JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
German Prisoners of WWI, November 1918.
The odd thing about this series of prisoners of war is that they may or may not have been worse off than had they been in their own trenches, sinking in their own mud, eating their own questionable food. At least since they were now detained and behind British lines, no one was trying to kill them.
[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT. Captured in the last push. A member of the A.I.L.L. (All is lost League).']
I have made numerous posts on this blog using images from my archive of American news service WWI photographs, though there are few depicting scenes just after the end of the war's end on 11:00 a.m. on 11/11/11. These photographs below do so, and all come from the National Library of Scotland (which can be accessed here). They are all "British Official War Photographs", which was a service similar to its American cousin--various news and photo agencies were given access to images produced by a pool of photographers, all of which passed by the eyes of a military censor. They were for the most part aimed at the "correct" version of the news, though given the subject matter there were plenty of images that were extremely powerful. In a war that claimed 100,000,000 casualties, the photographic image was a powerful war-time propaganda tool.
A British soldier aids a wounded German POW. A French photographer tries to avoid the image in background.
[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN ON THE BRTITISH WESTERN FRONT. BATTLE OF BROODSEYNDE [sic] RIDGE. A group of German prisoners with the regimental pet that was captured at Poelcapple [sic]. Scene in a prisoners' camp near Ypres. Nearly 5,000 Huns were captured.']
[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT. Types captured in the last push. A member of the All is lost League.']
[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT. A group of six German prisoners taken in one of our recent successful offensives.']
It seems as though most of the prisoners were allowed to keep their gas masks.
[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT. German prisoners acting as stretcher bearers for British and German wounded.']
[Original reads: 'German prisoners carrying one of their badly wounded.']
[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. Types of our prisoners.']