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Serbian Soldiers on Guard Duty

The assassination of the Austrian Grand Duke by a Serbian nationalist and Austria-Hungary’s efforts to punish Serbia, led to World War 1. Serbian soldiers were poorly equipped, and out numbered by the forces of the Austrian Empire, but they put up a tenacious defence of their territory. In the end, however, the Serbs were overwhelmed and the remnants of their shattered armies retreated into Albania and Greece. Some where evacuated by sea to Italy, in an operation reminiscent of Dunkirk during WW2.

In this photograph, a group of three Serbian soldiers stand guard over a snowy landscape, somewhere in Serbia during the winter of 1914/1915. The land looks very cold and harsh.

The two men on the ground are carrying rifles with bayonets, and they each have a large backpack with their kit and supplies. It is not clear what the Serbian soldier in the tree is holding. None of the three men is wearing white camouflage clothing and their dark winter coats make them stand out dangerously against the white of the snow.