This silent film, a home movie shot on 16mm, shows a U.S. Army exercise on July 18-31, 1930 near Fort Hoyle, Maryland. This was part of a program called the Civilian Military Training Camp system, which operated in the years between the wars. Fort Hoyle was first established in 1922 on Gunpowder Neck in Harford County and became a part of Edgewood Arsenal in 1940. The 1st Field Artillery Brigade is the primary unit shown in the film.
The film begins with images of a U.S. Army encampment with tents at 1:00, and a title card indicating that the Regimental Commander was Major Floyd B. Whitebread, with the Post Commander Brig. Gen. James B. Gowan, a WWI veteran. At 1:42, a title card indicates that "250 CMTC Boys were given a thorough training." ( Citizens' Military Training Camps (CMTC) were military training programs of the United States. Held annually each summer during the years 1921 to 1940, the CMTC camps differed from National Guard and Organized Reserve training in that the program allowed male citizens to obtain basic military training without an obligation to call-up for active duty. The CMTC were authorized by the National Defense Act of 1920 as a compromise that rejected universal military training. )
The rest of the film shows the exercise as it unfolds. It includes the use of mechanized elements such as the tractors shown at 2:32, towing artillery pieces. At 3:07 exercise competitions are seen, including at 3:20 a tug of war. At 3:55 chemical warfare exercise is conducted with aircraft demonstrating how large amounts of mustard gas or some other gas could be spread from the sky. At 5:58 a smokepot is used to signal air support to begin bombing runs. At 7:23 a bomb fragment is examined. At 7:45 the aircraft rake the field with smoke as part of a mustard gas demonstration, and at 8:10 the war ends and the CMTC participants return to civilian clothes -- and civilian lives. The film ends with a funny mock fight over which is better -- mechanized or horse-drawn artillery, and at 9:28 a wonderful bit where the unit play leapfrog.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com