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Battle of Arras 9

The Film


Plein écran


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Running Time
02 min 10 s

British Topical Committee for War Films

British forces, chiefly 7th and 29th Divisions, on the first day of the Somme offensive, Western Front, 1 July 1916. The film shows the preparatory bombardment for the days before the attack. The bombardment, shown in the opening reels, is by a variety of guns from a giant 1 5-inch howitzer to trench mortars.

The classic First World War film in every sense, widely used for stock shots even today. The only British official film to have a major impact on the perception of the war, both at the time and in historical terms. Also the only official film of the war with a claim to be regarded as great art in its own right. The unprecedented and unexpected public success of this film established cinema as a remainder of the war.


Trench Mortar, Valenciennes Getting a Howitzer into Position on the Canadian Front, [ca. 1918] Positioning the Heavies

Other Materials

The Withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line

The Canal du Nord and Bourlon Wood