This post--image only, really--is part of a series in this blog relating to the empty, and the blank, and the missing.
"Bogus Supports for Artillery in the Great German Manoeuvers in Alsace" reads the subtitle of this odd drawing that appeared in the Illustrated London News for 1908. "A New Use for Dummies at the Kaiser's Great Manoeuvers" reads the title, describing a practice action by the German army on the fields of a famous battleground of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). The empty soldiers were made to support the artillery: realistic, uniform-clad straw figures made to accept the bullets of the attacking practice force. Dead soldiers being killed in mock battle by living ones whose own fates would be sorely tempted in six year's time.