Soldier in the German Landwehr Infantry Regiment No.25 (c. June 1917).

Although they have been put out of view by the notion that fin-de-siècle Europe  was an “all white” society, historians, particularly local historians, have recently shown that many soldiers of African descent served in European regiments during the Great War. (See, for example, Ray Costello’s Black Tommies: British Soldiers of African Descent in the First World War.) The German case requires more attention, although notably there is Wilhelm Elo Sambo – Patenkind des Kaisers und Blauer Funke by Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst. Beyond his rank and his unit, nothing more is known about the man pictured.


“It’s human nature to stretch, to go, to see, to understand. Exploration is not a choice, really; it’s an imperative.”Michael Collins

Footage credit: ESA
Music credit: Burial- “In McDonalds”