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Aerial Footage from WWI

Posted By:
Hal Bryan
#1 Posted: 11/5/2010 15:41:10

Pretty remarkable scenes, and a couple of fleeting shots of an airship's instrument panel that are just fascinating - no embed available, click the link to have a look:


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Eric Marsh
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#2 Posted: 11/7/2010 22:08:07 Modified: 11/7/2010 22:08:38

Great footage. Recently I've developed a curiosity about WW I - in many ways it seems to me to be the poster child for human brutality and insanity. So this was of real interest to me.

I recognized the ruins of Ypres immediately and and found the footage of Passchendaele very interesting, having read quite a few a accounts about the Third Battle of Ypres.  Fighting in the mud at Passchendaele may have defined hell on earth.


Fareed Guyot
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
#3 Posted: 11/11/2010 11:52:39

Films shot from British airships, depicting the devastation on the landscape by World War I, were recently discovered in Paris. In the films, part of a BBC documentary on aerial photography by British pilots, the pockmarked grounds and mutilated villages make the ground appear lunar and desolate. Overhead shots of the intricate trench work and images of the bulky cameras employed show the confluence of a war fought using cutting edge technology with obsolete tactics.


Watch the video  



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Bernard Pawlowski
#4 Posted: 11/12/2010 07:59:49

Great footage.  My grandfather spent time in the trenches, though I do not know exactly where in France.  The devastation also reminds me of photographs he took later during WWII, of a Michelin test facility in Clermont, France

Is it me or is the quality of this footage better than one would expect for its time?  Isn't it strange that there's no flickering and no bubbles or discoloration in any frame on this film?  Also, is it reasonable for the instrument panel and background to be in such good focus?

Frankly, I wasn't even aware that motion picture cameras were usable from a moving platform back in 1919, particularly since they weren't invented until the late 1800's.   I suppose that the only explanation is that the BBC cleaned everything up.  Wow, that is high quality restoration work!


Peter Bednar
#5 Posted: 11/16/2010 16:35:15

Fantastic! I would assume the footage is cleaned up a bit.  Although good black and white film can be very archival. 

I am going out on a limb, but I imagine that the Airship involved is one of the two SSZ  3 man maritime ships the UK sold France.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSZ_class_blimp