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Carla-Jean @CarlaJeanStokes
, 10 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Thomas Keith Aitken was back in the Bois de Reims #onthisday in 1918, photographing the Battle of Tardenois. He took (at least) 16 photographs, and below are some highlights 👇🏼👇🏼 #warphotos #thread
Photograph is: Men of the 2nd Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (62nd Division) examining a captured German Maxim 08/15 (Spandau) machine gun with French and Italian officers. © IWM (Q 11107)
War photographers like Aitken frequently demonstrated Allied success in the photographs by showing us equipment taken from the Germans. Here are men of the 62nd btn again with a Maxim 08/15, © IWM (Q 11104).
Aitken also visually demonstrates success by photographing not only guns (in the first image) captured from the Germans, but also POWs (in the second). © IWM (Q 11103 & Q11106) #warphotos #FWW
Aitken's photographs from the Bois de Reims #onthisday give us both subtle and explicit views of German death on the battlefield. © IWM (Q 11091) shows us a soldier looking at a German grave.
In stark contrast to the relatively neat and tidy grave with its stahlhelms perched on top, Aitken shows us an unburied German soldier. We have a good view of his face (extremely so compared to how he would have photographed British dead). © IWM (Q 11494)
Aitken gets close to the Allied soldiers too. He shows them at rest in the woods, and I'm going to go ahead and pretend he enjoyed photographing in the dappled light of the trees. © IWM (Q 11100,01 & 11095)
In this shot, Aitken stands where there are physical barriers between him and the subject. It makes us feel like we're peeping, but it's also the only angle from which we see the faces of the man sleeping & the one reading the paper. © IWM (Q 11097)
After showing us captured guns & POWs, German dead, and resting soldiers, Aitken shows us wounded British/French/Italians. But they're smiling and most seem able to stand/walk. © IWM (Q 11114)
Roland Barthes, in his attempt to figure out what photography really is, decided to start with just a few photos. Above is the same approach. Happy Tuesday! #warphotos #FWW
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