Sunday, February 25, 2018

Color Photos of World War II Part 6



Hitler Youth color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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   and page 8 and page 9 and page 10 and page 11 and page 12 of this series.

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

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

Heinrich Himmler and Hitler color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Future President John F. Kennedy during World War II.

Renault R35 color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Hitler's birthday, 20 April 1939.

StuG III assault gun color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Another StuG III, one of Germany's most cost-effective weapons.

Royal Ulster Rifles color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
 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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Aboard HMAS Nizam, the ship’s cat has a custom-made hammock, June 1941.

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

US 90 mm Gun Motor Carriage, M36 color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Finnish firefighters fighting a fire in Helsinki, June 25, 1941.

El Guettar, April 1943 color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Polish troops during maneuvers, 1939.

Italian 184th Paratroopers Division Nembo color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
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 worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Romanian soldiers in Constanta, Romania, circa Oct 1941 (Horst Grund, Federal Archive).

Captured German soldiers color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Captured German soldiers, with a very nervous-looking guard, look startled to see British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery drive by.

Indian Soldiers Of The Waffen SS color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Indian Soldiers Of The Waffen SS Free India Legion.

German POWs color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
German POWs on one of the Gold area beaches, Normandy. 6 June 1944.

Cossack serving with the Germans color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Cossack serving with the Germans on the Eastern Front, 1944. These fellows were not exactly welcomed back to the Soviet Union with open arms after the war.

M7 Priest 105mm self-propelled guns color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A battery of M7 Priest 105mm self-propelled guns from one of 3rd Division’s Royal Artillery Field Regiments near Hermanville-sur-Mer, France, 6 June 1944.

Adolf Hitler and Albert Bormann color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Adolf Hitler and Albert Bormann (Martin's little brother) at party reception at the Führerbau (Leader's Building) in Munich, 25 February 1939. Note the liveried attendant, something that Hitler - being Austrian - favored (Life magazine).

2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Color Photos of World War 2 Part 5


Roza Shanina color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Soviet sniper ace Roza Shanina gives some tips to her commander A. Balaev with her personal Mosin-Nagant. If you look very closely, you will see that the eyepiece is very well worn from a lot of use - Shanina had 59 confirmed kills. KIA 27 January 1945.

Here is another page of color photos of World War II. I'm not 100% sure of all the pictures on this page, but I believe they all date from World War II.

Luftwaffenhelferin color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Luftwaffenhelferin (air force helper).

My theory is that colorized photos are perfectly acceptable to learn about World War II. You should assume that all of the photos on this page have colorized unless otherwise indicated (the Margaret Bourke-Wright studio portrait is the only one I am sure was taken in original Kodachrome).

Junkers K43 color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Finnish Junkers K 43fa. February 1942. This was the military version of the Junkers W43. While the K43/W43 is not a very well known plane from the 1920s, the Luftwaffe used these throughout World War II as trainers and transports. The Finns only had five of these at the start of the Winter War and used them for reconnaissance flights. In the Continuation War they transported 1600 wounded (they acquired five more K 43s in 1944). The K43 could fly high (40,000 feet/12,700 m) and, as shown, worked well in snow with skis (though they could work on the camouflage on this one). Numerous foreign air forces bought the W43, too. One of the lessons of World War II is that the first thing you want from equipment is reliability and durability - high performance is a little further down on the list of requirements. Many older planes fit the bill.

I like to provide a variety of images on these pages. It is my opinion that you notice more in images if they are not repetitive. That is, if you see photo after photo of just fighter planes, your mind is prone to wander. However, if you don't know what type of photo is coming next, you notice more and appreciate the image more. So, while this page focuses primarily on Axis planes, it also provides regular breaks.

Margaret Bourke White color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Famed wartime photographer Margaret Bourke White, c. 1943. Unlike most of the other photos on this page, this is not colorized - it is original Kodachrome by John Cyril Alfred Redhead (National Media Museum Collection / SSPL).

When assembling collections of color photos of World War II, inevitably you lean toward the Axis side. This is because there is more interest in the lost Axis cause, and thus more photos of that side have been colorized.

A Bf 109 E7 Jagdgeschwader 27 (1) being used in support of the Afrika Korps. These used the Daimler Benz DB601A engine and were front-line fighters in 1940-41, the F version coming along in the spring of 1941.

The more you get into this, the more you realize that there simply is greater interest in some areas of the war than others, and there's no point to fighting it. People are interested in what they are interested in, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Captain Edwin Fisher of the 362nd FG atop his P-47D Thunderbolt 42-26919 “Shirley Jane III.”

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

Junkers Ju-87G color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A couple of rare pictures of a Junkers Ju-87G, the "tank buster" configuration. It has two two 37 mm (1.46 in) Bordkanone BK 3,7 cannons under the wings. Hans-Ulrich Rudel used the first of these on the first day of the Battle of Kursk. They were quite effective, but also quite easy to shoot down. This Stuka apparently was captured by US forces in Czechoslovakia after the pilot flew west to avoid the Russians.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the page as much as I did putting it together!

Junkers Ju-87G color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Another picture of the Stuka with tank buster armament.

Afrika Korp Luftwaffe medical officer color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
An unidentified Afrika Korp Luftwaffe medical officer (can you spot the medical symbol?) with the rank of Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant) whiling away some time with cards. This was in "Balkenkreuz Über Wüstensand: Falbbirderwerk des Deutschen Afrikakorps" (The Balkan Cross over the Desert Sands: Color Photos from the Afrika Korps), a 1943 book by Gerhard Stalling. Note the Iron Cross Second Class ribbon - this guy has seen some action.

Fiat G.55 Centauro color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A  Fiat G.55 Centauro (Italian: "Centaur"). The Fiat G.55 was one of the great designs of World War II, part of the "third wave" of Italian warplanes during the conflict. The Luftwaffe, which was not especially complimentary of foreign  aircraft, tested the Fiat G.55 against  the Messerschmitt Bf 109G and the Focke-Wulf 190 and decided it was "the best Axis fighter." The 274 built during the war served with the Repubblica Sociale Italiana and performed well.

Luftwaffe Major Hans Philipp color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Luftwaffe Major Hans Philipp.  During this period he had more than 206 aerial victories and was recipient of Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. He was the leading ace in the war in mid-1943. KIA 8 October 1943 when his parachute failed to open.

Rommel photograph color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
This doesn't seem like  much of a photo - but it was taken by everyone's favorite Wehrmacht officer, General Erwin Rommel. The story goes that, when Hitler gave him the assignment to lead the Afrika Korps, Joseph Goebbels thrust a Leica camera in his hands and said, "You might see something interesting." Here we see two unidentified German Artillery Officers in North Africa, still wearing their Continental uniform. (US National Archives).

Hauptmann Franz Von Werra color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Hauptmann Franz Von Werra and his pet lion cub Simba. Von Werra was the only Axis POW to escape Canadian custody in 1940. He hopped a train and somehow got across the St. Lawrence Seaway in the middle of winter. Then, he hung around New York City openly before heading south and crossing over to Africa. Von Werra was portrayed in the film 'The One that Got Away' by Hardy Kruger.

Savoia Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Italian Savoia Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero (Sparrowhawk) of the 253 Squadriglia. Nicknamed "il gobbo maledetto" ("damned hunchback"), the Sparrowhawk was built in large numbers (for Italy), and the 600 or so in operation at the beginning of the war (1300 total built for war use) served as transports, then later as torpedo bombers. Clever engineers even turned some into drones, though they did not see service as drones. One of World War II's underrated aircraft.

Erwin Rommel Stefan Fröhlich color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
General Rommel consulting a map with his air support commander,  Generalmajor Stefan Fröhlich. Photo was first published in the 1943 book ""Balkenkreuz Über Wüstensand: Falbbirderwerk des Deutschen Afrikakorps" (The Balkan Cross over the Desert Sands: Color Photos from the Afrika Korps) by Gerhard Stalling.

Junkers Ju-87 Stukas color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Luftwaffe Junkers Ju-87 Stukas from the 7th squadron, 1st group during the early stage of Operation Barbarossa, summer 1941.

Battleship Bismarck color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Battleship Bismarck after the Battle of the Denmark Strait. She was flooded forward and is down at the head by about two meters. Still able to do 28 knots, though. Taken from the Prinz Eugen.

Erich "Bubi" Hartmann color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Erich "Bubi" Hartmann. The Soviets called him "The Black Devil." Quite simply, Hartmann is the best who ever was as far as fighter pilots go. He downed over 350 enemy aircraft. He passed away peacefully in 1993, unlike his hundreds of victims.

North Africa Rommel picture color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
General Rommel snuck up on this poor guard in North Africa and took his picture. If the guy saw that, he probably would have freaked and figured he was headed for the brig for some reason .

Mitsubishi J2M Raiden color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
Mitsubishi J2M Raiden ("Thunderbolt"). To the Allies, this was "Jack." This is another design by vaunted designed  Jiro Horikoshi, who was the subject of Hayao Miyazaki's controversial animated feature film "The Wind Rises" (2013). Engine problems and coming along too late in the conflict made it less successful than Horikoshi's more famous design - the A6M Zero.

Red Army Junior Sergeant Medical Service color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Junior Sergeant Medical Service lady in the Red Army, Sofia, Bulgaria, March 1945. "Oh Doc, I hurt real bad, right here."

Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com
A Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero, takes off from the aircraft carrier Junyo on June 19, 1944. That was the first day of the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and everyone is excited. While the battle did not go particularly well for the Japanese, at least the Junyo didn't sink during the battle like the Shōkaku and Taihō.  

Adolf Hitler color photos of World War II worldwartwo.filminspector.com

2018