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Imperial War Museum: The Royal Navy At War
Imperial War Museum The Royal Navy At War
Genres: Documentary
NR     2008     10hr 14min

The Imperial War Museum Collection features rare and fascinating original films preserved in the Museum's archives. Many have never been released to the public before and are presented here, complete and uncut, for the ver...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 12/23/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 10hr 14min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

This video is 'sailing' under false colours!
Roy Anderson | Mount Brydges, Ont. Canada. | 04/15/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Stupidly judging the video by its cover/jacket, I assumed it would have film of actual combat - or, at least, film of ships performing war time duties.

Never was anyone so disappointed! This entire video consists of 'instructional film' - of one sort or another including a lengthy (and boring) Recruiting film. It is very likely true, that the instructional films were made during the war or close to the beginning, but to think this had any 'war footage' would be a huge mistake - THAT I MADE!!!!

When one considers that these instructional films were made in the 1940's one must realise that they are now utterly out of date and lacking any merit whatsoever. To put this video out under the guise of being an Imperial War Museum video stretches credulity too far. It is likely true that the films are stored in the Museum but it must be thought highly unlikely that the Imperial War Museum had any hand in their making - or with the intention of 'marketing' them for profit over 60 years on!!"
Not for most people. Sea History people will love it.
Michael Ford | 08/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The other guy is right this ain't bang, bang shot 'em up. The Royal Navy at War is not for everyone. In fact most people should stay away.

However the DVD's are a very detailed look at stuff you rarely get to see. It's rather quaint in many ways. It has a lot of "I say, old chap" dialogue. These instructional films give you a glimpse of "The Andrew" at it's height. Here are the faces, ships and accents of the WWII Royal Navy. This is the only place you'll see a Mosquito landing on a CVE. There's a visual tour of a heavy cruiser inside and out.

So if you like old British movies like "Cruel Sea" "In Which We Serve" etc., warm beer, and have your 39-45 Jane's Fighting Ships handy you might have fun with this."
Something for the truly addicted naval buff and historian
David Dickson | 01/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Royal Navy at War 1940-43 is a four disc set from the Imperial War Museum collection It consists of Royal Navy instructional films, some news reel footage and three RAF instructional films. Most are for orientation, not detailed training for specific equipment/drills.

The Amazon blurb is pretty accurate as to the contents. If yoiu are familiar with Brian Laverty's "Churchill's Navy" and like it this will be your cup of ta, so to speak. The Hyperwar, Nihon Kaigun, Regia Mrina and Royal Navy Flag Officer internet sites are a bit like this

Disc 1: 1940-43
Commissioning of a battleship (HMS Howe) A lot of on board footage of HMS HOWE.
Naval Operations; Mainly newsreel footage
Corvettes: Good history of the development of the Corvette
Meet The ship: Shot aboard HMS London. A new recruit is given a tour of the ship by a Chief Petty Officer. A top to bottom tour of the ship. London is an interesting ship since she was a County class heavy cruiser that got a full rebuild before the war. What emerged was a ship that looked much like a
Colony class light cruiser at first glance. Closer examination revealed her 8" gun turrets. She had numerous problems and rarely served. Consequently there is little photographic evidence of her in most treatments of the RN.
Battleship: HMS KGV
Raising Sailors: RN boot camp
Mastery of the Sea: RN and merchant navy recounts battles and convoys with footage.
HM Navies go to sea; newsreels of action at sea

Disc 2 Fleet Air Arm
Battle Fleets of Britain; covers the three main forces at the beginning of the war: Home Fleet, Med Fleet and China Station
Carrier Flying; Aircraft handling on board ship, flight deck arrangement, bringing planes up from the hangars, ranging (USN spotting) of aircraft, take offs of various types of aircraft, return to ship, landing circle, landings including batsman's(LSO in USN) signals, taxiing, striking aircraft among other items.
Catapult ships; covers catapult aircraft carried on battleships and cruisers. Much the same type treatment as the carrier flying segment.
Deck Landing; details on landing on a carrier. Batsman's signals. Uses the technique similar to the USN's Dilbert. A young sub lt grousies that no one is going to tell him how to land his aircraft, with the predictable result that he has a deck landing accident.
Fleet Fighter:Covers fighter training including deflection shooting, superficially. .
U Boats recognition and attack by naval aircraft: Three classes are covered. 250 tonners, 500 tonners and 750 tonners.

Extra: Keep them flying; A 163, various skills in the aviation branch, A=airframe; E=enginse; O=ordnance; L=Electrical, and Radio

Disc 3: Naval Instructional Films
Duties of the helmsman; good overview of the duties of a helmsman. How to keep on course, how to compensate for wind, current, drift, etc.
Raising Steam; Covers a destroyer raising steam from the time her captain receives orders to raise steam with the boilers cold until the time the ship is ready to get underway.
Ship safety; Another Dilbert like film Seven sailors are followed as the ship, a cruiser, is steaming; hatches and water tight doors are not properly secured. Gear is left about including seemingly minor things like letters, a pin up, etc as well as more obvious items like half open paint buckets. The ship receives several near misses which inflict splinter holes above and below the water line. It begins with the holes below the water line in a compartment with an improperly secured water tight door. The immediate compartment floods and the flooding is carried to the nest compartment. The paint catches fire and one of the damage control party is overcome by smoke. The pumps placed in the compartment suck up the calendar, etc and have to be cleared before they can function property, the list continues until the splinter holes above the water line are exposed and flooding continues, more improperly secured doors/hatches are encountered. Before the film ends the ship receives orders to intercept an enemy ship, orders she cannot fulfill. Instead she limps into port in distress.
Duties of lookouts; Air and surface lookouts duties and techniques covered.
Ships Internal communications; person to person voice, voice tube, sound powered telephones shipboard public address systems, buzzers, bells, bugles, etc are all covered with which form applies to which situations.

Extras: Exerpts from "Anchor Work" covers the raising of an anchor on a battleship as well as mooring to a buoy (good seamanships footage), "Introduction to Naval Gunnery", Smoke Screens at Sea" covers the various types of smoke screen equipment and their application. and Sam Pepys joins the Navy (follows a new recruit), Sea Cadets

Disc 4: Know your own navy
Know your own navy parts 1-3 RAF instructional films on RN ship identification.
The navy in action
Meeting the U-Boat menace: Sonar school. Follows three recruits through their training and onto ships.
Our Company: Three officer candidates are followed through training as a pilot, an air gunner and observer. At the end of their training they are commissioned as sub lts. One of the members of the board which screens them is the noted film/stage actor Ralph Richardson who is an RNVR Lt. Cdr.
Sailors of Tomorrow; Sea cadets and air cadets receive training. A57
Submarine on patrol; A141
The Chariot; Human torpedoes covered in some detail. A114

Extras:Silent footage (some if it labeled censored for no apparent reason): HMS Royal Sovereign(color), HMS Ark Royal, HMS Illustrious

I would love to see similar productions from the other navies.

David Dickson