The Battle of the Somme

Troops marching, artillery firing. Ominous place names: Mametz, Fricourt, La Boiselle. Those familiar but certainly faked 'going over the top' shots. Laconic titles: 'Friend and foe help each other' as British and German wounded come in arm in arm. 'Battle police' moving over heavily shelled ground, 'mopping up'. Corpse shots. Compositions tend to the painterly - foreground, centre, background, all teeming with activity. In many ways this 'official record' is a 19th century work, just as the Somme was a 19th century battle, and naturally there's no sense that 1 July 1916 was the bloodiest fiasco in British military history. Fascinating, affecting, eloquent on many levels, some of them even intended. The video released by the Imperial War Museum unfolds in dead silence.

Release details

Duration: 80 mins

Cast and crew

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

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9iii - Candyfloss

I seem to disagree with the opinion “the battle of the Somme was truly an accurate account of what happened in the war� no doubt it was created to show the people what the war was meant to be like and gather troops to fight in the war. Was this Propaganda? A way that the government was trying to involve people in the war effort however, the question still is was this all precise? Cross referencing the film against other sources from the time such as newspapers, photos and letters, the film simply seemed to exaggerate and limit the amount of information given, censored in some way because the government needed people be involved in the war effort. The army didn’t want a bad reputation and didn’t want people to know the whole truth about the horrors of the First World War. Many scenes from the film embellish the fact that trench conditions, and mainly soldier’s attitudes were positive. But as historians the evidence shows and proves that the film is not an exact protryal of the First World War. Therefore the film should not be fully trusted.

Jason McBride

this is great accurate representation of what it must have been like to fight along side brothers-in-arms in the first world war(1914-1918)

Jason McBride

this is great accurate representation of what it must have been like to fight along side brothers-in-arms in the first world war(1914-1918)