Re: [MV] Re; WWII Book

Colin Brookes (
Sun, 14 Dec 1997 09:20:51 +1200

In message <>, Nelson
<> writes
>Re a recent posting on a good WWII color book by Jonathan Gawne;
> All military buffs should be aware that COLOR WWII pictures are generally
>quite scarce, and potentially of value (not just monetary) to many
>collectors and archives, military & civillian. Color photography was just
>begining in the US at the start of the war, and pre-1950 color photos were
>not taken in any great numbers.

Hi Nelson,
The value of coloured photographs taken during the WW2 period is very
limited, and extreme caution should be used when attempting to use for
any historical purpose. The colour rendition was very innacurate when
taken at the time, has further deteriorated over the years, and is again
not reproduced faithfully in book printing. Other than the small
possibility of some blue red distinctions, 50 year old colour
photographs if being used for any kind of historical accuracy can only
be considered in grey scale.
The current method of spectrographing components and items of equipment
and clothing that have been hidden from the light of day, for original
colour rendition is the most accurate. Unlike your suggestion, the
field of serious re-enactors is where you are most likely to find the
closest reproduction to the original.
The movie industry has spent millions of dollars in re-colouring archive
films to make them usable for re-viewing. In my own collection of
photographs that I took during my military career, using many different
films as well as cameras. The colour deterioration on my 50's ones is
considerable, and bears no resemblance to the original, especially those
I took in the tropics.

Military vehicle restorer and collector Mike Hoffman. In England about
25 years ago, researched and spectrographed many vehicle colours from
the British Commonwealth, the USA and the axis countries. The results
were recorded and have been reproduced many times.

Colin Brookes
Invicta Military Vehicle Preservation Society (IMPS)

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