Photos Colour and Colourised Photos of WW2 & earlier conflicts


31 July 1944

A unit of the US 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized), 4th Armored Division moves through the village of Le Repas, commune de Folligny (Manche), in Normandy.

Up front are two M8 Greyhounds and behind them, a M3A1 Halftrack and Jeeps.

The wreck on the left is an Opel Blitz from the 9./(Flak) SS-Panzer-Regiment 2, 2./SS-Panzer-Division "Das Reich"
New Zealand WAAF (Women's Auxiliary Air Force) driver Phyllis Butchart with her truck MT1228 at Suva, Fiji, during WW2.


The New Zealand WAAF was formed in January 1941 with the purpose that women would undertake various admin, clerical and domestic roles within the RNZAF in order to free up men for other roles. The WAAF was an auxiliary organisation until December 1942 when it was folded into the RNZAF.
As the war progressed more roles were taken on the WAAF so that they worked in many varied fields such as cooks, clerks, typists, fabric workers, parachute packers, instrument repairers, tailors, medical orderlies, telephone/radio/radar operators, motor boat crew as well as assistants in workshops, warehouses, photographic and meteorological sections and the YMCA.
The WAAF reached its peak strength in July 1944 with 3,652 members. The vast majority were stationed in New Zealand with the exception of a small number (less than 150) who served in Fiji and Norfolk Island. Post war the WAAF continued on and was renamed the Woman's Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1954. Then in July 1977 the WRNZAF was disbanded and its members integrated with the RNZAF.
Photo source: The Air Force Museum of New Zealand, file PR1879.
The Battle of the Somme, July-November 1916


"Wounded being transported to a dressing station by trench railway after the successful attack on Bazentin, 14 July 1916."
Research identified the wounded soldiers as 8th (Service) Battalion 'Black Watch' of the 26th brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division - by the yellow cloth strip sewn on their upper sleeves.
"Fighting went on in Longueval and Delville Wood under German bombardment and the 26th and 27th brigades of the 9th (Scottish) Division had many casualties."
(Photo source - © IWM Q 166)
Colourised by Doug
A soldier from the British 11th Armoured Division guards two youthful German prisoners. Germany, 7 April 1945.


The two boys were part of a bicycle-mounted tank-hunting unit. In the final months of the war, these types of units were hastily formed, many with underaged boys from the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth), in a desperate attempt to counteract allied armor.
As we can see here, each soldier carried 2 panzerfaust anti-tank weapons on his bicycle and was probably armed with an STG44 rifle, one of which hangs from the British soldier’s shoulder.
Original: IWM (BU 3197)
An informal photo of a muddy German squad, possibly fresh out of the trenches. Date and location unknown.


Given the stahlhelme, an acceptable time frame would be 1916-18, probably closer to 1916 given that all the soldiers are still wearing the early -war M1907/1910 tunic.
Underclose inspection, this photo provides some interesting details:
The man in the middle carries a large leather pouch hanging from his belt: probably a map case. The His shoulder boards seem to be too reflective and light-colored to be feldgrau cloth. They might be an officer’s shoulder boards made of aluminum thread braid which is quite reflective. If so, he was possibly a Leutnant (plain braid, no pips). It’s interesting how he seems to have made everything possible to blend in with the soldiers.
An interesting detail of the German gas mask containers is the keyhole-shaped object attached to two of the cans (3rd and 5th man from the left). Quoting Flickr member Thomas Wictor: “These are clips that allowed the container to be worn on the belt during trench raids. Often the metal containers were left behind because they were so noisy, but then the mask could easily be torn on barbed wire. The cloth containers were quiet, but they didn't protect the mask as well as the metal. The clip allowed the soldier to put the can on his belt in the small of his back, for example, out of the way and quiet.”
Also of interest are the two soldiers with rifle covers.
Original property of Wooway1 Collection.
2nd Lt. Edward Dudley Skinner
'D' Coy 1/8th Battalion, Manchester Regiment. Killed in action at Ypres on 9th September 1917 - aged 25
Buried at Ypres Reservoir Cemetery


(Photo source - © IWM HU 126512)
Colourised by Doug
9 September 1943
A Supermarine Spitfire Vc 'Tropical' JK707 MX-P serving with 307th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group operated by 12th USAAF.


The regular pilot was 1st.Lt. Carroll A. Prybylo, but when lost it was flown by Capt. Virgil Cephus Fields, Jr.
One account states that it was hit by American flak (friendly fire) and subsequently crash-landed on the beach of Paestum near Salerno (Italy) on the 9th of September 1943.
Another report states Capt. Fields, scored a probable of a Dornier DO-217 but was hit by return fire from the bomber's gunner which hit his engine, causing him to make a forced landing on the beach. He was fortunately picked up by a ship from the invasion fleet, having received only minor injuries to his hands.
Captain Fields was later KIA on the 6th of February 1944 on a patrol from Nettuno in Italy.
1st.Lt Prybylo appears to have survived the war as he was involved in an accident in an F-47D on the 18th of May 1949, fate unknown.
The Landing ship in the photo was USS LST 359 during the landings at Salerno in September 1943, she was sunk on the 20th of December 1944 off of the Azores by the German submarine U-870 which in turn was sunk by US forces on the 30th March 1945.
(Source - US Navy, via Library of Congress.)
Colourized by Paul Reynolds
Photograph from the Warsaw Uprising 1944.
A barricade at the entrance of Szpitalna Street to Napoleon Square with standing "Chwat" - the German tank destroyer 38 (t) "Hetzer", which was captured during the fights for the Main Post Office.

Author of the photo: Tadeusz Bukowski
British soldier carrying a wounded comrade on his back on the way to the dressing station; near Aveluy Wood, September 1916 (turning on right goes through Aveluy Wood to Thiepval; road straight on leads to Hamel).


Note a German helmet worn by a wounded soldier.
Brooks, Ernest (Lieutenant) (Photographer)
© IWM Q 1334
On August 28, 1939, the general mobilization of the Dutch army is proclaimed, in response to the perceptible threat of war in Europe. A day later, thousands of men reported to the mobilization centers across the country. Eventually 280,000 men reach their war destination. The period that follows is mainly dominated by preparations for a possible German attack. On May 10, 1940, this is actually the case. After five days of fighting, the Netherlands capitulated, after which the Dutch troops were demobilized.

On August 27, 1940, the Italian Caproni Campini N.1 took to the skies thus becoming the first jet airplane to fly, or so it was thought at the time.


Today we know that the first jet aircraft to fly was the German Heinkel He 178, having done so on August 27, 1939, but because Heinkel kept it a secret -even from the German authorities- the Caproni took the podium, even if only for a moment.
Although called a jet, the Caproni N.1 propulsion system was actually a hybrid between a piston engine and a jet engine as it had a piston engine that drove a fan compressor system with ignited fuel for added propulsion.
The Caproni Campini N.1 was considered revolutionary -at least in Italy- but its performance was far from being impressive. With a maximum speed of only 233 mph (375 Km/h) it was slower than a Fiat C.R.42 biplane. It was also heavy and had isolation problems which caused the cockpit to overheat, hence why we see the crew flying it with the cockpit open.
Nevertheless, Il Duce saw in it an opportunity for publicity and a year later, on November 30, 1941, a second prototype did a highly publicized 168-miles flight from Milan to Rome where it did a flypast for Mussolini himself. The average speed of the flight was 130 mph (209 Km/h)
By November 1941, both Great Britain and Germany had already come forward with their own designs for more advanced turbojet aircraft. This fact allied to Italy’s dwindling economic and industrial capacity condemned the Caproni Campini N.1 to be nothing more than a mere technological curiosity. Nevertheless, it was still a step in the right direction and for this, it deserves to be remembered.
One of the prototypes survived the war and can be seen today at the Italian Air Force Museum in Vigna di Valle near Rome.
Original: Regia Aeronautica
On September 11, 1917, the aviator Georges Guynemer died during a final battle. He is only 23 years old. Hero of the sky, covered with decorations and totaling 53 approved victories, after his death he became a legendary hero.

Two German airmen (L) Pilot Feldwebel Heinz Friedrich, who force landed Heinkel He 111H-3 Code: 1H + CB of 1/Kampfgeschwader 26, are marched off by the Home Guard at Burmarsh, Kent, UK. September 11, 1940


This aircraft was en-route to London when it was damaged by anti-aircraft fire, then it was attacked by fighters, including P/O T. S. Wade and P/O D. G. Williams of No. 92 Squadron. Heinkel dumped its bombs and forced landed at Burmarsh, Kent. The crew then set their aircraft alight which eventually burned out. Crew were all taken prisoner.
Pilot: Feldwebel Heinz Friedrich Captured unhurt
Observer: Feldwebel Heinz Georg Captured wounded
Radio/Op: Unteroffizier Kurt Hoffmann Captured unhurt
Gunner : Unteroffizier August Dreyer Captured unhurt
Gunner: Unteroffizier Heinz Stirnemann Captured unhurt
A 'Succesful' Luftwaffe Anti Aircraft Gun.


Members of an Anti Aircraft unit on the Dutch coast near Den Helder paint the 22nd victory ring on the barrel of an 88mm FLAK Gun.
Den Helder was regularly bombed, first by the Germans, later by the English and Americans. The Naval Base was especially targeted, but many bombs fell on the residential buildings. The city became the most bombed place in the Netherlands. From 1943 the entire town was declared a Sperrgebiet.
Meanwhile, the demolition of the old center began. The Germans needed a clear field of fire for a possible English invasion. The Atlantic Wall required the demolition of all buildings along the seawall. Not only 19th-century buildings along the Kanaalgracht and Weststraat were demolished, the entire the 18th-century city center – fell prey to the demolition hammer.
Courtesy&©: GerardGroeneveld
Source: 'Neergestort'-WBooks

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