Prisoners of the Great War

Featured image from Library of Congress.

Image 1: French Prisoners Singing in 1914

French Prisoners standing and singing outside of a German camp, likely Zossen prisoner of war camp, Wünsdorf, Zossen, Germany, during the year 1914 of the Great War.

Bain News Service, Publisher. Germany — French prisoners singing. , ca. 1915. [Between 1914 and] Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2014699433/. See source.

Image 2: Wounded Russian Soldiers in 1915

Photograph shows wounded Russian prisoners being carried in a horse-drawn cart through a street during World War I.

Bain News Service, Publisher. Wounded Russian prisoners. , ca. 1915. [Between and Ca. 1918] Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2014703155/. See source.

Image 3: German prisoners, Messines Ridge 1917

Photograph shows German prisoners of war captured by British forces at the Battle of Messines in West Flanders, Belgium during World War I.

Bain News Service, Publisher. German prisoners, Messines Ridge. , 1917. [June 8] Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2014704996/. See source.

10 Replies to “Prisoners of the Great War”

  1. Patrick! These observations are fantastic, I love the detail you go into, especially how you look at even the expressions on the faces of the men in the photos. I also appreciate the background you have given on Russia and Germany through your expansion on the elements in each photo. Great work!

    1. Hi Olivia. Thanks for the comment. I wasn’t sure I added enough detail but your comment makes me feel a lot better. Glad to know you enjoyed it.

  2. Patrick I enjoy your use of photos that include large groups of people, and your ability to investigate the specifics on these photos. It is engaging to see photos of people from three different countries during WW1, and to compare contrast the clothes they are wearing and the gear/resources they had access to.

    1. Hi Jacob. Thanks for responding. I enjoyed being able to cycle through not only years of the war but countries. Fascinating how you can find small details in photos like this.

  3. Wow, great observations, Patrick! I was going to use real-world photos similar to yours in my post, but there was too much going on in them, so I opted to use political cartoons. For instance, I would not have noticed the dent in the soldier’s head in picture #3—what a cool detail! It’s clear that you know a lot about World War I history because you take a lot of context into account with your observations.

    Once again, great job!

    1. Thanks for the comment Matt. As a matter of fact I took a course on World War 1 so this was something I really enjoyed doing.

  4. Patrick, great choice of photos. As terrible of a time as WW1 was, it is certainly an interesting time period. I had not seen all of these photos before, and your comments really helped provide context and importance from each of the photos. Well done!

  5. Like everybody has already said, great eye for detail. Interesting the Germans made their French POWs sing the German National Anthem. I would agree with you that the picture of the German POWs is definitely staged, but that’s what people do when they capture enemy combatants I suppose. Good spot with the faces poking out of the horse carriage too.

  6. I think your in photo captions help tell the story more by offering context and raising questions. For younger learners of history you are providing scaffolding on how to interpret these images. Well done!

  7. Patrick, your curation of photos and “close reading of details” is first rate. The overriding theme of WWI prisoners and wounded is explored with compassionate consideration for the horrors of the war.

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