Max Kranz (standing, 4th from the right) with his fellow officers , photographer unknown, Rolf Kranz / Europeana 1914-1918, CC BY-SA

The vineyard-owner and businessman Max Kranz (22 June 1888 - 23 August 1953), the grandfather of contributor Rolf Kranz, was one of the men of Hatzenport who went to war. He took part in the war as a Lieutenant of the 6th Artillery Battery of the Schleswig-Holstein 9th Foot Artillery Regiment, stationed at the time at the fortress Ehrenbreitstein in Koblenz. 

Max Kranz during the First World War, photographer unknown, Rolf Kranz / Europeana 1914-1918, CC BY-SA
Max Kranz during the First World War, photographer unknown, Rolf Kranz / Europeana 1914-1918, CC BY-SA

The foot artillery was - in contrast to the field artillery - equipped with guns of heavy caliber and had a prominent role in position warfare. It was a modern, "bourgeois" army branch which depended on technical knowledge and understanding of mathematics and physics. Among the reserve officers, educated professionals such as engineers or merchants such as Max Kranz, played a significant part. For soldiers of the aristocracy, on the other hand, the foot artillery - similar to the pioneer division - was not very attractive and was considered not to be in line with their position.  

Max Kranz (2nd from the left) as platoon leader with his men next to a field gun, photographer unknown, Rolf Kranz / Europeana 1914-1918, CC BY-SA
Max Kranz (2nd from the left) as platoon leader with his men next to a field gun, photographer unknown, Rolf Kranz / Europeana 1914-1918, CC BY-SA

Max Kranz left some 150 photographs and fieldpostcards from his missions to the Western as well as the Eastern front. Thanks to the precise captions made by Max the photos can be precisely determined by date, location and image. Thus they document the daily service and everyday life of a German artillery officer at war. His story is supplemented by short portraits of people in his personal environment, some of his relatives as well as other war participants coming from his home town.  

Artillerymen in front of the blockhouse at the observatory (Max Kranz 2.f.l.), photographer unknown , Rolf Kranz / Europeana 1914-1918, CC BY-SA
Artillerymen in front of the blockhouse at the observatory (Max Kranz 2.f.l.), photographer unknown , Rolf Kranz / Europeana 1914-1918, CC BY-SA
Max Kranz (standing, 4th from the right) with his fellow officers , photographer unknown, Rolf Kranz / Europeana 1914-1918, CC BY-SA
Max Kranz (standing, 4th from the right) with his fellow officers , photographer unknown, Rolf Kranz / Europeana 1914-1918, CC BY-SA