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Summary: General British film on the uses and value of the Mark IV tank, probably at the Tank Corps Training School at Etaples, 1917 (?).
Description: The tanks, Males and Females, are all unarmed and instead of battalion numbers carry large training numbers on their noses. Firstly a pan over the instructing officers in front of two of the tanks. At the "tankodrome" the parked tanks start up, emitting a lot of smoke. The Male 416 demonstrates its ability to plunge into a deep crater and emerge slowly on the far side. Female 57 climbs over a steep bank half its own height and protected by barbed wire. The school staff doing physical training. The Male 418 in an open wood pushing over two thin trees. Three tanks emerge over the crest of a hill. View from the right-hand sponson of a tank as it travels downhill, showing the tracks churning up the ground. A wave of six tanks in very close column of twos emerges over a ridge. Male 454 comes down a very steep slope to rest. Female 108, tilted at a steep angle in a trench, shows how it can escape using an unditching beam. A crew demonstrates action if its tank is disabled, rushing out of the tank to set up a belt-fed Hotchkiss machine gun. "A tank charge" of about twenty tanks in two waves, very close together, comes over the crest of the ridge. A line abreast of Female tanks at close intervals crushes a deep barbed wire entanglement, as smoke shells explode around them. Finally Male 454 comes down one side of a steep slope and up the other, almost on top of the camera, as the film abruptly ends.
Production Details: War Office Cinema Committee (Production sponsor)
Topical Film Company (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army, Tank Corps, Training School (regiment/service)
Keywords: training, British military - specialist: tanks (object name)
armour, British - tank: Tank Mark IV Male & [+] (object name)
armour, British - tank: Tank Mark IV Female & [+] (object name)
weapons, British - smallarm: Hotchkiss automatic rifle (object name)
01/3(4-15).6 (?) (event)
Tank Training School, Étaples, Pas-de-Calais, France (geography)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Silent
Soundtrack language: None
Title language: English
Subtitle language: English
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 870 ft; Running time: 15 mins
Notes: Technical: the previously designated second reel of this film is now held as a P 2 version, being a partial duplicate
Remarks: impressive and entertaining examples of tank movement marred by the tank formations being far too close together and by the tanks being clearly unarmed