The Gibraltar Campaign. Left: A gun of Middle Hill Battery. Above: 'The Rock's' searchlights. Below left: Franco could not find a way to avoid the inclusion of Spanish troops in German plans to attack Gibraltar. Below centre: British troops dug in at Devil's Tongue with a regimental mascot. Below right: Once the fighting had moved into the tunnels and galleries of the interior it became a grim struggle in a twilight lit by flickering bulbs and air fouled by gas and exhaust fumes.
The North African Campaign. Above left: An Italian M26/43 tank advancing near Misrata. Above right: A British Cromwell tank at speed near the Tunisian border. The Cromwell, the M26/43 and the Pzkfw IVs used by the Spanish were evenly matched in terms of firepower and protection.
Above: Italian infantry moving towards enemy lines in the action at Gabes. Right: A British 25 pounder field gun suffers a near miss from Italian counter battery fire near Tobruk. The Italian artillery was a highly proficient and professional force.
Above: Some of the general officers of the North African Campaign. From left to right: Annibale Bergonzoli, Richard O'Conner, Omar Bradley and Hasso von Manteuffel. Below: Air power was of vital importance. Left: A British Typhoon fighter-bomber of 112 Squadron at a forward air strip near Benghazi. Right: A Henshel HS 129 Ground Attack aircraft taxiing at a Luftwaffe base outside Sfax.
Left: A Pzkfw IV tank of the Spanish Army, knocked out by Allied air power north of Taourirt in Morrocco. Above right: A Cromwell tank destroyed in the advance on the Mareth Line.
The Persian Campaign of 1946 to 47. Above left: Panther tanks of the IVth Panzer Army advance towards Tabriz after crossing Iran's north western border on the first day of Operation Aufseher. Above: A Centurion tank of the Scots Guards in the desert near the Iran/Iraq border. The gun appears to be missing its muzzle brake. Far left: Mohammad Reza, the twenty-seven year old Shah of Iran. Left: Australian infantry hitch a ride on a Centurion tank, Takab.
The Borneo Campaign, the grimmest and longest of the war. Above left: Australian infantry engage Japanese forces at the Battle of Rantau. Above: A Matilda Tank of a New Zealand armoured regiment advances along a jungle path near Limboengan. Right: Allied forces crossing the estuary of the Pamukan River on a Royal Navy LCT. The Army that defeated the Japanese in Borneo was a multi-racial, multi-national force. Below left: Fijian troops disembark at Bandjarmassin. Below Centre: Australian and Philipino soldiers greet each other after the liberation of Balikpapan. Below right: KNLI troops, most of them indigenous to the Netherlands East Indies, with a captured Japanese flag.
The Battle of the Banda Sea. Above: A Curtiss SB2C 'Helldiver' about to land on USS Essex. Above right: Shokaku under air attack from aircraft of Task Force 19. Right: Nakajima B6N torpedo bombers from the Hiryu airgroup. The Island Hopping Campaign in the Pacific saw the Americans retake the ground lost in 1945 and early 1946 via Tarawa, Wake Island, Saipan, the Marshalls and Guam. Below: The beach at Peleliu after the landing of the US Marines. Below right: Mitsubishi A7M 'Reppu' fighters.
The Battle of Tanimbar. Above: A Grumman TBF Avenger landing on USS Enterprise. Above right. HMS Victorious. Right: A B6N torpedo bomber runs the gauntlet of allied Anti Aircraft fire. Below: Ryujo.
The Eastern Front. Above: Red Army soldiers pick their way through the rubble of Rostov. The battle for the city was one of the bloodiest and most arduous of the war. Above right: Pzkfw E50 Tiger III tanks mass before being sent into action against a Red Army advance south of Kerson, April 1948. Right: With aid from the Allies the vast factories that had been moved east behind the Urals in 1941-42 were bought back to life in 1945-46. Although they produced mostly weaponry that was based on pre-1942 designs, they produced it in enormous quantities. Here SU 152 Self Propelled Guns are being assembled in Sverdlovsk. Far right: A poster of Lazar Kaganovich, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union throughout the war. Below: A group of poorly equipped German soldiers surrender in eastern Belarus, March 1948. Below right: The ruins of Rostov after the fighting. The devastation was worse even than that of Stalingrad after the battles 1942.
The Air War over North West Europe. Top left: A Boeing B39 Superfortress of the 351st Bombardment Group drops its bomb load in a raid on Kharlsruhe, January 1948. Top Right. Air Marshall John Slessor, who became the head of the RAF's Bomber Command when Arthur Harris was dismissed by Prime Minister Sinclair over the issue of bombing policy. Centre left: A Spitfire XVII of 510 Squadron. The Spitfire Marks XV and XVII combined high performance with long range. Above right: Taken from a USAAF B39 bomber during a raid on Dusseldorf, a Martin Baker Raven of 402 squadron RCAF in combat with a Tank Ta152J of an unidentified Luftwaffe unit. Above: A B29 of the 34th Bombardment group crash landed at its base in Framlingham after sustaining damage over Schweinfurt, 11th October 1947.
Above: Five of the most senior of the 'Spartanische' plotters. Left to right: General-Admiral Gunter Lutjens, Count Frederich-Werner Graf von der Schulenburg,, Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein, General Erich Fellgeibel and Generalfeldmarschall Gunther von Kluge. Like the Spartans of Ancient Greece, they were quite comfortable with the notion of their state being essentially predatory in nature.
The Battle of the Atlantic. Top left: A 'salt bitten' Royal Navy Black Swan class sloop. Top right: A B24 'Liberator'. An indifferent bomber, these became invaluable patrol aircraft. Above left and centre: Extremely challenging conditions were normal. Above right: A type XXI U-boat under air attack. The Type XXI was meant to turn the tide in favour of Germany.
The invasion of Sardinia. Top: British warships before the Battle of the Tyrrhenian Sea. From nearest the camera, Superb, Anson and Rodney. Above: The Italian battleship Lepanto with the battleship Littorio in the background. Right: USS Arizona, Admiral Daniel Callaghan's flagship at the Battle of Alghero Gulf. Above left: American troops come ashore at Oristano Bay. Left and right: Rangers landed by helicopter on Capo Frasca, the southern 'jaw' of Oristano Bay's 'mouth' and let down ladders to permit other Allied troops to scale the cliffs.
The South China Campaign. Top row left to right: An M4 Sherman tank of the Chinese Army proceeding through the hilly country of Yunnan; Another M4 Sherman, this time of the Indian Army; An M26 Pershing tank of the US Army at a road junction near Yunfu. Clockwise from upper left. Lt. General Sun Li-Jen of the Chinese New 1st Army; Lt. General Harold Alexander of the British 2nd Army. General Lucius Clay, C in C, Allied forces in China. Lt. General Kodandera Thimayya of the Indian Army. Above: The incredibly corrupt 'Generalisimo' of China, Chiang Kai-Shek and his wife Soong Mai-ling.
Top left: West African troops of the British 2nd Army. They are being transported across the Moyang River on American supplied DUKW vehicles of the Indian Army. Top right: American forces advance into the suburbs of Canton. Above left: Japanese troops pictured in the ruins of Chao Ching (Zhaoquing). The Japanese had experienced nothing remotely similar to the Allies combined arms onslaught since their comprehensive defeat by the Soviets at Khalkin Gol in 1939. Above right: Chinese troops of the New 1st Army advance over rough ground near Ho Yuan (Heyuan).
The South East Asia campaign. Above: Pakistan Army troops wade across the Phang Rat River in Thailand. Above right. British troops on patrol in Surin Province, Thailand. Right: Elephants proved useful for towing broken down tanks. This picture was taken near Sisophon in Cambodia. The men that can be seen on the tank and in the background are British, Sikh and Malay soldiers of a British Army regiment raised in Singapore and southern Malaya.
The Battle of the East China Sea. Above: Tracers rise above the American fleet during a night attack by Japanese aircraft. Above right: The Iowa class fast battleships USS Illinois and USS Kentucky underway before the action. Both were in Task Group 52.3. Right: A Douglas BTD Destroyer aircraft. Meant to replace both the Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bomber and the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver dive bomber, East China Sea was the first major action in which the type was involved.
Above left: Vice Admiral Olaf Hustvedt, Commanding Officer of Task Force 52, the Allied battle line. Above centre: Vice Admiral, the Baron Sadatoshi Tomioka, Commander of the Japanese Northern Force. Above right: Tomioka's flagship, Yamato, one of four battleships of the same class engaged off Ie Jima. Right: HMS Dreadnought, the only British battleship to mount 18 inch guns. Below right: USS Ohio, the flagship of Rear Admiral Norman Scott of TG 52.2. Below: USS Saratoga, abandoned and sinking after suffering multiple torpedo and bomb hits from Japanese aircraft.
Left: The battleships Echigo and Kai manoeuvre under American air attack as the Japanese fleet retreat. Above: The carrier USS Kearsarge was heavily damaged by a Japanese air strike on 18th February 1948.
Top left: The Shawmut Penninsular, the heart of Boston and the aiming point for the attack of 25th April 1948. Top right: Arado Ar 240 strike aircraft of Gruppe Hector close in on the coast of Rhode Island. 'Fall Pfingsten' (Operation Pentecost) was a complex undertaking involving close co-ordination between Luftwaffe and Kreigsmarine units. Above: The Tank Ta 400 V5 prototype used to deliver 'Beirfasse Ein' (Beer Barrel One). Right: The empty casing of Beirfas zwei (Beer Barrel Two), was abandoned on a Luftwaffe base postwar. Its inner mechanism was found in a mine some distance away.
Operation Sceptre, the Allied invasion of Europe, saw five divisions land in Upper Normandy, Picardy and the Pas de Calais. Left: British troops come ashore at 'William' Beach. Above: Some airborne forces were delivered by helicopter. Here, HRP 'Flying Bananas' take off from a base in Kent. Below: Part of 'X-Ray' Beach on D+5.
Far left: Paris liberated, 5th August 1948. General Charles De Gaulle at the Arc de Triomphe. Left: General William Slim, Commander in Chief 7th Army Group. Only Omar Bradley, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force was senior to him. Above: A Pzkfw E50 Tiger III, knocked out near Budapest.
Above: A posed picture of an American machine gun team taken in Slovakia. At the insistence of General Dwight Eisenhower, the US Army's Chief of Staff, American troops of all races and creeds were integrated in combat units. He was backed by President Truman who overcame strong political opposition to this measure, much of it from within his own Democrat Party. The integration of the armed forces was a watershed in the history of race relations in America.
Operation Verdict, an ambitious plan to outflank the German's Westwall defences. Above: Men of the British 1st Airborne Division dug in at Emmerich on the Rhine. They held the bridge for eight days. Above right: Horsa and Hamilcar gliders in fields near Zommeren, where they had delivered the British 6th Airborne Division in Holland. Right: The relief of 82nd Airborne Division at Gennep. An American paratrooper accepts a light from a tank crewman of 1st Australian Armoured Division. A British paratrooper of 6th Airborne Division can be seen behind them. Units of 6th Airborne fought alongside the ANZACs after Zommern was relieved.
The Pacific. Above left: B29s are seen overflying Mt. Fuji. Above right: Typhoons threw the American timetable for the invasion of the Japanese home islands into chaos. Left: Shikishima, the most powerful battleship in the world, sunk by air attack at the Battle of Tanegashima. Above: The Japanese carrier Kasagi, sunk in harbour, also by air attack.
1948 saw new horrors in warfare unleashed: Above: A Japanese G10N 'Fugaku' bomber during the Portland raid. This is gun camera footage from an attacking American P58C interceptor and the lowered port undercarriage suggests that the aircraft has sustained damage. Left: Two Lockheed P58C fighters. This is a still from cine film found in the wreckage of a shot down G10N. Below left: A 'Fat man' type bomb. Below. Hamburg, was hit by a 'Little boy' type bomb.
Left: Left to right: Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, Sir Archibald Sinclair, King George VI and Princess Margaret salute the crowd that gathered outside Buckingham Palace on 4th November 1948. Sinclair had worked tirelessly and was visibly aged by the burden of his responsibilities in the war years. Despite everything, the country faced an uncertain future in an utterly changed world.