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Title:THE SOVIET MILITARY MISSION VISITS THE NORMANDY BEACH-HEAD (PART 1) [Allocated Title]
Film Number:A70 96-5
Summary: The Soviet Military Mission visits Arromanches.
Description: Accompanied by a conducting party consisting of officers from the headquarters of 2nd Army (and 21st Army Group and the Russian Liaison Group) Vice-Admiral Kharlanov, Major-Generals Sklyarov and Vasiliev and Colonel Gorbatov inspect No. 2 Trans- shipment Area where DUKW amphibious lorries (notably one specimen from 377th GT Company RASC) have the cargoes they collected from ships lying off-shore transferred to ordinary cargo lorries for delivery further inland. Through murky light, the British and Soviet officers survey shipping moored inside the Mulberry harbour from cliff tops west of Arromanches; an RASC (?) lieutenant-colonel provides a commentary on the activity in the harbour which the captain interpreter in the conducting party translates into Russian. Brigadier Firebrace, chief of the Russian Liaison Group, is seen briefly climbing into a jeep before leaving.
Notes: Note: See with A70 96-6 and 99-1 and refer generally to footage featuring DUKW activity at Arromanches, notably A70 58-6 and 70-1. Some of the Soviet officers seen here and Brigadier Firebrace figured later in the discussions held between the USSR and the British government over the fate of Soviet citizens captured in Normandy while in Wehrmacht uniform.
Remarks: The looks of boredom and disinterest on the faces of the Soviet officers, with the possible exception of Kharlanov, assumed more sinister connotation in the light of the USSR's real interest in what the British regarded as a freak side-effect of the Normandy campaign, namely the presence of thousands of Soviet citizens in the German formations encountered in France.
Documentation/associated material: for a bibliography, read Nikolai Tolstoy's 'Victims of Yalta' which deals in great detail with the western Allies' repatriation of Soviet citizens who had either been interned by the Germans or conscripted into the Wehrmacht to the USSR and their subsequent ordeal at the hands of the NKVD.