Photos Colour and Colourised Photos of WW2 & earlier conflicts


Western Europe.
Ardennes December 1944.

Americans Soldiers surrender to the men of the Kampfgruppe Peiper.
Possibly in the absence of knowing the language, one of them seems to ask with signs: "By that direction?".
27 December 1941

Operation Archery - Vågsøy and Måløy, Norway


The raid on the Norwegian islands of Vågsøy and Måløy, codenamed Operation Archery, broke new ground for combined operations. It was the first time air support was integrated into the raiding plans from the outset. Lessons had been learned from the 2nd Lofoten raid earlier in the year, when the absence of air support left the raiding vessels very vulnerable to air attack

There were German troops on both Islands and significant coastal defences to overcome. Intelligence sources indicated that 150 men from the 181st Division, a solitary tank and 100 construction workers were billeted in the town. Four squadrons of fighters and bombers, totalling 37 planes, were operating in the area from bases at Herdia, Stavanger and Trondheim. No enemy warships were thought to be in the area.
The Commandos were formed into 5 groups. The 1st group landed at Hollevik, about 2 kilometres south of South Vågsøy, to disable a German stronghold there. The 2nd group landed just south of the town itself, while the 3rd group landed on Måløy, Island to mop up after the bombardment. The 4th group was held as a floating reserve and the 5th group passed by Måløy, into Ulvesund on the destroyer HMS Oribi. They landed to the north of South Vågsøy to prevent German reinforcements getting through from the north.
The Germans were taken completely by surprise but fought back bravely. On Måløy,, three of the four coastal guns were knocked out by the accurate bombardment, which was lifted only when the invading troops were about 50 metres from the landing beach. Because the Germans had so little time between the end of the bombardment and being overrun by the 105 Commandos, fighting there was over in just 20 minutes.
Much had been learned by both sides. The Germans later reinforced their Norwegian Atlantic wall with the deployment of 30,000 extra troops. Hitler perhaps had concerns that Norway might well be "the zone of destiny in this war."
Read more :
(Photo source - IWM)
(Colours by Julius, Richard and Doug)
28 December 1942

British Destroyer HMS Hesperus (H57) showing bow damage on her return to Liverpool, following a Homeward-bound Convoy Escort, when she rammed and sank a German U-boat


Whilst escorting Convoy HX 219 near Rockall on 26 Dec 1942, the German U-boat U-357 was sunk in the North Atlantic north-west of Ireland, by the British destroyers HMS Hesperus (Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, DSO, RN) and HMS Vanessa (Lt. C.E. Sheen, RN). U-357 was forced to the surface by depth charges and was rammed by HMS Hesperus. 36 dead and 6 survivors.

The ship's bottom was ripped open for nearly a quarter of her length and she needed three months of repairs in Liverpool. She rejoined her group on 17 March and sank U-191 with her Hedgehog on 23 April 1943 whilst escorting Convoy ONS 4.
Almost three weeks later, she sank U-186 whilst defending convoy SC 129 on 12 May 1943. Hesperus remained on convoy escort duties until she was refitted between January and 29 March 1944. (Scrapped 17 May 1947)

(Photo source - IWM A13986)
Tomlin, H W (Lt)

Colour by Royston Leonard
28 December 1944


South African tankmen, probably of the South African 6th Armoured Division, with M4Al Sherman tank on a hilltop; shells are being loaded in through turret.
Fifth Army, Near Monzuno Area in Italy.

"These South African tankmen fight for the first time in snow country, in the rugged Apennines. Against the snow-clad mountains this tank is made ready for firing."

Photo by Schmidt. 3131 Signal Service Co.

Colour by Royston Leonard
December 29, 1944

Three US Infantrymen from the 30th Infantry Division pause to rest en-route to front the lines, beyond Malmedy in Belgium.


Left to right, Sergeant Lyle Greene, Rochester, Minnesota, Staff Sergeant Joseph DeMott, Greenwood, Indiana, and Private First Class Fred Mozzoni, Chicago, Illinois.

On 17 December the division rushed south to the Malmedy-Stavelot area to help block the powerful enemy drive in the Battle of the Bulge—the Germans' last attempt to win a decisive victory over the Western Allies. Again the 30th met the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, and again broke the spearhead of their assault. The 30th Infantry launched a counterattack on 13 January 1945 and reached a point 2 miles south of St. Vith, Belgium on 26 January, before leaving the battle and moving to an assembly area near Lierneux on 27 January, and to another near Aachen to prepare for attack deeper into the western edge of Germany at the Roer River. The Roer was crossed on 23 February 1945, near Jülich.
(Colourised by Allan White)
This C-47 was one of nineteen Skytrains shot down by the Flak of the Führer Begleit Brigade west of Bastogne on 27 December 1944. The aircraft in the picture was from the 94th Troop Carrier Squadron, 439th Troop Carrier Group, and was baptized ‘Aint Missbehavin’ by the crew. Photo taken on 30 December 1944.


The pilot, Captain Ernie Turner of the C-47 cargo transport crash landed safely after having dropped supplies to elements of the 101st Airborne Division which had successfully repulsed all attempts to capture the besieged city of Bastogne, Belgium.

Captain Ernie Turner, with Lieutenant Keistutis J. ‘Casey’ Narbutas as co-pilot, Staff Sergeant Richard G. Whitehurst as radio operator, and Staff Sergeant John E. Douglas as the crew commander escaped unharmed from the emergency landing at Savy northwest of Bastogne, behind the American lines.
A Soldier of the 535th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion, 99th Infantry Division, with his pup during the Battle of the Bulge, somewhere in Belgium on January 4, 1945.


535th AAA AW (Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons) Battalion was part of the 99th Infantry Division which was known as the 'Checkerboard Division', which referred to its shoulder patch.

The 99th Division first saw action on the 9 November, taking over the defense of the sector north of the Roer River between Schmidt and Monschau, a distance of nearly 19 miles. After defensive patrolling, the 99th probed the Siegfried Line against heavy resistance on 13 December. In late 1944 having not yet seen battle, it was nicknamed the 'Battle Babies'.

The inexperienced troops of the division were lodged on the northern shoulder of the Ardennes Offensive on 16 December. Although cut up and surrounded in part, the 99th was one of the only divisions that did not yield to the German attack, and held their positions until reinforcements arrived. The lines were then moved back to form defensive positions east of Elsenborn Ridge on the 19th. Here it held firmly against violent enemy attacks. From 21 December 1944 to 30 January 1945, the unit was engaged in aggressive patrolling and reequipping. It attacked toward the Monschau Forest, 1 February, mopping up and patrolling until it was relieved for training and rehabilitation, 13 February.
Sailors replenishing 14 inch ammunition on USS New Mexico prior to the invasion of Guam, July 1944 [
Battleship 'Kilkis' sunk by German air attack April 23rd 1941.
Originally the battleship USS Mississippi, the lead ship of her class, she was bought by Greece in 1914 and renamed Kilkis. On January 23, after Germany invaded Greece to break the Italian stalemate she was attacked and sunk by Ju87 Stuka dive bombers after attempting to get underway.
January 1916, forest of Bezange,

Four 257th Infantry Regiment Officers with TN gas masks, Coutrot Daggers No. 1, M1892 Revolver and PA Ruby Gun.


At the beginning of the war, the French soldier had only his bayonet, but it was not adapted to the fighting in the trenches. To be able to face the German daggers (Nahkampfmesser), the French army decided to buy some but the knives were too small (3in / 8cm). To cope with the needs, all the butcher's knives were requisitioned and the French navy gave up boarding guns.

Approved in mid-1915 as a standard military infantry weapon after its development by Lt. Col. Coutrot of the French Army, the Poignard-Baïonnette Lebel consisted of a long, needle-pointed, stiletto-profile blade with wood handle and an integrated knuckle guard made of steel. Originally a conversion of the French Épée-Baïonnette Modèle 1886 (bayonet), and designed strictly as an offensive weapon, the Poignard-Baïonnette Lebel used a section of the M1886 Lebel' long, narrow stiletto-type cruciform blade, designed to quickly kill a surprised enemy soldier with a single deep thrust. Up to three trench knives could be constructed from a single M1886 Lebel bayonet.

Infos - La gazette des armes N°501
Photo Source - BDIC
A Leading Stoker nicknamed "Popeye", with 21 years of service, on board the battleship HMS Rodney, one of two Nelson-class battleships built for the Royal Navy in the mid 1920s.


Photo taken in Sep. 1940
Original courtesy of the Imperial War Museum London

Colour by Jecinci
25th Infantry Division troops burn out a Japanese pill box at Baguio in the Philippines, 23 March 1945.


The Battle of Baguio occurred between 21 February and 26 April 1945, and was part of the greater Luzon campaign during the Allied liberation of the Philippines at the end of World War II. During the battle, American and Philippine forces recaptured the city of Baguio on the island of Luzon from a Japanese occupation force. Baguio later became the scene of the final surrender of Japanese forces in the Philippines in September 1945.

Colour by Julius Jääskeläinen
Coldstream Guards, Crimean War (1854–56).

Left to right, Joseph Numa, John Potter and James Deal.


They have the Crimea Medal with Four bars (Alma, Inkerman, Balaklava and Sebastopol), the Azoff one was only issued to Naval and Marine personnel.
And a Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle-musket.

Photo Source - IWM Q 71095

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