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The article is devoted to filming of English army on World War I fronts from collection of the Russian state archive of cinema and photo documents (RGAKFD), to problems and prospects of their studying and scientific and technical reconstruction. These filming contain in more than 100 units of account. There are three ways to studying of early materials: in the 1930th this filming was analysed for the first time. But many of them lost headings and internal credits, and the part of filming wasn't deciphered; in the ends of 1970th carried out more detailed analysis of filming - negatives and the production options, many foreign credits translated into Russian, work with film materials allowed to establish that RGAKFD stores some movies of cinema department of British general staff; at the end of the 20th century the third attempt of materials interpretation during the work on the book of inventories of an early newsreel of archive was made; V.N. Batalin managed to identify English armies, to specify a chronological framework and places of events of filming which has no credits. Over 20 units of account of film documents in RGAKFD consist of separate fragments with filming of England of the war period. Part from them - the French or English primary sources. But not all have credits (even if they are, texts don't bear a reality of places and events) and is unclear, to what product (movies or magazines) initially they belonged, are they "a working material" any Soviet movies or annalistic were initially. Their dating is conditional (1914-1917) and with them is necessary further work on the analysis and attribution.


The Russian state archive of cinema and photo documents (RGAKFD), World War I, England, movie, newsreel, cinema department of British general staff, French cinema syndicate, cinema firms, French front, Salonika front, war operations, the Battle of the Somme, prisoners, aviation, fleet, front life, parades, rewarding, military and diplomatic relationships.

Nowadays there are about 100 units of account storing filmings of The Russian state archive of cinema and photo documents which reflect participation of England in World War I. Several movies are devoted to participation of English army in military operations on the French front. Cinema department of British general staff (producer is mentioned in the title of the film) created movie «English artillery in action». It shows gun laying (the gun is mounted on a railway station) and correction of fire with the help of. «Gaumont» shoved movie called «Our soldiers are ready for departure to the army».

In Russian firm «Kozlovskij, Jur'ev and company» released a movie in three parts about military operations between rivers Ancre and Somme – «Battle for Ancre». In this battle in 1916 on the 15th of September Englishmen firstly used a new break-through vehicle – tanks.
In movies «Gaumont chronicles» and «Annals of war» of firm «Pathe Freres» in 1916 г. English sappers repair broken crossing and transport a gun on a pontoon across the river. In 1916 cinema department of French army released film «The French in world war with Germany» (It was shown in Russia by Skobelevsky committee). The movie demonstrates English soldiers leaving blindages, doctors helping wounded ones, captive Austrians. There is an interesting film dated by 1917 and called «On the English front in France». It is stored in RGAKFD, its production firm is still unknown.

Cinema magazine «Chronicle Alliance №12» dated by 1915 showed arrival of English-French expeditionary corps in port among other events of the Salonika front. «Pathe Freres» demonstrated film «Capture of the fort Tosl by English troops», in which were seen ships in the sea, panorama of the fort, English officers and soldiers on its territory. In a film with French titles dated by 1916 (It is conditionally called «English maritime aviation in Salonika» because of title absence and the movie content) English sailors launch a balloon and a hydroplane; general Mahon gives orders of St. Michael and St. George to the commander-in-chief of the East army, French general Maurice Sarrail; parade of English troops.

There are noticeably less film shootings of English army and its dominions on other fronts of World War I in RGAKFD. Two Russian variants of films without main titles are stored in the archive (1914 probably) and a French origin film dated by 1916 and called «Allied armies in the East front». They do not contain military shooting and were created in probably advertising goals.

Among separate video topics (probably 1914) there are winter shootings of demonstrators with Russian, British, French, Japanese banners with transparencies «Long live Japan», «Long live England», «The Teutons are the enemies of rights and truth». By the year 1915 several Skobelevsky’s films with English generals have been released. In 1916 the committee released Russian variant of British general staff film «Englishmen in world fight with Germany». In contains an interesting scene – English detachment of soldiers walks a street of Moscow, Muscovites greet them.

Except listed above RGAKFD films, there are also shootings of German, Turkish, English army prisoners in some other materials. Firm of A.A. Hanzhonkov released movies, admittedly created in 1915-1917. In «German prisoners of military» captive warriors are busy at chores and having a rest in the camp of Dorchester (cameramen could not resist themselves and shot a prisoner with a rabbit on a rope). Convoying captive Germans and giving them medical aid in 1915-1916 can be seen in imported variant of firm «Kozlovskij, Jur'ev and company» which is called «Battle for Ancre» and in magazine «Annals of war». Egyptian captive men are shown in «Gaumont chronicles» (1916). RGAKFD also has German chronicles of 1916. Cameramen shot captive English and French soldiers in France.

Over 20 units of account of film documents in RGAKFD consist of separate fragments with filming of England of the war period.


1. Batalin V.N. Kinohronika v Rossii [Newsreel in Russia. 1896-1916]. Moscow, 2002.
2. Ginsburg S.S. Kinematografija dorevoljucionnoj Rossii [Cinematograph in prerevolutionary Russia]. Moscow, 2007.
3. Malins G. How I filmed the war. Herbert Jenkins Ltd. York street, St. James's London, S.W. 1 MCMXX.

About author

Malysheva Galina Evgenievna, historian, veteran of the Russian state archive of cinema and photo documents, the Russian Federation, Krasnogorsk, Russian Federation, 8-495-562-23-46; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Titles for photographies

1) English soldiers in trenches. RGAKFD. № 11655 (IV) part. [«Operation of English and French troops on Somme river July 1st – November 18th 1916»]. Producted by [Cinematographic department of British general staff]

2) H.H. Kitchener – British Minister of Defence, participant of the 3rd Ally Conference in Chantilly. France. 1916. RGAKFD. № 12061. «Path?-journal» № 349-B


г. Красногорск, Российская Федерация



Статья посвящена обзору киносъемок английской армии на фронтах Первой мировой войны из собрания Российского государственного архива кинофотодокументов (РГАКФД), проблемам и перспективам их изучения и научно-технической реконструкции. В настоящее время эти киносъемки содержатся более чем в 100 единицах учета. Имелось три подхода к изучению ранних материалов: в 1930-е гг. съемки впервые проанализировали, но многие утратили заголовки и внутренние титры, а часть съемок не была расшифрована; в конце 1970-х гг. был проведен более детальный анализ съемок, как первоисточников-негативов, так и тиражных вариантов, многие иностранные титры перевели на русский язык, работа с киноматериалами позволила установить, что РГАКФД хранит несколько фильмов кинематографического отдела Британской главного Штаба; в конце XX в. была предпринята третья попытка расшифровки материалов при работе над книгой описей ранней кинохроники архива; В.Н. Баталину удалось дополнительно опознать английские войска, уточнить хронологические рамки и места событий съемок, у которых нет титров. Свыше 20 единиц учета кинодокументов РГАКФД состоят из отдельных фрагментов со съемками Англии периода войны. Часть из них - французские или английские первоисточники. Но далеко не у всех имеются титры (даже если они и есть, то их тексты не несут конкретики мест и событий) и непонятно, к каким готовым продукциям (фильмам или журналам) изначально они относились, являются «рабочим материалом» каких-либо советских фильмов или летописными были изначально. Датировка их пока условная (1914-1917 гг.) и с ними предстоит дальнейшая работа по анализу и атрибуции.

Ключевые слова

Российский государственный архив кинофотодокументов, Первая мировая война, Англия, кинофильмы, киножурналы, кинематографический отдел Британского главного Штаба, Французский кинематографический синдикат, кинофирмы, Французский фронт, Салоникский фронт, боевые действия, битва на Сомме, пленные, авиация, флот, фронтовой быт, парады, награждения, военно-дипломатические отношения.

Список литературы

1. Баталин В.Н. Кинохроника в России. 1896-1916 гг. - М., 2002.
2. Гинзбург С.С. Кинематография дореволюционной России. - М., 2007.
3. Malins G. How I filmed the war. Herbert Jenkins Ltd. York street, St. James's London, S.W. 1 MCMXX.

Подписи к фото

1. Английские солдаты в окопах. РГАКФД. № 11655 (IV) ч. [«Операция англо-французских войск на р. Сомме 1 июля - 18 ноября 1916 г.»]. Производство [кинематографического отдела Британского главного Штаба].

2. Военный министр Великобритании Г.Г. Китченер – участник 3-й конференции союзников в Шантильи. Франция. 1916 г. РГАКФД. № 12061. «Пате-журнал» № 349-Б.

Сведения об авторах

Малышева Галина Евгеньевна, историк, ветеран Российского государственного архива кинофотодокументов, Российская федерация, г Krasnogorsk, Russian Federation, 8-495-562-23-46; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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