Photos Colour and Colourised Photos of WW2 & earlier conflicts

Ground crew refuel and re-arm one of the first Supermarine Spitfires to land in France, a Mark IX of No. 441 Squadron RCAF, at Advanced Landing Ground B3/Sainte Croix-sur-Mer, Normandy, on the afternoon of 10 June 1944.


Colourised By RJM
Ice forming on a 20-inch signal lamp on the 'Southampton' class cruiser HMS SHEFFIELD while escorting an Arctic convoy to Russia, December 1941.


She joined the Russian Convoy PQ5 as an escort from 1st until 7th December 1941

(Photo source - © IWM A 6872)
Royal Navy official photographer - Lt R G G Coote

( Colour by RJM )
Major X F Varvaresos, Commanding Officer of No. 335 (Hellenic) Squadron RAF, standing in front of a Hawker Hurricane Mark I of the Squadron, embellished with the colours of the Royal Hellenic Air Force, at Aqir, Palestine.


© IWM (CM 2212)
Sopwith Camel 2F.1 fighter biplane flown by Lieutenant Stuart Culley at RAF Felixstowe.

Lieutenant Stuart Douglas CULLEY Royal Air Force Distinguished Service Order - ( LG dated 2 November 1918 )

9 September 1943 - Salerno (Operation Avalanche)
A gun crew of 267th Anti-Tank Battery, 67th Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery (RA), 56th (London) Division prepare a 17 pounder (76,2 mm calibre) 'Pheasant' anti-tank gun for action.


During 10 - 11 September, the strength of German resistance steadily increased. A counter-attack cut the 9th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers in Battipaglia, Salerno off from the main force and required new defences to be created.

(Photo source - © IWM NA 6685)
No. 2 Army Film & Photographic Unit, Mott (Sgt)
(Colour by RJM)
Leading Aircraftman R.P. Coulson removes the guns from a Canadian (RCAF) Spitfire which was heavily damaged.
“A thousand and one dangers awaited the airmen. In this case, an RCAF Spitfire has been blasted on the ground at Grave, Holland, in March 1945. The damage was inflicted by a fragmentation bomb dropped during a hit-and-run raid from the Luftwaffe.”


Colour: ColourisedPieceofJake
A Sturmgeschütz (StuG) III of the Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 177 which has become trapped in snow and mud, is assisted by a convoy of vehicles from the Panzergruppe Guderian on the Eastern Front, October, 1941.


Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 177 was transferred to Russia and arriving in Smolensk in September 1941. Sturmgeschütz-Abteilung 177 was formed in the summer of 1941 at Zinna near Jüterbog. It adopted the 'Griffin' from the Pomeranian Coat of Arms as its battalion insignia. Activation was completed on August 9, 1941. The battalion was transported by rail to the east on September 6 1941. Four days later it was unloaded at Smolensk.
The 4ª Armee-Oberkommando allocated the Battalion which was a General Headquarters unit to the XII Armee-Korps. In turn, it was attached to the 34, 98 and 267 Infanterie-Division and the 19 Panzer Division. The battalion then moved through Borowsk to reach Kosselskaja, right in front of the gates of Moscow. Later the entire Battalion was transferred to Mogilev in March 1942. At Mogilev, the battalion replaced the short barrelled Sturmgeschütze for the longer type, and received a complete refit at the same time.
(Colourised by Royston Leonard)
20 October 1944. The picture shows a M4 Sherman tank fitted with a 'dozer blade' (possibly with the 745th Tank Battalion), driving through the underpass of the station in Aachen - Rothe Erde railroad station.


But why does a tank drive through a suburban station? On the picture of today you can see that on the left an underpass exists, it wasn't there in '44.
Note the damage on the sides of the entrance, you can still see today where the tanks destroyed the walls and where they were repaired.

Attacking from multiple directions, troops of several American divisions isolated the German city of Aachen, which was eventually surrendered after days of heavy fighting. Aachen was the first substantial German city to fall to the advancing Americans.
(Colourised by Doug)
USS LST-206 and LST-22 in the surf on the beach at Leyte, Philippine Islands, as soldiers strip down and build sandbag piers out to the ramps to speed up unloading operations. D-Day October 20, 1944.


(US Coast Guard photo now in the collection of the US National Archives)

(Colour by Royston Leonard)
October 1944
A trooper from the SS. Fallschirmjager Bataillon 500/600 and a Panzer VI. Königstiger of 2 (or3) ./ p.Pz.Abt. 503 near Buda Castle in Budapest, Hungary, during 'Operation Panzerfaust'.


Nb. the SS trooper is wearing Sportschuhe Wehrmacht (Army sports shoes. Before I saw this photo I was convinced that the Russians in Afghanistan were the first to combine sports shoes with a field uniform)

Location: the former Riding Hall (Lovarda) and stables building of the Royal High Guard (Manège de Budavár), part of the Buda Royal Palace complex.

'Operation Panzerfaust' was led by Sturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny.
The forces used were a mix of Police / SS, Waffen SS and Army units available in the area. The majority appear to have been Waffen SS. The raid used to kidnap the Hungaruian Regent, Admiral Miklós Horthy’s son was led by Skorzeny (using police and stand-by troops from SS-Fall.Jg. Bat. 600). After which the Castle Hill was surrounded, and taken mainly by Waffen SS troops from "Maria Theresia" cavalry division and tanks from 3 / s.H.Pz.Abt 503.
Captured German weapons are examined by US forces at a collection point. Note the MG-42 with drum magazine and the assault rifle StG-44 being handled by the GI.


The MG 42 (shortened from German: Maschinengewehr 42, or "machine gun 42") is a 7.92×57mm Mauser general purpose machine gun designed in Nazi Germany and used extensively by the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS during the second half of World War II. It was intended to replace the earlier MG 34, which was more expensive and took much longer to produce, but both weapons were produced until the end of the war.

The distinctive sound caused by the high cyclic firing rate of the MG42 gave rise to the nickname "Hitler's buzzsaw" and the German soldiers' Hitlersäge, Singende Säge, Knochensäge or elektrisches MG ("Hitler's saw", "Singing saw", "Bone saw" or "electric machine gun"). The gun (like the MG 34) was sometimes called "Spandau" by British troops, a traditional generic term for all German machine guns, left over from the famous Allied nickname for the MG 08 Maxim-derivative used by German forces during World War I and derived from its manufacturer's plates noting the city where some were produced. Brazilian expeditionary soldiers fighting in Italy used to refer to MG 42 as Lourdinha; this nickname is due to the fact that the bride of one of the soldiers, named Maria de Lourdes, was a seamstress and the sound of MG 42 was similar to the sound of her sewing machine (Lourdinha is a common nickname in Brazil for women called Maria de Lourdes)
For @bdpopeye

A U.S. Navy crewmember on the flightdeck, loaded down with sandwiches on board USS Monterey (CVL-26) during the start of the Battle of Saipan in June 1944.


USS Monterey (CVL-26) was an Independence-class light aircraft carrier of the United States Navy. Originally laid down as light cruiser Dayton (CL-78) on 29 December 1941 by New York Shipbuilding, Camden, New Jersey. President Gerald R. Ford served aboard the ship during World War II.

Monterey was reclassified CVL-26 on 15 July 1943, shortly before commissioning, and after shakedown, departed Philadelphia for the western Pacific.
Though enemy planes had been unable to damage Monterey, she did not complete her first full year of service unscathed. In December, she steamed into the path of Typhoon Cobra, with winds over 100 knots (190 km/h; 120 mph). At the height of the storm, which lasted 2 days, several planes tore loose from their cables, causing several fires on the hangar deck. During the storm future US President Gerald Ford, who served on board the ship, was almost swept overboard. Ford, serving as General Quarters Officer of the Deck, was ordered to go below to assess the raging fire. He did so safely, and reported his findings back to the ship’s commanding officer, Captain Stuart Ingersoll. The ship’s crew was able to contain the fire, and the ship got underway again.

Colour by Colourisedpieceofjake
Source: National Archives, NARA - 520860.jpg
Members of the Mine Recovery and Disposal Squad towing away a naval mine from the beach at Tayport in Scotland, with the aid of a Universal Bren gun carrier being operated by troops of the 1st Polish Corps.
25 November 1941.


Polish Forces based in Scotland constructed the World War 2 defences whose remains are still evident at Tentsmuir in Fife, on both the beach and hidden deep within the forest.
An important defence
The sandy beaches at Tentsmuir would have made an ideal landing location for German invasion troops in 1940, so defending the coast was essential.
Along with the Polish Army, locals helped build a system of linear defences as part of the overall plan to protect Britain from enemy invasion. The defences ran north from Leuchars Airfield, also a prime target for attack, to Lundin Bridge. Defences included lines of concrete anti-tank blocks, observation towers and pillboxes, all designed to slow down enemy movement inland.
** Long, wooden poles stood upright along the coastline to prevent enemy gliders from easily landing behind defence lines. At low tide, you can still spot some of these poles at Tentsmuir beach. **
The Polish soldiers constructed, and lived in, a camp at the forest. Once they had constructed the defences, many remained to man the guns and patrol the area.

Tentsmuir today
Nowadays little remains of the dismantled camp where the Polish soldiers once lived. Look closely, however, and impressed in the concrete wall of an old well you can find the coat of arms of the Polish Army: a lion and an eagle. This survives as a reminder of the Poles who defended the beaches of Fife.

(Photo source - © IWM A 6427)
Smith, J H (Lt)
Pelman, L (Lt)
Royal Navy official photographer

(Color by Alex Wolf)

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