Cromwell tank with German MG fitted being repaired at 22nd Armoured Brigade workshops, 7th Armoured Division, near Villers Bocage - 13 August 1944
Armourers load 250-lb GP bombs into a Lockheed Ventura Mark II of No. 464 Squadron RAAF at Methwold, Norfolk, using a bomb-trolley borrowed from No. 487 Squadron RNZAF.
Source: IWM

Despite having achieved 100% motorisation, the British the US Army...recognised that in some theatres there would still potentially be a role for mule-trains because the terrain would not be suitable for wheeled transport, such as later occurred in India, Burma and also Italy.
Thus, "muleteers" were recruited and trained.
Here, mule teams of the 31st Independant Infantry Brigade, comprising of troops of the Royal Ulster Rifles, 1st Border Regiment, the Ox &Bucks and RIASC (Royal Indian Army Service Corps)
For the purpose of this exercise they scaled the rugged terrain of the Black Mountains of Wales, June 1941.

One of General Sir Bernard Montgomery's strengths was his role as a communicator.
He was very much a high-profile Commander, constantly travelling between the units under his command to personally address his men.
He believed that combat Generals should be seen in order to rally the troops rather than being esconced in an HQ miles behind the front.
Here, "Monty" is typically addressing his troops from the bonnet (hood) of a Jeep at Canterbury, Kent, February 1944.

A Vickers Medium Tank Mk.1 of the Royal Tank Regiment on the move at Colchester, circa 1939.
The large box-like structures at the front end of the fenders are sheet-metal hooded shrouds for the headlights.
The genesis of the Matilda 2 "I" tank's suspension can be seen in the suspension of the Vickers Medium.

The impressive-looking "business end" of an Ordnance BL 6" 26 cwt Howitzer of the 214 & 216 / 63 Regiments of the Royal Artillery during a practise shoot under the auspices of Southern Command, at Lydd, Kent, September 1941.
The basic design originated in WW1 but between the wars it was updated via a new carriage with pneumatic tyres.
Note that the large "balloon" tyres actually have mis-matched tread patterns.

A British Commando creeps through undergrowth armed with an M1928 Thompson and a machete, during training at Achnacarry "Commando Baisic Training Centre" Scottish Highlands, 28th February, 1942.
Beneath his "tin hat" he wears a knitted wool "Balaclava"...standard issue winter headgear.

Gordon Short captures Australian Leslie ‘Bull’ Allen rescuing a wounded American soldier on Mount Tambu, New Guinea, 30th of July 1943.

A wounded British soldier (possibly a Welsh Guardsman) enjoys a cup of tea on a hospital train in England following his evacuation from Normandy, June 7th 1944

A Vickers Medium Mk. II* of the Royal Tank Regiment, Farnborough, Hampshire, circa 1940.
The Vickers Mediums were the backbone of the British Armoured Regiments in the 1930s and were at the heart of the new fully integrated mechanised force tactics which evolved during that period.
The men wear the distinctive black berets and coveralls which were...and still are...peculiar to the RTR.

Armed with the tools of his trade, Sergeant W.A. Greenhalgh of the British AFPU (Army Film and Photographic Unit) with his Jeep, at the beginning of "Exercise Fabius", May 1944.
"Exercise Fabius" was a large scale amphibious exercise ahead of the Allies' "Operation Neptune"...the amphibious element of "Overlord".
The disastrous US led "Exercise Tiger" had occurred just a week earlier.


Australian Signalman HG Gladstone, B Company, 2/5th Australian Infantry Battalion with "Tiger". Ulupu, New Guinea (10 July 1945)

Borneo Campaign. Battle of Balikpapan. 1 July 1945. Corporal Otbay, 1st Armoured Regiment (Australia), shows the sword he 'souvenired' after shooting the Japanese owner on the Vasey Highway during Operation Oboe 2.
Gurkha Paratrooper dropping into action against the Japanese near Rangoon, Burma. (1 May 1945)
Soldiers of the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division engaged in street fighting in Geilenkirchen, Germany, December 1944.
British wounded being treated, and Italian prisoners waiting to be evacuated from the beach on the first day of the invasion of Sicily, 10 July 1943.
Sailors and an RM onboard HMS Euryalus bringing up shells for the 5.25-inch guns, eastern Mediterranean Sea. March 1942.
Australian gunners of 2/4th Field Reg., RAA 71st Infantry Div., fire on Japanese positions with a QF 25-pounder. Borneo, Dutch East Indies. July 1945.
Captain A.W. Hardy, Medical Officer with the West Nova Scotia Regiment, lying wounded after being shot in the foot, with Private W.E. Dexter, one of the unit's stretcher-bearers, who was wounded in the head. Santa-Cristina D'Aspromonte, Italy. September 8, 1943.

Photograph by Lieutenant Terry F. Rowe. Canadian Department of National Defence/ Library and Archives Canada.
The Eagle Squadrons were three fighter squadrons of the Royal Air Force (RAF) formed with volunteer pilots from the United States during the early days of World War II (circa 1940), prior to America's entry into the war in December 1941.
With the United States still neutral, many Americans simply crossed the border and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) to learn to fly and fight. Many early recruits had originally gone to Europe to fight for Finland against the Soviet Union in the Winter War.
Charles Sweeny, a wealthy businessman living in London, persuaded the British Government to form an RAF squadron composed of Americans.(His uncle, also named Charles Sweeny, had been working along similar lines, recruiting American pilots to fight in France.) Sweeny's efforts were also coordinated in Canada by the World War I air ace Billy Bishop and the artist Clayton Knight, who formed the Clayton Knight Committee, which by the time the United States entered the war, had processed and approved 6,700 applications from Americans to join the RCAF or RAF. Sweeny and his rich society contacts bore the cost (over $100,000) of processing and sending the men to the United Kingdom for trainin
Formation and evolution
Three Eagle Squadrons were formed between September 1940 and July 1941. On 29 September 1942, they were turned over to the Eighth Air Force of the U.S. Army Air Forces and became the 4th Fighter Group. Of the thousands who volunteered, only 244 Americans served with the Eagle Squadrons. Sixteen Britons also served as squadron and flight commanders.The first Eagle Squadron, No. 71 Squadron, was formed in September 1940 as part of the RAF's buildup during the Battle of Britain,and became operational for defensive duties on 5 February 1941. 71 Squadron commenced operations based at RAF Church Fenton in early 1941, before a move to RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey. In April, the squadron transferred to RAF Martlesham Heath in Suffolk for operations over Europe. During May, it suffered its first loss when Mike Kolendorski was killed during a fighter sweep over the Netherlands. The intensity of operations stepped up with a move into No 11 Group of Fighter Command, being based at RAF North Weald by June 1941. On June 21, 1941, 22 year-old Nathaniel Maranz became the first American pilot to become a prisoner of war when he was shot down by a Bf109 over the English Channel and picked up by a German patrol boat after swimming for an hour and a half. He was a prisoner in Stalag Luft III. The squadron's first confirmed victory came on 21 July 1941 when P/O William R. Dunn destroyed a Messerschmitt Bf 109F over Lille. In August, 71 Squadron replaced its Hurricanes and Spitfire Mk IIs, before quickly re-equipping with the latest Spitfire Mk Vs. The unit soon established a high reputation, and numerous air kill claims were made in RAF fighter sweeps over the continent during the summer and autumn of 1941. In December, the squadron was rested back at Martlesham Heath, before a move to Debden in May 1942.
The second Eagle Squadron, No. 121 Squadron, was formed at RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey in May 1941,flying Hurricanes on coastal convoy escort duties. On 15 September 1941, it destroyed its first German aircraft. The Hurricanes were replaced with Spitfires, and Spitfire Mk Vs arrived in November 1941. The following month, the squadron moved to RAF North Weald, replacing 71 Squadron. In 1942, its offensive activities over the English Channel included bomber escorts and fighter sweeps.
The third and final Eagle Squadron, No. 133 Squadron, was formed at RAF Coltishall in July 1941, flying the Hurricane Mk IIb. A move to RAF Duxford followed in August, and re-equipment with the Spitfire Mk V occurred early in 1942. In May, the squadron became part of the famed RAF Biggin Hill Wing. On 31 July 1942, during a bomber escort mission to Abbeville, 133's Spitfires fought 52-kill Luftwaffe 'ace' Oblt. Rudolf Pflanz of 11./JG 2 in combat; after shooting down one, Pflanz was himself shot down and killed in his Messerschmitt Bf 109G-1 over Berck-sur-Mer, France. 133 Squadron claimed three destroyed and one probable, while losing three aircraft. P/O "Jessie" Taylor accounted for two of the claims (a Bf 109F and an Focke-Wulf Fw 190) and P/O W. Baker was credited with a Fw 190 destroyed. On 26 September 1942, 11 of the unit's 12 brand new Spitfire Mk IXs were lost on a mission over Morlaix while escorting USAAF Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses in heavy cloud cover. Strong winds blew the unit further south than realised and, short of fuel, the squadron let down directly over Brest. Six pilots were shot down and taken prisoner, four were killed, one bailed out and evaded capture, while one crash landed in England. One of the British pilots taken prisoner, Flight Lieutenant Gordon Brettell, was later to be shot as one of the escapees in The Great Escape from Stalag Luft III in 1944.

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