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General Haig Visits General Joffre

The Battle of the Somme is looming as Allied commanders meet at the French Army’s HQ.

Non-Fiction 1916 1 mins Silent


While of poor visual quality, this footage documents one of the many fateful meetings of World War One. Plans for the Somme offensive began in earnest here at the French Army headquarters, as Allied military leaders conferred over a strategy for 1916. The mood looks appropriately sombre as Generals Haig and Joffre perform a brisk troop inspection, while deep in conversation.

Douglas Haig had not long assumed his role heading up the British Expeditionary Force before meeting the French Commander-in-Chief Joseph Joffre here at Chantilly. He would be promoted to Field Marshall later in 1916 - the year by which this newsreel is dated. Soldiers wield bayonets and swords, and the military regalia seems to come from a very different era.