- Title: MULES FOR THE BURMA FRONT [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: JFU 149
- Other titles: BRITISH ARMY OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: At a Remount Depot and Veterinary Hospital, mules are treated and trained ready for service on the Burma front.
- Description: A line of mules; each is held by an Indian muleteer. A British officer, presumably of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps or Royal Indian Army Service Corps (RIASC), inspects a mule. He reaches into its mouth. Two men at a portable field forge for heating branding irons. A farrier takes an iron from the forge and uses it to brand a mule's hoof with a regimental number. Mules are harnessed; one animal refuses the harness before calming down. Mules being exercised on a circular track. A mule has a metal clamp put into its mouth to enable a vet to extract a tooth. More footage of the mules being exercised. A vet takes a blood spot from a mule's ear in order to test for surra, a potentially fatal disease caused by a blood-borne protozoa. The blood spot is examined under a microscope and the mule innoculated as a precaution. A mule is shoed by a blacksmith. More footage of the mules being exercised, including a low shot of mules running towards (and over) the camera. The mules are harried along by two Sikhs on horseback.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1944
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: War Office Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor) SEAC Film Unit (Production company) Brown, T V (Production individual) Higgins, K G (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army, Royal Army Veterinary Corps (regiment/service) Indian Army, Royal Indian Army Service Corps (regiment/service)
- Keywords: Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event) Burma 1942-1945 (theme) British Army 1939-1945 (theme)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Silent
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 1 Footage: 439 ft; Running time: 5 mins
- Notes: Mules such as these were an important component in the Allied logistical system due to the scarcity and poor quality of Burma's roads and railways, the limited possibilities of supply by river or sea, and the inherently limited capacity of aerial supply. Generally speaking, a mule could carry a load in the region of 200lbs (100 kilos), a weight roughly equivalent to the combat load of three infantrymen. The injection seen being administered may be of the drug nagonol. Surra affected 17% of Allied pack animals in 1942, but had been cut to just 2% during 1944-45 as a result of improved animal management. The Japanese by contrast were apparently unable to control surra so effectively, a fact that compounded their logistical difficulties from 1944. These details from the reference below. No date on dopesheet and no slates.
- Link to IWM Collections page:
Related IWM Collections Objects:
JFU 126 (EVACUATION OF "SPECIAL FORCE" MULES AND MEN BY WATERBORNE CRAFT MADE ESPECIALLY FOR THE OCCASION [Allocated Title])