If there is one conflict that did more than any other to forever vanquish the notion of warfare as a noble and brave pursuit, it was World War I. The Great War, as it was widely referred to until World War II, had an deep and lasting psychological impact on not just the combatants, but on society in general. It was the first war to be fought with mass-produced, mechanized tools of destruction such as tanks, war planes, U-boats, flamethrowers, and cannons of enormous size and range.
The lasting images of World War I have been almost entirely in bleak, grainy black and white, which have only served to enhance the images of death and despair. But there exists film and photographs in color that allow us to view World War I as more real and something almost contemporary. Even the most mundane of them are absolutely riveting.
Most of the extant photos from WWI were taken by the French army, which makes sense given that the process used for them was invented by the Lumière brothers (Auguste and Louis).
(Many of these images were sourced from the fantastic World War I Color Photos site.)
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