Level of description:
Peters Photographic Collection
1944 – 1945
BL/P/P are the military photographs with associated documents, donated to the Boole Library Archives Service by Mr. K.C. Condon, the brother in law of Major C.M.D. Peters. The photographs and associated documents relate to the period 1944 –1945 when Major (then Captain) Peters was a Supply Officer with the American First Army during the Allied invasion of Germany. Donated in 1998, the photographs had been removed by Mr. Condon (acting on his brother in law’s instructions), from his home in Oxford where they had been since the end of Major Peters tour of duty.
CONTENT AND STRUCTURE
The photographs are listed in the order in which Major Peters kept them. It was felt unwise to rearrange them in strictly chronological order, lest the original order reflect the development and maintenance of certain supply lines. Each photograph has been individually described on Description Analysis Sheets which detail the content, size and annotations etc of the photographs.
The photographs consist of 3 main series. Firstly - 18 shots of soldiers about their daily activities and views of the often bomb damaged landscapes they passed through. Some of these are marked "Confidential until reclassified by censor". No shots of actual fighting or other such military engagements are extant. The second series comprises of photographs taken inside Buchenwald Concentration Camp at the time of its liberation by the US First Army. These 17 photographs are particularly harrowing in the scenes they depict. The final series of 80 photographs are of army maps, generally on a scale of 1:100,000, which have superimposed on them details of supply lines and depots. The maps, all individually dated between August 1944 and April 1945, show the advance of the American forces towards Germany in the closing stages of World War II. It is difficult however to pinpoint exact geographical locations as the details of the original maps are blurred in most of the photographs.
Kept in association with the photographs was a small file of documents and memorabilia gathered by Major Peters. These include a short typescript report on the background to and conditions inside Buchenwald Concentration Camp (BL/P/P 116 a) which details transports to and deaths of prisoners there.
Also featured is a spoof document "Operation Overboard Appreciation" lampooning Operation Overlord. This details the military strategy behind the proposed invasion of Europe declaring "In the interests of security this operation should not be divulged to any person inside Norfolk House and should not be taken outside Norfolk House". With tongue firmly in cheek, it is noted by the military strategists that "the cardinal principle prevails that any length of beach is too short to take the number of vehicles belonging to the number of divisions that will be necessary to assault such a length of beach". Point 17 of the plan is cheerfully optimistic " No account need be taken of enemy resistance since no account will be taken of our own resistance to the enemy and the two will cancel out exactly, obviously."
CONDITIONS OF ACCESS AND USE:
Access: Available by appointment with the Archives Service to holders of UCC Readers tickets.
Finding Aid: Descriptive List Click here for PDF (18.06KB)
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Author: Carol Quinn, Archivist, UCC Library, University College Cork
Last updated: 12 September 2016