Motorcycles at War
By Gavin Birch
Motorbikes were widely used by all sides in WW2 due to their agility, adaptability and speed. A precious few survive today as rare collectors' items.
The author, who is the Photo Archivist at the IWM has unearthed images of all the major marques. Famous British names (Triumph, Norton, Matchless, BSA, Velocette, James and Rudge) feature along with the bigger American machines from Indian and Harley-Davidson. German bikes have their own chapter with classics such as NSU, Zundapp and BMW and include hybrid tracked motorcycles known as Kettengrad - with some shots actually taken by General Erwin Rommel himself.
Also covered are rare experimental prototypes photographed during trials and later in combat, the 'funnies' of the wartime biking world such as the Airborne forces Excelsior Welbike (British) and the Cushman parascooter (US).