Battle of Verdun; 1916.
Heavy artillery: various shots of guns and shells exploding. Includes back view huge gun with camouflage paint; rotating; side view another gigantic French gun; only part of its long barrel showing; a gun hidden in haystack; etc. MS as French soldiers consult map. Shot looking down at several French soldiers digging around entrance of dugout. MS one man inside crevasse; drilling (?) into rock as another stands smoking pipe; they come out; a sort of hose stretches from cave upwards and off screen. MS as French soldier crouches looking into hole in a wall. Shot looking through hole with jagged edges out at desolate burned battlefield. Same soldier inserts something into hole.
Large explosion in distance. (Not certain if that had anything to do with the activities in the previous shots – they may have been mining an enemy position). Shot looking down at a few soldiers in crevasse. CU soldier’s arm with wristwatch; held up to tell the time. Several soldiers stand bent over behind wall of sandbags (shaky camera due to shelling). Shot of soldiers’ feet running. MS as soldier stands in parapet looking through binoculars. Wide shot empty flat field. MS man with binoculars. Next; soldiers walk through tunnel towards camera and disappear up steps in foreground on right. Shot of gun peeking out of snow-covered concrete bunker.
MS German prisoners being brought in; walking through misty woods. Group of prisoners and one French guard stand together. Prisoners walk past line of French soldiers; first Prisoner of War breaks into grin. Wide shot; shells explode in distance. Tangled mess of stuff hanging down into bombed dugout. At fortress German POWs push cart with wounded man. Many prisoners march by on other side of barbed wire fence. MS 2 POWs; 1 scoops boiling water from big can over fire; pours it into smaller container. Line of POWs enter stockade-fenced in area; joining many other Germans inside. Closer shot some of POWs lying on ground sleeping. Various shots French President Raymond Poincare & Prince Alexander of Serbia touring camp; with them Joffre; etc. Prince Alexander talks to French officer.
2 French soldiers unload shells from wagon; assembly line style. Huge gun silhouetted against sky. French troops wait in trench in woods; then start to move out to attack. Troops run past ruins. Many mixed-up shots in quick succession follow. Lookout with binoculars. Wide shots; explosion. Troops running across wide field. Troops carry wounded back to same ruins. intense fire on ground from flame throwers. Group of soldiers take cover behind mounds / in shell craters; some throw grenades or smoke bombs; others keep low. They then advance in short bursts. Next; shots panning on desolate battlefield: big piles of rubble; burnt tree stubs. A few men walk past abandoned artillery equipment. Wide shot soldiers running in distance. Others walking across smoky field. Soldiers crouch behind rocky hills in area already decimated by battle; firing rifles; smoke blowing around. CU German POW eating bread. French artillery team firing big gun; they use small crane to move the heavy shells. Side view another gun firing. MS soldier poses with big shell; on it is written A ta Sante! (To your health). Shot from just behind huge gun. Series of big explosions in distance. Series of gigantic rail-mounted guns firing. Next; 2 soldiers running up steep hill toward camera. Pan on cave mouths / shell holes in big rock wall. A few men running over hills; past battered cliff (could this be what’s left of Fort Vaux?!?).
A VIDEO FROM BRITISH PATHÉ. EXPLORE OUR ONLINE CHANNEL, BRITISH PATHÉ TV. IT’S FULL OF GREAT DOCUMENTARIES, FASCINATING INTERVIEWS, AND CLASSIC MOVIES. http://www.britishpathe.tv/
FOR LICENSING ENQUIRIES VISIT http://www.britishpathe.com/
British Pathé also represents the Reuters historical collection, which includes more than 136,000 items from the news agencies Gaumont Graphic (1910-1932), Empire News Bulletin (1926-1930), British Paramount (1931-1957), and Gaumont British (1934-1959), as well as Visnews content from 1957 to the end of 1984. All footage can be viewed on the British Pathé website. https://www.britishpathe.com/