I’ve been looking for some cool video footage of World War I, and thought the search was pretty pointless until I found this. The video is a BBC story done about some rare film footage taken in 1919 that was just discovered in 2010, but it shows a lot of the footage itself. It was filmed from an airship flying around northern France shortly after the fighting ended in November 1918. Here you can see the real devastation of the war, the remains of trenches, cities blown to smithereens, and people trying to rebuild their lives in the ruins.
The footage is pretty amazing. It’s really rare to find something like this, especially in such good condition.
I think people don’t quite appreciate the utter scale of the devastation caused by the First World War. We tend to think it was just a bunch of trenches, mud and barbed wire, but as you can see from this film, entire cities were reduced to rubble. This brings home the calamity of the war in a way that a lot of other footage I’ve seen really doesn’t.
Very cool history!