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FRANCE AT WAR
RARE IMAGES FROM WORLD WAR ONE



The images below have been selected from a collection of rare stereo plates discovered in Paris during the summer of 1996. All of the plates date to the World War One period, and were taken on the Western Front. They are in stereo format, and present stunning three dimensional views which can be seen presented even over the Internet.

In order to see the 3D effect, click on one of the Stereo links below which will take you to a split stereo image. Hold your eyes level with the monitor and relax (do not focus) them, allowing each eye to settle upon each image. As your eyes adjust to both halves of the photograph, they will eventually bring into focus a third central view of the image which is three-dimensional!

° ° ° ° ° ° °


Citation Ceremony, June 5, 1918
This image shows a French senior officer awarding combat citations to a group of soldiers behind the front lines. He can be identified by the twin black stripes on his trousers, the insignia on his right arm has been blotted out by an army sensor. The men are assembled on a duckboard walkway, and are all wearing late war tunics and helmets, and are armed with standard sidearms. Note the earthworks on the hill in the background.

Large view of Citation Ceremony
1st stereo view of Citation Ceremony
2nd stereo view of Citation Ceremony
 
The Trenches at Ablain
This scene shows an injured German soldier who is now a prisoner of the French. The Frenchmen to his left and rear are wearing early war uniforms, and the German is wearing a early wartime tunic, dating this photo at around 1915. Besides the human drama going on at center stage, note the great depth and strength of the trench itself. The entry ways into the dugouts have been covered with tarpaulins, and considering the turned up collars on two of the three men, the weather can be inferred as being at least "cool."

Large view of Trenches at Ablain
Stereo view of Trenches at Ablain
 
Artois, before an attack
This striking image shows a Chef de Battaillon of the 29th Line Regiment and his men preparing for an attack. The equivalent American rank for Chef de Battaillon is Major, and in this case the rank insignia appear as four tallies on the outside of the cuff. Note the equipment being worn by the men in the background, and their late war helmets and tunics.

Large view of Before an attack
Stereo view of Before an attack
 
Dead after an attack
The man in this photo was killed during a major attack in the Argonne Forest region. Warning: This is not a posed photograph.

Large view of Dead after attack
Stereo view of Dead after attack
 
Dead horses on the field
This shows that a great toll was taken on horses as well as humans during the Great War. These horses are on the field near the front lines, with trenches clearly visible on the hillside in the background.

Large view of Dead horses
Stereo view of Dead horses
 
Heavy artillery
This photo shows a French 12cm heavy artillery piece being serviced by its crew. Clearly visible in this image are separate un-fused shells and casings, the entrenched artillery piece, part of the limber (for transporting the gun), and the men in various positions around it.

Large view of Heavy artillery
Stereo view of Heavy artillery
 
Front line
This unpleasant photo shows a very typical section of front line trench. The pre-fabricated entanglements and muddy trench walls almost distract from the broken leg which is protruding from the wall of the trench. The repeated shelling, attacks, counterattacks and destruction usually prevented burials, and in many places each shell explosion would kill and bury several men while simultaneously disinterring others killed in previous weeks or months. Warning: This is not a posed or simulated image.

Large view of Front line
Stereo view of Front line
 
Soup in the trenches
This far more encouraging image shows a groups of early war French soldiers enjoying a meal in the trenches somewhere in the Lorraine region of France. This area saw early French advances against the German Army until events further west brought a standstill to operations. In this photo, note the firing ports which have been built into the forward berm of the trench.

Large view of Soup in the trenches
Stereo view of Soup in the trenches
 
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