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The Battle of the Ancre and Advance of the Tanks (DVD)

The Battle of the Ancre and Advance of the Tanks (1917) is the official film of the British Army’s autumn campaign on the Somme, which ran from 15 September
to 18 November 1916.

The sequel to The Battle of the Somme (1916), which covered the opening phase of the campaign (Battle of Albert) and the infantry offensive on 1 July 1916, Battle of the Ancre should not be dismissed as Somme II. Although less well known than Battle of the Somme, which did record business at the box office, Battle of the Ancre also drew big audiences and was a critical success. Many consider The Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks as the better film cinematically and it contains haunting images of trench warfare, notably of the mud that beset the battlefields, the waves of troops advancing into no man’s land, the use of horses and the first views of the ‘Tank’; the secret weapon which it was hoped would break the military deadlock on the Western Front.

Cert PG


Fully digitally restored in 2012, now including missing sections discovered after an extensive search in film archives around the world. (67 minutes).
A choice of two musical accompaniments:

  • An original score composed by Laura Rossi, commissioned by IWM, and recorded in 2012 by a 15-piece ensemble conducted by John Gibbons.
  • The musical medley that was recommended to accompany the film when it was screened in 1917.

Bonus feature:

How Did They Do It? (2012) A television documentary about IWM’s project to restore The Battle of the Ancre and Advance of the Tanks (23 minutes). Thanks to
Discovery Networks International. – A 40 page full-colour booklet about the original film, IWM’s work to restore it and the musical accompaniments.

The Battle of the Ancre and Advance of the Tanks (DVD)
£ 5.00 Saving £4.99 (49.95%) on RRP (£9.99)
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