Bicycle Troops – The Cyclist March 1945

Bundling up past WW2 project items to pass on, I came across this interesting advertisement for scarce rubber tyres from Firestone Tyres in The Cyclist magazine March 1945.

The Cyclist incorporated for wartime paper rations as pages into Geo. Newnes Practical Mechanics magazine).

This gives an illustrator’s idea of what the Second Front “over there” looked like with a couple of months to go before VE Day in May 1945.

Bicycle troops, dispatch riders / Military Police, field ambulances, jeeps and army trucks / lorries, ruined buildings, barbed wire (bad for tyres).

The cyclists with haversacks have rifles or possibly Sten guns.

The jeep has a snorkel.

Storm clouds or smoke on the horizon?

These perilous “forward areas” of timbered buildings do not look very Italian Front, much more British or France / Germany / Northern Europe.

The morale of this story: you can help the war effort “over here” by looking after your precious rubber tyres and “Keep all tyres properly inflated“.

Artist: initials ING near the rubble on the right?

Blog posted by Mark Man Of TIN, 7 October 2022

Blog Post Script

Danish Bicycle Troops the April 1940 film

10 thoughts on “Bicycle Troops – The Cyclist March 1945”

  1. D-Day was in 1944 so the advert is actually from 9 months later. It is a superb drawing and very accurate in depicting British Army vehicles in western Europe somewhere, in fact I suspect the artist had first hand knowledge of actual conditions. The Army did have both photographers and artists with the combat troops. It would be fascinating to identify the artist and reveal his wartime experience. As an aside, although born 7 years after the end of the war, apparently I had a ration card until the final rationing restrictions were lifted I believe in 1953. Regards.


    1. Correctly spotted Tony, I misread the date as 1944 and so have amended my D-Day reference.
      I thought it an interesting vignette drawing and you don’t see much about British bicycle troops later in the war.
      Yes, rationing of various foods went on until the last restrictions lifted in 1953/54 (so a fair number of such late / little used ration books around in the ephemera market) although I’m not sure how fast the shortage of resource materials such as rubber went on or how fast rubber production resumed after the Far East rubber plantations were liberated from Japanese control in 1945. I know building materials were in short supply.


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