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August Offensive 5

The Film











Running Time
09 min 41 s

Canadian War Records Office, Ministry of Information

Once again, the extraordinary variety of guns employed at the front is clear in this clip. We can appreciate the hard work a gun crew did, but what is not visible is the danger the gunners faced. The enemy, like the Canadians (but not as effectively), maintained elaborate counter-battery operations that aimed to spot the Allied guns and neutralize them. Balloons were used to watch for the flash and gun positions were triangulated. Sound ranging was another location method, and skilled counter-battery work could pinpoint a gun in under three minutes and deliver heavy explosives within a few metres of the position. Guns were also vulnerable to air attack, and soon camouflage netting was employed to break up a gun’s outline. Similarly, as the war wore on, shell fuses became more sophisticated—some were designed to bore into the ground, some to explode on contact with the ground, and some to explode as soon as they touched barbed wire, ideally cutting gaps through which attacking infantry could move.


Anti-aircraft Precautions Being Maintained Gun In Action at Angres, Lens front.  Left to right: G. Compton, Dyment ?, Stewart ?, ?, D. MacDonald, 1917 Artillery Training

Other Materials

The Expanding Allied Offensive

Teaching Materials

Sounds like Field Guns