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28 Apocalyptic Pictures From The Front Lines Of World War I

From 1914 to 1918, civilization was locked in a horrific world war, a conflict that would leave over 17 million dead and some 7.5 million displaced.

Posted on April 6, 2017, at 5:04 p.m. ET

A. R. Coster / Getty Images

An American soldier shakes hands with a child as troops parade through the streets of London before leaving for the front lines in 1917.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

A group of American soldiers along the Western Front fire a 37-mm gun at the German position in France on April 3, 1918.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Breaking through the Hindenburg line in the Argonne, an American soldier snapped this picture of an abandoned trench and a lone skeleton at its entrance, circa 1917.

Imagno / Getty Images

A firefight takes place on the banks of Poland's Dunajec river in this hand-colored lantern slide from around 1914.

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German soldiers in gas masks fire an anti-aircraft gun against incoming low-flying airplanes in 1916.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images
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Left: An unidentified soldier shows off the latest advances in body armor, circa 1915. Right: A German cavalryman wearing a gas mask and carrying a long spear highlights the collision of two different ages of war.

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A victim's dismembered hand lies on a battlefield in the north of France, 1916.

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A French section of machine gunners takes position in the ruins during the battle of the Aisne in 1917.

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British searchlights reveal a colossal German zeppelin quietly looming in the night sky during a bombing raid in 1916.

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Left: British SE-5s are locked in aerial combat with German Fokker D7s, circa 1915. Right: A German soldier parachutes from an observation balloon after it had been destroyed by enemy action in 1918.

Iwm / Getty Images

British soldiers with bayonets fight in the trenches on the Western Front of Cambrai in 1917.

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A wounded soldier is photographed with and without a facial prosthesis in 1914.

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A fort in Przemysl, Poland, is shown in complete ruins after an enemy bombardment, circa 1915.

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A British tank advances on the Western Front in 1917.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

French troops with bayonets and primitive gas masks prepare for combat in the second Battle of Ypres in 1915.

Iwm / Getty Images

A Vickers machine gun team from Britain's Machine Gun Corps use PH anti-gas helmets to protect themselves from chemical weapons near Ovillers, during the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

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A sergeant of a Royal Engineers signals section puts a note into the cylinder attached to the collar of a messenger dog in August 1918.

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French troops take cover from shellfire during the Battle of Verdun in 1916.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

A group of soldiers inspect the aftermath of an artillery strike on horse-drawn German ambulances in 1915.

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Left: British soldiers blinded by chlorine gas are led through a military encampment in 1918. Right: A wounded American soldier receives first aid at Varennes-en-Argonne in September 1918.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Medical workers bandage the wounded in a Belgian military camp hospital, circa 1916.

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Servicemen attend the mass funeral in Cobh, Ireland, of the victims of the Lusitania disaster during 1915. The Cunard liner was torpedoed by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland and sank, killing 1,198 people aboard.

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A service is held in Hoboken, New Jersey, for American soldiers who died on the battlefields of France, circa 1920.

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Supporting troops of the 1st Australian Division walk on a duckboard track near Hooge, in the Ypres Sector, in October 1917.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.