Close Support Sapper, Royal Engineers, Helmand Province, 2014. Photo by Thom Atkinson
Yes, I'm with Ben on this one. How on earth did/do they manage to move at all carrying all that weight?
It is even makes me tired to watch! Man , too much to carry !
Those shovels must be replaced with the bluetoot versions in this century. Mobility is everything come on !! :)
This is so cool! An original concept and fun to browse through :)
Photography is so-so. The rounding up of all the "stuff" was a major job. Overall, very interesting. One big soft box overhead. It also needs reflectors at bottom and sides. Or 3 big soft boxes, top, bottom left and bottom right. As stated, shot directly overhead would have been better. The logistics would have been harder.Poor Thom was probably under a tight schedule and did the best he could considering!Thanks for posting.
Not only a fun concept but a great tool for getting into a good history discussion with kids about not just what but why.
I'm struck by the re-emergence of "battle rattle" hundreds of years later.
Somehow I don't think they really carried blunt reenactment weapons of dubious provenance. Very poor.
You, sir, win eye-rolling comment of the day!
I think that the subject is interesting.I also think that the creative approach is rather common.Technically speaking the pics are just fine.But still every single pic doesn't tell a story by itself.Overall a rather good work...
I don't see any side arms until the current kit. I'd of thought a soldier would have carried a pistol pretty much since the invention of percussion weapons.
Officers carry pistols for self protection and motivation of troops.
Current US doctrine has the vast majority of soldiers carrying both an M9 pistol and either an M4 or M16 rifle. This is a change from earlier in my career when officer primarily carried pistols and enlisted personnel rifles. The change is a reflection of two things - urban combat and the lack of any kind of secure rear area. On most US bases in combat zones, personnel are required to be armed 24/7. Outside the wire that means both a rifle/crew served weapon and a pistol. If you are inside a base/FOB you can go pistol only. When I was inside the FOB I carried my M9 in an underarm sling. Outside it was in a Blackhawk hard holster across the front of my body armor.
In an urban area a pistol is highly effective and can be used more easily in close quarters. It is much harder to take away or knock away a pistol compared to a rifle indoors making it ideal for fighting in rooms.
we now know what the average terrorist carries
And this has what to do with digital photography? I come to Digital Photography Review to see the latest news in digital photography equipment not the see the weapons that the british used to hack out their bloody empire. What next, the implements to draw and quarter enemies of the crown? Please stick to cameras and photography gear.
You forget that this is a site run by Brits.
And they are still angry that a bunch of ragtag Americans defeated what had been the greatest army the world had ever known
And none of you seemed to have noticed that DPR was bought by Amazon in 2007 and then moved to the US (Seattle, I believe) where it is now based.
Critical of the lack of digital photography but still managed an anti British whinge.Hahaha! if only it was just a bunch of ragtag Americans, history warped again!
The British have never had "the greatest army". They had the greatest fleet, but never the greatest army.
"And they are still angry that a bunch of ragtag Americans defeated what had been the greatest army the world had ever known"
.....and the Americans lost to a bunch of militant Vietnamese peasants. What's your (photographic) point?
"......and the Americans lost to a bunch of militant Vietnamese peasants. What's your (photographic) point?"
Kind of hard to lose against any country if you are no longer in the country to fight. America withdrew long before the south fell, and it certainly wasn't because she was losing. Quite the contrary. Try some history.
The Yanks got spanked in Vietnam. They withdrew BECAUSE they were losing. The Americans have never been good at fighting counter-insurgency.
"The Yanks got spanked in Vietnam.They withdrew BECAUSE they were losing. The Americans have never been good at fighting counter-insurgency."
They "got spanked?" Boy, that's deep.
America withdrew because of the waning political and public pressure back home as a result of trying to fight a politically correct war that caused the war to drag on. It's as simple as that. America didn't lose any major offensive to the North, not even the Tet Offensive. Lose the anti-American chip on your shoulder and educate yourself on the history of the Vietnam War. For a former "reporter" you should know better.
I'm well educated on the Vietnam war, thanks, having spent a lot of time travelling through the country and looking at all the Agent Orange stillborn babies preserved in jars to display US atrocities first-hand.
The US failed to achieve any of its strategic goals, whereas the North Vietnamese achieved all of theirs. That is a "spanking".
"US atrocities" says it all. It's quite obvious that you are simply anti-American.
You can thank America for your freedom, by the way.
Good one. Your lot turned up years late for two world wars!
And crucially supplied allied countries long before that.
You chaps also need to figure out whether you want America to fight wars or not. It's OK it when it benefits you directly, isn't it? Funny how that works.
Once again, you live free today because of America. There is no way you can spin yourself out of that one.
We don't want you to fight wars.
We're not free because of America - in fact, many of our countries are freer than America.
"We don't want you to fight wars."
And yet you complain that America waited to enter the two World Wars. How does that work? You're contradicting yourself.
"We're not free because of America"
Oh really? The Nazis, Japanese, and the Soviets would have been defeated without America? Right.
"- in fact, many of our countries are freer than America."
Oh yeah, how's that? At least in America you don't go to jail for simply denying the Holocaust or expressing the wrong opinion. I can travel and move freely throughout my country and express any opinion I want that isn't threatening anyone personally. How much more free does it get?
I'm not "complaining" that the US waited until being attacked before entering two world wars, merely responding to your request for information as to whether or not "we" want the US to fight people in the modern age.
Yes, the Germans would have been defeated without the US. The two turning-point battles of El Alamein and Stalingrad occurred before the US began to make a substantial contribution.
In terms of freedom, the US ranks 30-odd in the world for press freedom and also (compared with other western countries) typically about average to slightly below for other forms of freedom.
I've enjoyed the conversation, but this will be my last posting as I'm off to Thailand now for a holiday. Do let me know if your countrymen find those weapons of mass destruction that they used as a pretext for invading Iraq, killing tens of thousands of people and sparking a civil war.
... would be interesting to see the evolution of things in a lady's handbag too!By the way, it's clearly seen how humans are getting overgrown with 'gadgets' over centuries.
What a fun essay...it would be interesting to see a comparative of enemy and ally. The Helmund province would be pretty drastic, i would think.
Well done! Thanks for this. I note that the soldier's load has gotten no lighter over the years.
Very interesting, seeing how the 'kit' changed over the years (centuries). Just a coincidence that soldiers in the British Army were often referred to as Tommy Atkins, or just Tommy., and the photos were taken by Thom Atkinson?
Only a few occupations have persisted for much of humankind's existence, and soldiering is one of them. (Other examples are agriculture, fishing, metalworking and pottery-making.) Setting aside one's aversion for war, it's a fascinating look at the pace of change in technology, and the increased complexity of one's possessions as technology advances. Nicely done.
You forgot the ladies of the night, considered one of the oldest professions. It would be interesting to see how their kit has evolved over the centuries.
King Arthur for editor!
To collect it is very tough--so many items--good collection -but I need some of items close photos-in first photograph we have seen few white balls near a small container-these should be specific and it could be taken under normal light -green back ground-or macro photography-We can understand the time period through single pics----but more to add--!
More close ups please to depict the time--may be the words--made in England,china,Russia,Germany--then we can understand the country where it was made,we can understand the technology applied then.
I have read that once Made In Germany was famous--German Knives were Razor sharp--but then Japanese good were worst in quality--now that Japan is world leader by means of dedication ,hard work.
Actually (AFAIK) the "Made in Germany" label was invented by the British to kind of "warn" against German copies of originally English industrial goods. Germany's industry was just evolving and copied lots of things cheaply that were already established. Only later "Made in Germany" became a label of quality and others took over the job of cheap copying.
Ohh--many many thanks--can you give the source of your comment?Because to write somewhere I would like to give the source of your writing--any how it is a great information--keep writing!
http://www.gtai.de/GTAI/Navigation/EN/Invest/Service/Publications/markets-germany,did=738904.html--///Hope about the level--MADE IN GERMANY DPR readers will find some interest--how this"Made In Germany" came?
From above site I came to know-" In 1887, concerned about the influx of cheap foreign products, British Parliament passed the Merchandise Marks Act in order to identify foreign imports and protect domestic products. The label clearly distinguished the country of origin for German products in Britain, but rather than alert consumers to their inferiority, it quickly became a seal of quality: in the 1950s, for -example, the Volkswagen Beetle took the world by storm."
Nothing creative here. Would be nice to be able to zoom in very close and even circle an object to view it from different angles. I think current technology permits that...I've seen it used in advertising.I'm surprised the thirst for war cannot be quenched by looking at the front page of any newspaper. Most people who have participated in war (and survive) spend the rest of their lives trying to forget it. Some of these images will trigger unpleasantness in many people.
I bet you're fun at parties.
Nothing creative? Nice pot shot from the peanut gallery. Care to share your creativity?
Im one of those who survived war and what it triggered in me was remembering what else I carried - namely my Pentax K200D and a bunch of lenses. It also triggered thoughts of camaraderie with my brothers in arms over the ages. Thoughts go how just like me they carried a heavy burden both physically and mentally. Thoughts of how just like me they were just doing their job and trying to get home. And thoughts of how I am glad I didnt have to fight in a time of pointy steel, blunt force trauma or wool clothes.
And yeah, you must be a load of fun at parties.
Depicting weapons and other war-related subjects will always remain a sensitive issue requiring some tact. I count myself lucky in that I've never had to fight in a war, nor experienced it in any other direct way, well aware that it would have likely killed my soul. Yet, for a long time, I've been interested in what it was like and what it did to the generations of my parents (who were touched by it as small children) and grandparents (who lived through two world wars). Does this mean that I have a thirst for war, that I take an unsavoury interest in it, that I'm a sadist?
As far as I can see, the objects have been captured in what I would call a matter-of-fact way, similar to displays you would find in many museums. That may not strike you as overly creative, but as an artistic, or if you don't like that, simply photographic decision I can respect that because the photographer stuck with it. I can see no glorification of war here. Actually I find the series quite intriguing.
Madaboutpix, I can see where you are coming from. Don't know where you live but here in the UK at the moment there are a lot of TV programs about World War 1 given the fact it started 100 years ago. Some of the best I have seen are based on 1st hand accounts, not a Historians view or interpretation of what the soldiers went through.
If you view the laying out of the equipment in the same light you can empathise with those ho had to carry it.
Unfortunately I do have one criticism of the WW1 shot and that is the lack of a tin helmet. That may be one down the bottom right with a canvass cover on it but that is not how they were worn. Just the bare metal for the most part.
The same can be said for the WWII one as the helmet there looks like a paras has not an infantry soldiers helmet which was virtually identical to the WWI helmet.
If you are going to do shots like this you need then perfectly accurate and in my opinion these are not in that respect.
1709 and 1944 better than others due to proper alignment
Disturbs me too. Can't see the point in making such strangely skewed shots of an essentially rectangular arrangement. Certainly the most effective angle would be from straight above? However I assume that having worked most of a day with the arrangement he spent most of another day shooting from all possible angles and zooming in on groups of objects and single objects. This is just a strange choice. Anyway that's a minor point. What matters is all the research, reconstruction work + the photographer's work behind the pics thanks to which we get this truly fascinating graphical-temporal-historical perspective.
I see the Mars bars in the 1982 photo, but where is the strange Avimo 7x42 binocular I thought they carried in those days?
Interesting photos. These objects for fighting are surprisingly beautiful.
I'm really enjoying these photo stories from readers and contributors.