Date: November 11, 2020 09:41AM
This is a recreation of what the end of the Great War sounded like at 11:11 on 11/11/1918.https://youtu.be/dTA10n1Ztqo
Sadly, the "War To End All Wars" did not end war or human conflict. We should always remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.https://codatocoda.bandcamp.com/album/iwm-ww1-armistice-interpretation-sound-installation
We worked with the team at Imperial War Museum to reimagine what the end of the First World War might have sounded like for their Making a New World season. They asked us to create an interpretation based on a unique image from their archive: a section of film called the End of the War which shows a before and after recording made by a ‘sound ranging’ unit at the end of the First World War, on 11 November 1918.
The End of the War shows a ‘recording’ made on film of sound pressure impulses picked up by ‘sound ranging’ equipment stationed along the allied front.
The purpose of this equipment was to try and determine where enemy guns were positioned by analysing the length of time it took sound impulses from the firing of guns to arrive at the allied front. The sound ranging equipment used six tuned low frequency ‘microphones’ (indicated by the six parallel lines on the film) arranged in a wide arc behind allied lines. The microphones were connected to a string galvanometer at a forward listening position. A low frequency signal picked up by one of these microphones would move a thin wire in the galvanometer and cast a shadow onto a piece of moving film.
The equipment takes advantage of both the consistency and relative difference between the speed of sound and the speed of light to create a visual recording of the sound impulses which would arrive at the microphones after the flash of the guns being fired. An operator would wait for the flash of an enemy gun to start the film rolling and the equipment would record the signals as they arrived progressively based on their proximity to the impulse source.
The film took around five minutes to develop after which trained analysts could decode the patterns on the film and use them to work out the positions of enemy guns using a process called multilateration.
By the end of WW1 sound ranging techniques could locate enemy guns within 25m to 50m under normal atmospheric conditions and even determine the caliber, number of guns and the target. The document above gives us a great insight into how intense and chaotic the barrage of gunfire must have been to those fighting. The missing section that has been edited out of the film in the middle of the image also begs the question “what would those 2 minutes have sounded like?"
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/11/2020 09:48AM by anybody.