Learning Curve, The Great War
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Useful notes: Source6
Newsreel showing Haig and other commanders inspecting captured German defences, 1918
(ITN Archive /Pathé: 1928.13)
  • This film shows Douglas Haig inspecting the shattered remains of the German defences known as the Hindenburg Line. With him is Colonel Robert S. Bacon, a US officer, and French and British officers as well.
  • The Hindenburg Line defences had been prepared by the Germans in 1917 and had caused enormous casualties when French and British forces had tried to take them.
  • In 1918, the British Army was finally ready to take on the German defences. It had enough men, equipment and ammunition and it also had the right tactics.
  • The film shows Haig inspecting the St Quentin Canal. This was captured by British and Canadian troops. Artillery shelled the defences and then fired smoke bombs. The troops then crossed the canal using life jackets and rafts borrowed from the cross-channel ferries that were used to ferry troops across the Channel!
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