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Title:MODERN WARFARE IN CHINA 1924-1925 [Main Title]
Film Number:IWM 712
Summary: Russian-made film of the advance of the forces of Marshal Chang Tso-Lin, warlord of Mukden, south towards Nanking, 1924-1925.
Description: Chang's Army of Fengtien, with Russian assistance, advances down the coast of the Gulf of Chihli, the territory of the warlord Wu Pei-Fu of Peking. Most of the battle sequences are clearly reconstructions after the event. The film opens (Reel 1) with a portrait still of Chang Tso-Lin, and then portrait shots of his senior commanders: Chang Hsuh-Liang of the Air Force, Chang Tsung-Ch'ang of the Army, and Wu Tsi-Sheng, commander of the Northern Cavalry Group. There is a review of the forces. The Air Force has Breguet Type 14 fighters and an amphibian. The Air Force Chief of Staff is Colonel Yao, but the "pioneer" is a Russian, Lieutenant-Colonel Koodlaienko. The Army trains for battle. Most of its equipment is Russian or Russian-derived, notably its guns, which are French 75mm field guns of Russian surplus and Russian 76.2mm mountain howitzers. Heavy mortars are carried on mules. There are both regular Cavalry and Mongol horsemen. They march past Chang Tsung-Ch'ang. General Lou has a detachment of swordsmen. (Reel 2) The men play with toboggans. The leaders of First Army are General King (Mongolian, Chief of Staff), General Chu as Army commander, General Netchaieff as Russian adviser, General Chen, General Pi, Colonel Hsu (commanding 55th Infantry, the main fighting force) Colonel Tchehoff (sic) 1st Brigade Chief of Staff, Colonel Makaerenko, 1st Brigade second in command, and Colonel Kostroff the battery commander. A reconstruction of the Army's attack on the Great Wall of China, defended by enemy troops. The advance continues to the sea at Chinwangtoo. The men, some brandishing German Bergmann submachine guns (?) watch the shoreline. On 24th November 1924 the Army enters Tientsin, which is shown in detail. (Reel 3) An alert by an outpost scout (acted) brings on an encounter battle with Infantry rushes, supported by the guns and Maxim machine guns (the Maxim jams repeatedly). The Mongol horsemen and mortar crews move up. Colonel Chu leads 55th Regiment forward, and the enemy surrenders. The horsemen pursue and patrol. The Army occupies the next village where Chang Tsung-Ch'ang shakes hands with the local leaders. (Reel 4) There are further battles (also reconstructions) at Shanhaikwan and Lankow, with the Russian Artillery support proving decisive. (Reel 5 - marked as 6) Chang Tsung-Ch'ang arrives by train at Tsing-Hsien to review the Army. His soldiers entrain for the advance to Nanking. A river crossing by pontoon is shown. At Lankow 1st Brigade builds an armoured train, which is then shown in the fighting at Potuchen station, along with the other troops. Finally an enemy shell bursts on the track ahead of the train splitting the rail. The men repair the track and give some first aid to casualties. The horsemen and guns continue the advance. The film ends at this point with portrait shots of the two cameramen, Colonel Grinevsky and Lieutenant-Colonel Garutso.