Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Inside a German U-boat

If you have ever toured the U-505 at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry or seen the movie Das Boot, you have gained an appreciation of the claustrophobic feeling of submarine service. This 1915 image from Tony Langley's collection is the best I've seen from the Great War at capturing that. Felix Schwormstädt was a German painter who created illustrations during the First World War for the magazine Illustrierte Zeitung.

Schwormstädt was something of a specialist in combat claustrophobia.  Here is a similar treatment of the inside of the gondola of a combat zeppelin.  


  1. Those are great pictures, thanks for posting them.
    Pete Belmonte

  2. The Zeppelin in the painting is LZ38, commanded by Erich Linnarz. It carried out successful attacks on London on 31st May and 7th June 1915, but was destroyed after returning from the last raid when it was bombed in its shed. It's sister ship LZ37 was the one brought down by Warneford on the same night.
    Certainly it is an early Zeppelin: note the propeller mounted on outriggers driven by belt from the engine.