These photographs show an idealised view of the Front, aimed at schoolchildren and teachers. The soldiers are sitting in an orderly manner, like toy figures in a doll’s house. Even the wounded seem to be in good shape. This booklet includes ‘100 typical pictures and explanatory drawings from the wartime life’ of the army, navy and air force, ‘whereto our thoughts are directed permanently’.
The images do not, however, show the mud and deep water of the trenches, which soldiers stand in for hours and days, their feet rotten as a result. It doesn’t mention the horrible mutilations from the near constant contact with exploding ammunitions, nor the catastrophically unhygienic conditions, which led to diseases such as dysentery, typhus and cholera. It ignores the atrocious effects of nerve gas, let alone the fatal wounds sustained by enemy fire, but instead mentions the excellent suspension of the ambulance.
TranscriptF. Hirt’s war pictures
100 typical photographs and revealing drawings from the life of the land, sea and air forces during the war, as well as 23 portraits of their leaders and heroes
Ferdinand Hirt, Breslau, Königsplatz 1
- Full title:
- 100 typical pictures and explanatory drawings on life at war for the land, sea and air forces, as well as 23 portraits of the leaders and heroes / 100 typische Aufnahmen und erläuterte Zeichnungen aus dem Kriegsleben der Land-, See- und Luftstreitkräfte, sowie 23 Bildnisse ihrer Führer und Helden.
- Breslau : Hirt
- Book / Photograph / Illustration
- Held by:
- Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
- Usage terms:
- Public Domain
- Article by:
- Santanu Das
- Life as a soldier
From smell and sound to touch and perception, Dr Santanu Das draws on soldiers' records to consider the sensory experiences within the trenches of World War One.