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August Offensive 4

The Film











Running Time
09 min 06 s

Canadian War Records Office, Ministry of Information

The Great War was an artilleryman’s war. Shellfire was the major killer of the enemy, and great effort was put into developing different guns for different tasks. Field artillery was drawn by horses, fired a light explosive shell, and was usually found relatively close to the trenches. Medium and heavy artillery fired from farther back, dropping a large high explosive or shrapnel shell on enemy positions. Howitzers and trench mortars lobbed a shell at a high trajectory, ideally plunging fire right onto enemy trench lines. And huge numbers of men worked the guns. The teamwork required to aim, load, and fire is immediately evident in this clip. Although this is British film footage, the Canadian artillery used the same guns and techniques.


Soldiers Operate a Gun at a WW1 Training Camp, Valcartier, Québec, 1914 A 60-pounder Breech-loading Gun at a WW1 Training Camp, Valcartier, Quebec, 1914 Getting a Howitzer into Position on the Canadian Front, [ca. 1918]

Other Materials

The Expanding Allied Offensive

Teaching Materials

Sounds like Field Guns