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Title:WAR PICTORIAL NEWS NO 137 - AMERICAN VARIANT [Allocated Title]
Film Number:WPN 288
Summary: An edition of the British official newsreel "War Pictorial News", produced by the Ministry of Information, Middle East aimed at an American audience (most likely US Forces).
Description: I. 'WOMEN WHO SERVE THE GUNS.' This item duplicates Item I of WPN 137.
II. 'ELEPHANTS PUSH FOR THE WAR EFFORT.' This item duplicates Item III of WPN 137.
III. 'NEWS FROM NORTH AFRICA.' General Dwight D Eisenhower and Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham review United States (US) troops in honour of Cunningham's appointment as Britain's First Lord of the Admiralty. Royal Navy ratings carry Lee-Enfield Mk III .303-inch rifles as they perform a march past. US infantry armed with Garand .30-inch self loading rifles form an honour guard for the US national flag.
IV. 'SOVIET TORPEDO PLANES ON CONVOY PATROL.' A Russian Naval Air Force Beriev MBR-2 flying boat flies at low level over the sea (late production model). Brief footage shows a parachute-retarded depth charge being dropped into the sea. Russian naval ratings use stern mounted depth charge launcher rails to attack a submerged submarine (depth charges are launched from a Russian Navy patrol motor launch that is similar in construction to a Finnish VMV type). Stock shot footage shows a Regia Aeronautica Savoia Marchetti SM 79 Sparviero attacking British shipping bound for Malta (Operation Harpoon ? cf WPN 67). Stock shot footage shows Royal Navy ratings firing a 20mm Oerlikon cannon at unseen aircraft. Russian Naval Air Force armourers load a 2,072-lb torpedo onto the shackles of an Ilyushin Il-4 bomber aircraft. Three Il-4 aircraft fly in formation. Stock shot footage shows an aircraft launched torpedo attack on merchant shipping.
V. 'ALLIED FIFTH ARMY HURLS BACK NAZIS ON ITALIAN FRONT.' United States (US) Fifth Army soft-skinned vehicles drive past a road sign that reads "Roma". US Fifth Army commander, General Mark W Clark reviews a guard of honour drawn from the US 82nd Airborne Division before departing in a Willys GP Jeep. Aerial footage shows destroyed bridges over the Calore River and a bomb-damaged electricity generating station in Benevento. Wrecked rolling stock litters the Napoli-Benevento railway line. US infantry enter Benevento. Italian civilians carry belongings through the rubble of battle damaged buildings. A US Army Dodge three-quarter ton weapons carrier fords a rain-swollen stream to the North of Caserta. US Fifth Army Willys Jeeps, Dodge three-quarter ton Command Reconnaissance vehicles and mounted US Army horsemen move along a road in the environs of Caserta.
Production Details: Ministry of Information (Production sponsor)
War Pictorial News (Production company)
Martin, Charles (Production individual)
Keating, Rex1910-02-142005-01British newsreel commentator, WW2 period (Production cast)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Clark, Mark Wayne (person)
United States Army & Army 5 (regiment/service)
Keywords: operations, United States military - movement: road (object name)
destruction, Italian military - area (object name)
refugees, Italian - return (object name)
Italy & Naples, Campania (geography)
Italy & Benevento (geography)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: English
Subtitle language: Arabic
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 890 ft; Running time: 10 mins
Notes: Summary: items III - V have an American commentary. This issue was presumably assembled by the WPN team for exhibition to US forces in the Middle East in the absence of a US newsreel.