Feature Drama | 1920 | Silent | B/W
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A Drama of The Battle of the Somme during World War One.
"Further to the south, before Montauban, the British & French swept on irresistibly" Soldiers amongst ruins being bombarded. Shooting in a field British soldiers running in the trenches. A few German troops are surrendering in their trench. "For the 1st time in many weary months the British guns moved forward." Troops are attaching wagons of field guns to horses, all riding over the horizon. "British had bitten deep into the 'impregnable’ German position" The map of advancement is shown.
In the trenches, British troops are walking over bodies, bandaging the wounded, reading, resting, a wounded soldier falls over, another is dead "THE SIGN OF LOVE VALLEY" Someone is lying under ruins." For the next two weeks there was fierce fighting for positions from which to launch our 2nd general attack.. Desperate German counter attacks followed every gain at Contalmaison.." At the trenches, pilling sand bags, trying to make contact to base" The line's broken, mend it quick! there's a counter attack coming!" Both sides being shot, The Germans in the field, The British in the trench.
The Germans fighting against hunger and thirst are sending one troop to the field to fetch water. Under bombardment he finds a muddy water source and almost brings some in a bucket, but he gets shot on the way. "The time came for the second general attack, but a daylight assault in full view of the enemy, up the long bare slopes of Catterpillar Valley towards the Bazentines and Delville Wood invites disaster. The British decided on a supreme attack by night...which made military history!
Exchange of British and French commanders. "On the night 13/14th of July... strong covering parties shielded the silent assembly in No Man's Land ".
Troops are creeping up the hill, one is picking up his knife, the Germans at camp, British advancing at night time, watching over the trench, waiting for the ZERO hour. The attack: Out from the trenches, gun light flashes, they run onto the barbed wire, cutting through the wires, some fall on the way, messages are cabled from the bunker(in hand writing):reports from observers 13th/15th Corps intelligence state, the German 2nd line is in our hands along whole objective stop We hold Bargentine le Grand and Bargentine le Petit and have obtained a footing in Delville Wood message ends A.A.A.
"Delville Wood was assigned to the South Africans, on the 17th of July they were exhausted and short of ammunition" British troops are walking between the dead, checking pockets, one is shaking off a S.A. soldier "they are all around us, shoot astreight Jong!" "On the night of the 17th they were drenched with gas..hours of high explosive shells fell at the rate of 400 a minute".
[now extremely bad quality picture, faint showing smoke £ bombardment]
"13th of July early morning, the Germans sent nine Battalions to sweep the remnants of the S.A. brigade from the wood."
Machine gun. Soldiers die. "The wood's stiff with them. The more we kill, the thicker they come"
While one is still shooting, the trench gets filled with bodies, he notices and climbs out, then joins them.
"The German attack failed. A dauntless handful of S.A. held on at Prince Street until relief arrived."
"At Delville Wood on 20th July 1916, Corporal T.W.H. Veale of the 8th Devonshire Regiment won the Victoria Cross". Re-enacted and told by Veale himself; "I was digging in me Lewis-gun post when I saw an arm wave at No-man's land - it's one of our chaps hurt. I'm going out to him." With a pomme granite (sic) in his hand, under bombardment he crawled up to him. He discovered it was one of the officers. he dragged him to a safer place, gave him water and went to get more help. "Corporal Allen and Private Lavers who came to help got shot by the Germans. So I went back for my Lewis gun"
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