WW2 German Photo Albums for Sale

WW2 German Photo Albums for Sale

When the Second World War started, the use of cameras was still not widespread in society. However, they had become a popular item with many soldiers who were taking photographs of their daily life in military service. Although military regulations strictly forbade the taking of photographs when on active service, soldiers still used their cameras to record the things that interested them. Home developing and better cameras meant that more and more soldiers would not only take their own photographs, but would then also develop those pictures when they got back home. This is one reason why so many WW2-era photographs come in different sizes, with some having scalloped edges and others straight.

While taking photos was still in its infancy, the Second World War did fuel a wider interest in photography because people were travelling. Then there was naturally a growing need for each individual to have a book or album to display the photographs he had taken. Camera shops and even regiments themselves started to sell empty photograph albums directed at the different branches of service and it is not uncommon to find albums marked on the front to specific units. The Luftwaffe, Army, Kriegsmarine and SS all offered their men regimentally and unit marked album covers. Today they have become an interesting way for collectors to enhance a display. And they are also a great research tool because they contain primary evidence of events as they happened.

Today we are looking at a number of styles of WW2 German photo albums for sale via our partner sites.

Kriegsmarine Meine Dienstzeit – ‘My service with the Kriegsmarine’ Photo Album

For sale from Danzig Militaria is this Kriegsmarine photo album containing 82 black and white pictures. It has the often-seen hammered effect binding on the outside with a Kriegsmarine breast eagle impressed onto the front, along with the wording Meine Dienstzeit – which means ‘my service’.

It opens with a picture of the owner in Kriegsmarine uniform and then appears to follow his service through training and serving in different locations. There are a number of pictures taken onboard ships whist at sea which add to the interest.

What is great about this album is the fact that owner has taken the time to write down the name of the locations on land where many of the photographs were taken. It is priced at €420.

Kriegsmarine photo album.
Front of the Kriegsmarine photo album.
Kriegsmarine photog album photograph
On the first page is a photograph of the owner of the album wearing a Kriegsmarine uniform.
Kriegsmarine ships at sea photographs
The album contains a number of pictures of ships at sea as well as on the dockside.
Kriegsmarine photograph album. Ships at sea.
Sailors on the bridge of the vessel and pictures of ships sailing in rough seas. Note the Kriegsmarine flag flying in two of the photos.

Luftwaffe Combat Photo Album

This photo album has the Luftwaffe flying eagle on the front and the wording kriegserinnerungen or ‘war memories’. This book contains 66 black and white photographs. These depict men in uniform – specifically serving in the Luftwaffe – but the album also includes many pictures of combat damage to places and vehicles.

It is for sale from RaskAntik and priced at €400.

Luftwaffe Photo Album
Luftwaffe Photo Album front cover. It has the distinctive flying eagle on the front.
Luftwaffe Photo Album photograph
One of the many interesting photographs in the Luftwaffe album. This one shows a huge aeroplane bomb, presumably as it is being prepared for loading onto a plane.
Luftwaffe photograph of a damaged bridge
Soldiers posing with a destroyed bridge in the background.
Photograph of Luftwaffe men standing beside a damaged tank
Luftwaffe men stand beside what appears to be a destroyed French tank.

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Normandy Coastal Artillery Photo Album

At first glance this next album is very similar to the previous one. It has the same colour and binding, as well as kriegserinnerungen written on the front. However, in place of the Luftwaffe eagle, there is a picture of a German helmet on it.

The photo album is packed with photographs of soldiers from a coastal artillery unit stationed in Normandy. There are a number of particularly interesting pictures, including men at the top of Pointe du Hoc and along the Normandy coastline. It includes beach photographs, bunkers, anti-aircraft guns and soldiers working on coastal defences in the Longues-sur-Mer area. That was a site attacked by the Allies on D-Day.

It is for sale from The Militaria Shop priced at £200.

WW2 German Coastal Artillery Photo Album
Front of the Coastal Artillery photo album. This time it has a steel helmet motif.
WW2 German Coastal Artillery Photo Album phorographs
Photos include anti-aircraft guns, group picture and a bunker entrance.
WW2 German Coastal Artillery Photo Album
Training and construction photographs are always interesting.
WW2 German Coastal Artillery Photo Album
Soldiers climbing at Pointe du Hoc, on the beach and bunkers.

The Militaria Shop logo

SS Photo Album

Some of the most difficult photo albums for collectors to find are ones attributed to units of the SS. For obvious reasons, many of the members of these units did not want to be associated with them at the end of the war, so countless albums will have been destroyed. This in turn means that when they do come onto the market, they can be expensive, especially if they are for an identifiable unit.

This SS 5th Panzer Division album contains 81 pictures in the album as well as an additional 10 pictures which are loose. Many of them show soldiers in uniform, others in combat situations or marching in columns, along with vehicles and some very identifiable locations.

It measures 32cm x 23cm and has the SS runes in a circle on the front. It is for sale from Military Tour priced at $1,195. You can view the uncensored pictured on their website.

WW2 - SS photo album front.
Front view of this SS Germania photo album – showing the SS Runes in a circle.
SS Germania photo album with high ranking officers.
Photographs of high ranking officers can make specific unit identification easier.
WW2 SS Germania photograph album.
Statues and other monuments in photographs help identify the location. Although it is unlikely that this huge eagle still exists today, the location should not be difficult to trace.
SS soldiers on parade.
These SS Soldiers on the march do not look very impressed at the cameraman taking their photograph.
WW2 SS Germania photo album.
A group of German officers pose for a picture. Knowing the unit involved can help in identifying the individual men.

Military Tour logo

A Mixed Album of SS and Luftwaffe Photographs

Although not common to find, there are two different uniformed men from different units who appear in this album. Perhaps the two servicemen in the photographs are brothers and one was serving with the Luftwaffe and the other was in the SS.

The album has 80 photographs in all and it seems to focus on family pictures and group shots. This suggests it may have been put together for other family members as it does not have a branch of service emblem on the front.

Available from Antiquities of the Reich for £175.

LW & SS Photo album
A plain cover disguises the more interesting contents.
One of the SS officers displayed in the album.
LW & SS Photo album couple.
A couple pose for the camera.
A LW & SS Photo album couple.
LW & SS Photo album couple. It has the air of being a staged studio photograph.
A LW officer in uniform.
A Luftwaffe officer relaxing with his girl.

Antiquities of the Reich logo

Or you can select only the photographs that interest you…

If you prefer to buy individual photographs there are plenty of WW2 German pictures available. This small group is part of a selection available from Malcolm Wagner Militaria. There is a selection of pictures, ranging from posed studio pictures to group shots of units, and others with soldiers in training. Prices range from £4 – £6 each.

Malcolm Wagner photos
Individual photos are readily available. This way you can choose your own subject matter and build up an interesting collection..

Malcolm Wagner Militaria

Interested in seeing some more WW2 paperwork ? CLICK HERE to see more.

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