Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ivan’s Site of the Week

This week’s winner is World War I – in colour!.

It really is jarring to see some of these images, in such sharp colour – it makes it somehow all too painfully recent. Fortunately they are pretty much all of French troops, so no-one’s doing anything gory or distressing, like actually fighting or anything…


WWI, yesterday. I could’ve sworn I went to school with that guy on the far right.

16 comments:

R. Sherman said...

Not to quibble, but you'll never get citizenship here if you insist on spelling "color" as "colour." The powers that be in the INS will surely think you're some woman's underwear wearing European socialist.

I suggest a pair of Dan Post lizard skin cowboy boots to help you "over the top."

Cheers.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Sorry, Randall - I shall never surrender my Us. From there it's a slippery slope all the way down to the Stygian depths where "tonight" is spelt "tonite", and I for one refuse to sink so low...

Gorilla Bananas said...

I've heard that Americans spell "sceptic" with a 'k'. I'm sceptical that anyone could be so vulgar.

Rob said...

You might like these then:
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/
This guy was photographer to the Tsar, and developed his own colour photography technique. They are amazing. They don't look real do they? We're so used to the past being brown & grainy that I think we assume people were really the color of tea & slightly blurry a century ago.

PI said...

Good Ivan! Re spelling. Must keep some standards. Re the photo - something in the film gives a strange stripey effect but even so have never seen that uniform before.

George Crane said...

Yes, these are mostly frogs. According to Robert Graves, the French ranked lowest in the 'cleanliness in trenches' league, being considered even filthier than Morrocan or Portugese soldiers. Apparently, not having the energy to build seperate latrines, the French used the trenches they lived and fought in as toilets too. Terrible for either the British or German battalions that took-over French positions during battles.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Pretty cool, Rob. And again a disturbing reminder of how little things really change. The fashions are a little different, but the faces are the same ones I saw every day in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Barnaul. The buildings look the same too - permanently in need of a lick of paint.

And George, you underestimate French cunning and subtlety. They probably considered the smell to be their last line of defence. Shame that by 1940 the Germans had invented nose-plugs...

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Terrific photos, Ivan, and your link is cracking too, Rob.

It's odd to have the black and white remove removed, so to speak. Odd and very compelling.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Never surrender your U, Ivan! They might bugger up your crosswords something awful, and they are a remnant of the French influence on English, but hell, a man's U ought not be just flushed down the linguistic U-bend like some piece of undigestible fibre; A part of U will surely be lost and pretty soon your fibre will be processed and refined until it is no more than artificially flavoured, sugary fiber, and you will no doubt become an overly sweetened spelling-diabetic in need of a daily dose of Metamuspell to aid digestion, if not assimilation.

Desargues said...

Nice pictures, indeed. But the attack on the Frogs is pretty much unwarranted this time -- WW1 was one instance in which they stood up to the Kraut war machine; no mean achievement by any European standard.

But if they smelled so badly, I guess they simply didn't notice the Germans had released their first sample of mustard gas on the battlefield; no wonder they died like flies.

Now this post, on the other hand, basically writes itself. I now understand why they were the people to come up with the Kama Sutra -- it's not the size of the ship, but the motion of the ocean, as theys ay around here. Bullshit. Size matters. Always.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Yes, Des - I was mulling that one over, but it just seems too much like a cheap shot. Those poor dears are more deserving of pity than mockery. And there's a silver lining for the Germans, at least. BMW sales are sure to boom as average incomes over there rise...

Rob said...

Didn't the French army believe that their 'Elan' would save 'em from the Kaiser? "Ahhhaaaha yoo feelthy germans! You will nevair defeat us az we arrre zo stylish!" Wildly optimistic as it turned out hmmmm? I am rather fond of their propensity for chucking things around and burning shit when they don't like something though, could do with a bit more of that in Mud Island.

R. Sherman said...

Sam, I thought the Scots spelled it "Ewes."

Sorry.

Cheers.

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