WW1 1914-18

EFG1914 THEME. In the context of the EU project EFG1914 the Danish Film Institute has digitized more than 50 hours of film from the years 1914-18. Below you will find a selection highlighting key themes and specific events from the war.

About EFG1914

EFG1914 was a digitisation project focusing on films and non-film material from and related to World War I. The project is a part of European Film Gateway (EFG) that collects the European film heritage and the treasures from the leading European film archives.

1914 The Danish Navy

The Danish fleet was never at war, but one of the war's most important naval battles took place nearby the coast of Jutland. This clip shows footage from a Danish naval maneuver. Many films from the period display the national military capabilities.
1914 War Preparations in Europe



1914 War Preparations in Europe

No one had expected that the war would last as long as it did, but the outbreak of war did not come as a lightning bolt from a clear blue sky. It was rather the culmination of a series of territorial ambitions from the involved nations. Both well known and secret alliances between the major countries escalated the conflict.


1914 The Breakout of War

Serbia's central position in the conflict was well known and one can reflect on how conscious and active the coalition partners Russia, France and England actually were in terms of provoking the outbreak of the war.


1915 The German Western Front

Germany did fight on several fronts simultaneously: "This was exactly what the various state men in France and Russia envisioned, when they made their alliance and also tried to involve the British: A European war in which Germany would be faced with three enemies at the same time. Due to the alliance's superiority over Germany, the Germans would undoubtedly loose such a war in which France could win the Alsace-Lorraine back, Russia would gain access to the Mediterranean [...] and the British would get rid of a competitor threatening to become stronger than them both economically and politically. Motives for the countries of cooperation were easy to spot." (J.H.J. Andriesen, 1. Verdenskrig i billeder, Forlaget Globe 2011).


1915 The German Eastern Front

Germany advanced rapidly on the eastern front and had rather overestimated than underestimated the Russian capacity to mobilize and offer resistance.


1916 Canadian Troops in the Trenches

The war played out largely in the trenches, where the fronts did not move very much. The heavily equipped positions was one of the reasons why the war dragged out and none of the sides had a clear advantage.


1917 Danish Field Artillery

The Danish field artillery was on alert throughout the war. The clip shows the artillery during an exercise in 1917. Whether the Danish military did actually have the strength the films try to show and celebrate, was fortunately never tested.


1918 British Marine Airplanes

The footage shows a clip from a school of British naval aviators. The First World War was the first war in which air force technology had crucial influence. Especially submarine hunting was important to the British navy in order to ensure that supply routes remained open and unhindered.


1918 Italian Alpine Troops

The war played out in all kinds of terrain. This film shows Italian Alpine troops during the fortification of mountain peaks at the Austrian/Italian front.


1918 Soviet Propaganda Train

Revolution broke out in Russia in 1917, and in March 1918 a peace agreement was signed. During the revolution the Russian rail network was exploited to spread the message of revolution to even the most remote areas.


1919 The Signing of the Peace Agreement in Versailles

The end of the First World War occurred on the Western Front 11 November 1918, when the armistice began. Germany had previously made peace with Lenin's Russia on 3 March 1918. The peace agreement ended the fighting on the eastern front and Turkey and Austria-Hungary had at this point in also entered a cessation of hostilities with the Entente.


1920 The Vote in Southern Jutland

Voting in The First Zone, had been held on 10 February 1920, with a majority in favor of reconnection with Denmark. At the vote in Zone 2, 14 March 1920, it became clear that continued connection with Germany in Zone 2 and 3 was a reality.