July 31, 2014

Return to Nature

Photograph by Jeffrey Gusky, National Geographic

During World War I, the deadlock of trench warfare led both the French and German sides to tunnel beneath enemy positions. Here, the scars of artillery barrages still pockmark the ruins of a fort at Chemin des Dames, France, where some 30,000 French troops died during ten days in April 1917. Underground, French and German forces tried to penetrate each other’s tunnels, sometimes fighting hand to hand in pitch-black passageways.

See more pictures from the August 2014 feature story "The Hidden World of the Great War."

23 comments
Runit Dwivedi
Runit Dwivedi

please can you share me the original colored version of this photo.

Susan Gittens
Susan Gittens

Very moving photo, great capture and your description makes the feel more poignant!  Thanks for sharing!

Tina Wade-Lucas
Tina Wade-Lucas

When I first looked at this photo, before even reading the story, I got a creepy, Blair Witch Project vibe from it, not a magical one.  Now that I've read the story behind it, I understand where that vibe came from.  Amazing how a photo can give you a feeling.

Kip Keino
Kip Keino

It's like the trees are saying; "whoa, that species with the big brains sure made a mess of things for that short while. Glad they're gone."

Madhumita Pal
Madhumita Pal

looks like a hobbit home ... 

the atmosphere lends to the dreamy fairy-tale like feeling

Janice H.
Janice H.

Strangely eerie, but fascinating!           Sad that something used for such purposes so long ago could appear so beautiful and almost magical now.           When will the world learn how futile and wasteful war is?      Provocative, and thoughtful photo.

Antonio Falivene
Antonio Falivene

Wonderful photo that let people think, all this 30000 french soldiers who died, for what they died? has French won over Germany or viceversa? There will be another war but even this war the II will leave France and Germany and Italy were they already were. So what is it worth to make this war The first. Moreover the men who  declares war almost never fight  

Wayne  Norman
Wayne Norman

A wonderful picture that speaks volumes of the madness, the sheer insanity of war and all it stands for.  You could hardly get a better shot.  And congrats.  Love the composition and presentation.

Barbara Ewart
Barbara Ewart

From the earth did we ascend, to the earth we will return. Would that we, as humans, could be as forgiving as nature, who gently restores her outward face to a more innocent time.  

Michael Moppes
Michael Moppes

I have worked in the Earth Sciences all my life; I love seeing nature reclaiming land ruined by humans. There is a wood one mile from my  English home and went for a walk there. I suddenly realised that I was standing in a sandstone quarry, that was bare rock maybe 50 years ago; and I knew why it is called Sandrock Hill.

Igor Nykyforchyn
Igor Nykyforchyn

Це фото є в деякій мірі актуальним зараз для України.

Sara Couch
Sara Couch

I love how the grass just grows right over the bricks like they aren't there. 

Joy Saldanha
Joy Saldanha

A grim reminder of what must have been a hell on earth. Caught as it should be in black and white. It's hard to imagine that horrible war,but  Jeffrey Gusky's photograph has helped bring it to life. A great shot.  j.e.s........

Margaret Faulkner
Margaret Faulkner

I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking "Hobbits!"  Aside from that,  this is a remarkable picture.


Bev Hennager
Bev Hennager

When you know what they are, it is a grim and awful reminder of war.  Otherwise I think, Hobbit house!

Yolanda Patterson
Yolanda Patterson

It appears as though it is just a old house with the nature taking back what is her's and yet we all know the carnage that happened here. 

Lawrence Stubbs
Lawrence Stubbs

Sobering reminder.  Art and history and ghosts all in one.  Thank you.


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