By Alyce Collins
STUNNING colourised images celebrating the 73rd VE anniversary show the gritty life of Allied soldiers during the closing stages of WW2 vs. the ecstatic jubilation of the celebrating crowds of civilians at home.
From proudly flying the Union Jack in Britain to British women and children cheering on the troops, the carefully colourised shots show huge crowds of people who gathered across Europe to mark the momentous victory, and to greet the brave soldiers on their return home in Moscow.
Another stunning shot captures U.S troops marching down the world-famous Champs Elysees, underneath the Arc de Triomphe during a victory parade in Paris. The American troops are also shown on a heavily crowded ship, being transported back to the New York Harbour after the VE Day parade in 1945.
The UK Prime Minister at the time, Winston Churchill, is also shown alongside the then head of state, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret as they proudly wave to crowds from a balcony in Buckingham Palace on the first ever VE Day in 1945.
These captivating photographs of celebration compare dramatically with that of a German battalion tank set alight by American troops in the city of Leipzig.
The incredible pictures were colourised by electrician Royston Leonard (55) from Cardiff, South Wales, who spent between three and four hours colourising each picture.
“Over time I have found myself colourising more WW1 and WW2 pictures and giving them a bit of life to help the younger generations connect with them” said Royston.
“It’s about connecting with the images and not just seeing them as something from a long time ago.
“World War Two shows people at their best and worst, we should look at photographs like these and learn so we don’t let that happen again.”
Following the liberation of numerous Nazi concentration camps, the withdrawal of German forces across Europe and Adolf Hitler’s death on the 30th April, Germany was no longer the formidable force it was before.
On the 7th May, an unconditional surrender was signed and then approved by the Allied forces. All German forces were ordered to cease operations once and for all at 10:00am on the 8th May, 1945.
People had been anticipating the German surrender for some days, but when news finally began to break of the surrender, this created waves of celebrations across Western Europe. Winston Churchill made a now famous radio broadcast at 15:00pm on VE Day in which he announced the cease fire.
The Second World War saw over sixty million deaths from the Allied Powers, and twelve million fatalities from the Axis Powers between 1937 to 1945. The political structure across the world was changed after World War Two with the formation of the United Nations (UN) by way of encouraging and monitoring international stability.
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