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Friday, March 9, 2018

Color Photos of World War II Part 7

Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) 'spotter'  color photos of World War II
December 1942: An Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) 'spotter' at a 3.7-inch anti-aircraft gun site, most likely in London.

This is another in my continuing series on color photographs of World War II. These are all portions of more complete photographs contained in the Imperial War Museum's "The Second World War In Colour" (2017). If you like these samples, you definitely should consider hunting down the book.

Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) plotters  color photos of World War II
December 1942: Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) plotters at work at Coastal Artillery Headquarters in Dover.
These types of pages enable us to step back a bit and get a bigger perspective on the war than simply battles and winning and losing. A war is a complex organization of people committed toward a common objective. Many of those people are never recognized afterwards, never remembered, and there is no place for them in a chronological recounting because they are always there, in the background.

Lancaster bombers in Avro's factory at Woodford color photos of World War II
1943: Lancaster bombers in Avro's factory at Woodford near Manchester.

As I've stated on other pages of this type, most color photographs of World War II that you will see anywhere on the Internet are colorized. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with colorized photographs, especially when it is done well. They make the war more accessible to modern audiences. However, these particular photographs are, as noted above, color originals.

Lockheed Hudson at Yundum in Gambia color photos of World War II
April 1943: Local workers helping RAF fitters change the engine of a Lockheed Hudson at Yundum in Gambia.

It is tempting to think that technology began yesterday, when we first picked up a smartphone. However, color photography was very well developed during World War II. The reason that almost all photographs from the war are in black and white is simply because color film was several times as expensive as black and white film, and there were very few ways to use it in days when newspapers and magazines were almost always in black and white.

B-17F Flying Fortress color photos of World War II
May 1943: B-17F Flying Fortress 'Mary Ruth - Memories of Mobile' of the 91st Bomb Group, US Eighth Air Force. The bombers are on a mission to attack the U-boat pens at Lorient. 

Another oddity about color photographs of World War II is that they tend to cluster around certain themes. That is because certain themes are simply more interesting to audiences. Like it or not, photos of Adolf Hitler and German troops are the most common subjects of colorized photographs, followed closely by female Soviet troops. That may change in the future, but it seems to be a definite pattern at the moment.

Land Army girls color photos of World War II
1943: Land Army girls sawing larch poles for use as pit props at the Women's Timber Corps training camp at Culford, Suffolk.

So, with this page, we aim to correct the balance a bit. This entire page is original color photographs of the Allied side during World War II.

Crusader tank at El Aroussa in Tunisia color photos of World War II
May 1943: A crew from the 16th/5th Lancers, 6th Armoured Division, cleaning the gun barrel of their Crusader tank at El Aroussa in Tunisia. 

I have put the photographs in chronological order, though a few I don't have dates on, so they are just put in wherever seemed most suitable.

Farmers cutting grass color photos of World War II
1943: Farmers cutting grass for winter silage at Eynsford in Kent. Don't sneer at this kind of photo, this type of thing is what really won World War II.

If you like these color photos, you may wish to check out my other pages of color photos of World War II.

You may find more color photos of World War II on page 1 and page 2 and page 3 and page 4 of and page 5 and page 6 of this series.

Sherman tank of the 3rd County of London Yeomanry in Sicily color photos of World War II
August 1943: Local children crowding aboard a Sherman tank of the 3rd County of London Yeomanry in Sicily.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you enjoy your time here.

Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Hospital at Halton in Buckinghamshire color photos of World War II
August 1943: Nurses and convalescent aircrew at Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Hospital at Halton in Buckinghamshire.

5.5-inch gun crew from 75th (Shropshire Yeomanry) Medium Regiment color photos of World War II
September 1943: A 5.5-inch gun crew from 75th (Shropshire Yeomanry) Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery, in action at Salerno, Italy.

P-51D Mustang color photos of World War II
1944: Lieutenant Vernon R Richards of the 361st Fighter Group escorting some bombers in his P-51D Mustang.

SHAEF color photos of World War II
February 1944: General Dwight D Eisenhower and his senior commanders at Supreme Allied Headquarters (SHAEF) in London. I don't recognize everyone offhand, but you should be able to pick out Eisenhower, General Omar Bradley and Field Marshal Montgomery.

B-24 Liberator bombers of the 491st Bomb Group color photos of World War II
1944: B-24 Liberator bombers of the 491st Bomb Group, US Eighth Air Force on their way to bomb Germany.

Air Raid Precautions (ARP) warden color photos of World War II
Unknown date: An Air Raid Precautions (ARP) warden inspects damage in Holborn, London.

Private Alfred Campin of the 6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry color photos of World War II
March 1944: Private Alfred Campin of the 6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry demonstrating proper bayoneting technique.

British paratroopers color photos of World War II
April 22, 1944: British paratroopers preparing for a practice jump from an RAF Dakota based at Down Ampney in Wiltshire.

Wing Commander James 'Johnnie' Johnson color photos of World War II
July 1944: The RAF's top-scoring fighter pilot, Wing Commander James 'Johnnie' Johnson, with his Spitfire and pet Labrador Sally in Normandy.

Churchill Crocodile flamethrower tank color photos of World War II
August 1944: A Churchill Crocodile flamethrower tank in action, You can just barely see the wheel of its armored trailer behind it which contains the fuel.

Liberation of Eindhoven color photos of World War II
September 1944: Liberation of Eindhoven by Allied forces. The Germans took a rather dim view of this sort of thing, so the Luftwaffe bombed the town, which they knew well from having had their own base there, a few hours later.

Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery pointing out the German West Wall region to King George VI  color photos of World War II
October 1944: Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery pointing out the German West Wall region to King George VI in his command caravan in Holland. The King outranked Montgomery - and not just by virtue of being King - and thus could at least in theory override any decision that Monty made.

British soldiers at the Acropolis color photos of World War II
October 1944: British soldiers have arrived, and, just like the Germans in April 1944, they pause to admire the Caryatids on the Acropolis. They thought the hard part of the war was over, but in fact it was just beginning in Athens.

Female munitions workers color photos of World War II
1945: Women producing bullets and cannon shells in an underground munitions factory on the Wirral, Merseyside.

German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper color photos of World War II
May 1945: German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper in dry dock at Kiel. Sold for scrap a few years later. 

VE Day in England color photos of World War II
May 8, 1945: VE Day in England, at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

Winston Churchill color photos of World War II
This one is colorized - I think. 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves. Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:


Monday, March 5, 2018

Heil Honey I'm Home (1990)

Heil Honey I'm Home logo
"Heil Honey I'm Home" logo, which is an obvious takeoff on that of US television series "Married With Children."

And now, as they say, time for something completely different.

Heil Honey I'm Home Neil McCaul
Neil McCaul as Adolf.

This is the first entry on an occasional series on this site which will go under the general category of "modern reimaginings of World War II." It is a quick look back at "Heil Honey I'm Home," a 1990 British television series with a somewhat odd concept. It merges characters taken wholesale from the Third Reich and that period of history, slaps them into a supposedly unaired sitcom from the 1950s, and adds a pinch of irreverence from 1980s shows such as "Married With Children."

DeNica Fairman Heil Honey I'm Home
DeNica Fairman as Eva.

"Heil Honey I'm Home" is not exactly a famous show. In fact, it only aired for one episode, on 30 September 1990. It is what those in the business call "high concept." Adolf Hitler - yes, that Adolf Hitler, not some joker just called Adolf Hitler - is portrayed as a suburban apartment dweller in an unnamed English city.

Heil Honey I'm Home Neil McCaul
Hitler's uniform apparently resembled that of a Boy Scout.

Now, let's get something straight right off the bat: this is not some pro-Hitler thing or anything of the sort. In fact, the show's creator Geoff Atkinson goes to some pains to emphasize that most of the people involved with "Heil Honey I'm Home" are Jewish. Satellite television channel Galaxy, part of British Satellite Broadcasting (which later became part of BSkyB), commissioned the series from writer Atkinson (more known as a writer for "Don't Watch That, Watch This," "Going Forward" and other British television series). Let's just say that Atkinson must have put on a whale of a pitch when given the chance.

Neil McCaul DeNica Fairman Heil Honey I'm Home

Without going into too many details - well, there aren't that many details, considering the show only aired once and lasted for only 26 minutes - Hitler (who is identified in the credits only as "Adolf," but completely named within the programme itself) is a suburban apartment dweller. His neighbors are a world-weary Jewish couple trying to set up their niece Ruth with the interesting parade of people who grace Hitler's door. These have included Mussolini and (in the episode that actually aired) Neville Chamberlain.

Heil Honey I'm Home Neil McCaul
Hitler trying to figure out how to get out of signing Chamberlain's silly piece of paper.

Everything is played for laughs, but there are a lot of historically accurate flourishes that are bound to offend some people. For instance, barely two minutes into the show, Hitler's wife Eva has given Hitler the Hitler salute (Hitlergruß) not once, but twice. Incidentally, did you know that you can and will be arrested in Germany for doing that to this day? It's true. The series is set in 1938, not actually during the war.

Heil Honey I'm Home Neil McCaul Patrick Cargill
Hitler greeting Neville Chamberlain, played by Patrick Cargill, better known for starring in " Father, Dear Father" (and who served in the military during World War II, incidentally.

During the series, Hitler talks incessantly about invading Poland and the Rheinland and so on and so forth, and gets a call on the telly from his pal Joseph Goebbels. High points of the episode are when someone is told to "Grab hold of the Fuehrer's butt" (in a conga line) and Chamberlain trying to get Hitler to sign the "Peace in our Time" statement (which Hitler throws in the oven).

Heil Honey I'm Home Neil McCaul

Veteran television actor Neil McCaul plays Hitler in the style of  Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden, though he looks eerily like John Cleese (who, incidentally, shall feature in a future installment of my series on modern reimaginings of World War II). Canadian DeNica Fairman plays Eva Braun as a sort of Peg Bundy (from "Married With Children") knockoff (DeNica dropped out after the pilot for unexplained reasons, but we can hazard a guess or two).

Heil Honey I'm Home Neil McCaul

Gareth Marks and Caroline Gruber round out the regulars by playing Arny and Rosa Goldenstein, who are fun... ethnic stereotypes. The series (according to the few who have seen it or the scripts) develops into a plot by Hitler to kill the annoying Goldensteins, who keep spoiling his attempts to impress people like Mussolini, Chamberlain and Stalin.

Apparently, there were eight episodes completed of "Heil Honey I'm Home," and parts of others, but only one has been released in its entirety. I am informed that you can find all eight if you devote all your time and energy to doing so, but I haven't found them. Watch at your own risk, only you know if the idea of a funny yet homicidal Hitler is something you want to see.

Heil Honey I'm Home Neil McCaul

Anyway, below are some captures of the series, apparently from videotape. Note that it has been condemned by Jewish groups and others.

Heil Honey I'm Home
Geoff Atkinson of Vera Productions, the creator of "Heil Honey I'm Home."

Curious British Telly has a great page on "Heil Honey I'm Home," which you are invited to visit for more information on the series. Below is an interview they did with the show's creator, Geoff Atkinson.

CBT: Hello, Geoff, and many thanks for taking the time to chat to us. We’d like to start by hearing about your life prior to Heil Honey I’m Home. You spent most of the 80s writing for British greats such as The Two Ronnies, Rory Bremner and Spitting Image to name but a few, but how did your writing career start?

GA: Simple, luck. I wrote a sketch with a friend arrogantly assuming it would be read and sent it to Ronnie Barker at BBC for consideration for the Ronnies. Not only did he read it and consider it he got back with words of encouragement and an offer for me to send more. For six months he guided, sent back feedback, and gave me the confidence to think it was possible. First thing they eventually commissioned was a RB monologue, after that I sent off cold to radio and Punch, latter took a comedy article, former invited me in to meet John Lloyd and Douglas Adams. I was very very lucky.

The Galaxy channel – which aired Heil Honey – was relatively small compared to the powerhouses of BBC and ITV, so what led to you working with them? Were any other channels approached?

At the time BSB was a fledgling channel but they had an output deal with Noel Gay that was well funded, brave and innovative. Paul Jackson who I knew from other shows was running it along with the nicest bunch of producers you could meet. I produced a series for Nick Hancock and talk turned to sitcom and it just grew from there. One of those ‘what if’ moments. I suspect other channels may have struggled.

Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun live next door to Jewish couple Arny and Rosa Goldenstein. They’re the very epitome of each others neighbour from hell. Comedy is borne from conflict, but why did you choose this particular scenario over, say, a family of cats living next door to a family of dogs?

Well cats living next door to dogs could well have worked so it’s not really a choice thing. One thing to remember about Heil Honey is it was set in 1938, before the war, but the west had a good idea what Hitler was up to. Yet we appeased him. Maybe the thought of another war was too much. This is about that moment, what do you do when the guy next door is a thug and a bully but you can hardly report him. Sometimes you can destroy bullies by laughing at them. Sometimes you may not win if you laugh but at least you have the satisfaction of seeing them for the fool they are. This isn’t about denying what happened – how could you, it was wicked and inhumane – it’s about being human in the face of inhumanity.

Our favourite aspect of the show is the acting. It’s absolutely top draw with feisty, energetic performances from all the cast. Neil McCaul’s take on Adolf Hitler via Jackie Gleason, in particular, was a real highlight. What were you most pleased with regarding the show?

Yes like all shows you make you learn a lot from the first series that you can build from. The cast were great, Maria Freidman was a great Eva and Gareth Marks (his father Alfred was the first person I wrote for on radio) a very good Arny having just finished in the West End playing the Big Bopper. I’d always wanted it to be in B/w, shot three cameras, with canned laughter, a faithful pastiche of the 50’s show it was supposed to be. I think we could maybe have done that better. And the scripts again got slightly caught in 80’s pastiching the 50’s rather than true to era. I’d have allowed the satire on appeasement to come through more. Maybe another day.

Our initial reaction to the show’s concept was “WHAT?! REALLY?!”. However, after watching the pilot episode we didn’t find it that controversial. Sure, you’re putting a famous monster from history in the limelight, but the humour seems to lie in the ineptitude of those who could stop him. Nonetheless, there are a lot of reactionary types out there who live to be offended. Prior to the pilot screening, did you have any concerns there could be a backlash?

It was always going to be a controversial piece. That wasn’t the reason for making it but equally wasn’t a reason not to. The reaction when it came was interesting – there seemed to be two strong views. It was insensitive, or it was absolutely legitimate territory. The cast – three quarters Jewish – were in the latter camp and had no problem and a lot of others were in there too. My feeling is with time we could have won the doubters round, most of the reaction was to the idea without seeing it. It is a subtle mix, wrapped around a less subtle idea. Something you glimpse, react to, glimpse a bit more, and find yourself drawn to for a slew of reasons. It’s partly about setting out something an audience may not immediately think they’re going to like and watch them come round.

It seems that, over the years, every man and his dog has given an opinion on Heil Honey. The number of people subscribed to the Galaxy channel, however, was relatively small. What, therefore, was the public’s reaction to the show in 1990?

I’d say mixed, but again, as above, a lot was a reaction to a reaction rather than those viewing it. Vowed I’d never mention The Producers – best film ever – but what appealed so much was the slow turn around in the audience when they realised they could laugh their way through taste barrier. Maybe maybe.

Shortly after the pilot episode aired, the Galaxy channel’s parent company British Satellite Broadcasting was merged with Sky. Galaxy continued on for a while, but eventually ceased transmitting in December 1990. Is this what led to the cancellation of Heil Honey or were other factors at play?

I suspect it was one reason. Not sure this was where their heart lay then. Now of course Sky have poured money and talent into comedy but back then giving airtime to the Nazis was probably less of a priority than building up Andy Grey and Richard Keys. How times have changed. Premise was this was a show made thirty years ago which has remained on the shelf, twenty years later it’s odd how it’s playing out its own premise.

Do you feel that, in this post-Sachsgate era, it would still be possible to pitch a show such as Heil Honey and get it commissioned?

I’d hope so. Tastes do change – one of the reasons for setting Heil Honey as a fifties sitcom was to reflect on the way different periods accept or deny certain things. It’s curious how this sometimes throws up anomalies and occasionally the fear is that rather than open up, we shut down. I suspect Till Death Us Do Part would be a hard pitch today. Comedy isn’t always about creating role models, characters are often flawed, damaged, or unreconstructed. We laugh at them not because we share their views but because we see through them. But there are no rights in this, writers and producers just have to bang on the door, back their convictions, and hope those making the decisions haven’t got one eye on their pension.

There are several accounts online of people attending recording sessions for unaired episodes of Heil Honey. Gareth Marks, also, has included a few clips from unaired episodes in his Comedy Showreel. This begs the question as to what happened to the unaired episodes. Were they burnt in a remote field by anxious executives? Or are they collecting dust on your shelf? If so, are they ever likely to see the light of day?

Well I do have a set of VHS’s gathering dust, yes. There’s a bit of me that would like them to play, the other bit feels with time to reflect on it all, and the inevitable holes you spot, the thing I’d like most was to return to the front line and do it again, a bit better, a bit sharper, a bit more audacious. In other words, the second series that never was.

Finally, is there anything else you would like to say regarding Heil Honey I’m Home?

Well there’s unbroadcast scripts for a series, we can make it on a tight budget, and 75 years after his death, what better way to deal with Hitler’s dark past than debunking all he stood for and laughing at him.  Paul Jackson recently told me that when he travels people always want to talk about it and where there was reluctance there’s now enthusiasm. Maybe twenty years on it’s time to try again. Any takers?

Geoff, it's been an absolute pleasure. Thank you for your time.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Color Photos of World War II Part 6

Hitler Youth color photos of World War II
Hitler Youth wearing packs, June 1937, during one of the Nuremberg rallies (Zoll, Federal Archive).

This is part 6 of my series on Color Photos of World War II. Very few, if any, of these photos were taken in color - you should assume that all are colorized. Generally, the artist that colorizes a photo brands it with a watermark, else there is no way to know who did it. There are some real artists in the field, too. While color film definitely was available throughout the war, it was seldom used because it was expensive and unusable in the newspapers and magazines that photographs were typically taken for.

As usual, I try to bring an assortment of photographs from a broad range of theaters of war and activities. This includes pictures of both Allied and Axis troops. Colorized photographs of World War II still remain in relatively short supply, though that is rapidly changing as digital programs improve. Unfortunately, there aren't many color photos of Japanese soldiers yet, so they require a bit of a search.

These photos are not how they originally appeared. Thus, they may offend some purists. However, the whole point of photographs is to reflect reality, and a good colorization job can do that better than a black-and-white original. Thus, I like colorized photographs as long as they are done well and the colors reflect reality. They can bring you into the moment and remove the mists of time.

I do draw the line at fakes, which can be quite hard to spot and unfortunately do slip through. Most photos are obvious colorizations because the originals are familiar, but sometimes the black-and-white originals themselves were from some long-forgotten film set. So, if you see any shots from old film sets or the like, kindly leave a comment below and I will remove them. Seeing a watermark on a color photo is a pretty good indication that it is from an authentic World War II photo - because who is going to go to the trouble of colorizing a fake?

One of the themes of this particular page of color photographs of World War II is that I tried to include photos of some of the varied troops that fought in the Wehrmacht. So, we have Indian troops, Spanish Blue Division troops, and so forth. Just like troops of varied nationalities fought for the Allies, so, too, did they fight for the Axis.

PRU Seafire pilot color photos of World War II
A PRU Seafire pilot has his aircraft camera installed for a flight. He is well-attired, with a B flight helmet, Mae West LPU, D oxygen mask, Mk VII goggles, leather gloves, seat C-2 parachute harness and standard RAF battle dress uniform for flight.

You may find more color photos of World War II on page 1 and page 2 and page 3 and page 4 of and page 5 and page 7 of this series.

StuG IIIs color photos of World War II
Column of StuG IIIs in the Caucasus, summer of '42.

Churchill tank color photos of World War II
Churchill tank. Hande hoch! Just kidding.

Heinrich Himmler and Hitler color photos of World War II
Heinrich Himmler and Hitler watching  military maneuvers, Muenster, 1940. Hitler is somewhat self-consciously adopting the posture of a Prussian warlord with his jack-booted left foot forward. The picture is usually cropped off to show only the fellows on the left, but you also may have heard of the guy almost out of frame on the right, completely unknown in 1940 - Himmler's adjutant, Joachim Peiper

John F. Kennedy JFK color photos of World War II
Future President John F. Kennedy during World War II.

Renault R35 color photos of World War II
Renault R35, an abbreviation of Char léger Modèle 1935 R or R 35, and French Crew. The short 37mm gun wasn't very good as an anti-tank weapon, as they came to realize not long after this photo was taken.

Hitler's birthday, 20 April 1939 color photos of World War II
Hitler's birthday, 20 April 1939.

StuG III assault gun color photos of World War II
StuG III assault gun used in Operation Wacht am Rhein (Watch on the Rhine), starting on 16 December 1944 in the Ardennes.
StuG III assault gun color photos of World War II
Another StuG III, one of Germany's most cost-effective weapons.

Royal Ulster Rifles color photos of World War II
Paratroopers of 1st Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles, 6th Airlanding Brigade, 6th Airborne Division, aboard a Jeep and trailer. They are cruising past a crashed Airspeed "Horsa" glider, Landing Zone 'N', north of Ranville, Normandy, France. 6 June 1944.

Berlin, 20 April 1939. Hitler's birthday color photos of World War II
Berlin, 20 April 1939. Hitler's birthday always was a big event. Horses, incidentally, played a critical role in the Wehrmacht despite all the propaganda about the Wehrmacht leading the world in using motor vehicles in the military (which in may ways it did).

Snow-camouflaged M4A3 76w Sherman tank color photos of World War II
A snow-camouflaged M4A3 76w Sherman tank with a 76mm gun, belonging to the 709th or 750th Tank Battalion, supporting the 75th Infantry Division, driving through the village of Riedwihr (now Porte-du-Ried) in the Colmar region of France, 31 January 1945.

10.5 cm FlaK 38 anti-aircraft mounted on a train color photos of World War II
 10.5 cm FlaK 38 anti-aircraft mounted on a train. These were capable guns, but they were heavier than the famous 8.8 cm FlaK 18 ("German 88s") and thus less mobile. They worked well on flak trains, though. A naval version was used on the Bismarck and Scharnhorst classes of battleships as well as the Deutschland- and Admiral Hipper-class cruisers.

M4A3 Sherman of the 771st Tank Battalion color photos of World War II
A M4A3 Sherman of the 771st Tank Battalion of the 84th "rail Splitter" Division. This is after fighting in the German town of Linnich on February 24th of 1945.

German panzer color photos of World War II
You probably don't want to go into battle with those mines piled right next to your turret.

Canadian Sherman tanks color photos of World War II
Canadian Sherman tanks from the Canadian, Governor General’s Horse Guards Armoured Regiment parked in Arnhem. Spare tracks are used as armor on the front of the tanks. Photo taken on April 15, 1945.

U.S. Army nurses color photos of World War II
U.S. Army nurses beside a 40mm anti-aircraft gun (I know some of you are more interested in the gun than the girls!) aboard a Coast Guard-manned troop transport heading back to the States in 1945.

Tellermine 43 color photos of World War II
A member of the 8th SS Panzer Division "Florian Geyer" holds a Tellermine 43. These were designed as mines to be buried, but aggressive Wehrmacht troops used them as improvised improvised anti-tank weapons. One images a Soviet tank is approaching from the right. If you timed it just right and hit a tank's treads, you could disable it and maybe even turn it on its side, depending on where it landed. Of course, if you timing wasn't just right.... 

HMAS Nizam ship’s cats color photos of World War II
Aboard HMAS Nizam, the ship’s cat has a custom-made hammock, June 1941.

Cutting the wires color photos of World War II
Cutting the wires was usually the first step in every offensive.

US 90 mm Gun Motor Carriage, M36 color photos of World War II
A US 90 mm Gun Motor Carriage, M36, Jackson tank destroyer with a 90 mm gun on Rue François de Curel in the French city of Metz. Company ‘C’, 607th Tank Destroyer Battalion. November 20, 1944.

German troops in the Caucasus color photos of World War II
The endless southern Russian fields full of sunflowers eventually swallowed up the Wehrmacht.

Italian tankette Carro Veloce CV-33 color photos of World War II
A Greek soldier of the 8th Infantry Division on an Italian tankette Carro Veloce CV-33. This is at the Battle of Elaia-Kalamas, North Epirus, Greece, November 1940, when the Greeks successfully stopped the Italians and began pushing them back into Albania.

Heinkel He 100D fighters color photos of World War II
Heinkel He 100D fighters, and about 19 were built. These were capable of speeds in the 644 km/h (400 mph) range, which was very good for the time, but the Luftwaffe (for unknown reasons which may have involved simple favoritism/payoffs) decided to concentrate on the Bf 109 instead (Messerschmidt was a great salesman). These were built at the beginning of World War II, and probably never saw combat, but they were available.

Collection of enemy weapons color photos of World War II
This photo was on the cover of Yank Magazine, Continental Edition on January 14, 1945. The cover article was entitled “Present Arms” and featured Pfc. Robert Leigh and his collection of enemy weapons taken by the 83rd Infantry Division during the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest (notice the MP.38 and MP.40s, an MG.34 and an MG42). [Colorized by Paul Reynolds]

The Hindenburg flies over the Olympiastadion in Berlin color photos of World War II
The Hindenburg flies over the Olympiastadion in Berlin as part of the processions for the 1936 Summer Olympics.

Shirley Slade, a World War II WASP pilot color photos of World War II
This picture, in the original black and white and cropped, graced the cover of the 19 July 1943 Life magazine. The woman is Shirley Slade, a World War II WASP pilot of B-26 and B-39s. 

Bf 110s color photos of World War II
Bf 110s flying over Sicily, 1942. These Messerschmidt twin-boom aircraft were very dependable and useful aircraft, despite the poor reputation they acquired during the Battle of Britain. Incidentally, it is okay to call them ME-100s, even the Wehrmacht did that occasionally in official documents.

Finnish firefighters, Helsinki, June 25, 1941 color photos of World War II
Finnish firefighters fighting a fire in Helsinki, June 25, 1941.

El Guettar, April 1943 color photos of World War II
An American G.I. inspects German artillery captured or destroyed in the battle of El Guettar, April 1943.

Spanish Blue Division color photos of World War II
The Spanish Blue Division (called División Española de Voluntarios by the Spanish Army and 250. Infanterie-Division by the Germans) did good work for the Wehrmacht in the Leningrad sector into 1943, with some remaining into spring 1944 .

Polish troops during maneuvers, 1939 color photos of World War II
Polish troops during maneuvers, 1939.

Italian 184th Paratroopers Division Nembo color photos of World War II
A member of the Italian 184th Paratroopers Division Nembo (184th Divisione Paracadutisti Nembo) on the Anzio-Nettuno front (c. Jan/Feb '44). This was part of the effective Axis defense against Allied Operation Shingle, when the division helped contain the landings at Anzio for quite some time.

Colleville-sur-Mer near Omaha Beach, 8 June 1944 color photos of World War II
U.S. Army troops of the 2nd Infantry Division in the liberated village of Colleville-sur-Mer near Omaha Beach, 8 June 1944.

Romanian soldiers in Constanta, Romania color photos of World War II
Romanian soldiers in Constanta, Romania, circa Oct 1941 (Horst Grund, Federal Archive).