Photos Colour and Colourised Photos of WW2 & earlier conflicts

US 2nd Armored in Europe.jpg

Belgium, September - 2nd Armored in Europe. 250 men from 20 countries following the tracks and footsteps of the 2nd Armored Division while liberating Belgium in september 1944.


In central Ukraine, into a normal Russian family, the one who would later become the most lethal sniper in history would be born on July 12, 1916: Liudmila Pavlichenko.

She attended State School No. 3 in Bila Tserkva until the age of 14, when her family moved to kyiv. There she worked at the kyiv Arsenal as a mill operator until she finished her tenth grade studies. At school she was a member of the local Komsomol and its compulsory organization OSOAVIAKhIM.

The OSOAVIAKhIM was an organization in which millions of young Soviet teenagers received military training courses, in addition to school courses. Lyudmila excelled in these classes, displaying a remarkable natural ability to fire firearms at great distances. This prowess earned him the coveted Voroshilov Sniper Badge at regional rifle competitions.

In 1937 she was accepted to the Shevchenko State University in kyiv. At the start of World War II, she had finished four years of college.

She volunteered for the army in 1941. After refusing office jobs and training as a nurse, she was accepted into the 54th Rifle Regiment of the 25th Rifle Division. The 25-year-old joined the 2nd platoon of the regiment's sniper company because of her skill and dexterity. As part of her outfit, she was issued a Mosin-Nagant 91/30 rifle with a PE scope.

Her unit was already heavily involved in the fighting in Moldova, where the young fighter joined it. Forced to retreat to the Dniester, Pavlichenko participated in their fierce defense of the port of Odessa in August 1941, where she was promoted to the rank of sergeant. By that date she had been credited with the deaths of over 100 German soldiers, having been wounded on several occasions. When Odessa fell into German hands, her unit was evacuated by the Black Sea Fleet to the besieged port of Sevastopol.

In Sevastopol, the young sniper was in combat for 250 days as part of the siege of the city. She received a promotion to second lieutenant while serving as lead sniper of the line and in sniper recruit training near the Imgarmansky Lighthouse. It was from this campaign that the rest of her 309 personal victories (which included over 100 officers and no fewer than 36 German snipers) were officially tallied.

She was wounded for the fourth time in June 1942 and evacuated by submarine to the mainland. Her husband, also a member of the Red Army, died in the siege.

For her efforts in battle Pavlichenko received the title of Hero of the Soviet Union from Mikhail Kalinin, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Due to the publicity received by her, it was decided to create a symbolic icon to boost the morale of the fighters, so she never returned to the front lines. She was assigned to recruiting and training duties for the rest of the war.

In September 1942, she joined the Soviet military delegation that visited the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. She was the first Soviet citizen to be received at the White House, where she dined with President Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor. As part of the delegation, she visited 43 cities and gave hundreds of speeches. In New York she was presented with a Colt 1911 pistol at Madison Square Garden by union officials from the Colt factory, located in Hartford, Connecticut. In Toronto, Canada she was issued a Winchester model 70 rifle with a Weaver sight.

After the war, she finished her studies at kyiv University and started her career as a historian. From 1945 to 1953, she was a research assistant at the Soviet Army Headquarters. Later, she was active in the Soviet Committee of War Veterans. She died on October 10, 1974 at the age of 58, and was buried at the Novodevichye cemetery in Moscow.
Gordon ‘Gordy’ Carson (L) and Frank Perconte (R) of E (Easy) Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division, Eindhoven, September 1944
'B' Sqn H.Q 1st Kings Dragoon Guards, 6th Arm. Div., in their Staghound armoured car. Cortona in Italy. 13 July 1944 The men are Tpr. A S Collins of Manchester, Tpr. V May of Leicester, Cpl. G Cotton of Fulham, London and L/Cpl R Pratt of Selly Oak, Birmingham.
US Marines fighter pilot Captain Jefferson Deblanc.jpg

US Marines fighter pilot Captain Jefferson Deblanc, shakes hands with President Truman after receiving the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Guadalcanal campaign.

Photo taken at the White House, December 6th 1946. On January 31, 1943, while serving with VMF-112, First Lieutenant DeBlanc was escorting SBD Dive bombers that were sent to strike Japanese shipping.

Despite his F4F Wildcat leaking fuel and knowing he was on one-way trip, Deblanc stayed with the bombers and shot down 5 Japanese planes in 5 minutes before before being shot down himself.

Deblanc bailed out and swam for six hours in shark-infested waters to the near-by Japanese held island of Kolombangara, even though he was badly injured in his arms, legs and back.

Upon reaching the beach he spent several days in an abandoned hut, eating coconuts he found while his wounds went unattended. Eventually he was seized by a group of local tribesmen.

He was placed in a bamboo cage and heard the beating of drums, seemingly the transmission of messages to tribal elders seeking word on how to deal with him.

The next day a friendly tribe bartered him for a sack of rice they had stolen from the Japanese and they tended to his wounds while they waited for rescue.

On February 12th, 12 days after being shot down, he was picked up by a PBY Catalina and taken to hospital.
Deblac already had 3 kills before his ‘Ace in a Day’ combat, and went on to fly Corsairs and shoot down another plane off Okinawa , bringing his total to 9 kills.

He retired from the Marines in 1972 as a colonel in the Reserves, and became a math and physics teacher.
Colonel Jefferson DeBlanc passed away on November 22, 2007 in Lafayette, Louisiana, at the age of 86.
The Russian Tsarist Romanov.jpg

The Russian Tsarist Romanov family posing for a photograph, 1904.

Allmost today 104 years ago, in the early hours of July 17, 1918, Russian ex-Tsar Nicholas, his wife and five children were executed by Bolshevik revolutionaries in the Ipatiev House basement in Yekaterinburg.

On March 15, 1917, upon the outbreak of the Russian February Revolution, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated the Russian throne, ending 304 years of the House of Romanov's reign over Russia. On March 20, 1917, the new Russian Provisional Government decided to hold the Romanov family under house arrest at the Alexander Palace near St. Petersburg.

The Romanov family, consisting of Tsar Nicholas, his wife the Empress Alexandra, their four daughters Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and their son Alexei, was eventually moved to Tobolsk in Western Siberia in August 1917. In April 1918 they were moved again to the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, where they were essentially imprisoned and kept under strict conditions by Bolshevik guards.

By then the Russian Civil War was fully under way, and by June 1918 the Czechoslovak Legion, siding with the counter-revolutionary White Army, was steadily approaching Yekaterinburg. Fearing that these forces were on a rescue mission for the Romanovs, in late June the decision was made to execute the family.

On July 16, the Bolshevik guards, led by Yakov Yurovsky, was given the order to execute the ex-Tsar family by firing squad.

At around 2 AM on July 17, 1918, the family was awakened and got dressed under the impression they were being moved to a safer location. Yurovsky and his guards then led the family down into the half-basement room of the Ipatiev House.
Austrian Schwarzlose machine gun mountain unit between Monte Cevedale and the Gran Zebrù. Northern Italy, 1917 - Colourised by Cassowary Colorizations
China Yang Kyoungjong.jpg

~Soldier of Three Armies~

Yang Kyoungjong was born on March 3, 1920 in Shin Eui Ju, Korea, during the time Japan ruled his country. In 1938 at the age of 18, he was conscripted into the Kwantung Army in Manchuria, an army group of the Imperial Japanese Army, to fight against the Soviet Union during the Soviet-Japanese Border War. During the Battles of Khalkhin Gol in Mongolia during 1939, he was captured by the Soviet Red Army and sent to a labor camp. The Second World War had begun, and in 1942, due to the shortage of manpower faced by the Soviets in it's fight against Germany, he, along with thousands of other prisoners, was pressed into service in the Red Army and sent to the Eastern Front. In 1943, during the Third Battle of Kharkov in Ukraine, he was taken prisoner by the German Wehrmacht and was then pressed into service in an Heer ostbattalion, fighting for Germany. Yang was sent to the Cotentin peninsula in Normandy, France, close to Utah Beach. Following the D-Day landings by Allied forces in Normandy on June 6, 1944, Yang was captured by American paratroopers of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. He was sent to a POW camp in Britain where he remained until the war's end in May 1945. In 1947, he moved to the United States, settling in Evanston, Illinois where he lived out the rest of his life. He married and raised a family of three children, two sons and a daughter. Yang passed away on April 7, 1992. He apparently rarely, if ever, spoke of his incredible wartime experiences, and it wasn't until years after his death that his story was brought to public light.

Pictured is Yang Kyoungjong after his capture by American troops. Normandy, France. May 1944.
U.S. soldier wearing a gas-mask posing for a photograph with an M1917 Revolver and a bolo knif...jpg

U.S. soldier wearing a gas-mask posing for a photograph with an M1917 Revolver and a bolo knife, 1918.

The M1917 Revolver was a U.S. revolver produced in 1917 and used during the First World War by the American Expeditionary Force.

Meant to supplement the standard U.S. M1911 Colt pistol, the M1917 Revolver came in two different variants: one produced by Colt and the other by Smith & Wesson, the two leading revolver producers at the time. The pictured M1917 Revolver in this photograph is a Smith & Wesson variant.

The M1917 Revolver was loaded with six-round cylinders and fired .45 ACP cartridges. The Smith & Wesson variant weighed 1 kg (2.25 lb) while the Colt weighed 1.1 kg (2.5 lb), with the variants differing in the chamber of the revolver.

Between 1917 to 1919 some 151,700 M1917 Revolvers were produced by Colt and 153,300 by Smith & Wesson. On the Western Front the revolvers were used en masse by the U.S. soldiers, with nearly 2/3 as many of M1917 Revolvers being issued as M1911 Colt pistols.

The M1917 Revolvers were even adopted by the British Army during the First and Second World Wars, and went on to be used by the U.S. Army in the latter as well.
A trench message dog of the 5th Battalion, Manchester Regiment stands on a sandbagged wall as he waits for an officer (left) to complete the note he is writing, Cuinchy. One soldier (centre) pats the dog and holds him steady. 26 January 1918.
African-American soldiers in WW1.jpg

African-American soldiers in WW1 were segregated in the US Army and often put into French regiments, where they served with distinction. The most famous was the 369th Infantry Regiment, the 'Harlem Hellfighters,' the first Allied soldiers to reach the Rhine.
Priest Solodkov, the ship’s doctor and the ship’s cat on the deck of Kagul, Bizerta, 1921. Kagul (renamed Ochakov, later General Kornilov) was built by Sevastopol dockyard. Laid down 1900, launched October 1902, completed 1905, seized by the White forces in the Russian Civil War and interned in Bizerta in 1920 as part of Wrangel’s fleet, sold for scrap in 1933.

As additional notes the Kagul belonged to the Bogatyr-class series of protected cruisers. Another thing is that the doctor looks more like he belongs to the Imperial Army since the Navy never had any khaki coloured uniforms (although he has a naval greatcoat slung across the back).
German Condor Legion in Vigo, Northwestern Spain, preparing for their departure back to Germany after aiding Franco's Nationalists in winning the Spanish Civil War (May 24, 1939)

Similar threads