- Title: WAR PICTORIAL NEWS NO 109 [Main Title]
- Film Number: WPN 109
- Other titles:
- Summary: Unconditional Surrender - Tunisia.
- Description: I. 'UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER TUNISIA.' [Reel One] General Sir Harold R.L.G Alexander (in B-3 shearling leather flying jacket) chats to Air Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham outside a tented encampment somewhere in Tunisia. General Bernard Law Montgomery inspects a Gurkha guard of honour at an undisclosed location. The commentary stresses that as at El Alamein, complete coordination of land and air forces was the essential prerequisite for Allied success in Tunisia. The commentary gives an overview of Allied dispositions and strategy facing German defensive emplacements around Mareth and in the North East of the country. British infantry stack 25-pounder shells in an ammunition dump as Crusader III tanks (with 6-pounder guns and sand skirts) negotiate a desert track. A six man British infantry detachment moves out on patrol armed with Lee-Enfield .303-in Mk III rifles, the section leader carries a Thompson M1 .45-in sub-machine gun. British 25-pounder and 5.5-in artillery guns concealed by camouflaged netting fire a nocturnal barrage at unseen targets. Wrecked German hardened concrete defensive emplacements are shown following strikes from accurate Allied bombing. United States infantry from II Corps drive through Sened on the Gafsa-Maknassy road in an M3 half-track armed with a ring-mounted .30-in water-cooled Browning machine gun. The commentary outlines the contribution of Indian and United States troops in securing Gafsa, Sened and Maknassy along with the British Eighth Army's successful outflanking manoeuvre on the Mareth Line. Italian and German prisoners are shown marching into captivity across the desert. The commentary draws parallels between the recent success at the Mareth Line and the Allied victories at El Alamein and Stalingrad over scenes of wrecked German PzKpfw III tanks and an abandoned schwere 10cm Kanone 18 field gun. Tunisian civilians wave at Eighth Army M4 and M4A1 Sherman tanks (three piece noses) as they drive through the town of El Hamma towards the Italian defensive positions at Wadi Akarit. The commentary highlights the significant contribution of the Royal Navy in securing Allied maritime supply lines in support of offensive operations on land. Merchant ships sail in convoy. The troopship "Samaria" has her decks crammed with soldiers. Universal Carriers and crated supplies are unloaded by crane at an unidentified quayside. A pipe band of the 51st Highland Division marches through Gabes watched by Tunisian civilians and Commonwealth troops (New Zealand Corps ?). General Bernard Law Montgomery is presented with a bouquet of Spring flowers as he sits in his Humber Snipe tourer. The contribution of the Allied air forces in maintaining "an air offensive unparalleled in history" is highlighted over footage of North American B-25 Mitchell bombers flying in formation (visible only in silhouette). A Crusader tank engages unseen enemy targets with its 2-pounder gun. Men of the 4th Indian Division fire a Vickers .303-in heavy machine gun. A British 3.7-in anti-aircraft gun fires at high flying German Junkers Ju 88 bombers. Stock shot footage shows a Ju 88 bomber spinning to earth and exploding. British Eighth Army infantry meet United States (US) II Corps troops at a point described as being "half way between Gabes and Gafsa" (but possibly nearer the Northernmost tip of the Eastern Dorsal in the environs of Kairouan). US infantry inspect the blades of Kukri knifes as they mix with Gurkha troops on the road to Enfidaville. [Reel Two] General Sir Harold R L G Alexander (C-in-C 18th Army Group) talks with Air Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham near a command vehicle covered with camouflage netting. The commentary outlines the almost simultaneous entry into Tunis of elements from the First Army (Derbyshire Yeomanry) and Eighth Army (11th Hussars) on May 7 1943. M4 Sherman tanks engage enemy snipers on the outskirts of Tunis as buildings burn. RAF Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk fighter-bombers peel off to attack enemy targets with 1000lb bombs. Tunis civilians wave and carry French national flags as French motorised infantry drive through a main street in US soft-skinned vehicles during the official victory parade. German General Jurgen von Arnim (C-in-C 5th Panzer Army and Supreme Axis Commander) walks in an olive grove after his capture by the 4th Indian Division, later posing for photographs outside the cargo door of a C-47 Skytrain transport aircraft. Generals Eisenhower, Alexander, Anderson, Catroux, Leclerc and Montgomery are present on a reviewing dais during the Tunis Victory Parade (May 20 1943). General Dwight D Eisenhower and General Henri Giraud take the salute as the march past begins. Members of the Grenadier Guards form a guard of honour in front of the reviewing dais. The commentary states that the defeat of the Axis forces in Africa is a sign of gathering Allied strength and a foretaste of things to come in Europe.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1943-06-07
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: Ministry of Information, Middle East (Production sponsor) War Pictorial News (Production company) Martin, Charles (Production individual) Hurley, Frank1885-10-151962-01-16Australian photographer (Production cast)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Leclerc, Philippe (person) Catroux, Georges (person) Alexander, Harold (1st Earl Alexander of Tunis) (person) Coningham, Arthur (person) Montgomery, Bernard Law (person) Arnim, Jurgen von (person) Eisenhower, Dwight David (person) Giraud, Henri H (person) Anderson, Kenneth Arthur Noel (person) British Army, Gurkhas (regiment/service) British Army, Div 51 (regiment/service) British Army, Royal Engineers (regiment/service)
- Keywords: celebrations, Tunisian - liberation (object name) supplies, British, movement [FA] - misc (object name) prisoners of war, German - movement (object name) combat, British - anti-aircraft (object name) combat, British - air strike (object name) Tunisia & Tunis (geography) Tunisia & Enfidaville (geography) Tunisia & Sened (geography) Tunisia & El Hamma (geography) Tunisia & Gabes (geography)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Sound Soundtrack language: English Title language: English
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 2 Footage: 1247 ft; Running time: 13 mins
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