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Summary: An edition of the British official newsreel "War Pictorial News", produced by the Ministry of Information, Middle East.
Description: I. 'DEFENCE BY FIRE.' An item illustrating British defensive countermeasures against the expected German invasion of the south coast of England in July 1940. Extended footage shows submerged coastal pipelines releasing oil, which floats to the surface of the sea and is then ignited electrically. A wall of flame appears on the surface of the sea near the shore. Low-pressure flame throwers concealed on the beach are test fired. The flame throwers being a second line of defence designed to catch the unwary survivors of the initial "wall of flame" as they struggle ashore. A British Army sergeant demonstrates the destructive effect of "Fougasse" incendiary drums (a basic anti-personnel weapon consisting of a standard oil drum filled with a petrol/oil/rubber mix and an electrically fired explosive detonator designed to blow the mixture upwards and outwards while simultaneously igniting it). Fougasse drums are exploded near a country lane and next to a derelict British Army Vickers Medium tank.
II. 'BRITISH PACIFIC FLEET. Extended footage shows the recently completed Captain Cook Dock in Sydney, described by the commentary as the largest graving dock in the southern hemisphere. The dock is flooded and the large steel caisson gates are floated into position to the delight of cheering dockworkers. Elements of the British Pacific Fleet are shown making for Sydney Harbour. HMS King George V and HMS Illustrious are shown entering Sydney Harbour. HMS Illustrious enters the Captain Cook graving dock with Fleet Air Arm (FAA) Chance Vought Corsair fighter aircraft on its flightdeck. An FAA Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter is brought up onto the flightdeck of HMS Illustrious by aircraft lift, its wings are locked into flying position and its arrester hook is deployed and retracted. Vice-Admiral Sir Bernard Rawlings and Rear-Admiral Sir Philip Vian are briefly shown standing on the deck of HMS Indomitable.
Production Details: Ministry of Information, Middle East (Production sponsor)
War Pictorial News (Production company)
Martin, Charles (Production individual)
O'Malley, Patrick (Production cast)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Rawlings, Henry Bernard Hughes (person)
Vian, Philip Louis (person)
British Army, Home Guard (regiment/service)
Royal Navy, King George V (regiment/service)
Royal Navy, Illustrious (regiment/service)
Keywords: weapons, British - CBW: flamethrower (object name)
defences, British - emplacement (object name)
operations, British naval - routine (object name)
ships, British naval - battleship: King George V (object name)
ships, British naval - aircraft carrier, fleet: Illustrious (object name)
Australia & Sydney, NSW <Captain Cook dock> (geography)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: English
Subtitle language: Arabic
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 794 ft; Running time: 9 mins