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Distributed for Imperial War Museums

The Second World War in Colour

For those of us who didn’t live through World War II, it appears in our mind’s eye in black and white. Images of the Blitz, of the D-Day landings at Normandy, the liberation of Paris, the fall of Berlin—all come to us in shadowy grays and blacks, the lack of color simultaneously heightening their drama and distancing them from us. Seen in black and white, World War II seems wholly of the past, a story that’s being told much more than an experienced that men and women actually lived through.

​This book will help change that. Reproducing seventy-eight rare full-color images from the archives of the Imperial War Museums, it shows us a new—or at least long-forgotten—World War II. In these pages, we see the vivid hues of flames, the richly colored fabrics of flags and uniforms, intense blue skies high over battlefields, faces of suntanned soldiers on the march, and the dizzyingly complicated color of the new art of military camouflage. The result is a World War II that has been rescued from the past and restored to us, powerful and unforgettable, so we can see for the first time what our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents saw as they fought and sacrificed all those decades ago.

120 pages | 78 color plates | 7 x 8 3/4 | © 2017

Art: Photography

History: Military History

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"Stunning . . . The photos shown in this new book allow us to travel back in time and see things as they really were."


"When most people think of photography from both world wars, they think of black and white images. There were a few color images made during the Great War and thousands (including many motion pictures) were taken during World War II, but they don’t often make it into print....This book should especially appeal to World War II buffs, especially to those who have rarely seen such striking color images of that conflict. The book is highly recommended."

Journal of America's Military Past

Table of Contents

Chapter One Germany Triumphant
Chapter Two British at War
Chapter Three Striking Back
Chapter Four War at Sea
Chapter Five Forces Overseas
Chapter Six Second Front
Image list and Acknowledgements

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