Photographic History of the War - 1916 & 1919


Cat No.:   CA0349:

Collier's, an American publisher of "popular" literature, released two volumes which they (loosely) entitled as their "Photographic History of the War." The first was released in 1916, after the war had been in progress for about two years - and while the US was still neutral. The second was released in 1919 - after the USA had entered the war in support of the Allies.

Individually the two volumes, recorded on CDs identified as CA0349-A and CA0349-B, were respectively titled:

Collier's Photographic History of the European War - 1916, and

Collier’s New Photographic History of the World's War - 1919.

The first few picture pages in each volume show leaders (both political and military) from both sides of the conflict and, inevitably there is some duplication. Other than that we have not been able to detect any duplication of the hundreds of other pictures contained in the two volumes.

Being a neutral Nation prior to the release of the first volume, the US was free to publish material from both sides of the conflict. This has resulted in the first volume being remarkably "liberal" in its content. The introduction to this volume provides its own best content description:

"The photographers and artists allowed at the front of each contending army have been few indeed, and these few are [the] only official ones. These official photographers are the sources from which the photographs and sketches of "Collier's Photographic History of the European War" have been obtained. The great historic value of the Photographic History arises from the fact that every army and warring nation is depicted. Here are shown the German, British, French, Belgian, Russian, Serbian, Italian, Turkish, Bulgarian, Japanese, in fact, all armies in the field, seen as they are in their daily life and strife. Here, too, are the pathetic dramas of the ruined cities, villages, cathedrals, and palaces of Belgium and northern France, and the flight of refugees in all the lands ravaged by war. War on land is portrayed as never before, since never in the history of the world has there been such vast and varied material to draw upon. Equally complete are here shown the instruments of the twentieth century's new phases of war—war waged in the air—war waged not only at sea, but beneath the waves. Depicted here are great airships and aeroplanes, and the deadly submarines. So, too, the pictures of the British and German battleships and cruisers that have engaged in the various naval duels that have meant annihilation to the vanquished and death to their brave crews. Here are the speedy German cruisers whose dashing raids on British commerce resembled the daring exploits of the bold buccaneers and privateers of the golden days of the Spanish Main. Thus this Great War has been pictured wherever it extended— in Asia and Africa and the South Seas, as well as in Europe."

The second volume, being published some two years after the US's 1917 declaration of war, takes much the same approach to its subject matter but shows a significant Nationalistic bias, with perhaps 50% of its content depicting the experiences of the US forces.

Together these two volumes provide a first hand visual experience of what we now term the Great War, and go some way towards allowing us to participate in the shocking first experience of a truly Global, mechanized, no-holds-barred, armed conflict.

WARNING: These CDs contain graphic images of the inevitable consequence of War and may be upsetting to the young and to individuals of a sensitive nature. Discretion and/or adult supervision is recommended.

Both of these books have clearly been well used through the almost 100 years since they were published and both are rather the worse for wear. In the "A" volume, apart from the accumulated dirt and grime, this had resulted in the edges and corners a many pages being torn with a small amount of paper loss intruding on the content on about four of the leaves. Most of the damage has been "repaired" electronically in this digital reproduction, but the paper loss was irretrievable. Fortunately this loss is very minor and should not diminish your enjoyment of this wonderful resource.

We wish to thank Ann, for proposing that we use her family's "B" volume to make a digital reproduction and were glad that we already had the "A" volume so we could bring you the full depth of the experience available in both these volumes, combined.

While this is primarily a "picture book" every picture is titled and captioned and we have made these computer searchable so that you may find any topic which interests you. (Your search speed is enhanced with out FastFind technology.)

No. of CDs is:  2 ;   Format is:  PDF ;   Searchable?:  YES;

FastFind:  Yes;  ISBN No.:   978-1-897405-57-4 ;