In the Service of the Kaiser: Uniforms and Equipment of the World War I German Soldier
Military artists tend to paint the two extremes of the soldiers life; at one end the subject is rendered in his parade best uniform, pressed and spotlessly clean, and at the other extreme locked in heroic combat defeating his enemy. Friedrich Ludwig Scharf took the middle road, painting the troops as they looked going about their daily duties. Scharf, on one hand an artist, had also been a career Jger enlisted man, rising to the rank of Offizierstellvertrater in 1918. He spent most of his wartime service on the Eastern front where he observed and fought with the Cavalry regiments, as well as the Reserve and Landsturm troops assigned to that front. In his paintings the uniform historian and military modeler will find accurate and sometimes amusing representations of what Scharf actually saw. The illequipped Landsturmers with outdated uniforms, the Cavalry still mounted dashing about the Russian front, Flamethrower troops, ski troops and even a Franciscan monk in military service were captured in his watercolors and linoleum block handcolored prints.