Emil Ranzenhofer was a patriotic Austrian and on September 18, 1915, he volutneered for the K.u.K. Kriegspressequartier Kunst Gruppe. His military records, consisting of more than 35 pages of handwritten documentation, are in the Kriegsarchiv in Vienna. These documents have been translated and yield more specific information about his work during the war.
Most of his artwork dated from 1914 to1918 deals with WWI. His etchings, pencil sketches, charcoals, watercolors, postcards, (designed for the K.u.K. Kriegsfursorgeamtes and the Rotes Kruz series and published by B.K.W.I), posters, and “ExLibris Dankl’s” all depict war scenes. Many of these eighty-five original sketches contain hand written notations German script. Scenes depicted are of Serbia, Croatia, Herzegovina, Sarajevo, and the Tyrol. Often his works were used to promote the war effort.
In his obituary published in the Neues Wiener Tagblatt; October 14, 1930; it states that he was almost full time at the front during the war.