Photos Colour and Colourised Photos of WW2 & earlier conflicts

M4A2, Sherman Mk III "Cameo" (T146946) tank crew of 2nd Troop, 'C' Squadron, 13th-18th Royal Hussars, 27th Armoured Brigade rest and write letters home by the side of their vehicle, Normandy, 10 June 1944.


The 27th Brigade landed at Sword Beach as part of XXX Corps and fought in the Caen area until disbanded on 30 July 1944. They supported the British Commandos’ breakout from the Normandy Landings. Later supported the British Paratroopers at Breville.
On 11 June a squadron of 13/18th Hussars supported 6th Airborne Division's attacks along the river, and later in the month the regiment supported 51st (Highland) Infantry Division in further attacks along the river. On 8 & 9 July, 27th Armoured Bde supported I Corps' final successful attack on Caen.
13th/18th Hussars (Transferred to 8 Armoured Brigade 30 July) (Initially Sherman II DD, later Sherman III & Firefly VC)
(Photo source - © IWM B 5425)
Colourised by Doug
First Battles of the Somme 1918.
Whippet tanks preparing to retire near Albert, 28 March 1918.
Whippet A267 "Cork II" and others with wooden 'track spuds' stowed at the rear.
Whippet tanks of the 3rd Battalion were the first ever to come into action at Mailly-Maillet on 26 March 1918.


(Photo source - © IWM Q 9817)
Colourised by Doug
KNIL soldiers from the Dutch West Indies in training at Camp Casino, Brisbane, Australia, 1944/45.


Many men and women from the 'West Indies' (Suriname and the Dutch Antilles) volunteered to serve in the KNIL army in the pacific and were transferred to Australia for training as they were not welcome in the US.
The recruitment of these volunteers comes with promises that the volunteers will receive a good education and career opportunities and that - instead of fighting the enemy on the battlefield - they will fulfill supporting roles. Dozens of volunteers leave for Europe in 1944 and almost 750 to the Dutch East Indies, all with different motivations. Career opportunities, loyalty to the motherland or to “Her Majesty the Queen.”
The promises made by recruiters are not or only partially fulfilled once they are abroad. For example, the training sessions are minimal and the new soldiers are placed at the front during various 'mopping up operations'. “You all, one by one, are going to war!” is what they were often told upon arrival in Australia. Career opportunities also appear to be out of reach for many. Due to the disappointing reality, some volunteers from the West regret they signed up.
Only after the Indonesian War of Independence, the last soldiers from the West leave the independent state of Indonesia in 1950. Finally they can embrace their family and friends again.
Source: NIMH / caption:
29 March 1918
Unidentified officers and NCOs of the Australian 13th Machine Gun Company studying a map in a billet at Sailly-le-Sec.
13th Machine Gun Company, 13th Brigade, 4th Division, AIF
Sailly-le-Sec is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.


(Photo source - AWM E01942)
Colourised by Doug
Members of the Austrian Heimwehr wear the swastika as their army is inducted into the German Army as the Wehrmacht in Austria 1938. 950,000 Austrians served in the German Army, with 150,000 of them serving in the Waffen SS and the other 800,000 operated as regular soldiers. The Austrian Army did develop a defence plan in 1938 against Germany but politics prevented it from being implemented and ended up being integrated into the German Wehrmacht and Germany as a whole.
Colorized By military_history_of_wars
9 April 1941
A Guardsman of 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, 7th Guards Brigade, 3rd Division rides a Norton Model 18 motorcycle fitted with a special mount to accommodate a Thompson sub machine gun, allowing the rider to fire while in motion. Swanage, Dorset, UK


(Photo source - © IWM H 8827)
Colourised by Joshua Barrett
Painting the Past
10 April 1945
Rifleman R.M. Douglas of The Royal Winnipeg Rifles, celebrates the liberation of the city of Deventer with a group of Dutch nurses, Netherlands.


Note the Eyemo camera with a spider lens turret he is holding.
The regiment landed in England in September 1940. As part of the 7th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division, the Rifles were in the first wave of landings on D Day, 6 June 1944.
The Royal Winnipeg Rifles fought throughout the Normandy campaign, fighting in famous battles such as Caen and the Falaise Gap. After helping liberate several of the Channel Ports, the regiment fought to clear the Scheldt Estuary to allow the re-opening of the Antwerp harbour (Operation Infatuate).
After helping to liberate the Netherlands, the regiment ended the war preparing to assault on the northern German town of Aurich.
Colour by Jake
Colourised PIECE of JAKE
Photo credit: Library and Archives Canada: Lieut. Donald I. Grant/Department of National Defence fonds/PA-140683
A Supermarine Spitfire Mk IIa, RN-N, serial P7895 of No 72 Squadron RAF, piloted by Flight Lieutenant Robert Deacon Elliot flying over the Northumberland coast from its base at RAF Acklington, Northumberland circa April 1941.


During the Battle of Britain, No. 72 Squadron spent the early days at RAF Acklington as part of No. 13 Group, before moving south during September to aid the main defence force.
The squadron was then moved to North Africa to support the Tunisian campaign before being supplied with the updated Spitfire Mk.IX in 1942.
They then assisted the British 8th Army as they advanced through Italy and France up until the German surrender. At this point they were moved to Austria. It was here they were disbanded on 30 December 1946 at Zeltweg.
Photographer: George W. Hales.
Image Repair & Colourisation - Nathan Howland HowdiColour Image Recovery & Colour
Fighter pilots of Nos. 19 & 616 Squadrons with their pet dogs at Manor Farm, their accommodation at Fowlmere, a satellite airfield to nearby Duxford, in Cambridge. 21, September 1940.


Arthur Giles-Blake RN, Phillip Leckrone (USA), Brian Lane, Hugh Dundas, Leonard Haines, Harry Steere, George Unwin, Walter Lawson, František Hradil (Czech), David Lloyd, and Bernard Jennings (11 of the 15 identified)
Of those mentioned, only George Unwin, Hugh Dundas and Bernard Jennings survived the war.
(Photo source - © IWM CH 1364)
Devon S A (Mr)
Royal Air Force official photographer
Colourised by Doug
Battle of Hazebrouck.
12 April 1918
6-inch howitzer of the 277th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery firing in a lane in front of the railway line near Merris, in the Nord department of northern France.


(Photo source - © IWM Q 86940)
McLellan, David (Second Lieutenant) (Photographer)
Colourised by Doug
13 April, 1918
A British Lewis machine-gun post (possibly) guarding the banks of the river Lys, during the 2nd stage of the German Spring Offensive.
According to their shoulder badges, these men belonged to the Tank Corps.
Note: IWM’s caption gives the place as ‘Marquois’, but I couldn’t find it. It might be a mispronunciation by the photographer or, given that ‘Marquois’ is a family name, it could have been a farm that no longer exists. The same caption also refers to the Lys as a canal (?), but it is actually a river.


EDIT: Many thanks to Andy Rawson who found the spot, and I quote him:
"It is Marquois on the Canal d'Aire a la Bassee [Source British OH map 13 April] Robecq is just across the canal - Google maps calls is Le Marquais. Looking north across the canal in 4th Division's sector.",2.../data=!3m1!1e3..."
On British and US archives, French names of towns and villages are often misspelled or were copied incorrectly from the photographer's records.
Original: IWM (Q6528)
(Color by Rui Candeias)

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