Lot 732

2 albums with 543 original photographs. Service photographique de l'armée belge 1914-1918 275 + 268 photos, various sizes, ms. legends (sl. faded in the 2nd album), photographer's stamp "Commandement de l'armée, service photographique" or "Service photographique de l'Armée belge". Kept in 2 ad hoc albums in simili leather. Set of highly interesting photographs taken during World War I at the Belgian front. Mostly all by the "Service photographique" of the Belgian army, officially called: "Service photographique de l'Armée belge". Both albums illustrate the history of the Great War in the northern "Westhoek" where Belgian soldiers, supported by French and British troops, brought the advancing Germans to a halt during heavy fighting at the Yser Front in October 1914. A look at the photos tells us more about the battle positions, the intentional flooding of the Yser, the numerous trenches, how the war completely ruined villages, the bombing of strategic points, the generals and the official delegations visiting the troops, King Albert I and Queen Elisabeth, the work of the air force, etc. More in detail: bombardments, destroyed villages, churches or houses in Woesten, Lampernisse, Boesinghe, Pervijze (totally destroyed in 1916), Nieuwkapelle, Reninge, Kaaskerke, Diksmuide (a.o. a destroyed gristmill), Roodepoort, Ramskapelle, Veurne, Noordschote, De Panne, Houthem, Lo, etc.the waterlock at Nieuwpoort; bombardment of Fort Douaumont (the largest and highest fort on the ring of 19 large defensive works which had protected the city of Verdun since the 1890s); the Steenstrate and Kaaskerke trenches, a funeral at Adinkerke, the Dodengang or Trench of Death near Diksmuide, the channel of Handzame, a field kitchen, anti-aircraft warfare, the Berkelhof farmstead (an advanced Belgian position towards the Yser), German airplanes, an observation balloon, Belgian monoplanes and biplanes named "Foxtrot" and "Soit!", hostile aircraft bombs, etc. Among the photos several with important persons: King Albert I and Queen Elisabeth (visiting the westhoek, the troops, a school, the trenches, etc.).), violinist Eugène Ysaÿe visiting De Panne with the Queen, Alfred Bastien (part of a group of 26 Belgian artists working at the front of the Yser during WWI known under the name "La Section artistique" founded in May 1916), Generals: Baron Honoré Drubbel, Louis Ruquoy, Carlo Porro, Michel Crefeld and Félix Wielemans; Marchals: Joseph Joffre, Philippe Pétain, Ferdinand Foch; Alexandre Millerand; the President of France Raymond Poincaré, the President of Portugal Manuel José de Arriaga, King of Italy Victor Emmanuel III, Prince Adolphus of Teck; Chinese, Russian, Japanese and American missions, etc.