Described by one wartime viewer as “a thoroughly absorbing film”, ‘ACK ACK’ is an insight to what it was like for the soldiers who manned anti-aircraft guns on Britain’s home front. Their experiences ranging from the high intensity of an air raid, to the less frantic periods, where they appear relaxed enough to read, play music, a game of chess or pool and even socialise with a drink.
With the aerial bombing of Britain being both heavy and frequent from September 1940 to May 1941, anti-aircraft (or ACK ACK) guns were used to help keep enemy aircraft at bay. In the early stages of the Blitz, the soldiers who operated these weapons would only occasionally hit an enemy aircraft; their main objective therefore being only to disrupt the enemy from accurately hitting their targets.
The IWM Film Archive is the oldest film archive in the UK, holding over 20,000 hours of film, video and digital material and covering the two World Wars and all conflicts involving British or Commonwealth Forces since the start of the Twentieth Century to the present. Our collection also reflects aspects of civilian life in wartime, military life in peacetime, military exercises and operations.