Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Color Photos of World War II Part 15: Adolf Hitler

Hitler in Color

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Hitler at Frankfurt doing a ceremonial scoop of dirt for the first Autobahn.
This page has color pictures of Adolf Hitler. As with all the pages on this site that include color pictures, there are no assurances of guarantees that any of these pictures are original color pictures unless noted. You may assume that any picture not indicated as an original color picture has been colorized by experts at photoshop. The artists who colorize pictures typically "sign" them with some kind of watermark, which you may notice. I have no issues with presenting colorized photos so long as they make a sincere effort to mirror real-life colors and the job is done tastefully.

You may find more color photos of World War II on page 1 and page 2 and page 3 and page 4 and page 5 and page 6 and page 7 and page 8 and page 9 and page 10 and page 11 and page 12 and page 13 and page 14 and page 15 of this series.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Hitler at one of his favorite lookout spots on the Obersalzberg in 1943. This is a closeup of a larger shot that includes Joseph Goebbels.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Adolf Hitler toward the end of World War II. Note that he is clutching a piece of paper in his left hand and clenching his fist with his right, these are tricks that Parkinson's disease patients typically use to control and hide their trembling. I have seen this identified as being from Spring 1944. Perhaps it is, but it looks later than that to me.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Hitler at the Mönichkirchen train station outside his command train (Sonderzug) Amerika (name later changed to Brandenburg). Visible are, from left to right,  Dr. Theodor Morell, Gerhard Engel, and Dr. Karl Brandt. Hitler had a field headquarters at Mönichkirchen and stayed at a hotel there (called the Mönichkirchnerhof) in April 1941 for 14 days, from 12 April to 26 April. In fact, Hitler celebrated his 52nd birthday at Mönichkirchen. Hitler was there to follow the progress of the invasions of Yugoslavia and Greece, both of which went exceedingly well.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Adolf Hitler on June 2, 1939, with Prince Regent Paul of Yugoslavia. They are reviewing a Wehrmacht parade in Berlin. Hitler worked very hard to woo Paul and ultimately succeeded, but the Yugoslavs deposed him and Germany had to invade anyway.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Hitler and leaders of the Reich's Labor Service gather on the main forefront of the Zeppelinfeld Nürnburg Rally site (you can see the distinctive facade behind them).

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Hitler wearing his famous long leather trenchcoat. Some people claim that this is a blue trenchcoat, but that may just be a trick of the lighting. Other color pictures of the era tend to show black leather as a light blue in direct sunlight. I have seen other trenchcoats worn by senior Wehrmacht officers that appear blue, but that is unlikely to have been the case in real life.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Hitler with Heinrich Himmler on the Obersalzburg in early 1944. Hitler walked on this path daily when in Berchtesgaden. The British had a plan to assassinate him from those forests in the distance, Operation Foxely, but the war proceeded to its conclusion before it came to fruition. If the operation had been hurried forward, conceivably Hitler could have been shot at the moment this picture was taken because this was the spot chosen to do it.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Hitler with Julius Schaub.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Hitler reviewing a parade of Kriegsmarine soldiers. Holding your arm out like that for lengthy periods of time is not easy, but Hitler was fanatical about presenting a strong image.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Hitler loved to go on hikes in the mountains. In fact, this was something that he did as a young man in Vienna just as much as later in Berchtesgaden. He would go up in the nearby mountains and talk about his love for opera, a lifelong passion.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Hitler loved to pose with children, particularly young girls and even babies. A key part of Hitler's political base were women fully indoctrinated into the party via the BDM and labor organizations. Appearing as a warm daddy-type was a carefully crafted part of Hitler's public image. There were a lot of these pictures. In fact, Hitler had a local little girl pose with him for many such pictures in Berchtesgaden until someone found out that she was Jewish.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Hitler playing with his dog.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Hitler reading his Völkischer Beobachter (which roughly translates as "People's Observer"). This was the newspaper of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) and was seen as the "voice" of Hitler. It was banned during Hitler's imprisonment in Landsberg Prison from November 1923 to February 1925, when Hitler successfully relaunched the NSDAP. The Völkischer Beobachter paper was purchased from The Thule Society in December by Major General Franz Ritter von Epp, perhaps using secret Army counterintelligence funds. Hitler acquired all of the shares of the newspaper in 1921. The NSDAP's posters for rallies almost always contained references to Völkischer Beobachter. Its publication continued right up to May 1945, though the final issues were not distributed. To the extent that Hiter needed a personal income, which of course he did not after 1933, the Völkischer Beobachter could have provided a nice livelihood for him all on its own.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Adolf Hitler at the International Auto Exhibition in Berlin in 1939. As I've shown in another article, Hitler was a real gearhead when it came to cars and loved to see the latest advances in bodies and motors.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

I can't find a date or place for this photo. It looks mid-war to me, perhaps 1943.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

A portrait of Adolf Hitler in 1933. Hitler's preferred business suits in the early 1930s, but gradually worked uniforms into his clothing choices until he wore them almost exclusively by the middle of World War II except on very rare occasions, such as the wedding of Eva Braun's sister in early June 1944.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

This is an original color image of Hitler taken by Walter Frentz. This is aboard Hitler's personal Focke-Wulf Fw-200 Condor, which Hitler used throughout World War II until it was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid on 18 July 1944.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Hitler with his pet German Shepherd, Blondi. Hitler would poison Blondi right before he died.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Hitler and Paul von Hindenburg at an August 1933 Memorial Celebration at the Tannenberg monument. This is very personal to Hindenburg because it is celebrating Hindenburg's great 1914 victory there against the Russians with Erich Ludendorff which made him a German hero.

Speaking of whom, note that Ludendorff was not invited, Hindenburg and Ludendorff disliked each other following the latter's breakdown during the last weeks of World War I. In fact, Ludendorff ran against Hindenburg in the presidential election of 1925 but only got 1.1% of the vote. Ludendorff was so humiliated by that and other things that he even refused to stand next to Hindenburg at the 1927 dedication of the Tannenberg monument. Ludendorff also had marched with Hitler during the 1923 Putsch - the soldiers refused to shoot Ludendorff, who simply continued walking forward as everyone else walking beside him fell and ultimately just strolled through the line of soldiers doing the firing. While Hitler was in jail, Ludendorff got involved with other parties similar to the NSDAP, and that apparently ended his and Hitler's relationship because Hitler hated political rivals.

Anyway, back to this photo. On the other side of Hindenburg is Hermann Goering busying himself with something or other. One can feel the awkwardness of all three men in the front row. Former Chancellor Franz von Papen is standing behind Goering. Someday, someone is going to claim that Goering is a time traveler due to that narrow briefcase he has on his lap which looks like a laptop. However, if Goering was from the future, he sure made a hash of things in 1940 against the RAF.

Just like in "Star Trek," different colored uniforms symbolize different military/paramilitary groups in 1930s Germany. Brown denoted Sturmabteilung(SA), black was worn by the Schutzstaffel (SS), while field green was worn by ordinary Wehrmacht (Heer) soldiers. Hindenburg is wearing a pointy hat called a Pickelhaube. It is of Prussian design and went out of fashion after World War I, but Hindenburg is wearing his old uniform. The Pickelhaube was replaced during World War I by the Stahlhelm, a much more efficient, safer, modern, and cheaper helmet.

Note Hitler's top hat resting in his lap, as far as I know, Hitler only wore that a few times in 1933 with Hindenburg, who was quite formal. Hitler could have worn his old World War I uniform if he wished, but it would have been a corporal sitting next to a Field Marshal, and that just wouldn't do.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Adolf Hitler at the 1939 Day of German Art. He is with his elite Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler bodyguards. Max Wünsche is in the black SS uniform at Hitler's left following him. Captured by the British in Normandy, Wünsche passed away in 1995.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

A German postcard of Adolf Hitler as Reich Chancellor.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Adolf Hitler with future wife Eva Braun. This is in early June 1944 at the wedding of Eva's sister to the unfortunate Fegelein. The reception was held at the Eagle's Nest, one of seven times that Hitler is known to have visited it.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Croatian ally Ante Pavelic, left, meeting with Adolf Hitler on September 18, 1944.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Adolf Hitler at the map table with General Busse, commander of Ninth Army. They are planning the defense of the Oder and Berlin.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Max Wunsche, Adolf Hitler and Karl Brandt.

Color pictures of Adolf Hitler worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Adolf Hitler at the lectern at the opening of the party congress in the town hall of Nuremberg in 1935.

2018

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Color Photos of World War II Part 14: Japan's Final Days

Color Photos of the Japanese Empire's Final Days

Here we have color pictures of the military forces of the Empire of Japan as they approached defeat. Some of these photos appear to be color in the original, and others appear to be colorized. As always, no guarantees are made as to the original nature of any photo here. It is best to assume that all photos are colorized unless an original color source is definitively established.

You may find more color photos of World War II on page 1 and page 2 and page 3 and page 4 and page 5 and page 6 and page 7 and page 8 and page 9 and page 10 and page 11 and page 12 and page 13 and page 14 and page 15 of this series.

Japan Stares at Defeat


Japanese military color photos worldwartwo.filminspector.com

The Japanese turned to the defensive following their heavy naval losses at Midway in June 1942 and the American invasion of Guadalcanal in August 1942. Days of expansion turned into nightmarish counterattacks that almost never succeeded.

Kokoda attack Japanese military color photos worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Lieutenant Colonel Hatsuo Tsukamoto and infantryman attacking Kokoda village and airfield in Papua New Guinea, July 1942). This was the limit of Japanese expansion.

Things just got worse and worse as the United States brought its economic might to bear. By late 1944, the Japanese were organizing suicide squadrons which had some success at first.

Japanese suicide pilots color photos worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Pilots of the Imperial Japanese No. 244 Sentai Takenaka "Special Attack" (suicide) Squadron at Chofu Airfield west of Tokyo in November 1944.

Sacrificing brave pilots, however, proved ineffective as the Americans developed countermeasures. These included stationing destroyers in picket lines to give aircraft carriers time to launch their defending fighters before the suicide planes could approach.

Japanese pilot and Ki-61 fighter color photos worldwartwo.filminspector.com
An airman in front of a late-war Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Flying Swallow) "Tony" fighter. 

The Japanese did keep planes in the air right to the end. However, they were no match for the air fleets of the US Army Air Force.

Japanese Ki-51 color photos worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A disabled Mitsubishi Ki-51 TYPE 99 Assault Plane / Recon plane (Sonia).

The atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki settled the issue once and for all.

The Surrender

You know all about the Japanese surrender, right? It took place on that battleship parked in Tokyo Bay and everybody signed a big book and then went home. Well, sure, that was the official surrender. But there was an entirely different and much more meaningful event two weeks prior to the Toky Bay affair which was the real Japanese surrender.

Obviously, the Japanese surrender in mid-August 1944 was a very big deal, and war correspondents covered it in great detail. The Japanese delegation arrived aboard two bombers. These photos appear to be original color photos.

Betty bomber Japanese surrender color photos worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Above, the first Japanese plane arrives at the bleached coral airfield at Ie Shima with thousands of onlookers. There is an all-metal Douglas C-54 waiting at left for the delegation's arrival.

Betty bomber Japanese surrender color photos worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The second Japanese plane arrives (Fred Hill, 17th Photo Recon Squadron).

The captain of the second Mitsubishi Betty can be seen standing up to direct his co-pilot so as not to hit the crowd lining the runway.

Betty bomber Japanese surrender color photos worldwartwo.filminspector.com
The second Japanese Betty moves into position (Fred Hill, 17th Photo Recon Squadron).

The pilot of the second Green Cross Betty parked the plane near the awaiting C-54 transports. In doing so, the plane's engines blasted the crowd lining the runway. The waiting men in the photo above have their backs turned against the dust storm. The two Bettys were slightly different - this one does not have a window panel just behind the nose glazing under the chin of the aircraft like the first plane.

Betty bomber Japanese surrender color photos worldwartwo.filminspector.com

The Americans did not know what to expect. The Japanese plane which arrived at Ie Shima was a specially painted G4M Betty bomber. The Americans took the delegates to Manila aboard the Douglas C-54 to meet with General McArthur for peace talks. Note that the plane has been painted white with green crosses, per U.S. instructions. This was done very hastily and crudely due to the exigencies of the situation. The Americans did not specify what shade of green, so here the crosses were dark green and appear black. Other planes painted elsewhere had much lighter green crosses.

Betty bomber Japanese surrender color photos worldwartwo.filminspector.com
This photo was taken by a photographer standing in a gully next to the airfield. It shows the Betty which carried the name Bataan One.

The planes, incidentally, never returned to Japan and was stripped at Ie Shima by US Army Air Force personnel, some of whom took parts of the plane home as souvenirs.

Japanese surrender Ki-46 color photos worldwartwo.filminspector.com

The practice of painting surrendering Japanese aircraft white with green crosses soon spread to many other Japanese units. Above a Japanese ground crew painted a Mitsubishi Ki-46 Dinah. Note that the crew either had only a small amount of white paint or they didn’t have time to paint the whole aircraft. The Dinah was photographed at Atsugi Airfield, which is a naval air base located near the cities of Yamato and Ayase in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

Japanese surrender USS Missouri color photos worldwartwo.filminspector.com
General Douglas MacArthur supervises the Japanese surrender on the USS Missouri, 2 September 1945.

All of these events were the real surrender - the signing of surrender documents on the USS Missouri on 2 September 1945 was a formality long after hostilities had ceased.

Japanese surrender USS Missouri color photos worldwartwo.filminspector.com

2018