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February 22, 2016

Captured in Color, These 28 Rare and Incredible Photographs Show How Soldiers Lived in World War I

Serving in the French Army, photographers such as Paul Castelnau (1880-1944) and Fernand Cuville (1887-1927) continued the Autochromists’ tradition of recording the world around them in great detail. These rare color photographs, were taken in France in 1917, capture what life was like for soldiers away from the fighting on the Western Front...

French machine gunners set up a position amid ruins during the battle of the Aisne in France.

Soldiers look at the 45-meter-deep crater left by the detonation by the British of 21 tons of explosives underneath German positions near Messines in West Flanders. One of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history, the blast killed 10,000 soldiers and was heard as far away as Dublin.

Senegalese soldiers serving in the French Army rest near the Western Front in Alsace.

An Algerian worker in Noyo, France after the retreat of the Germans.

French soldiers dig through the rubble of a destroyed building in Reims, France.

French soldiers and horses in the cloister of the Abbey de Saint-Jean-des-Vignes in Soissons, which was heavily damaged by artillery fire.

French soldiers from Africa prepare a meal on the Western Front.

A girl holds a doll next to soldiers' equipment in Reims, France.

French soldiers of the 370th Infantry Regiment eat soup during the battle of the Aisne.

A French officer inspects the barbed wire around French positions in Soissons.

Senegalese Bambara soldiers serving with the French Army in Balschwiller, Alsace.

Doctors, nurses and medical personnel in front of field hospital 55 in Bourbourg, France.

A worker from Indochina in Soissons, France.

Firefighters attempt to extinguish a fire started by the German bombing of Dunkirk, France.

French soldiers camouflage a 370mm railway gun near the Western Front.

A group of Swiss border guards behind a fence between Switzerland and France.

A French outpost near the front in Hirtzbach, Alsace.

Senegalese soldiers in the French Army line up for lunch in Saint-Ulrich, France.

A camp in Egypt of workers from the British Chinese Labour Corps recruited to participate in the Middle East campaign.

An Algerian guard on a bridge in Pommiers, France.

French soldiers in Hirtzbach, Alsace.

A French soldier peers out from a position on the Western Front in Alsace.

French soldiers stand on a narrow-gauge railroad in an artillery-ravaged battleground in West Flanders.

A French soldier eats a loaf of bread in Reims, France.

A news vendor in Reims, France.

French soldiers read newspapers at a kiosk in Rexpoede, Calais.

Wounded soldiers from the battlefield near Laffaux at Saint-Paul Hospital in Soissons, France.

A French military cemetery on a hillside in the town of Moosch, Alsace.

(Photos by Paul Castelnau and Fernand Cuville/ Getty Images, via Mashable/ Retronaut)


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