Thursday, October 23, 2014

Photos from the Western Front, Part 2


(Click on the photographs to enlarge further).

Battlefield in the Marne between Souain and Perthes, 1915. 

Soldiers in trenches during write letters home. Life in the trenches was summed up by the phrase which later became well-known: "Months of boredom punctuated by moments of extreme terror." 

At Cambrai, German soldiers load a captured British Mark I tank onto a railroad, in November of 1917. Tanks were first used in battle during World War I, in September of 1916, when 49 British Mark I tanks were sent in during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. 

British soldiers on Vimy Ridge, 1917. British and Canadian forces pushed through German defenses at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April of 1917, advancing as far as six miles in three days, retaking high ground and the town of Thelus, at the cost of nearly 4,000 dead. 





At a height of 150 meters above the fighting line, a French photographer was able to capture a photograph of French troops on the Somme Front, launching an attack on the Germans, ca. 1916. The smoke may have been deployed intentionally, as a screening device to mask the advance. 

Canadian soldiers tend to a fallen German on the battlefield at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917. 
Bodies of allied soldiers strewn about a bombed landscape in "No Man's Land" in front of the Canadian lines at Courcelette in 1916, during the Battle of the Somme. 

An explosion near trenches dug into the grounds of Fort de la Pompelle, near Reims, France. 

French soldiers wearing gas masks in a trench, 1917. gas mask technology varied widely during the war, eventually developing into an effective defence, limiting the value of gas attacks in later years. 

French soldiers make a gas and flame attack on German trenches in Flanders, Belgium, on January 1, 1917. Both sides used different gases as weapons during the war, both asphyxiants and irritants, often to devastating effect. 

French soldier in gas mask, 1916.

Gassed patients are treated at the 326th Field Hospital near Royaumeix, France, on August 8, 1918. The hospital was not large enough to accommodate the large number of patients. 

British soldiers and Highlanders with German prisoners walk past war ruins and a dead horse, after the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, part of the Third Battle of Ypres in September of 1917. The sign near the railroad tracks reads (possibly): "No Trains. Lorries for Walking Wounded at Chateau [Potijze?]". 

A horse is restrained while it is attended to at a veterinary hospital in 1916. 

A gigantic shell crater, 75 yards in circumference, Ypres, Belgium, October 1917. 

British MkIV "Bear" tank, abandoned after battle near Inverness Copse, on August 22 , 1917. 

Cleaning up German trenches at St. Pierre Divion. In the foreground a group of British soldiers are sorting through equipment abandoned in the trenches by the Germans when St Pierre Divion was captured. One soldier has three rifles slung on his shoulder, another has two. Others are looking at machine gun ammunition. The probable photographer, John Warwick Brooke, has achieved considerable depth of field as many other soldiers can be seen in the background far along the trenches. 

Bringing Canadian wounded to the Field Dressing Station, Vimy Ridge in April of 1917. German prisoners assist in pushing the rail car. 

On the British front, Christmas Dinner, 1916, in a shell hole beside a grave. 

A mine tunnel is dug under the German lines on the Vosges front, on October 19, 1916. The sappers worked at a depth of about 17 meters, until they reached a spot below enemy positions, when large explosives would be placed and later detonated, destroying anything above. 

Soldier's comrades watch him as he sleeps, near Thievpal, France. Soldiers are standing in a very deep, narrow trench, the walls of which are entirely lined with sandbags. At the far end of the trench a line of soldiers are squashed up looking over each others' shoulders at the sleeping man. 

Men wounded in the Ypres battle of September 20th, 1917. Walking along the Menin road, to be taken to the clearing station. German prisoners are seen assisting at stretcher bearing.

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