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The war remembered: iconic war films explored

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The war remembered: iconic war films explored

Dambusters: 106 Squadron Leaders Searby (l) and Ward Hunt (r) and Wing Commander Gibson (centre). Catalogue reference: AIR 27/389.

Dambusters: 106 Squadron Leaders Searby (l) and Ward Hunt (r) and Wing Commander Gibson (centre). Catalogue reference: AIR 27/389.

03 September 2009

War on Film is a new series of six innovative videocasts, created by The National Archives, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Second World War.

The series, launched online today, recounts the events that went on to inspire popular war films, using extracts from real government records and archive footage.

Bringing history to life

'The videocasts are a fantastic new way to bring history to life,' Principal Military Records Specialist, William Spencer, said. 'They allow anyone to explore the archival truth behind the stories told in some of the most iconic British war films of all time.'

Films featured in the videocasts include The Longest Day (1962), which tells of the D-Day landings; Dambusters (1955), which details the bombing raids on three German dams; and The Great Escape (1962), which focuses on the attempted escape of air force servicemen from Stalag Luft III prisoner of war camp.

View now

The first of the videocasts, addressing the theme of evacuation, as featured in the 1987 film Hope and Glory, is available now at nationalarchives.gov.uk/waronfilm. A videocast on a different theme will be released each week until 8 October 2009.

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