Russia in the great war: 35 of archival newsreel

Not so long ago the British digitized funds Pathe film archive and posted them on the Internet. The 100th anniversary of the First world war, we chose 35 newsreel showing the military actions of the Russian army. Each video is accompanied by an annotation of the archive.

  • George knights of the great war (photo)
  • Poetry great war: Blok, Gumilev and unknown officer
  • Great, unknown and slandered. The centenary of the start of the First world war
  • First world war: the story of betrayal

Studio Pathe (Pathé) was once the leading Studio known for its world-class coverage and style – informative and surprisingly interesting. Now Pathe film archive consists of 85 thousand films and is considered the best documentary film archives in the world.

1. Russian army (1914)


Saint Petersburg, Russia. The mobilization of the Russian army at the outbreak of world war I (July 29-31, 1914). In the middle ground two men measure the length of the horse. Look at the area: officers, soldiers and horses, passing by crowds of civilians.

Same story, more than a wide format. Soldiers on horseback riding down the street. People walking down the street, someone in the form of the Russian army, some in civilian clothes – they look like new army recruits. Women and children go together. All the people in a good mood, one man Hamming for the camera, acting like he’s drunk. Wide shot – the actions of the military, a view of the part of the crowd. A wider shot of the square, people held banners, flags and portraits of the king. Several low-angle – Tsar Nicholas II on the balcony, it is joined by the Queen (these frames are made from a very large distance).

2. Cartridge trap the Russian army (1914-1917)

A team of 6 horses driven cartridge cart on the snowy ground; then the road; they arrive at their destination, they are met by several soldiers who quickly begin to unload ammunition. Three soldiers are working in a team, unloading the shells; to supply some of the objects to each other use the tools; then one of the men carried away the shell and returned.

3. Russian soldiers (1914-1916)


Soldiers in heavy winter clothes; fur hats; rifles; March across the snow towards the camera. The same soldiers are columns one at a time, marching through the snow to the left; in the background shows the high snowy hills. These military units are climbing on a snowy mountain.

General plan – the Russian army in camp, the soldiers are sitting or polulezhit on earth. In the same approximation, the soldiers lying on the grass; in the background a row of trees.

Galician peasants return home after the advance of the Russian troops. On a dirt road are refugees, they’re coming; among them – the woman carrying child; boys of all ages; a man with a child, etc. People in delete; civilians; on the left the wagons with horses. Women in long skirts and scarves lead cows; woman with bag over shoulder, holds the hand of a little boy, etc.; family group, the man and the children; in front of the van loaded with all their things; man holding baby, next to him are boys; girls are sitting in the van.

Russian soldiers (Cossacks?) in fur hats, carry on a stretcher a wounded man, followed by the other soldiers. The same group and others on the shore; two men (one with a red cross band on the shoulder) lift a stretcher and loaded them on the boat, filled with wounded Cossacks.

View more boat approaching; it is on the go gets the man and the boat starts moving in the direction of the ship anchored in the distance. Looking down on the street of the city; many soldiers marching on both sides. Look at the street with the same position; bigger zoom. Roll call exhausted soldiers.

4. The Russian army at the front (1914-1918)


In camp: man chopping wood with an axe; in the side – like caves, with wooden entrance door (like the entrance to a trench or clay wattle and daub). Close-up of soldiers standing in a large pile of snow and ice; watching her through binoculars. Closeup of a group of Russian soldiers sitting and eating. Russian soldiers come to the well; fed horses; a man down in the well bucket; rotates the screw.

Further, the frame another well; with more of the screw; the man turns the screw, twisting it on itself; a couple of other men and horses stand near the well. The vessel, filled with water from the well, carried throughout the camp; among trees; on the ground lies the snow.

5. The victorious Russian army (1914-1918)


Three short scenes. First horses carry clothing; supplies; on the road; look at the camera. A military parade. A group of officers is conducting a review of the troops: they go on camera; long the soldiers. In the foreground is the main officer, he welcomed a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church (which appears in the frame on the left). The third stage – the ruins. Many Russian soldiers marching along the road in the background.

6. A detachment of Cossacks of the Russian army at Przemysl (1915)


Exclusive shots taken by our photographer before the battle of Przemysl. Cossack collection. Przemysl, Austria (later Poland). Cossack cavalry Russian army is built and sent across the field. Cavalry approaching, walking on a dirt road through the woods, the horses going at the canter.

7. Together with the Russian army (1915)


Together with the Russian army – a religious service at the front. 1915.

A rather strange beginning. Long Stroy Russian soldiers in a shallow trench; they stand and their heads and shoulders sticking out of the ditch; all look to the left, not at the camera; people begin to pray; constantly cross; again and again; approaching the priest of the Russian Orthodox Church; together with a pair of military. It enters the field of view, is on the snowy ground at the edge of the trench. The priest carries the cross; he turns the cross in different directions; it is a long black robe, embroidered front; he has a long white beard is a very traditional look.

(Looks like the priest blesses the troops).

8. Russian artillery in the battle, or Russian troops at Przemysl (1915)


The first world war: the Russians in Przemysl, Austria (later Poland). Artillery in combat: soldiers in ditch or trench run big gun, along the gutter – leafless bushes with leaves and thorns on the ground – a bit of snow. From guns out huge pillars of fire and smoke.

9. Review of the Russian army: the train arrives king (1914-1916)


Review of the Russian army: the train arrives king. Russia. Watch Russian troops. Soldiers stand in formation, wearing fur hats. Passes by several officers; they inspect the troops. Past the marching soldiers. Next; troops at a railway station, people (possibly the king) comes out of the train. The king’s review of another group of troops.

10. The Russian army (1915)


Many Russian soldiers running across the field, practicing bayonet attack. Frame with three Russian officers on horses, others standing. One Russian naval officer and a French officer, in the background – a lot of Russian soldiers in the ranks. Russian officers (including the chief of the chief of staff Mikhail Alekseev?) inspecting the troops.

Russian troops stand in formation on a railway platform, the train approaching. Beautiful shot slowly passing train with Russian soldiers looking out of the window and saluted. Wide shot troops use live ammo in front of the camera, closer to the foreground – buglers blow until the troops go. More frames with a bayonet charge.

11. Russian cavalry (1916)


The Russian cavalry on the March; galloping around a small building and courtyard. Winter, on the ground, on trees and fences on the snow.

12. Russian religious service (1914 -1918)


Religion. Religious Russian Orthodox service for Russian soldiers held on a snowy street in front during the First world war. An elderly Russian Orthodox priest with a long beard standing at the altar, the cross. Soldiers, too, are baptized. Footage of soldiers who approach the priest and kiss the cross.

13. General Sengel makes a show of Russian personnel (1914-1918)


French General Cengel and a group of Russian officers walk past the troops standing at attention; officers salute. The parade of Russian troops in the street; before the stores are crowds of people. The pre-revolutionary years. 1915-16?

14. Russian Royal family at various events (1910-1917)


Tsar Nicholas II and Russian Royal family attend various events. In the middle ground – the king with two soldiers on Board the ship. The Royal family and their support go down with the ship, Tsarevich Alexei are the responsibility of the sailor. Members of the Royal family stand, while raising the big flag, trimmed with fringe. The king and Queen Alexandra greeted the veterans and soldiers behind them are their daughters, the Grand Duchess. The king’s review of sailors and soldiers.

Frame with officers holding before the king open the box, he looks in the box. Officers welcome the Royal family, one of them gives the Queen a wreath, the Prince dressed in the Cossack uniform. The king in the sculpture Park or in the cemetery talking to a mixed group of people, among them – military and civilian. The whole group of people walking in the Park.

The naval review – the king’s daughters, all in white, coming towards the camera, accompanied by military officers. Frame with the group, passing a large monument. The family is in a row on a small platform or steps, a military officer standing before them and talking to Prince. Good frame with Queen Alexandra, the Grand duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, the king stands to the right of them.

15. Hospital Russian, or Russian artillery in the battle (1915)


Soldiers and wagon with a red cross symbol in front of a large building. An arriving ambulance pulled by horses. Closeup – medical staff of the Russian army helping the wounded off in ambulances. Others endure the stretcher and carry the other wounded soldier on the steps of the building.

16. Russian victory (1915)


In the middle ground of Russian soldiers marching through the snow. View of soldiers with horses.

17. Russian cruiser (1914-1916)


A short look at the Russian cruiser “Rurik”; First world war; the pre-revolutionary period. The moving frame approach – a large Russian knowledge (pre-revolutionary with a blue St. Andrew’s cross). Several Russian sailors bow. When you zoom in you can see the person who cleans the deck with a MOP. The name “Rurik” in Cyrillic.

18. The arrival of the Russian army (1916)


The first world war – the arrival of Russian troops – the scene is unknown. Frame – top view on the railway platform. People (look like soldiers, but it is unclear what nationality) are left waiting for the arrival of the train on the right platform – the great black steam engine, which produces smoke. Closeup – arrival of the train, the cars with Russian soldiers looking out of the window and saluted. Then the frame with the Russian troops marching near the train depot.

19. Russian troops (1914-1918)


Russian troops. The place of action unknown – Russian front? The First World War. Russian troops on the March in muddy countryside (near farm?). With their approach of one soldier throws a bucket he was carrying. Not very disciplined. Or lack of discipline, or he’s just really tired.

A man with a red cross band on the shoulder; another man stands and talks with him; they look like by the troops. In the background is the hangar.

20. Russian artillery shelling Przemysl


The first world war – the bombardment of Przemysl the Russian front, Russia. In the middle ground – a large field gun and crew of the Russian artillery charging it and shooting. Frame with a few Russian soldiers standing on the slippery snow-covered surface in the field.

21. Russian General Selivanov and others (1914-1918)


The first world war: Russian military personnel on Eastern front. Closeup – General Selivanov and other officers in fur hats sitting in the back seat of an open car. Medium shot – Selivanov and the group of Russian army officers of different ranks are held by low buildings, trees, and past the soldiers leading the horses bridle.

22. Russian troops (1914-1918)


Average plan – Russian soldiers sit and eat soup, there is heavy snow. Plan on people, in the background there are other people with horses.

23. Nicholas II, or the Review of the Russian army (1914-1917)


Watch Russian troops during the First world war. A group of Russian military officers led by General Alexei Brusilov (?) goes towards the camera past line of soldiers standing along the covered alley.

Footage of people celebrating, cheering each other, shaking each other hands. Some of the officers of the Navy. Note: the story also took place under the heading “Nicholas II” – it is possible that the General frame is king.

24. Church service for the Russian army at the front (1910-1919)


The name is missing. Different footage of Russian soldiers (possibly Cossacks during the First world war) standing in a trench in the snow, their blessing Russian Orthodox priest.

25. Interrogation of Austrian prisoners on the Russian front (19141918)


Interrogation of Austrian prisoners on the Russian front. Austrian prisoner of war is given to two Russian military who are sitting at the table in the background is a small hut, a tree and other people. The prisoner bent over the Desk, showing something to those who lead the interrogation. All three of them leaning over the table, looking at a map that shows the prisoner.

The prisoner stands before the table, and one of the Russian offers him a small book, which he puts in his pocket. Austrian salutes and leaves, accompanied by a guard. It seems that the prisoner is very easy to disclose it – maybe this video was filmed to promote?

26. Russian artillery (1914-1918)


The place of action is unknown – Russia? The number of trunks to the left; the artillery platoon of the Russian army; all in long coat; charge the gun and shoot.

27. Russian sailors (1914-1917)


St. Petersburg (?). Short frame, the angle down on the officer, who says a motivational speech before the Russian sailors crowded on Board of a warship.

View from the top, the frame with the military parade passing along the street, where many shops. Soldiers may leave during the First world war. Soldiers carry large banners in the parade. Some field guns carry a number of horses, soldiers riding on horseback and carry weapons stockpiles. Some carriage decorated with foliage. A crowd of people watching the parade from sidewalks. Frame with high angle to the crowd on the street, people falling snowflakes.

28. Russian troops training in France (1914-1918)


Russian troops training in France. General plan – Stroy Russian soldiers moving towards camera walking through a field of long rows; they’re moving on foot through the countryside; running at full speed. Charge! It is very short.

29. Russian troops in red square (1910-1919)


Various footage of Russian soldiers marching in the parade on red square. (wrong speed). Snow on the ground. It seems that it’s part of a very large parade. Important! The plot found on an unidentified film of the newspaper.

30. Russian women’s battalion (1914-1918)


Russian women’s battalion. The place of action is unknown. The first world war; women. Russian women become soldiers; some want to avenge their dead husbands, sweethearts and brothers who exercise the “Women’s battalion of death.”

The story opens with a scene in the woods; male officers watching women marching to the left of them; they are marching on the spot under the trees (looks like an exercise in aerobics class, as some of them are vigorously marching!); they continue their March to the right. Next frame with women’s battalion posing in front of the camera; some standing in the back; some sit on the ground arbitrarily. Also there is about 8 men; they lie on the ground in the middle ground and rest. Some of these women are quite pretty even in this rough form; some look very young. A curious story: in 1910-ies – changing sexual roles.

31. Officers of the Russian Navy (1914-1918)


The first world war. The place of action is unknown. In the middle ground – the officer of Russian fleet, stretch packs (of cigarettes?) Arabs/Africans, crowding on the deck of a warship, the other Russian sailors look at it.

32. Russian troops arrive at Marseilles to fight for France (1910-1918)


The first world war. Military. Marseille, France, 1915? Russian troops arrive at Marseilles to fight for France. Frame with a large number of Russian soldiers marching down the streets of the city. We see how they come out of the corner and pass to the right. Along the road are few spectators. Frame with high perspective – more soldiers held down the street, some carrying long spikes along the road are civilians.

33. Shooting Russian guns (1914-1918)


The first world war – at the front, location unknown. In the frame of the Russian artillery charging field guns and firing them.

34. Russian troops (1914-1917)


The first world war – the place of action is unknown. Russian troops having lunch during a snow storm, the frame and lots of soldiers sitting on the ground and eats a flying snowflakes. A closer view of several soldiers sitting next, lower the spoon into the pot, a number of other soldiers are waiting to get their bowl of food served from the van, standing in the background.

35. Corpses on Russian-Turkish border (1914)


The horrors of war in the Caucasus and in the Russian-Turkish border. The road to Sarikamish after the Turkish retreat of the army; December 1914.

Footage along the way; lots of dead bodies lying in the snow and frozen mud along the road (the camera moves; perhaps the operator carries it and moves along the road itself). This story lasts and lasts; it seems that this endless road of death.

Live soldiers are busy digging a huge mass grave in the frozen ground; looks like the Russians are guided, and prisoners of war dig. People roll out and throw the corpses from the carts, throw them in the snow. Medium shot – people dig the trench.

A Translation Of Alena Gasparian

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