Postcards from the Edge : The Siege of Antwerp

German Postcards


A German Postcard. This is a fictitous rendering, since the German army did not attack the city from across the river Scheldt. In fact, their siege guns were set up on the opposite side of the river. Nevertheless, the artist must have felt that this was an impressive view. In the upper left-hand corner we see German general von Beseler, commander of the assaulting army.


Another impressive but false view of the fighting around Antwerp. The pontoon bridge was built on large barges and not on small rowboats as illustrated here. Nor were there fortifications on the river Scheldt as depicted on the left. Furthernore, the Germans did not attack Antwerp from this side of the river. It is interesting to compare such hand-drawn illustrations with other illustrations from British magazines showing the bombing of Antwerp by Zeppelins. The British illustrations are quite accurately rendered, while these German views are very much less so.


A photographic collage showing German troops marching across the Grande Place of Antwerp in front of the City Hall. For some reason the Germans liked to depict even greater destruction than they actually caused. For instance, in this postcard we can see bombed and burned houses to the right of the City Hall. In fact, no houses on this location were damaged at all.


War booty : Uniforms and equipment left behind by the Belgian Army before crossing over the bridge of boats.


Two views of the City Hall


German troops along the quayside. In the top postcard a German naval detachment proudly poses with the cathedral in the background.


German headquarters in Antwerp. A Belgian policeman keeps an eye out while soldiers guard the building.