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Title:EL ALAMEIN: RAILWAY HALT, ROAD SIGNS, CAPTURED GERMAN VEHICLES AND BRITISH, GERMAN AND ITALIAN HEADSTONES [Allocated Title]
Film Number:MWY 123
Other titles:INDIAN INTER-SERVICE PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTORATE COLLECTION - INDIAN HOME FRONT AND MILITARY OPERATIONS, AND ALLIED OPERATIONS IN ITALY AND THE PACIFIC DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: Film showing the railway halt at El Alamein, road signs, captured German military vehicles, trenches and British and German minefields, and British, German and Italian headstones in a cemetery.
Description: A double-track railway line stretching away into the distance, with a signal post and small building left. ‘ALAMEIN’ on the wall of the building. An Egyptian railwayman on a telephone. Semaphore signal arm dropping. Ringing bell. Train arriving with some local civilians waiting for it. Haggling with passengers. Sign ‘Sydney Road’ on corrugated metal. High, wide shot of desert terrain. Shot from a moving vehicle. Sign ‘Springbok Road’. A single lane tarmac road leading away. ‘Qatara [sic] Rd’. A panning shot showing masses of captured German tanks and armoured vehicles. Various shots of German tanks and self-propelled guns. German motor transport. SdKfz 2 half-track motorbikes (Kettenkrads). Lorries and half-tracks. Panning shot assembled vehicles. British officer; pan to fighting position with scattered debris. Views of a trench system. Abandoned boot. Trenches. Rag stuck on barbed wire. Sign ‘Danger Mines’ on barbed wire. Thick barbed wire barrier. Sign ‘British Forward Minefield 23rd October 1942’. More of barbed wire and mine field. Sign ‘Forward Enemy Minefield 23rd October 1942’. Sign ‘To El Alamein cemetery’. Panning shot showing a field of white crosses. Cross ‘Unknown British Soldier 17.11.42’. Cross ‘Unknown German Soldier – German Army – 22.1.43’. Cross ‘Unknown Italian – Italian Army – 14.1.43’. Row of crosses. Close-up head stone: ‘2nd [the word following is cut off by the top of frame] – Killed in Action 17.7.42 – He Gave His Life For A Comrade – Greater Love Hath No Man’. Cross. Base of a cross ‘Here lies a man’. Shadow of a cross.
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 443 ft (approx); Running time: 5 mins
Notes: No dopesheet survives for this film and consequently details are unclear. Even so, this piece is well shot with a number of striking compositions, and forms an interesting and varied record of the aftermath of one of Britain's most important battles. The road signs suggest the multinational composition of Eighth Army.
Series note: The MWY series of films is believed to be part of a ‘pool’ of film received by the Government of India from various sources, including South East Asia Command, the Indian Inter-Service Public Relations Directorate, the Ministry of Information, and from Allied governments. This footage would have been considered for editing and release through the Indian Newsreel Parade; see INR series.