Hans Hildenbrand: The German front in rare color photos, 1914-1918

These incredible color photographs of the German battlefield were taken by Hans Hildenbrand during World War I, 1914-1918. Although color photography has existed since at least 1879, it did not become popular until several decades later. Most of the photos taken during World War I were black and white, giving the conflict a stark beauty that dominates our visual memory of the war.

"In 1914, Germany was the world technology leader in photography and had the best understanding of its promotional value," R.G. writes. Grant in World War I: The Definitive View History.

“About 50 photographers were attached to its forces, while there were 35 photographers for the French. British military officers lagged behind. It was not until 1916 that a British photographer was permitted on the Western Front. ” But among his countrymen only Hildebrand took color photographs.

Hildebrand's images thus stand out with their almost unreal-looking vibrancy, a result achieved not only by their use of color film, but with their relatively long experience through a still fairly new medium. .

He founded a color film society in his native Stuttgart three years before the assassination of the Archduke and tried his hand at autochrome printing in early 1909.

All of Hildenbrand's visuals were not for publicity reasons, but because the film he was working with was not sensitive enough to capture the movement. Nevertheless, they give us a clearer idea of ​​the situation than most contemporary images.

What is most striking about Hildenbrand's Strait of Water is how easily he records scenes of destruction. During World War II, both sides became much more informed about what types of scenes would be allowed to document the photographers. During World War I, images of destroyed churches were a constant motif.

Hardly a glorification, Hildebrand's work will now come to those of us a hundred years in the future, to see World War I: its misery, its oppressive sense of futility, and the destruction it left behind.

World War I was a turning point in the political, cultural, economic and social climate of the world. The war and its immediate aftermath gave rise to many revolutions and rebellions.

The Big Four (Britain, France, the United States, and Italy) imposed their terms on the defeated powers in a series of treaties agreed at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the most famous German peace treaty: the Treaty of Versailles.

Ultimately, as a result of the war, the Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman and Russian empires ceased to exist, and many new states were created from their remnants.

However, despite the decisive Allied victory (and the creation of the League of Nations during the Peace Conference, intended to prevent future wars), the Second World War occurred twenty years later.

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