A photojournalist’s quest to capture the world’s most historic battlefields.
After a distinguished and death-defying career documenting conflicts around the world, Paris-based photojournalist Yan Morvan decided to seek out the scenes of the most important battles in history. Positioning his vintage 8 × 10 Deardorff view camera to capture the perspective of the soldier on the front lines, Morvan aimed to show how wars have scarred—or otherwise left imprints on—landscapes across four different continents. The result of his decadelong quest is Battlefields (Abbeville Press, 2018), a monumental volume with more than 400 photographs of 238 historic battlefields (including the selections shown in these pages). Morvan thinks of his book as a memorial to all those who have fought and died on the battlefield. “From Carthage to Austerlitz to Verdun,” he says, “the accumulation of ruins traces the deeds of humanity, covered over by the silence of nature.”
This article appears in the Winter 2019 issue (Vol. 31, No. 2) of MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History with the headline: Grounds for War