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RARE COLOR PHOTOS CAST NEW LIGHT ON WWII

Color film was rare in World War II, and color photography was still a relatively new technique. That’s why photos from a new book published by Imperial War Museums are so mesmerizing.

© IWM

The images were commissioned by the British Ministry of Information, which got hold of a very small quantity of Kodachrome film.

© IWM

The film was used experimentally by official photographers who took it to several locations.

© IWM

The photos include an image of General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

© IWM

And one of the Royal Air Force’s top-scoring pilots, Wing Commander James ‘Johnnie’ Johnson.

© IWM

Only about 3,000 images were taken in total. About half of them went missing.

© IWM

The surviving photos became part of the Museum’s archives in 1949, and some of them are being published for the first time in 70 years.

© IWM

The photos in “The Second World War in Colour” are in their original state — not retouched, not colorized.

© IWM