Monday, March 20, 2017

"On Four Battlefronts with the German Army" (USA, 1915)

On February 7, 1915, photographer Edwin F. Weigle left Chicago for a six month trip to Europe. Assigned by the Chicago Tribune to film the Great War, he visited the Western Front and covered the offensive of the Austro-German army in Russian Poland, as well as the opening rounds of the war around Lake Garda in Italy. His experiences in Italy have been described in a previous weblog.

Weigle, photographed when he was a Captain in the U.S. Signal Corps during World War I. Copied from the Exhibitor's Trade Review, January 1921

Weigle returned to America in August 1915. The films that he shot were edited into The German Side of the War, a movie that turned out to be so successful that he was soon sent back to Europe by the Chicago Tribune to produce a sequel. Weigle's war film, as well as his experiences during World War I, have been described in more detail in our book American Cinematographers in the Great War.

Historical Value

As a result of this trip to Europe, Weigle wrote a report which was published in 1915 as a 27 page booklet under the title On Four Battlefronts with the German Army. The booklet is hard to find nowadays, even in research libraries, but we managed to locate a copy in the World War I Library in Stuttgart, Germany, and because of its historical value have uploaded Weigle's report to this weblog.

Weigle's story can be read and downloaded here.

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