Never before seen images surface of World War I as photographed by a German officer


posted Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 4:35 PM EDT


A stunning collection of never before seen images of WWI photographed by a German officer have surfaced, offering a fresh perspective on life during "the Great War." The photos were taken by the great grandfather of developer Dean Putney, who hopes to turn the rare collection into a book.

Putney has already created a Tumblr blog with the photos as he scans them in, and launched a Kickstarter to fund the book. In total, there are nearly 1,000 unpublished photos captured by Putney's great grandfather, Walter Koessler, in the collection.

"Walter was trained an architect and had an expert, aesthetic eye," Putney says in a Kickstarter pitch video for the book project. "As an officer in the reserve artillery battalion, he took advantage of tons of opportunities to capture life in the trenches, his comrades preparing for war, and the devastating results of their actions."

The fact that images were captured from a personal perspective rather than for news coverage or propaganda purposes, makes them unique. They're also in amazingly pristine condition, preserved by Putney's family over the last hundred years in Southern California.

"The album is a real treasure," he says. "He captured the haunting experience of building and living in the trenches, the sunlight pouring in through the broken windows of bombed churches, and the clouds through the wings of biplanes as an early aerial reconnaissance photographer."

There are even a few 3D images of the war that Koessler captured with a stereoscopic camera. Apparently these cameras were more commonplace back then than initially thought. Last month we featured another set of 3D photos of WWI captured by the French army.

(Via Laughing Squid)