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Title:WAR PICTORIAL NO 1 - IN THE MIDDLE EAST [Main Title]
Film Number:WPN 1
Description: I. 'THE FLEET SINKS AN ITALIAN WARSHIP IN THE MEDITERRANEAN.' A British naval patrol reportedly pursues three enemy ships for a day and a night. Shots of activity aboard RN vessels including lookouts on bridge. Enemy ships are sighted; action stations is sounded. Views of horizon and (to viewer invisible) enemy ships. Gun crews stand ready. Quadruple anti-aircraft pom-pom guns are elevated and traversed. A Walrus seaplane is catapulted from the ship on a reconnaissance mission. The ship's main ordnance then fires. British warships, operating at dusk, communicate using Morse lights. Queen Elizabeth Class battleship lies at anchor in a port (Alexandria ?).
II. 'EGYPT GIVES HER LOYAL HELP TO BRITAIN.' Egypt's "army of defence" prepares trench systems. Commentary stresses the unity of the British Empire and the modernity of the military equipment used by the Egyptian forces over shots of Vickers 3-in (?) anti-aircraft guns (WW1 vintage) and towed field artillery. Views of concrete and barbed wire anti-tank obstacles on the Egyptian/Libyan border. More anti-aircraft artillery is shown. Egyptian soldiers man a .303-in Lewis machine gun in a sandbagged emplacement and scan the sky for enemy aircraft.
III. 'RAF RAIDS LIBYA.' An RAF Aerodrome in the Western Desert. Blenheim Mk 1 aircraft are prepared for a bombing mission. Shots of ground crew working with trolleyacc aircraft starter equipment. Bombs are prepared and loaded on to aircraft. Aircrew wearing flying suits prepare for mission then climb into cockpit. Blenheims of 11 Squadron RAF (on attachment to 113 Squadron in Western Desert in August 1940) taxi and take off. Blenheims formate at low level over desert terrain. Bombing mission, then aircraft return to base.
IV. 'INDIA HELPS GUARD BRITAIN'S GATEWAY TO THE EAST.' Kilted pipe band of the 4th Indian Division play while Indian troops parade. Display of equipment and activities: trucks and Bren gun carriers moving at speed. Indian work party dig trenches.
V. 'CAPTURED ITALIAN MATERIAL.' British troops examine large quantities of equipment including crates of binoculars, field telephones, rifles, carbines and heavy machine guns. Italian weapons manuals are displayed. British troops assemble Italian Breda 35 2cm anti-aircraft gun. A smiling British officer demonstrates elevation/traverse controls.
VI. 'THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF GENERAL SIR ARCHIBALD WAVELL ISSUES HIS ORDER OF THE DAY TO THE ARMIES OF THE MIDDLE EAST.' General Wavell broadcasts live from his desk, announcing the determination of the British Empire to fight on despite the French capitulation: "We stand firm whatever happens. Dictators fade away, the British Empire never dies." (15 August 1940).
Production Details: Ministry of Information, Middle East (Production sponsor)
War Pictorial News (Production company)
Martin, Charles (Production individual)
Taylor, F H G (Production individual)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Wavell, Archibald Percival (person)
Egyptian Army (regiment/service)
Royal Air Force (regiment/service)
Indian Army (regiment/service)
Keywords: combat, British naval (object name)
defences, Egyptian - emplacement (object name)
equipment, Italian military - personal: [captured] (object name)
operations, Indian military - preparation (object name)
combat, British - air strike (object name)
equipment, Italian - military fire control: [captured] (object name)
operations, British air - preparation (object name)
recreation, Indian military - music (object name)
weapons, British air - bomb (object name)
Egypt & Western Desert (geography)
Mediterranean Sea (geography)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: English
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 1239 ft; Running time: 13 mins