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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Somme Film


keithmroberts

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here a link to an excellent film, made without the vast resources of the big TV companies, but using intelligent modern military historians to tell the story. Gordon Corrigan, jack Sheldon, Nigel cave among others, with comments by Taff Gillingham, and even a few erudite comments from Mr Butternut himself Peter Hart. It needs about an hour, and a couple of time the sound struggles, but it really is worth watching.

Keith

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Keith

Thank you for this. I've only had time to watch the first 20 minutes but what a refreshing change: narrative history, with informed, straightforward comment from people who know what they are talking about. I'm afraid it'll never catch on!

David

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here a link to an excellent film, made without the vast resources of the big TV companies, but using intelligent modern military historians to tell the story. Gordon Corrigan, jack Sheldon, Nigel cave among others, with comments by Taff Gillingham, and even a few erudite comments from Mr Butternut himself Peter Hart. It needs about an hour, and a couple of time the sound struggles, but it really is worth watching.

Keith

Thanks for this Keith. Have just finished watching and as you say it is very good. Some of the statements made were a bit surprising to me. Having just finished reading a couple of officers diaries, I was interested to hear that the British Army didn't have the same morale problems as their allies because the Tommies knew that they would spend only four days at the front in a month. This is contrary to most (but not all) of what I have read. I also didn't realise that fully twenty to thirty per cent of casualties were due to "friendly fire". Haven't read much about the Somme but my interest is increasing. Will watch the movie again anyway.

Thanks again,

Hazel

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Thanks for this Keith. Have just finished watching and as you say it is very good. Some of the statements made were a bit surprising to me. Having just finished reading a couple of officers diaries, I was interested to hear that the British Army didn't have the same morale problems as their allies because the Tommies knew that they would spend only four days at the front in a month. This is contrary to most (but not all) of what I have read. I also didn't realise that fully twenty to thirty per cent of casualties were due to "friendly fire". Haven't read much about the Somme but my interest is increasing. Will watch the movie again anyway.

Thanks again,

Hazel

Yes it was that figure for 'friendly fire' that surprised me the most too. Very interesting film all round

David

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I shall have to look at this film-it sounds fascinating. At the risk of generalising from the particular in regards to friendly fire, both of my great-uncles who died in the Great War were involved in serious 'blue on blue' incidents. My avatar, Cyril Evans, was present when 10th RWF were shot up by a battalion of the Essex Regiment as they were withdrawing from Delville Wood. Supposedly the Fusiliers lost more men to friendly fire than they did in the fighting in the wood itself, where they won two VCs. Private Jack Hone, of 1st Royal Warwicks, a pre-war regular, was almost certainly killed by Royal Artillery shorts falling on the start line of his battalion's last attack of the war on 24th October 1918. The War Diary comments that almost all of the unit's 95 casualties in the attack were caused in this way. How was the figure of 25-30% derived? Might it even, horribly, be an underestimate as 'friendly fire' is one of those phenomena of war that everyone knows happens but no-one likes to admit?

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Do not miss this! I have just sat down and watched the entire hour and will no doubt do it again. Erudite historians giving comprehensive explanations and analysis rather than a facile 'butchers, blunders, lions and donkeys'. The mixture of talking heads at the battle sites, re-enactors, archival footage and the evolution of tactics works really well. The appraisal of Haig's contribution to the war effort is well reasoned. A sophisticated, yet eminently watchable documentary that deserves a very wide audience.

Nice to see the very forthright P.J.A. Hart in a prominent role and what an enthusiastic presenter he is! Also, the man who bought Lochnagar Crater to save it from filling in describes its history and there are appearances from many many others. The contributions of Australian, Canadian, Scots, South Africans and Welsh units is well acknowledged.

Ideal to watch on a tablet, as the graphics are pretty poor on full screen and the sound sometimes plays on 1 speaker only and always trails the speaker by 0.5 second or so.

Thanks for posting the link, Keith. I only wish I had seen this when I was first starting my interest in WW1.

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Thank you Keith

That's tonight's viewing sorted out.

Maxi

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I immediately distrust anything that uses the word 'Truth' in its title thereby suggesting that the 'truth' lies within. At least it wasn't called 'The Untold Story'.

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Keith

Watched this excellent documentary last night and it certainly taught me a few things.

Thanks again.

Maxi

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So you wouldn't bother with a documentary called "The Hidden Truth of the Untold Secret Story...."? :whistle:

Not even if it was introduced by Dan Snow?

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