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These Incredible Color Photographs from WWII Will Amaze You

Close your eyes and picture the Second World War. No, it may not be a pretty sight, but even if you imagine the homecoming of soldiers or victories of the war, you will see the images in a dull hue or perhaps in black in white. This is because the majority of photos during that era are in black in white.

 

As if to make the war seem more real, photos from WWII have recently surfaced thanks to the Imperial War Museums in color and they are beautiful!

The British in Athens

Here we have a few British soldiers standing near a wondrous Greek building in October of 1944. The two soldiers’ names are Sergeant R Gregory and Driver A Hardman. They were visiting the site during a tour called Acropolis in Athens.

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The British in Athens

The Dance in Holland

This picture is a beautiful display that depicts the joy felt by the people who were freed. It took place in Eindhoven, Holland and shows the citizens dancing. The sad part of this picture is that this site was bombed later by the German Air Force.

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The Dance in Holland

Women at Work

At Culford, Suffolk in 1943, Army women are caught sawing larch poles. These poles will be used as props in pits for the Women’s Timber Corps training camp. Who said only men could use a saw?

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Women at Work

Utmost Importance

This one was taken on October 13th, 1944. It pictures HM King George VI and the Commander of the 21st Army Group, Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery. The commander is explaining his plans to the His Majesty.

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Utmost Importance

The Sad Truth

The exact date of this photo is unknown, but it is between 1939 and 1945. It depicts a Civil Defence Warden who is inspecting bomb damage in London. Though no lives are shown to be lost in the photo, the truth is hidden in the buildings seen in the background.

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The Sad Truth

Awaiting Descent

This picture shows British paratroopers who are in training, learning how to jump from the aircraft. They are awaiting their orders to jump from the RAF Dakota at Down Ampney in Wiltshire. Again, this photo was taken in 1944.

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Awaiting Descent

Reunited Once Again

Speaking of the RAF. Here we have one of the best fighter pilots of his time, Wing Commander Johnny Johnson. This picture shows a softer side to the soldiers as a moment between Johnny and his Labrador ‘Sally’ is captured.

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Reunited Once Again

Life of a Pilot

Today, we see the life of a pilot as someone who flies people to vacation destinations. But back in 1944, most pilots were fighter pilots. The one in the picture is named Lieutenant Vernon R Richards as he is seen with his P-51D Mustang nicknamed ‘Tika IV’.

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Life of a Pilot

The Real Thing

Here, Private Alfred Campin of the Durham Light Infantry is only practicing using his bayonet. He is in training in the picture, but soon after he was sent off to fight like a soldier as he participating in the Second World War.

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The Real Thing

Other Soldiers

Not all soldiers in the war wielded guns. Some of them were in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force: WAAF. This group of women was part of the RAF and had the very important job of sewing and repairing parachutes for soldiers on the battlefield.

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Other Soldiers

The Men of Power

In this photo, we see some very important men. On notable man is General Dwight D Eisenhower who was Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force. Surrounding him are others who were his senior commanders.

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The Men of Power

Women in Action

A common duty for women in the RAF was that of an ATS spotter. These women would carry binoculars and keep an eye out for anything that may be incoming that the anti-aircraft command post.

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Women in Action

Not Your Typical Uniform

Sometimes, your uniform gets a little hot in the Italy Summer sun. These British gunners are part of the Shropshire Yeomanry. Even while using a 5.5 inch Howitzer in action, they are able to smile for the camera under their camouflage netting.

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Not Your Typical Uniform

The Drive to Tunis

This photo clearly displays Sergeant Elms seated at the top of this tank, surrounded by his crew. They are in El Aroussa where they are cleaning their gun while preparing for the drive to Tunis.

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The Drive to Tunis

The War Women

Probably the most reputable and common jobs given to women in the service was to nurse the injured. Here we have two nurses caring for multiple servicemen out in the garden at Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Hospital in Buckinghamshire.

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The War Women

The Creation

You might not think about where the planes used in the Air Force come from. But here we have Avro Lancaster bombers being developed at A V Roe & Co Ltd factory, Woodford, Cheshire in 1943.

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The Creation

What Factory?

You may not realize that the women made more than just parachutes and uniforms at factories during the war. Here, in 1945, they are seen making shell casings and bullets for the soldiers’ guns.

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What Factory?

VE Day Celebration

Back on May 8th, 1945, there wasn’t much to celebrate as the war wouldn’t end for months in many countries. However, in Cenotaph in Whitehall, residents had a grand celebration as this day marked the end of WWII in Europe.

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VE Day Celebration

What a Beauty

Known as Mary Ruth – Memories of Mobile, this B-17F Flying Fortress was property of the US Eighth Air Force. This picture captures it on a mission to attack the U-boat pens at Lorient in 1943.

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What a Beauty

This IS Real Life

It’s not often that WWII tanks are captured in this manner. But in this photo, we see a Churchill Crocodile flamethrower tank lighting up the fields in August 1944.

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This IS Real Life

Clearing the Wreckage

In this photo, the plaiting of straw to bind cover bundles is done by two French farmers. The wreckage is of a Ju-88 that was shot down by the Canadian Spitfires of Johnny Johnson’s Wing.

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Clearing the Wreckage

Fixing Her Up

This may seem like your average plane repair picture, but in reality, it captures local workers helping fitters. They are changing the engine of a Lockheed Hudson in the Gambia. This took place in April of 1943.

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Fixing Her Up

Fighting in Style

These women have beauty, brains, and determination. They are known as the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) and are plotting at the Coastal Artillery Headquarters in Dover in 1942.

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Fighting in Style

A Closer Look

If you wanted a closer look at that dance in Holland, here it is. This will not only show you the unity and celebration, but the clothing style in Holland at the time. The colors are vibrant and beautiful.

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A Closer Look

Better than a Dubbing

Even in 1944, dubbing took place. Lieutenant General J T Crocker is dubbed Knight Commander of the British Empire by HM King George VI. This was a great honor for all who witnessed the sight.

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Better than a Dubbing

Stand Together

Again we have HM King George VI with Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery and Lieutenant General Sir Miles Dempsey. They are visiting General Dempsey’s headquarters, looking noble in their uniforms.

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Stand Together
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Charlie, Heywise Staff

Article WriterCharlie, Heywise Staff

Charlie took to the written word like a fish takes to water. That is to say; they found themselves immersed in literature from before they were born. They've been known to tell their friends how they can still remember the passages their parents read to them when they were in utero - Emily Dickinson, Jane Austen, and a bit of Hunter S. Thompson thrown in to balance it out. Charlie keeps their feet wet, whether they're whipping up pithy one-liners to tease your brain or busy working on their second novel (the first one is available on Amazon under a pen name they refuse to disclose). You’re sure to get a kick out of giggle-worthy explanations and outrageous hints, and still come away feeling like you’ve just expanded your knowledge base.

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