Photos Colour and Colourised Photos of WW2 & earlier conflicts

Fw190 A-5s of JG54
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French soldier in a trench with a M1886 Lebel rifle, ca. 1916.jpg


French soldier in a trench with a M1886 Lebel rifle, ca. 1916.

The Lebel rifle was developed by French General Baptiste Tramond and Colonel Basile Gras among others in 1886, by applying the recent inventions of smokeless powder ammunition and full-metal-jacket rifle bullets to an infantry rifle.

The ammunition for the rifle was designed by Lt. Colonel Lebel, whom the rifle would aqquire its name from. He developed an 8mm full-metal-jacket bullet known as the "Balle M", which was the first smokeless powder rifle cartridge made. The Balle M would later be designated as the 8mm Lebel rifle cartridge.

The Lebel rifle weighed 4.41 kg when loaded and was 130 cm long. The rifle could be equipped with a bayonet, bringing the weight to 4,89 kg. It used a bolt-action mechanism and had an effective firing range of 400 m.

The Lebel used a tube magazine of an impressive 8 rounds, with another 2 rounds stored in the chamber and elevator. Although while other rifles used stripper clips, the Lebel had to be loaded one round at a time.

In 1893, the Lebel received an improved model, which improved the bolt head as well as the rear sight. When the First World War broke out in 1914, the Lebel soon established itself as a reliable and hard-hitting weapon suitable for trench warfare.

However, it did come with its issues, such as the tube magazine mentioned before, being difficult to aim with due to a small sight, and continuous firing could lead to its user burning their hands due to an uncovered barrel.

Despite these flaws, the average French infantry still preferred the Lebel over the Berthier rifle, mainly due to the Berthier's sub-par 3-round magazine.

Some 3.5 million Lebel rifles were produced between 1886 and 1920, and it would continue to see consistent service in the French Army until 1960.
 
7 February 1918
A staff officer of the 12th Btn. Royal Irish Rifles, 108th Brigade, 36th (Ulster) Division plays with a kitten outside the HQ dug-out at Essigny-le-Grand.

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(Photo source - © IWM Q 10679)
Colourised by Doug
 
20, January 1916
A French infantry company advances through a communication trench beneath the ruins of a factory in Le Linguet.
Le Linguet was located northeast of Reims, on the N.51 road to Witry-lès-Reims.

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© Henri Bilowski/ECPAD/Defense

Color by Frédéric Duriez
 
On February 7, 1939, the Polish submarine ORP "Orzeł", built in a Dutch shipyard, entered the Polish port of Gdynia.

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9 February 1945.
Troops of the 5/7th Gordon Highlanders, 154 Brigade, 51st Highland Division in the Reichswald Forest

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Photo source - © IWM B 14413
Silverside, John (Sgt)
No. 5 Army Film and Photo Section, Army Film and Photographic Unit
Colourised by Doug
 
F6F-3 Hellcat showing its ruggedness. This Hellcat flown by Butch O'Hare with over 200 bullet holes from combat was patched up and brought to the production plant to show the workers what they are building. Butch was awarded the medal of Honor 02/20/42 for shooting down five bombers attacking his carrier, he was shot down by a Japanese "Betty" bomber on 11/26/43 during the first night raid ever conducted by the US Navy from an aircraft carrier.

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11 February 1945
Infantry of the 2nd Gordon Highlanders, 15th Scottish Div. searching a 16 year old German prisoner in Kleve, in northwestern Germany. .
(Most likely a Churchill tank of 6th Guards Tank Brigade)

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(Photo source - © IWM B 14610)
Wilkes (Sergeant)
No. 5 Army Film and Photo Section, Army Film and Photographic Unit
(Colourised by Doug)
 
11 February 1945
Infantry of the 2nd Gordon Highlanders, 15th Scottish Div. searching a 16 year old German prisoner in Kleve, in northwestern Germany. .
(Most likely a Churchill tank of 6th Guards Tank Brigade)

View attachment 467942
(Photo source - © IWM B 14610)
Wilkes (Sergeant)
No. 5 Army Film and Photo Section, Army Film and Photographic Unit
(Colourised by Doug)
Interesting picture, if I am not mistaken, judging by the shape of the cup, his water bottle is of the type issued to medics.
 
Interesting picture, if I am not mistaken, judging by the shape of the cup, his water bottle is of the type issued to medics.
Yes, or it could also be a canteen for mountain troops (both variants were larger than normal ones, but with a smaller cup, but the variant for medics was most often with a different attachment and an independent strap - see below).
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But You may be right, both models were used interchangeably in both types of service.
 
PFC Paul E. Ison sprints across "Death Valley" Okinawa under fire for the 3rd time, May 1945.
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On the morning of May 10th, eleven days after the 1st Marine Division entered the fray, Ison was part of a four-man team with L Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines ordered to first go to the rear to pick up 96 pounds of dynamite, then take his team up to the line to set charges that would knock out defensive pillboxes and positions. In route to the objective area, he and his team would have to cross a draw located between two hills commanded by the Japanese known as "Death Valley".

Upon arrival at the ammunition dump, the team was informed that the required explosives had already been prepositioned at the forward line. This meant they would not be further burdened with the additional weight of munitions for their harrowing traverse across the war torn valley. The team crossed successfully, one at a time, dodging heavy fire and incoming rounds to join the assault platoon on the other side. This was when a young photographer captured the photo of a single Marine Corps rifleman, who was Paul E. Ison, moving forward under fire with resolute determination. Upon arrival, his team learned that the explosives had not, in fact, been sent ahead. They quickly realized they would need to cross two more times in order to first return for the charges and then carry the satchels filled with TNT back across Death Valley. Miraculously, they all survived the deadly gauntlet three times and went on to successfully complete their mission. The Marines attacked and took the hill in eight gruelling hours. He was the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V".

After the war, Paul E. Ison first bought a pickup truck and started a hauling business. He later bought a tractor trailer and did cross country transport for the next twenty-nine years until January 1981. He retired to Fort Myers, Florida where he remained active in the Marine Corps League, Marine Corps Historical Foundation, Marine Corps Association and First Marine Division Association until his death on October 3, 2001. The Marine Corps League - Detachment #60 of Lee County, Florida has since been designated the PFC Paul E. Ison Detachment.

The Marine Corps later adopted this photo as a symbol of the Marine infantryman's willingness to advance under fire. It has been referred to as Combat Picture #120562 and has been widely used in the press to illustrate the fortitude and tenacity of the front-line Marine. Ison's name is sometimes misspelled on the caption of the official photograph as "Paul Isen."

He died on October 3, 2001, and was buried at Fort Myers Memorial Gardens, Fort Myers, Florida.
 
As part of the war effort, private individuals and organisations were encouraged to donate money towards the cost of a new aircraft, an example of which would then be marked with an appropriate acknowledgement and 'presented' to the RAF. Spitfire II P8448 (code UM-D) was funded by NAAFI canteen workers and bore the name 'Counter Attack'. It is seen here being officially handed over to No 152 Squadron at Portreath in Cornwall on 8 August 1941 by 19-year-old Nora Margaret Fish. (IWM text).

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The pilot is New Zealander Sgt. Ian Hamilton Irvine, who sadly died in a flying accident on 15 July 1942, aged 26.
Nora Fish was born in 1924, so would have been only 17 in this photo, she married in 1949.
Spitfire P8448 was written off after engine failure on 15 February 1942, killing P/O Philip Lionel Soothill RAFVR.
P8448, was converted to a long range version by having a 30-gallon fuel tank fixed under the port wing to give it extra fuel capacity and the ability to escort bombers further into occupied Europe. The idea was short lived as it reduced the Spitfires performance and later led to the introduction of a slipper tank on the Mk.V and later Spitfire versions.
(Photo source - © IWM CH 3614)
Colourised by Doug
 
Dutch soldiers board a tram at Delftse Poort Station in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, during the mobilization of the country in 1939. Credit: Colourised PIECE of JAKE
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Dewoitine D.520 n°94 1st squadron GC I/3 - Sgt Lucien Rigalleau (shot down in Surice on May 15, 1940).


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