OPERATION RHEOSTAT ONE - BRITISH CREWS RELAX AT PORT SAID BEFORE CONTINUING WITH CLEARANCE WORK [Allocated Title]
Created by filmcom…@iwm.org.uk
- Title: OPERATION RHEOSTAT ONE - BRITISH CREWS RELAX AT PORT SAID BEFORE CONTINUING WITH CLEARANCE WORK [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: ADM 4759
- Other titles: POST-WAR NAVAL OPERATIONS - SUEZ [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: British crews and divers enjoy some R&R. At work in the canal, divers recover a human skull.
- Description: HMS Abdiel at her moorings by the SCA building at Port Said. The British have organised fun and games - swinging from a traveller on a suspended ropeway to drop into a buoyed target area, pillow fights over the water, a 'field gun' race with wheeled jacks, a relay race in which some of the participants have to squirm into soaking wet overalls and run in sea-boots. Two teams row inflated fenders from the quayside out to Abdiel, there to rescue 'damsels' from a raft secured beneath the bows, and return to shore - all the participants are hosed down from the ship's deck. Cut to aerial views of one of the tankers stranded in the lakes, a distant airstrip (Ismailia ?), the canal as it enters open water. A CH-53 flies along the canal towing a MK 105 mine clearance sled - the sled is travelling sufficiently fast to be hydroplaning. A SCA tug passes along the canal. Onboard one of the minehunters a crewman cleans oil from an Egyptian smoke grenade (?) which has just been recovered from the canal - he tapes it to a 1-1/4 pound charge for countermining. LS to a small countermine exploding in the canal - a Gemini waits in the background. HMS Wilton (M.1116) passes. The cameraship passes the SCA tug seen earlier, now anchored in the canal, before itself coming to anchor. The ship's Gemini takes a waterskier in tow. A party of Egyptian divers operating from small fibreglass boats is working along the canal slopes - British divers in a Gemini chat with some of their Egyptian counterparts in mid-stream. LS of the SCA tug Antar moored alongside the SCA buildings in Port Said. Another sequence shot from a helicopter flying over the canal, showing HMS Maxton, HMS Bossington at work with Gemini, Egyptian tug, the FCDT launch Nada, the wreck of the Mecca, the SCA buildings at Port Said with Abdiel and Maxton alongside, general views over the city. Good aerial views of SS Iwo Jima, CH-53 and CH-46 helicopters parked on deck. Sequence shot from a minehunter as equipment (towed side-scan sonar ?) is recovered from the water. HMS Maxton passes. The cameraship anchors. Cut to the Nada, where Fleet Clearance divers are prepping up their equipment. A Gemini leaves the launch to take divers along the bank of the canal for a shallow water jackstay search - one of the men recovers a skull which he throws to one of the boat's crew. CU of the skull, badly fractured and heavily encrusted with barnacles. A crewman pays out line to a diver. The divers return, and a contact is countermined. A diver holds up the skull for the camera and puts a helmet over it - the helmet bears a painted Union Jack and the legend PAN'S PEOPLE SUEZ CANAL 74 (Pan's People were a contemporary dance team). Cut to a boat in Port Said harbour with Commander Husband and Rear-Admiral McCauley onboard - they approach Wilton and go onboard. Rear-Admiral McCauley is introduced to men of the FCDT. After the Admiral's departure, the divers show Commander Husband some of the recovered items - mortar bombs, a corroded 2.75-inch rocket (?), and other objects. Cut to a further aerial sequence - helicopter flies over Maxton, anchored in the canal with her Gemini alongside, one of the two German heavy salvage cranes (Thor or Roland) alongside the partially dredged causeway built by the Israelis at Deversoir. In the lakes lies a sunken freighter (the US African Gelb ?) and groups of ships trapped since 1967, including the Blue Star freighter Scottish Star and the Blue Funnel ships Agapenor and Melampus. The flight continues over a deserted air base with a burnt-out helicopter, a pontoon bridge, an apparently deserted town (Port Tewfik ?). Elaborate entrenchments run through the whole area, including a small island which has been completely fortified. A US CH-53D carries out a sweep with a mine clearance sled. The banks of the canal are covered with litter and wreckage. Final shot is a pass over HMS Maxton, and HMS Wilton at work with her Gemini near the wreck of the Mecca.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © Crown copyright. IWM (ADM 4759)
- Featured Period: 1945-1975
- Production Date: 1974-06
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: Directorate of Public Relations (Navy) (Production sponsor)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Husband, J D W (person) Carroll, K J (person) McCauley, Brian (person) Royal Navy, ABDIEL (HMS), minelayer (1967) (regiment/service) Royal Navy, BOSSINGTON (HMS), minesweeper (regiment/service) Royal Navy, Maxton (regiment/service) Royal Navy, Wilton (regiment/service) Royal Navy, Fleet Clearance Diving Team (regiment/service) United States Navy & Iwo Jima (regiment/service)
- Keywords: ships, British naval - minelayer, ocean: Abdiel (N.21) (object name) ships, British naval - minesweeper, coastal: Bossington (M.1133) (object name) ships, British naval - minesweeper, coastal: Maxton (M.1165) (object name) ships, British naval - minesweeper, coastal: Wilton (M.1116) (object name) ships, British naval - smallcraft: Gemini inflatable (object name) ships, United States naval - amphibious: Iwo Jima (object name) ships, Egyptian civilian - assistance: Antar (object name) ships, Egyptian civilian - smallcraft: Nada (object name) aircraft, United States - helicopter: Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion (object name) operations, British naval - mines: clearance (object name) recreation, British naval - casual (object name) operations, United States naval - mines: clearance (object name) casualties, Egyptian dead - battlefield [relic] (object name) Egypt (geography)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: Colour Sound format: Silent Soundtrack language: None Title language: None Subtitle language: None
- Technical Details: Format: 16mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 1 Footage: 1124 ft; Running time: 28 mins
- Notes: Summary: the improvised entertainments seen in this reel and in ADM 4757 were organised by the medical officer Lieutenant-Commander Charles Evans. The events were named "It's a cock-up", after a popular television series "It's a Knock-Out"
- Link to IWM Collections page:
- Related IWM Collections Objects: