I came across this today thanks to a link on the WW2Talk forum. The British Pathe site is a real treasure trove.
Our Libya Offensive
This is a 5-minute piece about CRUSADER’s early stages. A lot of varied shots, including a very rare bird, the de Havilland D.H.86 Express in the air ambulance role. I would place the film into early December, after some setbacks, but before the relief of Tobruk. It also shows very good footage of the 4.5″ mediums of 7 Medium regiment being fired.
Action in the Desert
There is another bit of unused footage, showing in particular Honey tanks buzzing around the desert, and tentatively dated also to December 41. There appears to be no sound. It looks to me as if this was leftover of the previous reel.
While not directly relevant to CRUSADER, this is some interesting footage from inside Tobruk:
In one of the memoirs I have there is a fairly long description of putting together some film footage of CRUSASDER … in December I think. As I recall, the author describes rounding up some cooks and bottle washers to play the part of infantry, finding some kncoked out tanks, burning some tires to get atmospheric smoke drifting through the shot, then staging and filming ‘battle’ scenes. I think it was one of the Official War Artists.
I’ll see if I can find it.
Please do. I guess a lot of this stuff was staged. If you look at the mediums firing, and the ‘explosions’ generated by this, it looks a bit ridiculous. In general I like the footage though. Somebody should colorise it.
Feh. I suppose you like the colourised verison of Casablanca too!
I actually think it makes it more real.
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