Here are pictures not seen for almost 100 years from the German soldiers’ side.
How Germany was crucified in the First World War: Hidden for 100 years, the astonishing photos by 16-year-old soldier shows how his brothers-in-arms would forever be haunted by the spectre of defeat:
• Captivating photographs taken by German soldier Walter Kleinfeldt who fought at the Somme aged just 16.
• The teenage soldier captured the reality of the front line for the German army with his Contessa camera.
• Kleinfeldt's photographs are seen for the first time, having been found by his son Volkmar just three years ago.
They lay forgotten in a dank cellar for almost a century. But these remarkable photos, published for the first time, give a rare and uncensored view of the horrors of the First World War from behind enemy lines.
They were taken by Walter Kleinfeldt who joined a German gun crew in 1915 and fought at the Somme aged just 16. As his haunting pictures, taken with a Contessa camera, make all too clear, life in the trenches was a harrowing experience. The images provide an insight into the epic machinery of war – and capture the darkest moments of battle, with bodies strewn among the rubble.
Returning home in 1918, Walter set up a photography shop in the town of Tubingen, where he worked until his death in 1945. Walter’s son Volkmar discovered the pictures three years ago.
They are now the focus of a new BBC documentary. Director Nick Maddocks said: ‘It is rare to find such good-quality, honest and often beautiful photos that show us war through the eyes of the soldier, particularly from one so young.’
Hidden Histories: WW1’s Forgotten Photographs is on BBC4 on Thursday at 9pm.
Article w/Pictures Link