Goofy Photos Of World War I Soldiers Posing With Fake Military Props

Flight from the sand desert [i.e., military camp] Neuhammer.” Nuehammer Military Camp, Germany, 1910-1912

Since the late 19th century, photo studio used fake airplanes, tanks, automobiles, trains and other scrapped military props for their photoshoots. Their popularity gained traction at the outbreak of World War I in Europe. Photographers were taken as souvenirs for servicemen at military training caps to send home to friends and families.

A professor or art, history and anthropology at Connecticut College, Christopher B. Steiner collected these portraits of soldiers posing with military props, some images appear to be staged to accentuate silliness; while others are posed with almost comical self-seriousness.

h/t: mashable

“Flight from Elsenborn to Paris.” Truppenübungsplatz (military training ground), Elsenborn, Germany, 1915

Truppenübungsplatz (military training ground), Elsenborn, Germany, 1915

“Hooray. [This] unit has 22 days left.” Unidentified location, Germany, 1912-1915

“Reserved Flight Home from Bitsch.” Straßburg, Austria, 1912

Those who remained faithful to their mother can be seen flying from here.” Munster, Germany, 1928

Military training ground, Neuhammer am Queis, Germany, 1914

Escape from sand desert [military camp] Neuhammer.” Neuhammer, Germany, 1913

“Flight from Döberitz.” Berlin, Germany, 1912-1914

“With thunder, hail and lightning God created Desert Döberitz”; “Flight from Desert Döberitz.” Döberitz Military Training Camp (aka “Desert Döberitz”), 1914

“Flight from Jüterbog.” Teltow-Fläming district, Germany, 1925-1930

“Flight from the Military Training Camp at Darmstadt.” Ideal Studio, Darmstadt, Germany, 1913

Happy New Year, 1918

“Escape from Munster.” Munster Military Camp, Germany, 1916

Figure 25 Munster Military Camp, Germany. The “§ 11” symbol on the two beer barrels denotes a paragraph from the German “Beer Code,” which reads “Es wird fortgesoffen” or “Keep on drinking.”, 1915

German soldiers on faux Easter egg prop, Germany, 1930

Sightseeing Flight – Faberge Air Base – Munster – Hamburg, 1938

Camp de Bitche, Département de la Moselle, France, 1925

French military aviators in painted biplane studio prop, with Eiffel Tower and the Trocadéro Palace in background. Paris, France, 1928

Coney Island Amusement Park, New York, 1930

Nazi officers in photomontage single-propeller plane, Germany, 1930s-1940s

“If this thing bursts we are done for.” Munich, Germany, 1933

“Flight from Bitsch at 636 meters altitude.” Soldiers with mascot on a painted studio prop of the Viktoria Luise Zeppelin, Bezirk Lothringen, German Lorraine, 1912-1915

The trip to Hannover is here.” Dörnitz Military Camp (Altengrabow), Germany, 1930

Lockstedter Military Camp, near Hülsings, Germany, 1914

“Flight from Altengrabow.” Dörnitz Military Camp (Altengrabow), Germany, 1930

German soldiers on wooden cutout stork. Munster, Germany, 1930

Soldier posing with fake horse in front of painted backdrop, Republic of Estonia, 1920

American soldier pointing his revolver at German infantry studio prop, USA, 1917

American soldiers riding a wooden cutout donkey while resting their feet on a box inscribed “To hell with Hitler”, 1940

French soldiers in studio tank prop,France, 1944-1945

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