- Title: STORMING A BRIDGE AT ZIGON [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: FUB 53
- Other titles: BRITISH ARMY OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: At the village of Zigon, four miles west of Shwebo in central Burma, British troops storm a bridge with the support of tanks and artillery.
- Description: Lee tank of 3rd Carabiniers (254th Indian Tank Brigade) advancing past camera. Lee on road frame left, infantry moving up along the roadside; the area is wooded with open ground. Troops, probably of 4th Brigade, 2nd Division, advance through a field growing waist high. British soldier sprints along a road (or irrigation channel?). More British soldiers follow carrying a Vickers machine gun. Another soldier approaches camera with ammunition boxes; Lee tank in background. Troops moving up; they are hunched over. Lee tank passes with turret traversed right. Close-up of tracks and running gear as the tank passes. Pan; tank stationary with troops prone looking towards the enemy. Troops cross a stream; the light reflects on the surface. Bren light machine gunner prone by tree. Stationary Lee with British soldier foreground. The Lee fires its 37mm gun. Bren gunner with his weapon in the aim. Flight of birds passing. Group of British (officers?) conferring. Soldier with binoculars. Odd shot of a boot and gaiter. Looking towards enemy position; debris scatters into shot and smoke rises in a treeline in the distance. Lee firing its coaxial machine gun. Barrel of the Lee's 75mm gun; the gun fires and the camera jumps. Two men carry a spool of signal wire. Universal carrier with troops prone nearby; pan to a number of troops behind two stationary Lees. Lee tank named 'Barnsley'; fast pan to troops firing a 2-inch mortar. Shots of troops running hard across open ground at a bridge. Smoke screen spreading. Troops advancing forward of the tanks. Troops rush across the bridge. More troops rush across open ground and over the bridge. A casualty is helped along and a wound to his lower right leg is dressed. The wounded man has a therapeutic cigarette. A stretcher is put together and the wounded man put onto it; a red cross is clearly seen on one of the men's haversacks. The man is carried away. Engineers searching the road surface of the bridge with a metal detector. A mine is unearthed. Shot of the bridge. The disarmed mine is handled by a Royal Engineer officer. A thoroughly spectacular shot of the evening sun bursting through the branches of a tree as troops walk along a road in the foreground. Two Lees pass in the dusty evening light; a motorcyclist rides the other way. A Sherman tank passes camera.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1945-01-09
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: War Office Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor) SEAC Film Unit (Production company) Govan, Harold WilliamBritish Army sergeant-cameraman with South East Asia Command Film Unit (British) and No.9 Army Film & Photographic Unit, formerly Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment), service number 7662913, BEM in London Gazette 37576 published 21 May 1946, pg 2. (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: British Army, 3rd Carabiniers (Prince of Wales's Dragoon Guards) (regiment/service) Indian Army, 254th Indian Tank Brigade (regiment/service) British Army, 2nd Division (regiment/service) British Army, 4th Infantry Brigade (regiment/service)
- Keywords: Shwebo, Burma (geography) Zigon, Burma (nr Shwebo) (geography) Advance to the Irrawaddy 1945, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event) Shwebo 1945, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Silent
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 1 Footage: 493 ft; Running time: 6 mins
- Notes: Brief, but a superb piece of combat film nonetheless. The enemy's presence, though not seen, is very much felt, there are a number of highly dynamic and illustrative shots, and some striking composition. The dopesheet for this film describes in detail the operations seen in this film. It remarks, almost apologetically, that 'All the action in these pictures was shot under enemy fire on more or less open ground. - hence lack of close-up material during the first 250ft'. Corresponding stills taken by Sergeant Watson, held by the Imperial War Museum Photograph Archive can be found at the reference below. See related items.
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