This wartime colour film of Lancasters is the only known to exist. It is believed to be the only colour film made during WW2 concerning the RAF. It was de-classified under the "Thirty Year's Rule" in 1978. Viewed as a whole, the film reflects a full day of activity at a front line RAF Bomber Base. It's a film about an operation of a squadron of 40 Avro Lancaster Bombers during World War 2.Film describes in detail an operation to Berlin in Germany (& back) by a squadron of 40 Avro Lancaster Heavy Bombers (Four Merlin Powered Engines) during World War 2.

It shows ground crew changing a Merlin engine, replacement of a rear turret with twin 0.50 inch machine guns rather than four 0.303 inch guns and then the fuelling and bombing up of aircraft. Bombs of various sizes are shown being manhandled on to trolleys then moved by tractor from the bomb dump to have fuses attached before being taken to aircraft and winched up into the bomb bay. Aircrew are shown being fully briefed and getting into flying gear prior to taking off "for a mission to Berlin". The latter section appears "staged" but still reveals what it was like to be in a Lancaster and the near impossibility of getting out if an aircraft was hit by shell or cannon fire from anti aircraft guns or night fighters.

The quality of the footage is astonishing given that the bulk was filmed using a 16mm camera. The interior shots of a fully operational Lancaster (and perhaps the reason for the ban on release until 1978) show the use of all the electronics that became available later in the war for navigation and early warning of night fighter attack.

This film does not glamorise the Avro Lancaster, or the people involved carrying out the operation to Berlin & back. From an historical point of view, this film is of major significance, being the sole documentary of it's type to have been made during the conflict. 'Night Bombers,'is an absolute must for any person interested in RAF Bomber Command's activities in 1943-4.


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