Photograph depicting German soldiers viewing a crashed aeroplane. A roundel is faintly visible on the wing at the front of the image - it appears to be British, as it has a dark ring with thin lighter ring around the outside. The flaps indicate that the plane's front is on the left of the image. The remnants of a tree with branches missing suggests that plane has crashed into a battlefield.

The type of aeroplane is uncertain but it may be a BE2, belonging to the Royal Flying Corps.

The provenance of the photograph is unknown.

Description of Content

Soldiers standing around a crashed aeroplane. A circular roundel (identification mark) is visible on the end of the wing in front of the picture. Some soldiers wear peaked caps indicative of officers; all wear boots. A single bare tree trunk appears behind the aeroplane.

Physical Description

Black and white photographic print - now sepia appearance. Irregular white/black border to image. Edge creasing.


One of a group of photographs and postcards that document the experience of German soldiers during World War I. Although the group has no provenance, the images show a human side to soldiers of the Central Powers. Pictures by or of World War I German soldiers are relatively rare in Australian museums. These are particularly significant as they were apparently taken by German soldiers, showing them engaged in everyday activities.

The images chronicle German soldiers’ wartime experience, from serving with Armeegruppe Schaffer in Romania up until the Romanian surrender in 1917. The group includes an image of a war-damaged French church/cathedral, probably taken after the Germans were moved from the Eastern to the Western front. Of particular interest is the image of celebrating German troops in Romania - documenting a victory that was to be short-lived for the Germans.

Further research - including translation of the German hand-written texts - will shed more light on the significance of these photographs and postcards.

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