North Africa Color Photographs Part III – More American Equipment

An M3 Stuart light tank maneuvers during the battle of El Guettar, showing the fitting of an external fuel tank and stowage at the rear of the engine deck.
A rear view of the same Stewart. American tanks were renowned for their mechanical reliability, and important factor in desert warfare.
Another element of the mechanical reliability of American armored formations was the assignment of dedicated recovery and repair vehicles. This M31 was one of 200 produced using the hulls of M3 Grant tanks, and wears and interesting “scribble” camouflage and subdued yellow stars.
Hilltops provided a commanding view of the surrounding terrain.
Officers confer outside a USAAF mobile command post. Two items of interest are the tan and black camo on the Jeep and the field-applied camo on the command post which even extends to the canvas portions. (Hart Preston photograph)
This C-47 “Jupiter” appears to have suffered an airfield collision.
Liaison aircraft were used in many roles and could operate from even short areas of level ground such as roadways. (Robert Capa photograph)
A Piper Cub demonstrates its short-field capabilities. Interesting is the yellow cowling, a recognition marking normally associated with Luftwaffe aircraft in other theaters. (Robert Capa photograph)
A U.S. artillery position. The effectiveness of the overhead camouflage is questionable.
American soldiers “relaxing” with a camel ride.

Part I here:

North Africa Color Photographs Part II – 1st Armored Division Shermans at El Guettar

This is a series of color photographs attributed to Eiiot Elisofon for LIFE Magazine.  They show several M4A1 Shermans of the 1st Armored Division maneuvering through the Tunisian desert during the Battle of El Guettar in April, 1943.  One source breaks down the assignment to the 2nd Battalion, 13th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division.

The tanks are all seen kicking up a considerable amount of dust which covers them liberally and serves as an expedient camouflage.  Some crews have further taken advantage of this by smearing mud on the white stars.  Despite the dust (or possibly because of it) hatches are open and heads are out.  Always of interest to modelers, several variations of external stowage can be seen.

Part III here:

North Africa Color Photographs Part I – A War Correspondent’s Tour of Tunisia

A series of color photographs taken by a group of War Correspondents covering the North African Campaign in Tunisia during the Spring of 1943.  Many of these photographs were published in LIFE magazine.

The Correspondents were given the use of several vehicles, including the Ford Jeeps seen in desert camo here. The halftrack carries a .50 caliber machine gun with the large magazine. The truck to the right has a Luftwaffe bomb jack in the bed.
The Jeeps pass a column of Shermans. The tanks are still in their olive drab but are covered in a thick layer of dust.
Another Sherman from the same column.
A side view of one of the Jeeps showing the U.S. star on the hood. Roman ruins in the background.
Inside the Roman amphitheater at El Jem, Tunisia. The amphitheater was built during the Second Century.
Another view of the vehicles inside the amphitheater. The camouflage color is very effective!
A street view of Tunis. Both sides made extensive use of captured vehicles, in the right foreground what appears to be a British Officer is driving an Afrika Corps Kubelwagen.
Another scene from Tunis, American vehicles carrying troops on the left and a German vehicle is parked on the right.
The street has been cleared of rubble but the damaged buildings remain.
The gates of Tripoli, unfortunately off limits.

Part II here:

Dunkirk Color Photographs – Hermann Weper Collection

Hermann Weper was an Officer assigned to Maschinengewehr Bataillon 52 during the Battle of France.  In June 1940 his unit was in Dunkirk, and he took these photographs immediately after the evacuation ended.

This is the French Navy Subchaser “Chasseur 9”. She was bombed on 21MAY40 and beached to prevent sinking. She is armed with a 90 mm gun on the fo’c’sle and carries depth charges amidships. Interesting is the Universal Carrier chained to her bow.
Vehicles of Motorsturm 13 on the beach with a 20 mm Flak gun barely visible to the left. Note the colors of the tunics and trousers of the troops.
A 20 mm Flak gun covered with a Zeltbahn shelter half, ammo cans surround the gun within easy access. Likely this gun is assigned to the same unit as the previous photo, possibly the same gun.
The Louis Bleriot memorial. German transport and abandoned vehicles line the beach, with disabled ships lying offshore.
Surrendered French troops pushing a Universal Carrier off the road.
German troops push their 3.7 cm PAK past abandoned Universal Carriers. It is estimated the British left enough material behind at Dunkirk to equip more than eight Divisions.
German Officers confer along a roadside. Modelers should note the variations in uniform colors visible in this photograph.
Same location as the previous photo, German and French Officers talk by the roadside.
Still the same location, French troops pass by.

More color photographs from Dunkirk here:

Dunkirk Color Photographs, Hugo Jaeger Collection Part III

These are color photographs taken by German photographer Hugo Jaeger.  They are currently held in the Life Magazine archives.  These were likely taken in May – June 1940.

Vehicles on the beach at Dunkirk. It is estimated that the British left behind enough equipment to fully outfit more than eight Divisions. To put this in perspective, this left only two equipped Divisions to defend England.
Abandoned rangefinder and equipment with French military truck in the background.
Vehicles pushed off the road outside Dunkirk. The Germans captured vast amounts of military transport.
Bofers 40 mm anti-aircraft gun on the beach.
The tidal plain littered with ammunition, abandoned vehicles in the background.
French Navy Destroyer L’Adroit was hit by an He 111 on 21MAY40. Her Captain beached her and ordered his crew off the ship, all survived. Her forward magazine later exploded which severed her bow.
British troops captured at Dunkirk.
General destruction at Dunkirk.
Similar scene moving down the wharf with abandoned vehicles on the left.
Burned out vehicle and general destruction of the city.

Part IV here:

French Armor Color Photographs, Hugo Jaeger Collection Part II

These are color photographs taken by German photographer Hugo Jaeger.  They are currently held in the Life Magazine archives.  These were likely taken in May – June 1940.

A pair of knocked out AMR 35 reconnaissance tanks.
A Renault FT-17.  The design dated to the First World War but many were still in French service in reserve battalions.  The Germans later used captured examples in secondary roles in occupied countries.
Two more knocked out Renault FT-17s.
This Char B1 of the 37e Battalion was hit on 16MAY40 at Solre le Château.
A Hotchkiss H35.
Another view of the same Hotchkiss H35.
Two abandoned AMD Panhard 178 armored cars. These were used for reconnaissance.
French and German soldiers walk through Senlis, France, German military vehicles in the background.
Captured French troops.
German trucks cross a pontoon bridge at Senlis France, approximately 20 miles from Paris.

Hugo Jaeger color photographs part III here:

Invasion of Poland 1939 Color Photographs, Hugo Jaeger Collection Part I

These are color photographs taken by German photographer Hugo Jaeger.  They are currently held in the Life Magazine archives.

A line-up of captured Polish TKS tankettes. The TKS carried a crew of two and were armed with either a machine gun or 20 mm cannon.
An abandoned TK-3 tankette. The unit symbol of an arm with a sword has not been identified.
Another abandoned TK-3.
A burnt-out Pz.Kpfw. II Ausf C in Warsaw.
A bridge near Sochaczew which has been dropped. Bridges are prime targets and can be destroyed by either attacking or defending forces as circumstances dictate.
Another destroyed bridge North of Warsaw, with a military pontoon bridge erected next to it.
Surrendered Polish Army soldiers are checked by Germans.
Captured Polish soldiers and a medic.
Naval mines at the Baltic port of Gdynia. Fuses for the mines are piled behind.
Paravanes, which are used to sweep moored mines, with mines at Gdynia.
Abandoned Polish Wz.29 armored car.

Hugo Jaeger color photographs part II here:

Bristol Blenheims of 21 Squadron RAF Color Photographs

Press Day at RAF Watton in Norfolk, Summer of 1941. These are Blenheim IVs of 21 Squadron, the photographer is Robert Capa. Another photographer can be seen squatting in the background. V5580 is seen warming up her engines for take off.
V5580 again from a different angle. This aircraft and crew were lost on 21OCT41.
Last minute discussions before boarding YH-D. There is a great difference in the manner of the personnel in these photos compared to the staged poses of many aircraft being “serviced”.
A second photo of the same scene. Note the color shift compared to the previous photo. Photographers often carried more than one camera and used different film in each, which is one of many factors which may account for the difference.
Boarding the aircraft. Note the cowling colors in these photographs.
Another scene of a crew boarding, this time the aircraft is YH-L, serial V6436. She was shot down by flak over Rotterdam on 28AUG41, all crew were lost.
Details of the dorsal turret are visible here. I believe this is V5580, also seen in the first two photographs.
A scene repeated on airfields the world over as ground crew await the return from the mission.
The crash truck standing by with a rescuer in his asbestos suit. Note the pattern of the suspenders on the man on the right. The truck is a Crossley FE1 Crash Tender.
A series of photographs of a Blenheim IV which was hit by flak on 04JUL41 during a raid on an electrical power station near Bethune, France. She suffered damage to her engines and had lost her hydraulics which prevented her undercarriage from being lowered. She made a successful belly landing upon her return. Fire fighting foam has been applied liberally. “Suspenders man” is standing at the center with his back to the camera.
The same scene from a slightly different angle. I believe Capa is taking these pictures while standing on the crash truck seen previously. Uniforms from several services can be seen in the crowd to the right.
Steam is rising from the engine as firefighters work two foam hoses. This is slightly earlier in the sequence before the crowd gathered. The open canopy over the cockpit indicates the crew is already out. The pilot was American-born RCAF Sergeant Lawrence Maguire.
A cropped shot of the previous photo, enhanced to reveal the Blenheim’s serial. When I was researching these photographs I found three different serials associated with this crash, but here it can be seen the correct serial is Z7432. Squadron codes are YH-J.
A view from the port side of the aircraft as foam is being applied. Photographs showing the same scene from various angles are rare, doubly so if they are in color. Inspiration for an ambitious diorama modeler!
Z7432 lost her port propeller, here a Chilean officer is seen inspecting the damage.

Atlantic Convoy Color Photographs Part II

More color photographs taken by Robert Capa.  Visible in these are details of the ship’s boats and a variety of light gun positions which were hastily fitted to the merchantmen to give them a minimal self-defense capability.  The aircraft carried as deck cargo are Douglas A-20 Havocs, known as the Boston in British service.  They have had their seams taped to prevent corrosion caused by salt spray.   

Part I here:

Atlantic Convoy Color Photographs Part I

These color photographs were taken by famed photographer Robert Capa.  Capa is best known for his work during the Spanish Civil War and action shots of Omaha Beach during the Normandy landings.  Most of his work was in black and white and he was known for not always sending along captions with his photographs.  He made at least two crossings of the Atlantic with convoys, it is possible that these photos represent a mixture of different ships from both.

One identifiable ship is the SS Hektoria, a 13,797 ton whaler useful for her extensive refrigerated holds.  She was damaged by U-211 and sunk by U-608 on 12SEP42.  The destroyer seen making smoke is HMS Harvester (H19).  She had two German submarines to her credit, but was torpedoed and sunk herself in March 1943. 

Part II here: