These days, you can load up Google (or Bing) Maps and get a satellite image of anywhere on the planet, and our armies use terrifyingly effective high-flying drones. So it can be amazing to remember that just under 100 years ago, the very idea of aerial photography was still novel, especially for military use.

But the Great War changed quite a bit about warfare, and brought many new technologies to the battlefield, like the planes and cameras that enabled the taking of this photo of Morval and Bouleaux Wood, in the north of France, taken on Sept. 21, 1916, four days before the location would be the stage of a major attack during the Battle of the Somme.

Find more historical WWI documents at Operation War Diary!