- Title: WAR PICTORIAL NEWS NO 100 [Main Title]
- Film Number: WPN 100
- Other titles:
- Summary: 100th Edition.
- Description: I. '100 EDITION.' British Minister of State for the Middle East R G Casey introduces this retrospective edition, which traces the course of the war so far, placing events in the context of Churchill's "bold plan of Mediterranean strategy. Men of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) queue on the beaches and in the surf awaiting passage from Dunkirk. British troops crowd on the decks of a civilian vessel leaving Dunkirk. The commentary outlines events leading to the Battle of Britain and the Blitz over scenes of a nocturnal anti-aircraft barrage, buildings set alight by incendiary bombs and Air Raid Precaution (ARP) wardens standing outside a public bomb shelter. London streets scenes show the entrance to a public bomb shelter in Trafalgar square with Nelson's Column and the National Gallery evident in the background. A column of Home Guard dressed in civilian clothes, armed with Lee-Enfield Mk III .303-in rifles march past watching civilians. The Commentary stresses that it was at the moment that Britain stood alone that Prime Minister Winston Churchill conceived his "grand offensive strategy" aimed at permanently separating the two senior Axis partners Germany and Japan. A map illustrates the theory behind Churchill's thinking showing how a "ring of encirclement will be forged around Hitler's Europe until the United Nations gather their strength for attack." The Royal Navy's (RN) role in engaging the Italian fleet in the Mediterranean and securing lines of communications to North Africa is outlined over views of Gibraltar and a RN Lieutenant checking compass bearing aboard ship. Aircrew of the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force) receive a last minute briefing prior to a sortie. Three CRDA Cant Z.506B Airone seaplanes of the Regia Aeronautica take off in formation from a calm sea with air to air views showing same aircraft in flight. The commentary claims that the RN and RAF have destroyed over 1100 Italian aircraft in nine months, half of Italy's front-line strength. RN ratings run to a shipboard multiple pom-pom anti-aircraft gun and traverse it to meet an incoming target. Savoia-Marchetti SM 79 Sparviero bombers of the Italian Regia Aeronautica are shown in flight, with brief internal views of the cockpit. Other Sparvieros are shown in flight displaying a distinctive mottled camouflage scheme (68 fuselage code). Aerial footage shows bomb plumes erupting in the sea around shipping (RN ?) and 250lb bombs dropping. Air to air views show an Italian Navy (Regia Navale) IMAM Ro 44 reconnaissance seaplane in flight. The commentary outlines British and Commonwealth successes in The East African Campaign over scenes of men from the 5th Indian Division skirmishing in bush in the Sudan (cf WPN 3). A party of Italian Army officers and town dignitaries surrender Asmara, the Eritrean capital, to British forces (cf WPN 16). British troops march through the outskirts of Addis Ababa as the commentary states that with the liberation of Abyssinia, the East African Empire of Fascism ceased to be, yet another step in the development of Churchill's plan was completed. British General Archibald P Wavell sits on a Wadi in the Western Desert carrying a pair of binoculars with the commentary outlining the successes of British arms in the First Libyan Campaign. British Vickers Mk II medium tanks drive across desert terrain, supported by infantry. The commentary asserts that within eight weeks of the start of the first Libyan Campaign, over 130,000 Italian soldiers were captured and more tanks and guns than the entire British Army possessed at the opening of the battle. British soft-skinned vehicles drive through a Greek village as the commentary gives an overview of the Greek campaign, described as being fought more for honour than strategy. Hitler's invasion of Soviet Russia in June 1941 described as a "bitter mistake" is highlighted by captured German footage showing German armoured vehicles advancing at the start of Operation Barbarossa. German PzKpfw III tanks drive in column along a Russian road in the early stages of Barbarossa, their crews wearing early pattern black uniforms and berets. A German StuG III assault gun (7.5cm StuK L/24 gun) drives past burning houses. German infantry view a knocked-out Russian BT-7 tank as they drive past in a Kfz 81 6X4 Krupp truck towing a 3.7cm Pak 35/36 anti-tank gun. The Casablanca Conference (held at Anfa) is described as being the final closing of the ring around Germany, and the beginning of the offensive phase in United Nations strategy. General Charles de Gaulle and General Henri H Giraud shake hands in the gardens of the villa at Anfa (January 24 1943) watched by Churchill and Roosevelt who are seated. British Minister Resident in North Africa, Harold Macmillan, is evident in the background watching the proceedings with interest. II. 'OCTOBER 23RD 1942.' The commentary outlines the events leading to the British and Commonwealth victory at the Second Battle of El Alamein and the pursuit of Rommel's forces to Tripoli. Universal Carriers, M3 General Lee and M4 General Sherman tanks of the Eighth Army drive into a white-washed hamlet near the sea during the ninety day advance to Tripoli. The continuing theme of Churchill's "Grand Strategy" is reiterated with extracts from his address to the United States Senate in December 1941 stressing his belief that 1943 will be the year that offensive initiative will be assumed on a grand scale (cf WPN 43). Eighth Army M3 General Stuart light tanks and Jeeps drive into Benghazi past the imposing twin-cupolas of Benghazi Cathedral. III. 'THE MARETH LINE BREAKS.' M4 General Shermans and Crusader MkII tanks drive along a coastal road in Tunisia. Events leading to the outflanking and breaching of the German defensive positions on the Mareth Line (20-27 March 1943) by the Eighth Army are explained. The Allied air support of land operations is described as the greatest concentration of aircraft yet seen in North Africa. Douglas Boston bombers of the RAF desert air force and North American B-25 Mitchell bombers of The United States Army Air Force (USAAF). The Mareth victory is described as being the beginning of the end for the Axis in North Africa and is yet again worked into the overall theme of Churchillian grand strategy. German infantry prisoners from Panzerarmee Afrika are marched along a desert road watched by British troops. Douglas Boston bombers overfly a Tunisian coastal plain with extensive palm tree vegetation visible, a distinct contrast to the aridity of earlier desert scenes.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1943-04-05
- 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)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Casey, Richard Gavin Gardiner (person) Giraud, Henri H (person) Roosevelt, Franklin Delano (person) Gaulle, Charles André Joseph Marie de (person) Smuts, Jan Christiaan (person) Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia (person) Wavell, Archibald Percival (person) Churchill, Winston Leonard Spencer (person) British Army, Home Guard (regiment/service)
- Keywords: combat, British naval - anti-aircraft (object name) operations, British military - movement: ship (object name) Libya & Tripoli (geography) Greece (geography) Ethiopia & Addis Ababa (geography) London, England, UK (geography) Dunkerque, Nord, France (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: 1723 ft; Running time: 19 mins
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