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Title:WAR PICTORIAL NEWS NO 143 - AMERICAN VARIANT [Allocated Title]
Film Number:WPN 294
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. 'WAR NEWS.' This item duplicates Item II of WPN 143.
II. 'US TESTS NEW TORPEDO BOATS FOR THE BRITISH NAVY.' Three United States (US) built motor torpedo boats (MTBs) are put through their paces by Royal Navy crews (MTBs have no pennant numbers but may possibly be of the US Elco type).
III. 'NEW FILMS OF THE BATTLE OF TARAWA.' Shaky operational footage shows Japanese aircraft attacking United States Navy (USN) landing craft at a distance (too far for accurate identification of aircraft type) during the US landings on Tarawa (November 11 1943). A USN landing craft burns and explodes as a result of the Japanese attack. Members of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) run up a beach on Tarawa as they come under enemy fire. USMC troops approach a Japanese dugout with extreme caution. USMC troops use flamethrowers and Mk IIA1 fragmentation grenades in an attempt to neutralise a Japanese defensive position. US marines fire Garand .30-inch self loading rifles and Thompson M1 .45-inch machine guns at unseen enemy targets. US marines carry a wounded comrade back to the beachhead for medical evacuation to a hospital ship. US marines shelter from possible Japanese sniper fire behind the tracks of an LVT-2 Water Buffalo amphibious vehicle. US marines throw Mk IIA1 fragmentation grenades into a Japanese beach tunnel. The marines moving very slowly to the tunnel entrance with M1 .30-inch carbines and a Smith and Wesson .38-inch revolver at the ready (Smith and Wesson actual calibre .357-inch). A partially clothed Japanese prisoner is marched past the camera position under armed marine guard. US marines fire a Browning .30-inch air-cooled machine gun and a Garand self loading rifle equipped with telescopic sight at unseen targets. Smoke wreathes the island from the extensive use of USMC flame throwers. Extended footage show numerous Japanese corpses. A US marine gives a kitten a drink of water from his canteen. A US national flag is raised over Tarawa as the USMC hand over their hard-won positions to members of a US Army relief force.
Production Details: Ministry of Information, Middle East (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: United States Marine Corps (regiment/service)
Keywords: ships, United States naval - light forces: MTB & [allied] (object name)
combat, United States (object name)
operations, United States military - amphibious (object name)
casualties, United States wounded - battlefield (object name)
casualties, Japanese dead - battlefield (object name)
prisoners of war, Japanese - surrender (object name)
Tarawa 1943, Gilbert and Marshall Islands, Pacific War 1941-1945, Second World War (event)
Gilbert and Ellice Islands & Tarawa (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: 876 ft; Running time: 9 mins
Notes: Summary: item II has 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 complete US newsreel.