Earlier today I made a post on some of the images in my collection of WWI News Service Photographs. (These were photos that were sold by an image agency to newspapers and journals which looked for stock photos of, well, whatever, and after paying a use fee would include the photo in the story they were reporting.) This photo is one of three in a series that show German POWs being marched around a town in France and stopped here and there for a photo. The picture was taken deep into 1918, within a month or two of the end of the war,.when the Germans were already defeated. From the look of things, these soldiers were done: tired, mostly beaten, dirty. They at least had most of their buttons on their coats (which is actually a very big deal, keeping your overcoat closed in cold weather to keep warm and alive), their boots looked warn but intact, and they looked not terrible undernourished (though I doubt anyone in the group weighed more than 150 pounds).
The group is bookended by two remarkable figures: the soldier on the left looks not 16 or so, but with a not-new ground in toughness. He's all smooth face and baby fat, though he has at least survived the grueling fighting. The soldier on the right could be the prototype for any number of propaganda posters that popped up in Berlin in the early 1930's advocating the sold-out but not defeated German soldier of the Great War whose fate must be avenged.
Almost everyone was cupping a ciggy.
Lastly, the guy third from the left seems to be a Canadian guard, not that this group was going to try to escape.