Album der K. und K. Schiffshebeformation.
Album der K. und K. Schiffshebeformation.
Album der K. und K. Schiffshebeformation.
Album der K. und K. Schiffshebeformation.
Album der K. und K. Schiffshebeformation.
Album der K. und K. Schiffshebeformation.
Album der K. und K. Schiffshebeformation.
Album der K. und K. Schiffshebeformation.
WWI Photo Album of the River Salvage Formation of the Austro-Hungarian Army

Album der K. und K. Schiffshebeformation.

[Austria]: [ca. 1917]. With 50 (one double) original, black and white photographs. Each image is labelled. Vintage photo album. Bound by a black string. With printed, embossed title on the front panel. 13 album card leaves. Image sizes vary: ca. 160–165 × 115–120 mm. Album measures: ca. 320 × 475 mm. Panels chipped, slightly damages at extremities. The images are sharp except the two on the first leaf which are slightly faded. Moderate silver mirroring at edges effects some of the images, one photo with a brown stain. Overall in very good, fine condition.

Photo album of “Schiffshebeformation” the River Salvage Formation of the Austro-Hungarian Army in the First World War.

The fifty images of this unusual photo album show the works of the river savage unit on the Danube’s middle and lower sections.

The pictures were taken between June 1916 and November 1917 and showing the rescue of both civilian and military shipwrecks (among them Enns-class river monitor, SMS Inn, the largest wrecked Danube warship) which were sunk during the operations of WWI in Serbia and Romania (near Belgrade, Veliko Gradiste, Čukarica, at the Iron Gates, Ada Kaleh, near Orșova, Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Brăila). Each image is labelled with a short text that gives the type and the name of the ship, the date of the salvage and most cases the time, sometimes even the circumstances of the wrecking. The pictures are showing the various processes and techniques of salvage of the destroyed ships that are in different conditions and wrecked in distinct environments, e.g. mud, shallow or deep water.

Very less is know about the unit of “Schiffshebeformation” whose official name was probably Schiffshebe- und Bergekommandos Donauflottilen, however, POWs for sure served in the unit. From a biography of an Italian soldier who got captured at the Battle of Caporetto, it is known that he, as a prisoner of war, was relocated to Orșova to serve in the “Schiffshebeformation” which stationed in the city at the time.

An interesting and important collection of a barely recorded chapter of the First World War.

[Ref.: Dixon-Nutall, J.: The Austro-Hungarian Army 1914–1918 for Collectors of Its Postal Items. Chapter 4. URL: http://www.austrianphilately.com/dixnut/index.htm; “I Religiosi della Provincia di Messina al servizio della Patria come Cappellani militari e soldati nella prima e seconda guerra mondiale.” pp. 48–49. URL: http://www.fraticappuccinimessina.org/public/documenti/I%20Religiosi%20della%20Provincia.pdf]

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Price: €3,500.00

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