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Title:COMBINED PLATOON TRAINING ON ASH RANGE [Main Title]
Film Number:IWM 407
Summary: A practice assault by a platoon of 7th Battalion, the London Regiment, on a hypothetical enemy defence line, represented by the butts at Ash Range, Aldershot, probably about 1920.
Description: Each move in the assault is shown twice, as an animated diagram, then as actuality material. The defence is a thinly-held forward position, a main position, and a redoubt or final position, at about 50 yard intervals from each other (there are no troops manning these in the exercise) and the attack is essentially frontal. The platoon consists of four sections: a Lewis gun section with one Lewis machine gun, a rifle section, a rifle grenadier section and a specialist bomber section (with particular skills in hand grenade use). In the first phase the Lewis gun section scouts reconnoitre along the woodland to the flank of the enemy position, and on spotting the enemy at 700 yards signal to the platoon commander. He comes up to reconnoitre personally, then brings his section commanders, while the remainder of the Lewis gun section joins its scouts in their flanking position. There is a series of ridges running at regular intervals from side to side of the range concealing the deployment of the platoon. It moves out in 'artillery formation' of single-rank columns of sections. As it comes within sight of the enemy at 700 yards two of the sections deploy into extended line, with the rifle grenadier section in line a further 100 yards behind them and the platoon commander between the two lines. At 400 yards from the enemy the front line of two sections goes to ground and, together with the Lewis gun section, opens fire. The rifle grenadiers come forward to support the firing line by spreading evenly along it. The firing line advances in short rushes, one-third of the line moving at a time, until it is 200 yards from the enemy. The Lewis gun section now advances until it is as near as is possible directly opposite the enemy flank, and resumes fire. Under cover from the Lewis gun section and its rifle grenades the platoon charges the enemy first position. With this taken, the platoon re-sorts itself back into sections, with the rifle grenadiers in the centre, and charges the enemy main position. As this is taken the rifle grenadiers remain in it to provide covering fire for the assault on the final position. Once this is secured the Lewis gun section comes forward with three specialist bombers to provide an advance guard while the platoon collects itself. The commander marks with a pickaxe on the ground the new line he intends to consolidate.
Production Details: British Army, Territorial Army (Production sponsor)
War Office (Production sponsor)
Baron Hartley (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army, London Regiment, 7th Battalion (regiment/service)
Keywords: training, British military - combat: [+] (object name)
weapons, British - smallarm: Lewis machine gun (object name)
GB, England & Aldershot, Hants <Ash Range> (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: 798 ft; Running time: 14 mins
Notes: Remarks: a very attractive and entertaining little training film. The tactics used in both attack and defence are authentic representations of those in use in the last year of the First World War