WWI

Behind-the-Image

BEHIND THE IMAGE – L’infanterie Cycliste

The region of Meaux came dangerously close to being occupied by the advancing German army in September 1914. The German onslaught had already laid waste to the surrounding villages of Chambry, Barcy, Montyon, Varreddes, and Chauconin-Neufmontier, where this image was taken. Meaux was well within their sights, and as the Germans approached, the residents of […]

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Britain Goes to War: 4 August 1914

To mark Britain’s momentous declaration of war 100 years ago today, MHM  has created this graphic study of the country’s military as it prepared for war. To get a better view of the facts and figures, click on the images below.  This is an extract from the full article, published in issue 46 of Military History Monthly.  

War-Culture

WAR CULTURE – Nevinson’s prints

In conjunction with a new exhibition opening at Osborne Samuel gallery, MHM  looks at some of CRW Nevinson’s most celebrated war-time works of art. Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson was a noted British war artist, whose predilection for representing the mechanical nature of war set him apart from many of his wartime contemporaries. Having opted to […]

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Behind the Image – Society at War

French Women Munition Workers   A narrow corridor leads into the distance between serried ranks of shells. The slightly elevated viewpoint exaggerates the narrowing of the corridor until it almost vanishes a third of the way from the top of the photograph, and a third in from the right. This is a classic composition that […]

Featured-Image

Assassination: Sarajevo, 28 June 1914

Most readers of The Times had never heard of Sarajevo in June 1914. The assassination of a visiting Austrian royal by a Balkan nationalist fanatic therefore passed with little comment at British breakfast tables at the end of that month. Yet the two pistol shots fired into the back of a limousine by Gavrilo Princip […]

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BEHIND THE IMAGE – Marching to the future

Belgian Carabiniers with dog-drawn heavy machine-gun, 1914 Marching toward the camera, and shot from a low angle, these Belgian Carabiniers are given a powerful sense of purpose by the photographer. Clean uniforms and neat formation say the soldiers have not come from battle. These are the early days of WWI and Belgium has been invaded […]

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THINKERS AT WAR – Wittgenstein

Cambridge philosopher Iain King discovers a First World War artilleryman with a revolutionary treatise in his backpack. Born in 1889 into the over-achieving family of Vienna’s richest industrial magnate, Ludwig Wittgenstein trained initially as an engineer. But he was soon drawn to the more fundamental issues on which mathematics and mechanics were based – issues […]

Behind-the-image

BEHIND THE IMAGE – Crash Landing

Zeppelin IV lands on the parade ground of Luneville, April 1913 In traditional landscape format with the horizon a third of the way up the image, the Zeppelin bursts dynamically out of the frame from the bottom left edge to near the top right. The airship dominates the photograph as much as it dwarfs the […]

Behind-the-Image

BEHIND THE IMAGE – Deserted Trench

Abandoned British position captured by the Germans This cold and desolate image shows an abandoned British trench following a German attack, with mounted German infantry looming menacingly in the background. An inscription on the back of the photograph reads, Die Große Schlacht im Westen. Der Stab einer Infanterie-Division … ueberscreiten einer genommenen engl. Stellung. This […]

BEHIND THE IMAGE – Race to the Sea

The 16th (The Queen’s) Lancers (3rd Cavalry Brigade) advancing from the Marne to the Aisne, September 1914 Keith Robinson studies the aesthetics of this WWI photograph. At first this seems a generally quiet, almost static photograph dominated by the horizontals of earth and sky. But our eye is drawn from left to right as a […]

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