Plymouth, the unit flew missions as far afield as Oban in Scotland, where a detachment was based between late 1940 and mid-1940, and Malta and Gibraltar in the Mediterranean Sea.
No. 10 Squadron sank a total of six U-boats between February 1940 and May 1945. It also set a Coastal Command record in February 1944 for the most patrol hours flown in a single month - 1143.
Image courtesy of the Imperial War Museum London
Colour: Benjamin Thomas
On this day in 1916, the Battle of the Somme began.
The Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest battles in human history and symbolised the horrors of warfare in the First World War. July 1st 1916, the first day of the battle, saw almost 60,000 British casualties.
After months of fighting over one million men had been wounded or killed across all sides. By the end of the battle, the British Army had suffered 420,000 casualties. The French lost 200,000 men and the Germans nearly 500,000.
Of the thousands of photos taken during the Somme, I have chosen a handful to illustrate the living and fighting conditions of British troops from the lowest to highest ranks. The images include one of King George V who visited the front on several occasions, and one of a British Tommy traipsing through the thick mud with his horse, delivering boots to the men on the front lines.


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