Montage of scenes related to European mobilization and preparations for World War I, from 1914 through 1919, plus brief views of Mark VIII tank maneuvers, circa 1924. Patriotic French citizens fill a street as France mobilizes for World War 1. Italian soldiers marching to war through a town. British King George V seen with Prime Minister David Lloyd George and other British officials. British First Lord of Admiralty, Winston Churchill poses and "mugs" for camera. British troops being transported along a country road on double-decker buses and slogging through the mud in France. Two French soldiers join the line of "tommies" to be photographed, and then step out of line to watch. King George V with Field Marshal Douglas Haig, and other officers, next to their automobiles in field, during the King's visit to his troops in 1916. The King and British officers observe tests of Mark IV tank, circa 1917. Scene shifts to August 10, 1916 showing the Prince of Wales and King George V, accompanied by Field Marshal Douglas Haig, and other officers, observing the Battle of Pozières (in Battle of the Somme) from a safe distance, using a telescope. U.S. Army Mark VIII International Tanks in daytime and nighttime maneuvers (likely at Fort Meade, Maryland) circa 1924.
Victorious Allied troops walk behind a British Mark I tank (male) on a dirt road in France, after the battle of the Ancre at end of the 1916 Battle of the Somme, in World War 1. The troops appear relieved at the pause in hostilities and many cheer. Later, a large group of Allied troops relaxes and enjoys a meal of field rations, in a captured German position. A bonfire helps them keep warm. (Note: From British Government documentary "Battle of the Ancre and Advance of the tanks" shot during the 1916 Battle of the Ancre.)
Excerpts from British movie about World War One Battle of the Somme. Map shows area of the Battle of the Somme and points to the region of Montaubon siezed by the British 30th Division on July 1, 1916. British World War I forces are seen entering former German trenches and resting. They clean debris from the trenches under German artillery fire. German troops counterattack out of trenches and cross the battlefield to engage entrenched British infantry. British fire at them with Lewis machine guns. Both sides sustain casualties.
British soldiers during the Battle of Somme, World War I in France. German trenches bombarded on 1st July, 1916. Smoke rises. Soldiers of British Lancashire Fusiliers await instructions. Large group of British soldiers gathered and close-up views of the British soldiers, uniforms, and equipment being readied. Soldiers fix bayonets to their rifles and pass through communication trench to the first line. A huge mine blows up German trenches; view just after the explosion occurs (the Hawthorn Ridge Redoubt mine explosion). Royal Engineers arrive. A soldier looks through binoculars from behind sand mounds. British soldiers set up machine gun at the top of a trench parapet. Men at machine gun. Shrapnel bursts over German trench. British troops "go over the top" and launch an attack on German trenches under heavy enemy fire. Explosions occur but British soldiers continue to advance.
British South African Brigade in the Battle of the Somme in World War 1. Film opens showing shells bursting all along No man's land amongst fragments of trees. Explosions and smoke everywhere. On July 18, 1916, Nine German Battalions deploy to drive the South African Brigade from the Delville Wood. Several soldiers of the Brigade seen entrenched in a sand-bagged position as a German shell explodes only yards from them. German soldiers advance through the broken trees and brush, while under fire by British gunners using Vickers machine guns. Some German soldiers falling and others seeking cover in abandoned trench. A line of South African troops firing their rifles from a trench, as several German soldiers reach them and are shot dead just feet away. A British soldier is shot while climbing out of a trench containing several fallen comrades. Other British (or South African) troops scrambling to find a safer place. One crawling across the ground. A British gunner firing a Lewis gun. German troops starting to go over-the-top, from their trench. British soldiers advancing. German gunner firing Maxim gun from fortified position, as shells burst in the distant background. A horizontal line of British troops advancing toward the German position. Some are cut down by the machine gun fire. German gunner firing a captured British Vickers machine gun. British soldiers hunkered down in a deep shell hole behind a ridge. They use their trenching tools to dig in deeper. Several German shells burst in the air. Two British soldiers watch as a tank approaches through the smoke. Large numbers of British troops attack downhill through smoke and haze. German soldiers preparing to defend an occupied structure, as more British troops charge forward. Post-battle view of the area, with fallen soldiers marked by rifles stuck in the ground with helmets on them.
From "The Battle of the Somme." British Army at the Battle of Somme in France during World War 1. British infantry and cavalry units wait to move forward and get into trenches near Fricourt Mametz in France. At Bray platoons of Buff, Bedford, Suffolk and a battalion of Royal Welish Fusiliers lined up and march forward. Cavalry units also move forward. French farmers in fields, they tend the artillery horses and make them drink water. A General stands with a live fox in his arms (or possibly a slender dog), as soldiers stand beside and behind him in the background.