This website uses cookies to provide a rich user experience. Please consult our Cookie Policy to learn about what cookies this website uses, or to control the cookies you receive. You need do nothing if you are happy to receive cookies.
Look and Learn History Picture Library License images from £2.99 Pay by PayPal for images for immediate download Member of British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies (BAPLA)

Subject: ‘World War 1’

All of these articles and images are available for licensing: click on an image to see further details and licensing options; contact us about licensing textual content.

The best pictures of Manfred von Richthofen, ‘The Red Baron’

Posted in Aviation, Best pictures, Bravery, Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, War, Weapons, World War 1 on Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The best pictures of Baron von Richthofen, or ‘The Red Baron’, are striking images of the famous WW1 pilot known as ‘The Ace of Aces’.
The first picture shows von Richthofen as a cavalry officer in the 1st Emperor Alexander III of Russia Uhlan Regiment (1st West Prussian), which was dismounted early in the war.

Red Baron, picture, image, illustration

Lieutenant Manfred von Richthofen of the 1st Regiment of Uhlans managed to lead his surviving lancers to safety. Within a few months, he left the redundant cavalry regiment and became an airman, by Pat Nicolle

The second picture shows the Red Baron in action.

Red Baron, picture, image, illustration

Lieutenant Manfred von Richtofen, the Red Baron, in a Fokker Dr. 1, by Wilf Hardy

The third picture shows him flying an Albatros D.III, which was the first of his aircraft he painted red wherefrom his famous nickname arose.

Red Baron, picture, image, illustration

Lieutenant Manfred von Richtofen, the Red Baron, flying an Albatross D.III by Wilf Hardy

Many more pictures of the First World War can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures of the Scuttling of the German Fleet, 1919

Posted in Best pictures, Disasters, Famous news stories, Historical articles, History, Sea, Ships, World War 1 on Friday, 7 August 2015

The best pictures of the German Fleet being scuttled in Scapa Flow show scenes of that unparalleled act of maritime destruction.
The first picture shows sinking battleships in Scapa Flow.

Scuttled fleet, picture, image, illustration

The scuttling of the German Fleet by Graham Coton

The second picture is a photograph of the German Fleet interned at Scapa Flow.

Scuttled fleet, picture, image, illustration

German High Seas Fleet interned at Scapa Flow, Orkney, 28 November 1918

The third picture is an unusual photograph of the scuttled battleship ‘Hindenberg’.

Scuttled fleet, picture, image, illustration

Scuttled German battlecruiser Hindenburg, Scapa Flow, Orkney, 1919

Many more pictures of the German Navy can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures of Lord Kitchener

Posted in Australia, Best pictures, Bravery, Famous battles, Heroes and Heroines, Historical articles, History, Politics, War, World War 1 on Thursday, 6 August 2015

The best pictures of Lord Kitchener show the familiar face of the famous British soldier and politician who won fame long before taking up his key role in the First World War.
The first picture shows Lord Kitchener at Gallipoli and an inset of the famous WW1 recruitment poster.

Lord Kitchener, picture, image, illustration

Lord Kitchener inspecting Australian positions during the Gallipoli campaign. Inset: the famous recruiting poster. Picture by John Keay

The second picture shows Lord Kitchener on parade in The Mall.

Lord Kitchener, picture, image, illustration

Field-Marshal Earl Kitchener by Harry Payne

The third picture shows Kitchener on the unsuccessful mission to relieve Gordon at Khartoum.

Lord Kitchener, picture, image, illustration

In 1884 Kitchener was part of the failed relief party approaching Khartoum by C L Doughty

Many more pictures of Lord Kitchener can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures of the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Posted in Best pictures, Cars, Famous crimes, Famous news stories, Historical articles, History, War, Weapons, World War 1 on Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The best pictures of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, which triggered the outbreak of the Great War, show the anarchist’s attack from three different angles.
The first picture of Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination shows the event as a close-up.

Assassination in Sarajevo, picture, image, illustration

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Clive Uptton

The second picture shows the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand from a distance at the point of impact.

Assassination in Sarajevo, picture, image, illustration

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Angus McBride

The third picture of Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand depicts the physical momentum of car, assassin and fatal bullet as the Archduke slumps in his seat.

Assassination in Sarajevo, picture, image, illustration

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Graham Coton

Many more pictures of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures of the First World War

Posted in Best pictures, Famous news stories, Historical articles, History, War, World War 1 on Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The best pictures of the First World War show scenes of anticipation, action and calm.
The first picture of the First World War shows a scene in the Trenches.

Trenches, picture, image, illustration

The Trenches by Andrew Howat

The second picture of the First World War shows a zeppelin being shot down.

Zeppelin shot down, picture, image, illustration

Shooting down a Zeppelin during the First World War by Wilf Hardy

The third picture of the First World War shows the famous Christmas Day Truce in 1914.

Christmas truce 1914, picture, image, illustration

British and German soldiers hold a Christmas truce during the Great War by Angus McBride

Many more pictures of the First World War can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The best pictures of the sinking of the Lusitania

Posted in Best pictures, Boats, Disasters, Famous news stories, Historical articles, History, Sea, Ships, War, World War 1 on Thursday, 7 May 2015

The best pictures of the sinking of the Lusitania capture the drama and horror of one of the key moments in World War One. After the outbreak of war, Lusitania remained one of the few ocean liners to remain in commercial service, but German U-Boats were patrolling the Atlantic, and on May 7th 1915 U-20 torpedoed the Lusitania which sank in just eighteen minutes off the Irish coast with the loss of 1400 lives.
The first of the best pictures of the sinking Lusitania shows the German U-Boat and the sinking ship.

Lusitania, picture, image, illustration

The sinking of the Lusitania, by Mike Tregenza

The second best picture of the Lusitania shows the moment before she disappears beneath the ocean.

Lusitania, picture, image, illustration

The sinking of the Lusitania, by John S Smith

The third best picture of the sinking of the Lusitania shows the drama of lifeboats drawing away from the sinking ship.

Lusitania, picture, image, illustration

The sinking of the Lusitania

Many more pictures of the Lusitania can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The Night of the Declaration of War, August 4th, 1914

Posted in Anniversary, Famous news stories, Historical articles, History, London, Politics, War, World War 1 on Monday, 4 August 2014

August 4th 1914, picture, image, illustration

The Night of the Declaration of War, August 4th, 1914

As he waited for Germany’s reply to the British Ultimatum, Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary, gazed out of his elegant windows in the Foreign Office and watched the lamplighter going about his business as that fateful long hot summer’s day turned to dusk. It was then he famously remarked: “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our life-time”.

The tragedy of Gallipoli almost ruined Churchill’s career

Posted in Famous battles, Historical articles, History, Invasions, World War 1 on Thursday, 13 March 2014

This edited article about the First World War first appeared in Look and Learn issue number 588 published on 21 April 1973.

Gallipoli, picture, image, illustration

The landings at Gallipoli by Andrew Howat

Every time the candidate got up to speak at an election meeting, several people in the audience would shout: “What about the Dardanelles?” The uproar continued right through the campaign that October in 1923, and, when Polling Day came, Winston Churchill was soundly defeated, losing his seat in Parliament for the first time since he had entered the House of Commons in 1900.

His enemies – and he had plenty of them – laughed gleefully at his downfall. Clearly, he was finished, his career in ruins. Anyone who had suggested at the time that he would one day save his country, as he did in the Second World War in 1940, would have been laughed to scorn.

Churchill, so his opponents claimed, was the man most responsible for one of the most scandalous disasters of the First World War of 1914-18, the Dardanelles Campaign in which there were nearly a quarter of a million casualties, British, Australian, New Zealand and French. An American wrote of it in the 1920s: “It is doubtful if even Great Britain could survive another world war and another Churchill!” And the official Australian war historian of the day had attacked Churchill savagely in print.

Amongst other charges, the Australian had flayed him for lack of imagination. Yet today, his Dardanelles scheme, though it failed tragically, is widely considered to have been one of the only inspired ideas in the long nightmare that was the First World War.

By 1915, there was stalemate on the Western Front in France and Flanders, with seemingly endless trenches stretching from the Channel to the Swiss border. Millions of Germans faced millions of Frenchmen and Britons across the barbed wire, mud and desolation of no-man’s land.

The only tactic dreamt up by baffled or incompetent generals was the occasional bloody frontal attack against machine guns and barbed wire, which gained at the most a few hundred yards at a colossal cost in lives. The object seemed to be to go on killing Germans (or vice versa) until there were none left to kill, leaving the handful of survivors on the other side as the victors.

But there was one possible way to change all this. The first to think of it was Lieutenant-Colonel Hankey, Secretary of the War Council of statesmen and soldiers and sailors who were running the war. Turkey had sided with Germany and Austria while Russia had joined Britain and France, and the Russians wanted the pressure relieved on their hard-pressed front. Hankey thought that if a fleet could sail through the Dardanelles – the narrow channel dividing Asian from European Turkey and leading into the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea – the fabulous capital city of Constantinople could be taken, Turkey knocked out of the war, and the Russians helped. Most of all, Germany could be attacked from the rear through the Balkans.

Read the rest of this article »

Francis Brett Young became a great writer about Africa

Posted in Africa, Historical articles, History, Literature, Medicine, World War 1 on Saturday, 8 March 2014

This edited article about Francis Brett Young first appeared in Look and Learn issue number 586 published on 7 April 1973.

Francis Brett Young,  picture, image, illustration

Francis Brett Young leading his wounded patients to safety

They cut back the thorn bushes and unloaded the panniers from the mules. It was not the best place for a dressing-station but it would have to serve.

The Maxims were crackling ahead of them and other machine guns stammered suddenly. The first wounded were stumbling in and Francis Brett Young, the medical officer, was soon busy, stripping off field-dressings and checking the classification of wounds. He caught a brief glimpse of men filing up to the line; their helmets bore the striped brown flash of the Rhodesians. Then his orderlies warned him that supplies of water were low. He sent them to fill cans at the river. They scampered back empty-handed. German askaris, they babbled, had crossed to this bank and were approaching. At that moment rifles barked nearby. A wounded soldier coming out of his morphine doze, began to scream: ‘They’re coming! They’re coming.’

Ask most people about the First World War and they will tell you at once of the horrors of the Western Front, of Gallipoli and of Lawrence in Arabia. But the war reached the farthest limits of the British empire and men from the British colonies in Africa soon found themselves embroiled. British, Rhodesian, Indian and South African troops fought the Germans in the Cameroons, in Togoland and in German South West Africa.

The longest African campaign was in German East Africa (later Tanganyika, now Tanzania), where, under the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the imperial forces were held at bay by the brilliant German commander, Von Lettow-Vorbeck. The campaign had begun badly with a seaborne assault on the port of Tanga, at the head of a valuable railway. It failed disastrously. For the next year the campaign was bogged down until the South African leader Jan Smuts took command and, with a series of lighting moves, took the initiative once more.

In May 1916 Smuts ordered a second attack on Tanga, this time by land. The allies had to cut their way through the worst sorts of terrain – stretches of impenetrable bush, dense forests and stinking swamps. They had to drive the Germans and their native troops (askaris) from strongly-held positions. And they had to survive countless forms of disease. This last enemy was the worst. So much depended on the extent to which medical officers like the 32-year-old Brett Young could keep the assault force up to fighting strength.

Read the rest of this article »

Corporal York began his military career as a conscientious objector

Posted in America, Bravery, Historical articles, History, World War 1 on Friday, 7 March 2014

This edited article about World War One first appeared in Look and Learn issue number 584 published on 24 March 1973.

One man with a rifle and a six-shooter against a whole German machine-gun battalion . . .

That was the line-up for one of the most sensational battles in the history of warfare.

For, single-handed, that one man killed 25 Germans, and captured four officers and 128 men. And then he marched them back through the German front-line into his own lines.

When his officers saw him, they couldn’t believe their eyes, and an inquiry was ordered into the exploit of Corporal York (later promoted sergeant) of the United States Infantry.

Sworn statements were taken from American and German soldiers. It was all true.

Yet York began his military career as a conscientious objector.

When America declared war on Germany in 1917, he applied for exemption from military service on the grounds that killing was against his religion.

Despite many appeals, he was called up, and in March, 1918, Private York was in training as an infantryman.

He still believed that he would refuse to fight, until something that happened on one of his leaves changed his mind. In his Tennessee drawl, he has recalled that event.

“I went out on to the mountainside and asked Him sorter straight from the shoulder . . . I knelt down and I prayed and prayed all afternoon, through the night and part of the next day. And as I prayed there alone a great calm came over me and I received my assurance. He heard my prayer and He came to me on the mountainside. I arose and thanked Him and went home over the mountains singing a hymn.”

Private York went back to his unit and said: “God wills that I should fight and that I’ll come back unharmed.”

By the end of May he was in France. By the time his unit was moved up for the battle of the Argonne Forest, he had been promoted corporal.

Read the rest of this article »