These are captured Italian soldiers in Resiutta, east of Tolmezzo in the Veneto region of Italy. The picture was probably taken in early or mid November 1917. Very often the captured soldiers were taken on long marches to railway junctions, where they were then transported to prison camps or into forced labour. During the war the Austro-Hungarian army made use of an estimated 50 prisoner of war camps in which up to 1.8 million people were held.
This photograph is from the collection of the Imperial and Royal War Press Bureau. The many documents of prisoners of war in this collection are the ‘human booty’ representing military superiority. The bureau was the propaganda department of the Austro-Hungarian army. This unique collection contains pictures of the war at the eastern and southeastern fronts, the back country and from all areas of the monarchy.