The Battles of Coronel and Falkland Islands

The Battles of Coronel and Falkland Islands is a 1927 British documentary film directed by Walter Summers. The film focuses on the naval warfare around the Battle of Coronel and Battle of the Falkland Islands during the First World War.[2] It was the last in a successful series of documentary reconstructions of First World War battles by British Instructional Films made between 1921 and 1927.[3] The film was produced at Cricklewood Studios and on location off Malta and the Isles of Scilly. The film is an entirely fictional recreation with a strong documentary feel.

The Battles of Coronel and Falkland Islands
Directed byWalter Summers
Produced byHarry Bruce Woolfe
Written byFrank Bowden
John Buchan
Merritt Crawford
Harry Engholm
CinematographyJack Parker
Stanley Rodwell
Distributed byBritish Instructional Films
Release date
  • 27 October 1927 (1927-10-27)
Running time
107 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The film cost an estimated £18,000 to make. It grossed £70,000 in Britain alone.[4] It was restored and re-released by the BFI in 2014.


In 2014 the BFI restored the film for the centenary of the events with a new score composed by Simon Dobson.[5]

Historical background

On 1 November 1914, off the coast of Chile near Coronel, ships of the German and British navies exchanged fire resulting in the sinking of two British ships HMS Monmouth and HMS Good Hope with the loss of nearly 1,600 sailors. To counter the German squadron, the Royal Navy sent two battle-cruisers - Inflexible and Invincible - to the South Atlantic. In December 1914, the British battle-cruisers, accompanied by smaller ships, engaged the German squadron during the Battle of the Falkland Islands and sank the German armoured cruisers SMS Scharnhorst and SMS Gneisenau near the Falkland Islands.



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