WWII Luftwaffe Personal Photograph Album , Brittany, France
A small but beautifully presented wartime photograph album. The covers are made from red leatherette material that are generally in good condition but with some small pressure indentations. Neither the cover or flyleaf page is named but the album contains 25 pages with a single original black and white photograph to each page. This came in by way of an auction and as no captions have been added it has proved a bit of a challenge to add some limited provenance, but we have done our best!
The title page picture shows a typically 'Nordic 'Luftwaffe Flieger (Private) confirmed by his collar badge; standing behind is a lady who we assume was his wife or girlfriend. In the following photograph the same chap features but he now seems to be sporting 'Gefreiter' rank badges (Lance Corporal). It is our assumption he was the owner of the album and took most of the photographs but sadly we are unable to name him. It is possible further clues may be on the back of the photographs but we prefer not to disturb them. Virtually every shot features a number of Luftwaffe colleagues in full uniform and in many they appear to be sightseeing and several featuring bridges and rivers. Another photo shows a couple of chaps standing on we believe on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and then a larger group posing with a part built timber building in the background. Another photograph is of a distinctive art deco looking building with a signboard above and a group of military personnel in front and one standing inside at an open window. Whilst quite hard to decipher the writing on the rooftop signboard appears to say 'Erholungsheim' which trnslated means 'Rehabilitation Centre' or 'Sanitorium' followed by 'Schwarze Spiegel' which literally translated mean 'Black Mirrors'. A Luftwaffe wing logo, as used on rank collar tabs, is shown on the sign as well, so clearly for use of injured/rcovering Luftwaffe personnel.
A more conclusive photograph appears a little later with another group of Luftwaffe personnel posing with a viaduct behind them. We have a positive ID on this and believe it to be the railway viaduct which crosses the town of Morlaix in Brittany, in which case the river featured in several shots could be the Morlaix river. Further research confirms an airport that was captured and used by was also used as a Luftwaffe and was situated 3.25 km NNE of Morlaix near the village of Ploujean. It was occupied by the Luftwaffe from June 1940 and was used by Jagdgeschwader 2 "Richthofen", Jagdgeschwader 26 "Schlageter", Jagdgeschwader 77 "Herz As" and Nachtjagdgeschwader 1. It was extended and improved by Spring 1941 and used moderately by fighters and bombers until February 1942 but was very little used after that date. So whilst not definitive we believe this album records life in Brittany by the German occupiers sometimes from 1940-1942.
So a small but interesting WWII Luftwaffe album and definitely worthy of further research. Sadly no details of the base he was stationed at are shown and the mainly off duty nature of the pictures would seem to confirm these were taken with his personal camera when touring away from base. The album measures 4.5" x 3.25" (12 cm x 8.5 cm) with strong binding and no loose pages or photographs.