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Thread: Please help in identifying these British Generals

  1. #1
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    Default Please help in identifying these British Generals

    Hi, I have pictures of what I believe are British Generals from WWII and possibly a prime minister in the black suit. The soldier who took these photos was from the 2nd armored Division. Does anyone recognize these people?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Please help in identifying these British Generals

    I'm no expert on uniforms, but I'm not sure that the army uniforms are for British officers. The collar tabs on the men first and second from left here http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/atta...2&d=1277576979 don't look like the rather simpler British ones.

    The caps appear to have a shiny area between the visor and peak which is not characteristic of British officers' caps of the period, although maybe some units (Guards?) might have had them. The caps also lack a badge between the visor and peak, which is not usual for British officers.

    It may be that the officers are foreign officers, such as Poles, in exile wearing British-based uniforms with their own insignia.

    The civilian certainly isn't any British Prime Minister during America's involvement in WWII as that was Churchill. Again, he might be some foreign dignitary.

    Or is Canada a possibility while the American unit was still in America?
    ..
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    Default Re: Please help in identifying these British Generals

    Ummm... why do you suggest they might be British? The only identifiable rank insignia (on the Corporal facing away from the car) is definitely not British, they're wearing US-patttern helmets and just about everything else looks wrong too - starting with the number of medal ribbons they're wearing. About the only clearly British person there is the senior RAF officer in the final photo.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

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    Default Re: Please help in identifying these British Generals

    The person who I received these from said they might be British but he wasn't for sure. Now I know they aren't and someone has suggested maybe Polish or Czechoslovakian uniforms. The RAF i know is a Group Captain according to his stripes and the helmeted men I've known are US and actually pretty convinced that one is "Pee Wee" Collier. I hope to get a name for the rest of them. Any suggestions on who you think the other men are would be much appreciated.

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    Default Re: Please help in identifying these British Generals

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    About the only clearly British person there is the senior RAF officer in the final photo.
    That was my first impression, but now I'm not so sure.

    Notice the left shoulder flash. Was this a standard item for a RAF Group Captain, or something to identify nationality or something else out of the mainstream RAF?

    Possibly a photographic issue rather than a true colour, but he seems to be wearing a white shirt rather than RAF blue.

    The cap badge could be the standard RAF badge for a Group Captain, but it might also be something else. Too indistinct for any firm opinion.

    Basis for comparison here: http://www.rathbonemuseum.com/GB/RAF...GCHorwood.html
    ..
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    Default Re: Please help in identifying these British Generals

    Gentlemen, I don't think the pictures show what may be thought.

    I'm thinking they depict the arrival of Soviet diplomats in Britain, prior to Casablanca or Yalta.
    The US Army assigned elements of one Infantry Division to act as honour-guard to the Soviet representatives, the British assigned similar elements from a Guards unit, which did duty turn-and-turn about with the American detachment.

    The book I have, and which details this is in storage, as I'm about to shift apartment soon.
    However, on about 4 occasions the Russians sent advanced teams to the UK to coordinate arrangements and sort details with the British and Americans, in regard to events like Casablanca and Yalta.

    The four pictures shown here may well be from one such occasion.

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    Default Re: Please help in identifying these British Generals

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan2010 View Post
    ....... actually pretty convinced that one is "Pee Wee" Collier....
    I would agree with that! I just did a bit of research and came to the same conclusion about the American helmeted general. Also the troop in the pic seem to be wearing the arm patch of the 2nd armored division. I would guess this is some kind of meeting in N. Africa. ?!?!?!

    101st Airborne

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    Default Re: Please help in identifying these British Generals

    I'm continuing to research this one. The American troops are 2nd. Armoured for sure. The 'unidentified' officers are definitely not British, neither is the Group Captain.

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    Default Re: Please help in identifying these British Generals

    Quick update. I'm sure the Army uniforms are Belgian. The Officer wearing the battledress blouse may be Lt.Gen. Henri J.C.E. Denis, Minister of War. The taller Officer with the glasses is, I think, Lt.Col. Charles A.F. Tricot. That's as far as I've got.

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    Default Re: Please help in identifying these British Generals

    Quote Originally Posted by Ealdwita View Post
    Quick update. I'm sure the Army uniforms are Belgian. The Officer wearing the battledress blouse may be Lt.Gen. Henri J.C.E. Denis, Minister of War.
    He was Minister of War to 1940 in Belgium but after that it seems he was in Britain with the Belgian government in exile.

    As the Americans weren't in the war in 1940, and as Denis was in England after 1940, if that's him then the obvious possibilities are that the photo was taken in England after American troops arrived there or in Belgium during the war when the 2nd Division fought there, or after the war.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Please help in identifying these British Generals

    The car seems to be Right-hand-drive which points to an English location. The key, I think, is the identity of the civilian........

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    Default Re: Please help in identifying these British Generals

    Quote Originally Posted by Ealdwita View Post
    The car seems to be Right-hand-drive which points to an English location.
    Well spotted.

    The photo is indistinct, but I can't think of anything but a steering wheel which would explain the obscure object on the right front dash.

    Then again, did any British cars cross the Channel, especially towards or after the end of the war where they might have been present in ceremonies which might be recorded in the photos?

    The natty uniforms on all sides suggests it might have been a post-war ceremony.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Please help in identifying these British Generals

    Quote Originally Posted by Ealdwita View Post
    Quick update. I'm sure the Army uniforms are Belgian. The Officer wearing the battledress blouse may be Lt.Gen. Henri J.C.E. Denis, Minister of War.
    Quite possibly.

    I think this is Henri with King Leopold before the Belgian surrender which, if so, confirms the Belgian Army uniform from the cap band.




    I don't think that the civilian in the original pictures could be King Leopold, unless his facial features thickened greatly during the war.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Please help in identifying these British Generals

    I have a suspicion the the civilian may be Paul Henri Spaak (Belgian Foreign Minister 1945-47 and Prime Minister 1947-50). Has anyone access to a photo of Spaak from about this time? The more recent photos I have are inconclusive.

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    Default Re: Please help in identifying these British Generals

    Quote Originally Posted by Ealdwita View Post
    I have a suspicion the the civilian may be Paul Henri Spaak (Belgian Foreign Minister 1945-47 and Prime Minister 1947-50). Has anyone access to a photo of Spaak from about this time? The more recent photos I have are inconclusive.
    I suspect it's not Spaak.

    While the photo of the back of his head in this link http://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail...S&location=AUS is also inconclusive, it suggests that Spaak in 1941 was similarly fat as in his post war images and rather fatter than the civilian in the original photos.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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