Battle of Britain (1969) soundtrack

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Battle of Britain (1969) soundtrack

Post by kelty90 » 22 Sep 2003 13:01

[Several threads dealing with "Battle of Britain" soundtrack have been merged by the music section host, Ivan Ž.]

Those who enjoy the film "Battle of Britain" may be interested to learn that it is to be re-released with the music originally written for the score.
What we all hear from the cinema release was a replacement for a score written by Sir William Walton that the studio didn't like.
The fragment "The battle in the air" is all that remained. But now, we will be getting a DVD and hopefully a cinema release with Walton's score.
The original recordings were dumped and rescued by an engineer and kept all this time in his garage!.

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Origins of "Aces High" the Luftwaffe March

Post by Eden Zhang » 17 Jun 2004 12:48

Hi there.

"Aces High" has got to be one of my favourite military songs ever. But I don't know anything about the origins of this wonderful piece of music.

For those of you who don't know it, its this song here: ... photo/4164

Some of my friends reckon that since it was (supposedly) featured in the movie "The Battle of Britain", it was a song composed soley for the movie. But then I pointed out that many WW2 movies use music from the era (eg. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Königgrätzer Marsch).

So basically I was wondering if anyone on these forums could shed some light on the origins of this song, on what occassions would it be played, etc.

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Post by nondescript handle » 17 Jun 2004 16:06

The Aces High (Luftwaffe March) was written by Ron Goodwin for the 1969 movie "The Battle of Britain".


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Post by paul.i.w » 21 Jun 2004 17:34

The march was composed by Ron Goodwin for the film 'Battle of Britain' In the UK it was called 'Luftwaffe March', in the US 'Aces High'.

When the film was made, as you probably know, the music was composed by William Walton. The producers thought that he hadn't written enough, and I don't think they were over keen on a lot of it. So Ron Goodwin was drafted in at the last minute to redo the music. He had 3 weeks to write the soundtrack. I had the good fortune to meet him a couple of years ago. He said that the piece of music that took him the longest to write was this march. He was working almost day and night for those weeks to get the music done. (I got him to sign my BofB CD, one of my prized possessions!).

Ron was a bit upset at all the fuss over the replacement of Walton's music and I think it's overshadowed his great achievement somewhat in doing this music. Interestingly, the new region 2 Battle of Britain DVD allows you to watch the film with the Goodwin soundtrack, or the Walton one. The Luftwaffe March/Aces High is used over the opeining titles, and for me has much greater impact than the Walton score at that point.


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Post by gabriel pagliarani » 21 Jun 2004 18:41

:o ..incredible! A movie = 2 different scores? No, Sir Paul I never suspected about it. I never heard William Walton's one! Pls, Sir Paul, drive me to an URL about it. Life is a never ending discovery...
Thank you.

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Post by paul.i.w » 21 Jun 2004 18:58

A CD was released a few years ago with both scores on it. There is a bit about it here ... 540&ID=692

As it says, Walton's music was largely abandoned in favour of Ron Goodwin's. One objector was Laurence Olivier, and the story is that he threatened to leave the film unless some of walton's music was left in. The result was that the 'battle in the air' sequence was kept as Walton's contribution to the cinema release - and a great piece of music it is, especially the way it is used. As the review above says, Walton's tapes were eventually rediscovered and released on CD. But the thing to do is get the new region 2 DVD and listen to both soundtracks with the film and see what you think. I'd reccomend the CD as well!

I guess if you do a search on the web you will find more information?


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Post by gabriel pagliarani » 22 Jun 2004 11:25

Thanks, sir Paul. I am obliged to admit my own legendary ignorance about any kind of music.. :oops:

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Post by Panzermahn » 28 Aug 2004 14:28


i had the Battle of Britain DVD...of course, it was one of my fav music score's especially during the opening scene of General Milch and then the slow part when Major Foehn came and fetch Major Falke for dinner..the slow and modified part of Luftwaffe Marsch really sound sweet and relaxing

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Post by pzrwest » 23 Sep 2005 15:25

I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this but here goes anyways. Does anyone know the name of the opening music from the movie The Battle Of Britian where the General is inspecting the Luftwaffe Fields or where i can get an mp3 of the music?

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Post by GebirgsNachHpt » 23 Sep 2005 17:05

the tune is called "Luftwaffe March" and was written for the movie by a royal airforce band leader...I have an MP3 of it let me dig around

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Post by Pzgr-Wolf » 23 Sep 2005 18:42

I have it.. with Göring's voice and some cars horning and stuff.. the filename for mine is Aces High Goering's Arrival.. I can upload it

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Post by theduke » 24 Nov 2006 22:06

does anyone knows where to find the midi files of the music used in this movie?
i already found the main theme, now i would like the rest,

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Luftwaffe March

Post by I B Piper » 16 Jul 2007 10:44

[Split from Panzerwagenlied]


Is the Luftwaffe March in any of your songbooks? That's one of the tunes from the 3rd Reich that sounds more musically appealing to my ears than most of the others. The Luftwaffe March was used in the film The Battle of Britain", and that recording sounds like it was done post war, very nice. A scan from a song book would be enough for me to create a piano version. If anyone has a scan of the full score, or a reduction for piano (klavier) like the one Claymore posted for the Horst Wessel Lied, that would be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,

I B Piper

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Post by Wim » 16 Jul 2007 11:34

I B piper i have to disappoint you. What i have are songbooks so only songs not just maches without vocal.


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Post by Ivan Ž. » 18 Jul 2007 11:21

Hello, I B Piper

The "Luftwaffe March" (Aces High) is NOT a German march. It is British, composed for the movie, by Ron Goodwin.


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