"SHOOT TO KILL" WORLD WAR II BRITISH ARMY INFANTRY WEAPONS TRAINING FILM BREN GUN 17124



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This World War II-era British training film, produced by Byron Pictures, Ltd., shows the importance of waiting for a target to move into the ideal range of a series of guns in order to have the best shot possible. The film covers the defensive and offensive firing of a Thompson submachine gun, a standard rifle (appears to be a Lee-Enfield rifle), a Bren light machine gun, the Boys Anti-Tank Rifle, and the anti-tank Ordnance QF 2-pounder by giving scenarios of incorrectly firing too soon followed by a scenario of correctly firing the various guns when the targets are in the most desired range to effectively shoot to kill. The film opens with footage of WWII and Nazi forces driving tanks and moving artillery. The film superimposes images of featured weapons, showing a Thompson submachine gun, the Bren gun, the anti-tank rifle, and the rifle. The first scenario of the film shows a unit in a foxhole across an open field surrounded by woods and bush. There is a panning shot of the field. The British troops sit in a foxhole (02:07). A corporal examines his range card. German troops emerge from the woods (03:08), and the British troops fire their rifles, missing the Nazis. The corporal explains the range to his men in the foxhole (04:14). Two Germans leave the woods, and a British soldier aims his Bren machine gun at them. More Germans emerge from the woods and cross the field, moving closer to the position of the British troops. The corporal gives the order for rapid fire (07:24), and the soldier fires the Bren gun. He ceases fire, and the rest of the men fire their Lee-Enfield rifles at the German soldiers. Next, the film covers how to effectively use the anti-tank rifle. Viewers see the anti-tank rifle that fires .55 bullets (08:43). A light British tank sits idle, and a British sergeant explains how to angle a penetrating shot with the anti-tank rifle. An anti-tank rifleman hides with his observer in brush (10:20). They see several tanks driving down a road. The rifleman fires too soon (11:23), and the tanks move off the road. Viewers see a tank approach the British soldiers’ position. The film shows the same scenario again, but with a rifleman waiting for the “kill shot” (12:44). He fires three shots and each punctures the tank. Next, the film shows the Thompson submachine gun (14:06). A patrol leader rounds a building and takes up a firing position as a German patrol moves up the road. He fires early and gives the Germans the initiative. The film shows the same scenario but in the countryside. The British patrol slowly moves through an opening in the brush. A soldier gives the warning (16:08), and the soldiers take cover and wait for the German soldiers to close in. The Nazis get within range and the British corporal fires on the German troops (16:54), killing them. The film then shows footage of German planes flying in the sky (17:40). A British soldier fires his rifle at a plane. The film shows another soldier firing a Bren gun at a plane. British troops march down a rural road (18:35). The section leader spots two planes and the men fire at the planes, despite the planes being too high to be shot. The film shows the same scenario, but the British patrol fires on a diving German plane that is within their range, hitting the plane and causing it to crash. The plane is shown burning in a field. A transport convoy waits in a woods (21:18). A German bomber drops ordnance on the position after a British soldier gave the position away. The film replays the scenario, and a sentry spots several Nazi dive bombers. A Bren gunner fires on the approaching plane and hits it (23:24). The film then discusses how the same principles apply in offensive situations. The film shows a diagram of a piece of terrain where an attack is to be carried out (24:33). An assault force tries to move, but German forces fire on them (26:12). In the second scenario, the British troops move between gaps of brush while the cover-fire squad refrains from firing to soon. A man signals to the corporal of the cover-fire squad, and he gives the order for rapid fire (28:14). The film then shows the proper way to conceal and operate the anti-tank Ordnance QF 2-pounder (29:00). Tanks move toward the anti-tank gun’s position. They sight in the tanks and fire the anti-tank gun (31:44). The film concludes by showing the different guns featured in the film and briefly replaying the different scenarios, as the narrator recaps the importance of holding fire until targets are within ideal range to effectively “shoot to kill.”

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

46 comments

  1. The definition of firepower, as I learned it, was the minimum amount of effective rounds needed to “service” a target.

  2. Those Brits in the first bit sound more like Canadians. Interesting that they had to use our boys rather than a squad of Limeys.

  3. Shoot to kill? No. Shoot to wound. A killed man takes out one man. A wounded man takes out the wounded and 1-2 people necessary to keep him mobile, slowing them down or even keeping them stationary for a while. Either that or taking the morale hit to leave a living member of your team behind who will be BEGGING to not be left.

    Plus, wounded people moan and scream, giving you audible positioning information.

  4. While I could watch these old WW2 movies all day, they are looney! Shoot one tank with a rifle and the others run back to Germany. lol I guess those are the fibs you had to tell to get the boys across the channel!

  5. The narrator and the RSM are the only English accents in this whole thing. None of the squaddies are British at all.

  6. They totally missed the mark by not playing AC/DC as a background soundtrack for this film. Imagine how much more effective the message would have been for those Brits with just a little hype music.

  7. where's the video on how to attack an entrenched position ? :)) i'd like to see two of these trainings deadlock each other .

  8. "HD" First off they were not close whatsoever to high definition video or audio and even with the best AI upscaling programs it's still not "HD". Stop making misleading statements…

  9. Director/Producer: "Okay, its time to make our next training film. We need a 'German' soldier and a British soldier. Frank, you'll play the British soldier in this film. Jerry, you'll play the German."
    Jerry: "Again? Why do you keep picking me be the German in all of these training films?"

  10. Lol in the recording they obviously had to talk loud for the camera but in reality you can hear talking people from quite far away specially if the wind takes the sound in their direction. I'd wager i would have heard them from a kilometer away or more. Its particularly funny how the corporal gives a warning shout to his guys to get into cover, they better hope the germans 100m away are deaf lol.
    I think modern soldiers should be trained in convincing the enemy into talking it out instead.

  11. 6:05 Lol……..If all Gerrys would look like that, WW2 would have been a short affair. Buddy looks like Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys. I think these films should have taught the soldiers to speak a bit quiter before launching an ambush on the enemy.

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