Photos Colour and Colourised Photos of WW2 & earlier conflicts

Finnish soldier with a MP-40 (Maschinenpistole 40) in Ihantala, 13 July 1944.


Finland never bought any of them separately. But a small number arrived with certain German vehicles which Finland bought from Germany during Continuation War.
Irish Setter Peggy Brown, mascot of Flying Squadron 24 is greeting Squadron Commander Captain Karhunen in Lappeenranta (date unknown).


Jorma "Joppe" Karhunen (1913-2002), one of the Finland's top fighter aces with 31.5 total kills, most of them when flying Brewster Buffalo. Karhunen was Knight of the Mannerheim Cross # 92.
Mid - October 1942


Corporal John 'Jack' William Sillito
Was a member of a four-man SAS patrol (1 SAS 'A' Squadron) tasked to blow up a strategic railway line, behind the enemy's positions, just before the offensive at El Alamein.
After a firefight with the enemy, Sillito got separated from the rest of his group, and set out to walk well over 100 miles back to the British lines, without food or water, a gruelling week-long experience which he only just survived.
This photograph was taken after spending several days in hospital following his rescue, with his feet still bandaged. November 1942.

He was awarded the Military Medal and Bar in October 1943, as a Corporal (acting Sergeant) Nº 324811 of the Staffordshire Yeomanry, Royal Armoured Corps and served in Africa and Sicily.
(© IWM E 19781) Sgt. Berkshire of No 1 Army Film & Photographic Unit
(Colourised by Paul Reynolds.)


Actions of the Somme Crossings. Infantry of the French 22nd Division and British 20th Division (possibly the 12th Battalion, the Rifle Brigade) man a line of newly scraped rifle pits covering a road, near Nesle, 25th March 1918.

(Photo source - © IWM Q 10812)
Aitken, Thomas Keith (Second Lieutenant) (Photographer)
BATTLES SOMME 1 JULY - 18 NOVEMBER 1916 (Q 4081) Battle of Pozieres Ridge. Australian gunners serving a 9.2 howitzer. They are stripped to the waist owing to the hot weather

SPAM if i'm not mistaken.

What exactly do You mean?


26 October 1942

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS 'Enterprise' (CV-6) and other ships of her screen in action during the Battle of Santa Cruz.


One bomb is exploding off her stern, while two Japanese dive bombers are visible directly above the carrier and towards the center of the image. The battleship USS 'South Dakota' (BB-57) is firing her starboard 5/38 secondary battery, as marked by the bright flash amidships.

US Navy PBY Catalina patrol bombers sighted a Japanese carrier force at noon on 25 October, and TF 16 steamed northwest to intercept it. Early the next morning, when all carrier forces were within striking range, a Japanese scout plane spotted the American naval force, triggering the Battle of Santa Cruz. 'South Dakota' and the 'Enterprise' group were approximately 10 mi (16 km) from 'Hornet' group when the battle began.
The first Japanese air attack was concentrated against Hornet. South Dakota operated near Enterprise to provide it protective fire against enemy aircraft. At 1045, TF 16 was attacked by a group of Japanese dive bombers.
USS 'South Dakota' suffered a 550 lb (250 kg) bomb hit on top of its number one turret. When combat action was broken off that evening, the American naval forces retired toward Nouméa, New Caledonia. South Dakota was credited with downing 26 Japanese planes, firing 890 rounds of 5 inch, 4,000 rounds of 40mm, 3,000 rounds of 1.1 inch and 52,000 rounds of 20mm ammunition during the action.
The Big 'E' herself underwent intensive attack. Hit twice by bombs, Enterprise lost 44 men and had 75 wounded. Despite serious damage, she continued in action and took on board a large number of planes and crewmen from Hornet when that carrier was sunk.
(Official U.S. Navy Photograph - Catalog #: 80-G-20989)
(Colour by RJM)
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A French Colonial 75 mm artillery gun (Canon de 75 modèle 1897) in action near Sedd el Bahr at Cape Helles, Gallipoli during the Third Battle of Krithia, 4 June 1915.


(Photo source - © IWM Q 13251)
Photographer Lt. Ernest Brooks
British Battleship HMS HOWE on Atlantic patrol in choppy seas during winter weather, seen from the battleship HMS KING GEORGE V.
Winter 1942/43


HMS HOWE visited Cape Town after her completion of refit in June 1945 and returned to UK. She remained in commission in 1946 and became Flagship of the Training Squadron at Portland for the next 4 years. The ship reduced to Reserve status in 1950 and became headquarters of the Devonport Division, Reserve Fleet. During 1957 this major warship was placed on the Disposal List with the other three ships of the KING GEORGE V Class battleships. Sold to BISCO for demolition she arrived in tow at Inverkeithing on 2nd June 1958 for breaking-up by TW Ward.

(Photo source - © IWM A 15427)
Davies, F A (Lt)
Royal Navy official photographer

(Color by Alex Wolf)
Lieutenant General Brian Horrocks (looking at the camera), the newly appointed GOC of the British Army XXX Corps, in his Humber staff car chatting with American troops in Argentan, in the Orne department of northwestern France. 21 August 1944.


In June 1943, Horrocks sustained serious injuries during an air raid at Bizerte in Tunisia. Bullets from a strafing German fighter struck his upper chest and carried on through his body, piercing his lungs, stomach, and intestines. He underwent five operations and spent fourteen months recovering.
It was a year before Horrocks recovered sufficiently and was restored to the acting rank of lieutenant-general in August 1944. He was sent to France to assume command of XXX Corps during the cataclysm engulfing the trapped German 7th Army and 5th Panzer Army in the Falaise Pocket.

Lieutenant-General Sir Brian Gwynne Horrocks, KCB, KBE, DSO, MC (7 September 1895 – 4 January 1985)

(Photo source - © IWM B 9532)
Laing (Sgt)
No. 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit

(Colourised today by Doug)
@Conhoon, spam is a type of sandwich filling preserved meat, or meat by-products... what you eat when you cannot source fresh meat.

Thank You very much, I did not know the word in this sense.
My English is still very poor.


23 October 1944
Corporal P W Collings, a Royal Corps of Signals motorcycle despatch rider equipped with a BSA WM20, delivers a message to a ('C' Squadron) 11th Armoured Division tank commander of a Cromwell, Cruiser Mk.VIII tank (T 187801), somewhere near Helmond in the Netherlands.


After Normandy and the collapse of the German army around Falaise, the 11th Armoured Division took part in the mad dash to Antwerp via Brussels and took Antwerp against overwhelming odds in a text book coup de main. During Market Garden the division was assigned to cover the right flank of XXX corps and advanced on the main axis.

The division advanced all the way to the River Maas and during October, holed up in Helmond. The division continued to fight through Holland with brief diversions such as the efforts to combat the Northern thrust of the Battle of the Bulge. The division took part in Operation Blockbuster and the Hochwald battle as well as the Reine crossing and the battle of Teutoburger Ridge. More harrowing in the division’s history was the liberation of Belsen. The division ended up pushing on to the Baltic coast where it finished sitting near Hamburg and Lubeck.
(Photo source - © IWM B 11190)
(Colourised by Doug)
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Tomahawk Mark I, AH791 RM-E, of No. 26 Squadron RAF based at Gatwick, Sussex, in flight.


Curtiss Tomahawk I: February 1941- January 1942
Located at Gatwick: 30 November 1941-7 February 1942
Low-level ground attack and tactical reconnaissance:
October 1941-July 1943

All Tomahawks based in the United Kingdom operated as low-level tactical reconnaissance aircraft with Army Co-operation Command, hence the oblique camera ports visible on the port fuselage side of these aircraft. (IWM)

(Photo source - © IWM CH 4052)

Colourised by Richard James Molloy
Lt. Robert Roger Marchi standing on his Yakovlev Yak-3 of the Free French "Normandie-Niemen" 1st Squadron. GCIII Normandie (Groupe de Chasse) No.III
East Prussia, March 1945


Robert Marchi
Born July 26, 1919 in Chalon-sur-Saone (Saône et Loire)
Died in a plane crash July 17, 1946 (aged 27)
6 confirmed victories
7 victories in collaboration
1 enemy aircraft damaged
2 enemy aircraft damaged in collaboration.

"Normandie-Niemen" served on the Eastern Front of the European Theatre of World War II with the 1st Air Army. The group is notable for being one of only two air combat units from an Allied western European country to participate on the Eastern Front during the war, the other being the British No. 151 Wing RAF and the only one to fight together with the Soviets until the end of the war in Europe.

GC 3 'Normandie' played an active role during the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943, now flying their first Yak -9s. Commandant Tulasne himself claimed a Bf 110 on 15th July and a Fw 190 on 16th July before being shot down and killed the following day on his second sortie escorting IL 2s over the Znamenskaia sector. His successor was Pierre Pouyade who enjoyed the soubriquet 'Le Loup des Steppes' - 'the wolf of the Steppes'. Losses were to grow during the hard fighting on the central Russian front during 1943 with Pouyade obliged to leave for North Africa on a recruiting mission during October 1943. A second wave of Normandie volunteers arrived in Russia during January 1944, one of whom was Roger Sauvage. His post-war memoir "Un du Normandie-Niémen" is a classic of the genre.

During 1944 Stalin was to honour the Normandie by adding 'Niemen' to their title in recognition for the help they rendered the Soviet Army in crossing this river. One of the first Allied fighter units to operate from occupied German territory, the 'Normandie-Niemen' clashed with JG51 Mölders in the huge air battles over Konigsberg in March 1945. By the war's end and over 5,000 sorties flown, the Group had achieved some 273 confirmed victories and another 36 probables before their triumphal return to Le Bourget, Paris on 20 June 1945. Forty-two of the squadron's pilots were killed and 30 reached ace status.

Researched By Doug Banks
Colourised by Richard James Molloy from the UK
Allied soldiers in greatcoats warm themselves around a brazier, Egypt, North Africa. 11 July 1942.
(The temperature in the desert could fall considerably during the night.)


Tobruk fell on June 21, and the Axis forces captured 2.5 million gallons of much-needed fuel, as well as 2,000 wheeled vehicles. The fall of Tobruk, however, had unforeseen consequences for the Axis. Churchill heard the news during a meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the United States. The American president immediately offered help. The resulting 300 Sherman tanks and 100 self-propelled guns would later play a pivotal role at El Alamein.
The British fell back to defensive positions at Mersa Matruh, about 100 miles inside Egypt. Rommel, who had been promoted to field marshal for his success at Gazala, pursued. Auchinleck relieved Ritchie and personally assumed command of the Eighth Army. With only 60 operational tanks, Rommel attacked at Mersa Matruh on June 26 and routed four British divisions in three days of fighting. The British fell back again, this time to the vicinity of El Alamein, another 120 miles to the east.
Now less than 100 miles from Alexandria, Auchinleck was determined to hold near El Alamein. Under constant pressure from Rommel’s forces, Auchinleck improvised a fluid defensive line anchored on Ruweisat Ridge, a few miles south of the El Alamein defensive perimeter. Rommel attacked on July 1, attempting to sweep around El Alamein. For three weeks, Auchinleck skillfully battled Rommel to a standstill. Auchinleck launched a major counterattack on July 21-22, but gained no ground. Exhausted, both sides paused to regroup. (
(Photo source - © IWM E 14210)
No 1 Army Film & Photographic Unit
Jordan (Sgt)
Researched by Doug Banks
Colourised by Richard James Molloy from the UK

View attachment 192847

Actions of the Somme Crossings. Infantry of the French 22nd Division and British 20th Division (possibly the 12th Battalion, the Rifle Brigade) man a line of newly scraped rifle pits covering a road, near Nesle, 25th March 1918.

(Photo source - © IWM Q 10812)
Aitken, Thomas Keith (Second Lieutenant) (Photographer)
Its not DPM, but the British do blend in. The French not so much. What was the thinking of the Blue - the world is not blue. p.s. lovely pictures.

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