- Title: WAR PICTORIAL NEWS NO 71 [Main Title]
- Film Number: WPN 71
- Other titles:
- Summary: September 15th, 1940 - The Day that Saved the World.
- Description: I. 'SEPTEMBER 15th 1940-THE DAY THAT SAVED THE WORLD.' A retrospective edition covering events of interest in the two years following the aforementioned date. The commentary outlines the events of the fifteenth of September where the "young fighting men of the Royal Air Force" downed one hundred and eighty five enemy aircraft and saved Britain from imminent collapse. Hawker Hurricane Mk I fighter aircraft of 242 Squadron RAF taxi prior to a sortie at RAF Coltishall. Ordnance QF 3.7-in anti-aircraft guns fire at unseen targets from sandbagged emplacements. Camera gun footage shows a German Junkers Ju 88 bomber receiving extensive tail damage from a pursuing RAF fighter, a Junkers Ju 87 dive bomber is shot down and a Messerschmitt Bf 109E fighter receives machine gun strikes during a high "G" turn. The commentary points out that in addition to her men, Britain had set about mobilising four million women for "service in field and factory" over scenes of Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) members marching during a parade. The commentary outlines events during the Blitz over scenes of London firecrews fighting incendiary fires. Badly damaged buildings are displayed in Penfold Street, London NW1 as Londoners go about their daily business (cf COI 943). The commentary points out that Britain did not remain entirely on the defensive and put an end to "Mussolini's much trumpeted second Roman Empire" in Libya and Eritrea as Ordnance QF 25-pounders and 5.5-in medium guns fire at unseen targets. A column of Italian Army prisoners of war are escorted along a desert road to a holding camp. A South African Air Force (SAAF) bomb aimer drops incendiary bombs on unidentified enemy port facilities. A wall picture of Benito Mussolini is smashed for the benefit of the camera as the commentary states "Mussolini's African Empire, like the Duce himself, proved a thing of straw." The commentary highlights the achievements of the Royal Navy in sinking KM Bismarck and KM Admiral Graf Spee over scenes of Royal Navy ships at sea firing salvoes and bombs exploding around merchant shipping. The commentary points out that British warships kept the world's sea lanes open for a year after the loss of the French fleet. The interior of an RAF aircraft parts store is displayed with stores operatives using a crane to hoist a propeller onto the engine of a Douglas Boston Bomber as the commentary stresses that industrial production was stepped up especially in aircraft and tank output. Tank transmission and gearboxes are assembled on a production line, male factory workers use oxy-acetylene torches to weld armoured plate. Industrial presses form cartridge cases for .303-in bullets. The commentary states that the Spring of 1941 saw increased offensive activity against Germany by the RAF as aircrew climb into a Vickers Wellington bomber aircraft which taxies under the supervision of a ground controller. The commentary outlines events leading to the capture of the Italian held stronghold of Amba Alagi in Abyssinia (cf WPN 25). The Duke d'Aosta (Governor of Abyssinia) returns the salute of Italian Infantry and Alpini following capitulation of his forces as the commentary stresses that the Duke proved himself to be a most courageous and able soldier. The commentary highlights the successful Commando raid on the Norwegian island of Lofoten over views of the destruction caused to the fish oil factory by explosives (cf WPN 17). The commentary outlines the increased demand made on industrial production over views of a British vehicle park in the Middle East, with Ford 3-ton (F60L) 4X4 trucks evident. The commentary outlines the British and Commonwealth successes at Tobruk, Bardia and Benghazi over scenes of Valentine (Mk 2 ?) tanks with sand-shields driving at speed across the desert. The German attack on Russia is covered by the commentary and is ascribed to Hitler's need to capture industrial centres and to pose as the saviour of Europe from Bolshevism. German Pz Kpfw III tanks drive in column across Russia's vast steppe lands. Russian women mourn the death of recently executed loved ones, watched by a member of the German Feldgendarmerie (Military Police). The signing of the Anglo-Soviet treaty is outlined (May 26 1941) by the commentary and illustrative film is shown of Vyacheslav Molotov (Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs) signing a document watched by Stalin (not the Anglo-Soviet Treaty). British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sit together on the deck of HMS Prince of Wales during a church service following a meeting at Placentia Bay in Newfoundland where the "Eight point plan" of the Atlantic Charter was formulated (cf WPN 26). The commentary states that industrial production was increased over views of Matilda II tanks (2-pounder gun) being transported by railway flatcar to an unknown destination. Elsewhere, on the Russian front, bag charges are loaded into the casings of 152mm artillery shells by Red Army gunners. A montage of Russian artillery pieces firing at unseen targets is shown, weapons include 152mm Pushka obr 1910/34g field guns and 137mm Zenitnaya Pushka obr 1939g anti-aircraft artillery. A Russian T-34/76B medium tank drives at speed across rough terrain as the commentary states that our Russian allies gave the enemy a foretaste of what was to come. The commentary points out that China now had a million men in the field or under training as Chiang Kai-shek salutes parading Chinese Nationalist forces. A Mitsubishi G3M2 bomber aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy drops bombs over an unidentified target. The commentary highlights Wendell Willkie's visit to Cairo where he gives a speech on increasing US armament production. A Martin B-26 Marauder production line is shown as ceiling mounted industrial cranes lift Marauder fuselages across the factory floor. B-26 wheels and oleo-struts are manhandled across the factory floor by a male production worker using a trolley. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill visit to Moscow accompanied by US diplomat W Averell Harriman is highlighted, as is his meeting with Josef Stalin and Vyacheslav M Molotov. The commentary describes the meeting as "The foundations for the real new order." Winston Churchill gives a speech (live) to the Russian People on his arrival in Moscow in which he says "Whatever our suffering, whatever our toils, we will continue hand in hand as comrades and brothers until every vestige of the Nazi regime has been beaten into the ground, until the memory only of it remains as an example and a warning for future times." The commentary presents Britain as the advanced striking base for the attack on Germany, as a place of training for shock troops and airborne units and landing craft and tank construction. Above all, the commentary stresses, it is where the United Nations air offensive is based. B-24 Liberator "Black Marianne" taxies past other parked B-24's at a landing ground in the Middle East. RAF Bristol Blenheim Bombers of 82 United Provinces Squadron cross a coastline at low level. The commentary states "At last we have air superiority" over camera gun footage of anti-shipping strike by RAF aircraft against German coastal shipping. The commentary concludes "Its been a long two years since the fifteenth day of September 1940, a hard two years, but we've come through. Yes, and we're going through."
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1942-09-14
- Production Country: GB
- 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 individual) Reynolds, Quentin (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Aosta, Amedeo (person) Cripps, Richard Stafford (person) Stalin, Josef (person) Willkie, Wendell Lewis (person) Churchill, Winston Leonard Spencer (person) Roosevelt, Franklin Delano (person) Chiang Kai-shek (person) Molotov, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Scriabin (person) Harriman, Averell (person) Royal Navy, Women's Royal Naval Service (regiment/service) British Army, Auxiliary Territorial Service (regiment/service)
- Keywords: industry, British - general (object name) industry, United States - aircraft (object name) casualties, Russian dead - civilian (object name) combat, British - air strike [I] (object name) prisoners of war, Italian surrender (object name) Second World War & Atlantic Meeting & 10/8/1941 (event) Second World War & Anglo-Soviet Agreement & 16/8/1941 (event) Russia & Moscow (geography) Egypt & Western Desert (geography) London, England, UK (geography) Ethiopia & Eritrea (geography) Norway & Lofoten Islands (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: 1541 ft; Running time: 17 mins
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