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CHAPTER 1 showcases a remarkably candid series of private photos depicting 2. Kgl. Sächs.Jäger-Bataillon Nr.13 (JB 13) on the Armentières front in the first weeks of trench warfare.

The chapter places these images in the context of the known deployment history of the unit and juxtaposes them with relevant first-hand accounts from the published battalion history.

The photos include numerous pictures actually taken in the first crude trenches at L'Epinette / Pont Ballot, one of which was used for the cover of the book. In accordance with the practice of the time, these show an excessively numerous trench garrison, rough and ready construction and some highly unorthodox clothing - curiously combined with the distinctive uniform of the Saxon Jägers. Wooly hats, scarves and even knee-warmers sent from home are all in evidence, together with improvised puttees.

British readers will see clear similarities to the highly irregular appearance of front-line Tommies during the first winter of the war!

Bandsman of Jäger-Bataillon 13 in autumn 1914

Above: This exclusive image from the same photo series shows the battalion band (Bataillonsmusik) playing in their billeting area behind the front. In accordance with Jäger tradition, the band exclusively played brass instruments. As in other armies, the bandsmen also served as stretcher bearers when required.

For King and Kaiser - sample pages

Above: Sample pages from For King and Kaiser (chapter 1).