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Title:WAR OFFICE OFFICIAL TOPICAL BUDGET 353-2 (long fragment) [Main Title]
Film Number:IWM 1061-02c
Other titles:PICTORIAL NEWS (OFFICIAL) 353-2 (long fragment) [Alternative Title]
Summary: I. Newsreel item on Italian troops practising attacks, Italian Front, summer 1918
II. Newsreel item on the French air ace Sub-Lieutenant René Fonck, Western Front, May 1918.
III. Newsreel item showing British soldiers eating bread and jam "with proverbial coolness", Western Front, May 1918.
Description: The troops (described as in action, but quite clearly training) practise rushing forward from slit trench to slit trench, directed by umpires. They throw their smoke grenades into the opposing trenches. They then practise "clearing out rat holes", checking the captured trenches for enemy-held dugouts.
Fonck "recently" (on 9th May) shot down six German aircraft in 90 minutes. He is shown putting on his flying helmet, then posed in the seat of his Spad 13, which takes off.
The troops, some of them Scottish, sit, rest and eat in open country. According to the caption, they are expressing indifference to the forthcoming German attack.
Production Details: Ministry of Information (Production sponsor)
Topical Film Company (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Fonck, René Paul (person)
Royal Italian Army (regiment/service)
British Army (regiment/service)
Keywords: training, Italian military - combat (object name)
aircraft, French - combat: Spad 13 (object name)
operations, French air - sortie (object name)
society, British military - sustenance (object name)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Silent
Soundtrack language: None
Title language: None
Subtitle language: English
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 431 ft; Running time: 7 mins
Notes: Production: see IWM 651a and IWM 1061-01 for production details
Summary: note that another version of story III is IWM 1055a and, in a French language version, IWM 675c. The item on Fonck comes from the French ANNALES DE LA GUERRE newsreel, issue 61 (IWM 508-61)
Technical: this fragment is currently held on the same reel as IWM 1061-02a-d, the can is marked as IWM 1061-02
Remarks: story III represents a rather extreme example of the British attempt to cover the absence of good film taken during the German offensives of spring 1918