British officer served with 2nd Coy, D Bn Tank Corps on Western Front, 1917
REEL 1: Discussion about use of tanks in First and Second World Wars. Aspects of period in GB and on Western Front, 1915-1916: reason for enlisting as rifleman with London Rifle Bde; posted to France, 6/1915; wounded on Somme, 1/Jul/1916; transferred to Heavy Branch, Machine Gun Corps in GB and commissioned, 1916; benefit of service as rifleman on career as officer. Story of baling out from aircraft over Alps, 9/1945. Aspects of operations with 2 Coy, D Bn Tank Corps on Western Front, 1917: description of Ypres Salient, c.10/1917; story of train hitting tank while crossing light railway line, 9/1917; story of two brothers killed in tank at Poelcapelle; description of 2 Coy tanks coming under heavy shellfire near St. Julien; damage to tanks and treatment of casualties; opinion of Salvage Officer; morale and comradeship in Tank Corps; relations with tank crew; story about towing lorry on Pilkem Ridge; question of right of way on roads; conditions along Steenbeke; description of unditching beam and method of use; attitude to conduct of Passchendaele campaign; description of weather and living conditions on Ypres Salient.
REEL 2 Continues: attitude to use of tanks in Ypres sector; opinion of Gen. Gough; attitude to use of cavalry; description of camp at La Louvie; daily routine and duties including reconnaissance missions; accommodation and washing facilities; amusing story of using stolen Nissen hut as officers' mess; story of seeing badly wounded soldier holding in stomach; description of shell hitting female tank and causing fire; opinion of periscope and field of fire; description of supporting infantry attack on German position in brewery; opinion of fire extinguishers; problem of tanks breaking down; attitude to use of disabled tanks as pillboxes; comparison of use of tanks at Ypres and Cambrai; reaction of Germans to tanks; attitude to serving with Tank Corps rather than infantry.
The Battle of Verdun (21 February-15 December 1916) became the longest battle in modern history. It was originally planned by the German Chief of General Staff, Erich von Falkenhayn to secure victory for Germany on the Western Front.
'Over The Top'. 1st Artists' Rifles at Marcoing, 30th December 1917, by John Nash.
Brothers Paul and John Nash were both commissioned as official war artists during the First World War - Paul from 1917 and John from 1918. Prior to becoming official war artists, both of the brothers had seen active service on the Western Front.
The trench warfare of the Western Front encouraged the development of new weaponry to break the stalemate. Poison gas was one such development. The first significant gas attack occurred at Ypres in April 1915, when the Germans released clouds of poisonous chlorine.