Military Censorship of Photographs in World War I
November 4, 2009 8:04 AM   Subscribe

Military Censorship of Photographs in World War I: "During the course of World War I, tens of thousands of photographs were withheld from publication by the U.S. military. These included images that might have revealed troop movements or military capabilities, pictures that were liable to be used in enemy propaganda, or those that could adversely affect military or public morale. The development of military controls on publication of photographs during WWI was described in a 1926 U.S. Army report (15.75MB PDF) that is illustrated with dozens of images that had been withheld, with a description of the reasons their publication was not permitted."
posted by NotMyselfRightNow (13 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
The quality of the text is poor but readable; the photographs are rather clear.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 8:05 AM on November 4, 2009

Pictures start on page 57 of the PDF. Looks interesting so far.
posted by echo target at 8:26 AM on November 4, 2009

The photo of the balloon explosion on page 79 is astounding.
posted by MrVisible at 8:35 AM on November 4, 2009

Fantastic, thank you for this post.

At first, I thought this was a poor-quality digitization, but when I encountered the photographs, it was clear that it is actually an excellent job but a terrible-quality original document. I suspect it's the second sheet from carbon copy typewriter paper.
posted by fake at 8:36 AM on November 4, 2009

Indeed, the Hun is a cunning enemy. It was wise to not let Fritz know what to expect in a tussle with the Yanks.
posted by yhbc at 9:08 AM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

These days it is not classified that a grapple with the Yanks might result in Fritz getting kicked in the balls. These pictures are cool, but I have a sore neck now!
posted by mjg123 at 9:58 AM on November 4, 2009

Geat pictures, but I agree, sore neck. It'd be a nice project for someone to capture the images, right them, and post 'em on Flickr or something, while transcribing the captions to go along with them.
posted by Atreides at 10:27 AM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

The photo and accompanying note on page 58 break my heart.
posted by magstheaxe at 10:32 AM on November 4, 2009

I s'pose I should add, my dad's dad served in WWI.
posted by magstheaxe at 10:33 AM on November 4, 2009

I thought these were sufficiently awesome that I went through the trouble of extracting and cropping all the pics.

If anyone wants to help add the descriptions, just MeFiMail me with the text and the appropriate page number from the PDF, and I'll add it to the Flickr page. (The text quality is crummy enough that I don't think OCR will work.)
posted by neckro23 at 3:10 PM on November 4, 2009 [9 favorites]

Excellent work, neckro.
posted by Atreides at 4:39 PM on November 4, 2009

Maybe a moderator could add neckro23's link to the OP or do something to get it higher on the page? I had given up on reading that text once I started getting an eye- and neck-ache, but the flickr set is great.
posted by Hello Dad, I'm in Jail at 2:32 AM on November 5, 2009

See discussion here Hello Dad, I'm in Jail on why that doesn't happen.
posted by Mitheral at 10:15 AM on November 5, 2009

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