Wartime

Wartime

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Canadians Advance Near Cambrai 2

The Film

Year
1918

Running Time
09 min 03 s

Producer
Canadian War Records Office, Ministry of Information

The advances of the Hundred Days finally gave the cavalry a chance to play the role for which it was intended. There was something glorious about a cavalry regiment, its pennant flying, its officers and men carefully aligned and well-mounted. But the cavalry’s day was done, and by 1918 the tanks, in all their many varieties, were replacing the horses. These extraordinary shots show the variety and uses of tanks by the autumn of 1918—supply tanks, tanks carrying troops, tanks armed with guns or with machine guns on their sides, and even tanks used in construction. What is striking is how high the tank silhouette was, how slow the armoured beasts moved and, although this is not illustrated, how frequently the tanks broke down in the field. Moreover, by 1918, the tanks could readily be destroyed by German gunners or determined infantry. The staged scene of a tank attacking a bunker is the way the tank was supposed to be, but only rarely was, employed.


Pieces of History

Canada's Mounted Troops

Military Logistics of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914–1919


Images

Horses and Chargers of Various Units Watering on the March The Tank Makes Its Appearance at the Somme Battle-scarred But Victorious Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade Waiting Alongside Arras-Cambrai Road, September, 1918

Other Materials

The Canal du Nord and Bourlon Wood


Teaching Materials

Sounds Like Tanks

Sounds Like Machine Guns