World War II As You’ve Never Seen it Before: In ORIGINAL Color!

When we think of World War 2 we think of black and white images and movies, however some of the cameramen were equipped with color film and shot the most amazing pictures.

These pictures were all collected and shared on Facebook on the excellent group “World War II in Original Color”. We present some of the best!

12088258_1094292293916161_3861510593270140818_nCaptured German Henschel 129 in Tunisia being examined. notice the plane’s Desert Camouflage

12109041_1000957216638727_1632343866236762518_nAmerican Paratroopers training, the basket in front is for carrier pigeons!

12108173_1094255993919791_5606902900306970514_nUS Ground troops in Italy

12115558_1094282220583835_710039245433934298_nUS 155mm firing at maximum range in Tunisia

12141679_924670397625555_6934827577953297649_nMesserschmitt Bf 109 E-4/Trop “Schwarze 8” of Oberfeldwebel Werner Schroer  above the North African coast of Ain el Gazala/Libya, April 1941. The aircraft is wearing a short-lived leopard camo scheme.

12094853_926795370746391_9126720159587692540_oA Lance-Corporal from Finnish 43rd light anti-aircraft divison reloading 40mm Bofors AA-gun already in position near the township of Nokia/Finland, 25 April 1944, during Continuation War.

12087966_926429750782953_719806064717107357_oGeneralfeldmarschall Walther von Reichenau (commander of the 6. army) with his staff officers in the Russian Front during operation Barbarossa, August 1941

12105793_999888400078942_6942735615730244462_nLoading Browning 50 cal. Machine Gun on an US Army Half Track

12109109_926784857414109_1589052519670538109_nGerman Afrikakorps soldiers in an armored personnel carrier Sd.Kfz.251/1 (Sonderkraftfahrzeug 251) Ausf.B advances past the fortified Fort Mechili in Cyrenaica/Libya, Western Desert, North Africa, 8 April 1941.

12027159_920514484707813_6614497987021149916_oThis photo is apparently taken from the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and is showing the Tirpitz to the right and to the left of the Tirpitz a German destroyer can be seen. The photo is taken in Norway. The combination of the paint scheme used on the Tirpitz and that she is together with Admiral Hipper in Norway indicates that the photo is taken in 1942 and most likely during Operation “Rösselsprung” which took place 2-6 July 1942.


12096271_926425297450065_2807533538448580520_nThe Allied invasion fleet crossing from England to Normandy on D-Day kept to twelve narrow lanes in order to avoid minefields. From the starboard bridge wing of HMS Belfast, flagship of Force E, a line of three Royal Navy cruisers can be seen in the morning gloom. The picture was taken by George Stevens.

12105979_926327110793217_6899783128413420397_nL2+SR, a Messerschmitt Bf 110 E-3 of 7.Staffel (Fern) / Lehrgeschwader 2 (LG 2), photographed at Sofia-Vrazdebna at the beginning of April 1941 as German forces were preparing to invade Greece and Yugoslavia.

12122694_998261810241601_9048762741093097052_nCanadian Reinforcements Juno Beach, Normandy 1944

11953075_980033978731051_560309876562647402_nGerman soldiers relax on a beach at Boulogne, France in 1940

12079893_923834831042445_8377939510131703136_oShot-up tanks and the result of artillery in action at Radzikhov-Koloyov area

12143217_923629067729688_2103509776948049501_nChristmas 1944, near Bastogne. George Stevens with a present from his son. He left his former job as a film director in Hollywood in 1942 to serve overseas in the American Army for three years in North Africa and Europe.

12141763_924377940988134_6625005313544379817_nA Finnish Air Force Bristol Blenheim bomber of Nr.17 Squadron on snowy airfield in Luonetjärvi, Finland, 31 March 1944.

12072831_993123937422055_7776553027331555977_nHeer Wehrmacht Soldier, Russia, Operation Barbarossa, carrying K-98 Mauser pouches and MG 34/42 magazine

12106791_923988697693725_8769776846822097337_nFinnish soldiers taking a break besides a road during the attack phase of the Continuation war in 1941.

1653940_10152943957560752_1694623212_nTroops enter Austria on 12 March,1938 to cement the Anschluss of Germany and Austria.

12087903_922819877810607_5835387543789455872_oThis photo, that was taken from a propaganda film from 1941, showing a pair of Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4/Trop fighters flying over the Cyrenaica/Libya in April 1941,

10511115_922578641168064_447677311377370332_nBoeing B-29 Superfortress X-55 “Limber Richard” (factory number 44-70072) of the 99th Bombardment Squadron / 9th Bombardment Group flying toward Japan with other squadron bombers, 1945.

12122840_1606835519578804_3436279176320762600_nAn Abandoned ME262 found in Germany

12032161_919920718100523_488207342266305510_nThis sad Kawasaki Ki-61-I KAIc Hien, code-named ‘Tony’, had suffered several indignities during its short life. These marines were practicing the age old American art of “chicken plucking” for souvenirs.

12038520_918573841568544_1686860936111617193_nThis highly polished Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-2 “Blaue 4” was photographed while serving with Jagdfliegerschule 2 or 4.

11947595_906935616065700_4391425172102024537_nWehrmacht Machine gun crew take up positions in the rocky terrain. They’re wearing tropenhemd (tropical shirt) with 1st patttern (right) and 2nd pattern tropenhelm (pith helmet). The Maschinengewehr 34 (MG 34) mounted on its tripod with long range sights for sustained fire role, as used by the Wehrmacht, still dressed in colonial garb from the campaign in the Western Desert, in their defense of southern Italy, summer 1943.

11940334_977592488975200_3447120729938344059_nThe German gunners load ammunition in the ACS StuGIII. Presumably Italy, 1943.

All images: Facebook / World War II in Original Color

Joris Nieuwint

Joris Nieuwint is a battlefield guide for the Operation Market Garden area. His primary focus is on the Allied operations from September 17th, 1944 onwards. Having lived in the Market Garden area for 25 years, he has been studying the events for nearly as long. He has a deep understanding of the history and a passion for sharing the stories of the men who are no longer with us.