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  • 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.
  • Published:   1916
  • Formats:   Book , Photograph , Illustration
  • Held by:   Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
  • Usage terms:   Public Domain


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.


F. 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

  1. F. 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
  2. 12. Approach trench bed
    13. Latrine
    14. Observation post
    15. Communication trench
    16. Spanish horsemen
    17. Second trench position
    18. Crew bunker
    19. Reserve positions with accommodation bunkers
    20. Different types of enemy hand grenade

    Trenches. Many positions are located one behind the other, each protected by special barbed wire. Every day the order is given to strengthen the trenches further. Positions are situated at irregular intervals in front of the barbed wire as is the listening post, so that movements, trench digging and conversations can be overheard and observed.

    54. Barbed wire. An endless tangle of barbed wire spreads along all fronts to protect the trench positions. By destroying these obstacles the artillery attempts to expose the enemy position to attack. The assault troops are helped by sappers with wire cutters.
    55. The machine gun is one of the most dangerous and feared weapons; many hundreds of shots can be fired in one minute. Installed in the front-line trenches, it is used to nip enemy obstacles in the bud.
    (Phot. Kühlewindt)
  3. 56. Approach trenches.
    Man-made steep-sided trenches connect the front-line positions with the reserve trenches and the accommodation trenches. Some trenches are particularly wide, so that the wounded can be carried through on stretchers.

    57. French mortars.
    The dreaded mortars are located in the most front-line trench. Similar to a catapult, they are spring-loaded and project aerial torpedoes, also known as wing mines, approximately 300 m to 500 m: they explode with extreme force.

    58. 59. Trench interiors and marksmen
    In many positions along the extended fronts the construction of durable positions is made more difficult by the sandy soil, which repeatedly gives way. In these cases the soldiers use wooden planks, wattling and sandbags. Our picture gives a clear insight into how the trenches are built, in which by day marksmen stand spread out with telescopic sight rifles, in order to open fire immediately on any enemies that appear.
  4. 98. Field hospital.
    Behind enemy lines entire remaining houses in the larger villages have been converted into hospitals. Our picture shows a building that was formerly a stable. The wounded, receiving initial treatment here, lie on simple wooden frames padded with straw. There is also the possibility of performing urgent operations without delay.

    99. Hospital train carriages.
    If the wounded soldier is strong enough to withstand a longer rail journey, he is, if necessary, driven by car (see picture 84) to the nearest railway station, put into the hospital train and transported onwards. Each carriage in these trains can accommodate 12 wounded and with its practical equipment can offer all necessary comforts and the possibility of performing urgent operations.