Publisher: IPC
Publication Dates: September 1, 1958 – December 1984
Number of Issues Published: 2103 (#1 – #2103)
Color: Colour cover; Black and white interior
Dimensions: Digest-size
Paper Stock: Glossy Cover; Newsprint Interior
Publishing Format: Was ongoing

Information thanks to the Grand Comics Database

War Picture Library was a British 64-page Pocket library war comic title published by Amalgamated Press/Fleetway (now owned by IPC Magazines) for 2103 issues. Each issue featured a complete story, beginning in 1 September 1958 with “Fight Back to Dunkirk” and finishing 26 years later with “Wings of the Fleet” (3 December 1984). The Editor was Ted Bensberg(one of the best Editors at Fleetway). Assistant Editors included Geoff Kemp and Brian Smith. Other Editorial Staff included Pat Brookman, Terence Magee, Clive Ranger, Tony Power, Clive McGee. Art Editor was Mike Jones and Art Assistant was his brother Dave Jones.

Companion titles Air Ace Picture Library (1960–1970) and Action Picture Library (1969–1970) were both folded into the longer-running War Picture Library in later years.

Launched in September, 1958, the Amalgamated Press/Fleetway title War Picture Library was one of the earliest (arguably the earliest) “pocket library” titles, and in particular one of the first to feature stories set during World War II. Comprising 64-pages, the tales were, according to Steve Holland “page turner[s] of the first order, a shilling shocker that grabbed [the] attention” of a – primarily – young audience. Written and illustrated, at least in early years, “by creators who had lived through the war themselves, many on the front line,” War Picture Library was able to show clearly to its target audience “what [the reader’s] fathers and uncles had been through in combat.” War Picture Library brought the Second World War to life “in all its grim glory,” according to writer and editor Steve Holland.

The stories were not limited to tales of combat, some set in “the bomb-torn streets of London during the blitz,” although the bulk of the stories released several times a month for over two thousand issues were set in all fields of combat. Crucially, reflecting the cultural shifts in popular fiction, the war stories did not always feature “a heroic journey,” nor yet were all characters automatically “gung-ho” stereotypes: “a diversity of characters,” human emotion and even some considerable sympathy for ‘the enemy’ was not out-of-place in some tales.

Uncredited from the start, as were the vast majority of comic books written and drawn in the late 1950s and early 1960s, War Picture Library continued the trend of UK-based comics publishers such as D. C. Thomson and publisher Fleetway in continuing not to credit on-page the names of its creators.

Many names – and before them, styles – became familiar to UK comics readers, however, and still more names have been documented over recent years. Contributors to War Picture Library included artists such as Giorgio Trevisan, Harry Farrugia, George Heath, G. R. Parvin, Nevio Zeccara, Annibale Casabianca, F. Solano López, Juan Gonzalez Alacreu, Jose Ortiz, Ramon de la Fuente, Jorge Moliterni, Renzo Calegari, Luis Ramos, Gino D’Antonio and Hugo Pratt.

Writers are often harder to identify, but among those identified by Steve Holland (et al.) are Donne Avenell, Ian Kellie, Douglas Leach, Willie Patterson, Alf Wallace, David Satherley, Roger P. Clegg, A. Carney Allen and S & J Thomas., also Gordon Brunt, author of 40 Air Ace Picture Library issues between 1961 and 1969.

Stories written for all the war comics were able to bring attention to lesser-known battles and actions, as well as highlight those instantly memorable. In addition, in one issue, a narrative could be followed from training, through action to heroism – and/or death. WPL No. 22 (July, 1959) featured “The Invisible Enemy,” set during the Battle of the Bulge, and dealing with Nazi war crimes such as the execution of prisoners; Issue No. 54 (June 1960)’s “Umbrella in the Sky” provided a fictionalised account of RAF pilots flying Hurricanes to Russia providing aid to Britain’s then-ally during the German assaults. Issue #1151 “Fix Bayonets”, (December, 1975) followed four conscripts from their initial training until their eventual action in Italy, where two are killed: one heroically, one pointlessly – aptly highlighting the dichotomy between different forms of ‘death in action,’ and providing a story all the more poignant for having followed their careers for so long.

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1958 1958 1958 1958 1958

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War Picture Library 0001 Fight back to Dunkirk
War Picture Library 0002 Wings of victory
War Picture Library 0003 Action stations
War Picture Library 0004 The gallant few

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War Picture Library 0005 The ship that ran away
War Picture Library 0006 For valour
War Picture Library 0007 The red devils
War Picture Library 0008 Wings over the Navy

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1959 1959 1959 1959 1959

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War Picture Library 0009 Bombs away
War Picture Library 0010 Up persicope
War Picture Library 0013 Special force Burma
War Picture Library 0021 Airborne

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War Picture Library 0023 Tinfish with wings
War Picture Library 0024 V1
War Picture Library 0025 The iron fist
War Picture Library 0026 Attack and destroy

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War Picture Library 0027 Lifeline
War Picture Library 0030 Soldier of fortune
War Picture Library 0031 Beach-head
War Picture Library 0032 Convoy

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1960 1960 1960 1960 1960

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War Picture Library 0033 Under fire
War Picture Library 0034 Fix bayonets
War Picture Library 0035 Full steam
War Picture Library 0036 Lone Commando

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War Picture Library 0037 Fire one
War Picture Library 0038 Desert patrol
War Picture Library 0039 Bomb alley
War Picture Library 0040 Pathfinder

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War Picture Library 0041 Red Cross of courage
War Picture Library 0042 Phantom force five
War Picture Library 0043 Three-two-one-zero
War Picture Library 0044 Raven over Berlin

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War Picture Library 0045 The price of freedom
War Picture Library 0046 Operation Fury
War Picture Library 0047 The green hell
War Picture Library 0050 The crimson sea
War Picture Library 0052 Air Commando

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War Picture Library 0053 Crash call
War Picture Library 0054 Umbrella in the sky
War Picture Library 0056 The crowded sky

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War Picture Library 0057 Killer sub
War Picture Library 0058 Up the Marines
War Picture Library 0059 Tough as they come
War Picture Library 0060 Conquer or die
War Picture Library 0061 Gun deck

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War Picture Library 0062 Strongpoint
War Picture Library 0063 Close range
War Picture Library 0064 Breaking point
War Picture Library 0065 Danger dives deep

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War Picture Library 0066 Task force
War Picture Library 0067 Battle drop
War Picture Library 0068 Enemy engaged
War Picture Library 0069 The hungry guns

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War Picture Library 0070 The whispering death
War Picture Library 0071 Zero hour
War Picture Library 0072 Bombers moon

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War Picture Library 0073 Those in peril
War Picture Library 0074 Front line
War Picture Library 0075 Blood ridge

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War Picture Library 0076 The shall not die
War Picture Library 0078 Aces high
War Picture Library 0079 The voice of the guns

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1961 1961 1961 1961 1961

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War Picture Library 0080 Banzai
War Picture Library 0081 Hell’s mouth
War Picture Library 0084 Strike squadron
War Picture Library 0085 Breakthrough

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War Picture Library 0086 Field of valour
War Picture Library 0087 Colours flying
War Picture Library 0088 Clash of steel
War Picture Library 0089 Blitzkrieg

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War Picture Library 0090 Five seconds to live
War Picture Library 0091 The bayonet jungle
War Picture Library 0092 Dark judgment
War Picture Library 0093 Force of arms

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War Picture Library 0094 The railway of death
War Picture Library 0095 Flash-point
War Picture Library 0096 The thin blue line

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War Picture Library 0097 Loser takes all
War Picture Library 0098 No man’s land
War Picture Library 0099 Spearhead

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War Picture Library 0101 The shadow of death
War Picture Library 0102 Desert furies
War Picture Library 0103 Horizon in hell

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War Picture Library 0104 Bulldog breed
War Picture Library 0105 Collision course
War Picture Library 0106 Roll of honour

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War Picture Library 0107 Death took no side
War Picture Library 0108 The killing ground
War Picture Library 0109 Claws of the tiger

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War Picture Library 0110 Badge of courage
War Picture Library 0112 Ceiling zero
War Picture Library 0113 Attack
War Picture Library 0114 Cry defiance

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War Picture Library 0115 The ranks of the damned
War Picture Library 0116 Man of destiny
War Picture Library 0117 The troubled sea
War Picture Library 0118 Heat of battle
War Picture Library 0122 The savage island

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1962 1962 1962 1962 1962

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War Picture Library 0124 Lucky strike
War Picture Library 0125 The taste of fear
War Picture Library 0126 The fires of hate
War Picture Library 0127 Divided we fall

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War Picture Library 0128 Licence to kill
War Picture Library 0130 Debt of honour
War Picture Library 0131 Line of fire
War Picture Library 0132 Rapid fire

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War Picture Library 0138 Duffy’s Kingdom
War Picture Library 0141 The black ace
War Picture Library 0143 The tall shadows
War Picture Library 0144 Chain of command

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War Picture Library 0146 Missing, believed killed
War Picture Library 0154 Road from Tobruk
War Picture Library 0156 Raider alert
War Picture Library 0157 Gunflash

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War Picture Library 0158 Paratroop
War Picture Library 0161 Open sights
War Picture Library 0165 First of the line
War Picture Library 0168 The will to fight

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1963 1963 1963 1963 1963

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War Picture Library 0179 Shot in the dark
War Picture Library 0185 Lost jungle
War Picture Library 0199 The shield of auray

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War Picture Library 0204 Flying column
War Picture Library 0207 Be tough, be cunning
War Picture Library 0211 Comrades in arms

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War Picture Library 0212 Sound the alarm
War Picture Library 0215 The undefeated
War Picture Library 0216 The last command

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War Picture Library 0218 Strike silent
War Picture Library 0219 Against all odds
War Picture Library 0223 Storm in the east

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1964 1964 1964 1964 1964

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War Picture Library 0224 Advance
War Picture Library 0229 Trail of the avenger
War Picture Library 0233 Up in arms

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War Picture Library 0234 To strike again
War Picture Library 0236 Lost commando
War Picture Library 0245 Blind judgment

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War Picture Library 0246 Trail blazers
War Picture Library 0247 The dark jungle
War Picture Library 0251 Red devils don’t die

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War Picture Library 0252 Battle deadline
War Picture Library 0253 Man of action
War Picture Library 0256 Outlaw legion

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War Picture Library 0257 The common foe
War Picture Library 0260 Brothers in arms
War Picture Library 0262 Untamed

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War Picture Library 0264 U-983
War Picture Library 0267 Primed to kill
War Picture Library 0268 The hand of fate

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War Picture Library 0269 Ghost platoon
War Picture Library 0270 At bayonet point
War Picture Library 0271 No holds barred

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1965 1965 1965 1965 1965

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War Picture Library 0272 E-Boat alley
War Picture Library 0273 Dangerous contact
War Picture Library 0274 Sacrifice supreme

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War Picture Library 0275 The destroyers
War Picture Library 0277 The patriot
War Picture Library 0279 Strong in battle

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War Picture Library 0280 The last stand
War Picture Library 0281 Shellfire
War Picture Library 0282 Due north to death
War Picture Library 0283 Counter attack

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War Picture Library 0284 Enemy in sight
War Picture Library 0286 Sergeant Leatherneck
War Picture Library 0287 Warrior’s moon
War Picture Library 0288 The hidden strength

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War Picture Library 0289 Last campaign
War Picture Library 0290 Finlay’s furies
War Picture Library 0291 Mission for heroes
War Picture Library 0292 Undaunted

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War Picture Library 0295 Operation Doomsday
War Picture Library 0296 The veterans
War Picture Library 0297 Chain reaction
War Picture Library 0300 Trusted enemy

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War Picture Library 0301 Doomed squadron
War Picture Library 0303 Death or dishonour
War Picture Library 0304 Battle drill

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War Picture Library 0305 Thunder island
War Picture Library 0307 Born leader
War Picture Library 0309 Phantom flotilla

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War Picture Library 0311 Rogue company
War Picture Library 0312 Learn fast and alive

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War Picture Library 0315 Cross for courage
War Picture Library 0316 Honours even
War Picture Library 0317 Last parade
War Picture Library 0319 The firing squad

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1966 1966 1966 1966 1966

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War Picture Library 0321 Counterstroke
War Picture Library 0322 Danger deep
War Picture Library 0323 Passage of arms

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War Picture Library 0324 The hated breed
War Picture Library 0325 Escape route
War Picture Library 0326 The rebels

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War Picture Library 0327 Crete in flames
War Picture Library 0334 Gunsmoke
War Picture Library 0335 Human torpedo

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War Picture Library 0336 Deed of valour
War Picture Library 0337 The sleeping tiger
War Picture Library 0346 Breach of trust
War Picture Library 0347 Too tough for Sergeants
War Picture Library 0349 Spike the guns

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War Picture Library 0354 The executioners
War Picture Library 0362 Colonel Decoy

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4 responses »

  1. Mr Tweedy says:

    War Picture Library x140:
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    https://www.mediafire.com/file/z5ns5msnng7hz98/War26.zip/file
    https://www.mediafire.com/file/k6a3cqqbh4h6m9m/War27.zip/file
    https://www.mediafire.com/file/559olgvt0vtqk8m/War28.zip/file
    Links are temporary and will be active for 30 days only.

    Like

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