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dvosburgh

Aerial Photos - Somme 1916

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dvosburgh

I'm doing some research for a painting of a scene from Cecil Lewis's Sagittarius Rising in which he and his observer from No 3 Sqdn, a Sgt Hall (who, Lewis notes, "got a D.C.M. and a commission for his work that week"), were sent out to photograph the lines in the area from Thiepval south to Montauban on the eve of the Somme offensive. In the interests of making my picture as authentic as possible I'm trying to locate aerial photos of the area around late June of 1916 to establish details for the background... I got a copy of The Great War Seen From the Air, but while it's a great book, I was disappointed to find it only covers Belgium. 

 

I've looked online with indifferent results. Any suggestions as to where else I could search would be greatly appreciated. TIA.

 

Dave

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jonbem
Posted (edited)

There are a few here on McMaster if you scroll down but from 1918

http://lt1.mcmaster.ca/ww1/wrz4mp.php?grid=57c#AirPhotos

and here

http://lt1.mcmaster.ca/ww1/wrz4mp.php?grid=62d

 

Edited by jonbem

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dvosburgh

Thanks, I visited the McMasters site a week or two ago, but it's so difficult to navigate (where's the master list of grid squares?) I gave up in despair. Oh well, if this stuff was easy, everybody's be doing it.

 

Things are complicated by the fact that a low ceiling had forced Lewis and Sgt Hall to do their photography from only 2,000 ft, hence a fair amount of ground detail would be visible. I suppose I could fudge it, but that would be *way* too simple :-/ 

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Howard

Aerial photos of the Somme area are on the WFA Mapping the Front DVDs including this one of a point SE of Thiepval

 

Howard

 

aerial1.jpg

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dvosburgh

Thanks, and thanks. Not sure why I couldn't find that directory, except that the back-links on that site are pretty much non-existent.

 

I've found a couple pics on the IWM site which were actually taken by 3 Squadron, but vertical photos don't really provide the kind of information I'm looking for. Also, the view I've chosen requires the view looking west, back towards the Allied side of the lines, which would probably only be found on German oblique photos. One option I've considered is using contemporary Google Earth satellite photos retro-modified with what info I can glean from maps & recon photos...  that's what I'm doing with the background showing Ghent from 7,000ft in my painting of Flight Sub-Lieutenant Warneford's takedown of LZ37.

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BIFFO

theres a good site on fb,

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dvosburgh

Thanks as well, that's one place I wouldn't have thought of looking!

 

According to the book I mentioned above (The Great War Seen From the Air, ISBN 978-94-6230-026-2, in case anybody wants to look it up) claims that the single largest collection of Great War aerial photos in existence belongs to the Bayerisches Hauptstaatarchiv-Kriegsarchiv - they have prints and glass negatives numbering "in the six figures", but there doesn't seem to be any way to access them online. 

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