What is this?This photograph provides physical evidence of the use of explosive bullets in combat. It shows several explosive bullet fragments extracted from the leg of Milan Stavić, a private in the Serbian army, at the Russian field hospital at Valjevo in western Serbia. The fragments extracted from his wound display the main features of the explosive bullets that the Austro-Hungarian troops used in Serbia in 1914. A bullet like the one in this photograph would explode within the body, and its fragments would act like shrapnel. For this reason explosive bullet wounds were very serious; a limb hit by one of these bullets would have to be amputated, and such a wound in the head or trunk of the body would usually be fatal.
Where is this photograph from?
This photograph is published in Report upon the atrocities committed by the Austro-Hungarian army during the first invasion of Serbia (1916). The author of the report is Rodolphe Archibald Reiss (1875-1929), a forensic scientist and professor at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. In his Report Reiss quotes the evidence gathered from war crime scenes together with the names of the witnesses, photographic evidence, statistics of atrocities committed, and his own personal remarks and observations.
- Full title:
- Photograph 'Fragments of an explosive bullet extracted from the wound of a Serbian soldier in the Russian hospital at Valievo' from 'Report upon the atrocities committed by the Austro-Hungarian army during the first invasion of Serbia / submitted to the Serbian government by R.A. Reiss ; English translation by F.S. Copeland.'
- Book / Photograph / Report
- Rodolphe Archibald Reiss
- Held by:
- British Library
- Article by:
- Julie Anderson
- Race, empire and colonial troops, Life as a soldier
World War One created thousands of casualties from physical wounds, illness, and emotional trauma. Dr Julie Anderson reflects on the subsequent impact on the role of doctors and nurses, and the medical treatment, organisation and new technologies that they employed.