Hameln: Soldiers of various nationalities

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Hameln: Soldiers of various nationalities

512 British soldiers and sailors. The sailors have cap tallies for HMS Rinaldo and Astrea, both submarine depot ships during the war. This indicates that these men were submariners captured after the loss of their submarines. The three men with the dark plainer uniforms and caps have received these via the Red Cross from stock sent by the British Government to men who had no uniform for all sorts of reasons. There are soldiers from a number of battalions including The Hertfordshire Regiment, The London Regiment and The Essex Regiment.

514 Two French P.O.Ws’ still with their Adrian helmets.

515 A French colonial soldier possibly from Senegal: Tirailleurs Senegalais

510 French colonial soldiers, probably from the Regiment de Marche de Spahis Marocains.

511 A group of soldiers from the French, Russian and British armies. The soldier sitting second left is a Private of The Royal Hampshire Regiment who according to the chevrons on the sleeves of his jacket had seen four years of overseas service. The other two from the same army are, sitting far right a Lance Corporal (one stripe) and a Sergeant (three stripes) from a Scottish regiment. The man standing on the far left appears to be from the British Indian Army.

496 French and Russian P.O.Ws’. Many camps set up their own newspapers, anything to pass the time and this may be one such attempt at normalisation of their confinement.

501 French soldiers, one of whom is wearing an armband showing that he deals with the post relaxing, playing chess and reading the camp newspaper – however this is the notorious La Gazette des Ardennes, propaganda produced by the German authorities.

491 Arrival of a large number of Russian prisoners

493 As 491

490 The kitchen with French, Russian and British P.O.Ws’

449 German regular NCO heads the left hand column. Typically for camp guards when manpower needs for the front line were great; the rest of his men are Landsturm indicated: some by their oiled caps’, others wear a shako head dress and a few much lighter colour tunics, these stand out from those wearing the later more grey-green uniform. Also the Landsturm guard heading the right column appears to be wearing the obsolete Model 1889 cartridge box; and although holding a Mauser G98 rifle it has attached the obsolete S98a ‘long’ bayonet, poor for use in the trenches. The sentry boxes in this apparently newly constructed camp are white with red stripes.

489 French P.O.Ws’ and German soldiers fraternising at a booth. All sides used posed photographs of POWs' as propoganda - and this could be an example as alcohol was not made available - for obvious reasons.

476 Fire practice. An excellent study of Landsturm officers and men practising putting a fire out, note the obsolescent musicians wings on the soldier second from the left, the officers pickelhaube and the oil cloth caps and age of the other men.

Everett Sharp

Oxford University

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