People get off a train and walk from platform in Batun Russia (Soviet Union). View of six car electric train passing. Pedestrians walking across tracks after the train passes. Steam locomotive pulling a long passenger train. A large crowd boarding train at station. Interior view of passengers on the train.
Animated map shows changes in borders and nations surrounding Poland up until 1937. A map with strategic importance city of Danzig in Poland. Map shows Czechoslovakia, Russia, Hungary, Ottoman Empire, and Germany.
Views of industrial development projects and activities during Soviet Russia's first 5-year plan under Joseph Stalin. Mining activities, with ore being moved on conveyer belts and open rail cars. view upwards toward piping and towers in a petroleum refining plant. Steel plant and open hearth furnace. Turbine deck in a hydroelectric power plant. Electric transmission lines. Farmer irrigating crops with machinery. Workers shoveling grain out of open bed trucks. Apartment houses under construction. A machinist turning metal on a lathe. Factory workers in a room with pictures of Lenin and Stalin on the wall. Freight trains underway (ostensibly to Siberia). Officials visiting a machine shop, during the 2nd Five Year Plan, in 1935. They present worker's medals to Stakhanovites (superior workers). Views of Stakhanovites conversing and comparing medals at a presentation occasion. View of criminal (political) proceedings conducted in the Great Purge (Yezhovshchina) during 1937-38. Photograph of N.I. Yezhov (called Stalin's executioner, by the narrator). Picture of Stalin walking with Felix Dzerzhinsky, Lev Kamenev, and Gregory Zinoviev, Ca. 1925. The latter two images are circled as narrator says they were quickly disposed of after Stalin seized power. View of trials in which persons are accused of plotting with Leon Trotsky, in 1936, at the Hotel Bristol, in Copenhagen (according to narrator, who notes that the hotel was no longer in operation in 1936). More trial scenes. Image of N.I. Yezhov is shown, again, as narrator states that he was purged in 1938, along with other officials.
Celebratory parade of Russian citizens, carrying banners and enjoying themselves, in Red Square, Russia. Spectators enjoying the festivities. Among banners carried is one artistically depicting a Junkers 52 (JU-52) airliner flying the globe. (This may allude to Aeroflot commencing international flights in 1937).
Series 'Why We Fight' episode "Prelude to War" depicts the battles during World War II. United States soldiers parade on street lead by a band. Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.December 7, 1941. The London Blitz with buildings destroyed and burning. The Eiffel Tower in Paris with Nazi flag flying atop it. German troops marching into Paris, through the Arch of Triumph. Japanese warplanes bombing shanghai, China, in 1937. Chinese residents running for shelter. Glimpse of German "Schwerer Gustav" 80 cmrailway gun firing during German offensive against Soviet Union in 1941. German forces entering Czechoslovakia in 1938. German mounted troops entering France in 1940. Heavy guns firing. German ships en route to Norway 1940. German Ju-52 aircraft flying low over trees. Montage showing rapid succession of war scenes, including heavy guns firing, smoke rising, explosions, an aircraft shot down and crashing straight down, German armor on the move, German Ju-52 aircraft dropping paratroopers into Holland and one flying over Athens, Greece, with Mount Lykabettus in the background. More of the same with Narrator mentioning Belgium, Albania, Yugoslavia, and Russia (where citizens are seen digging anti-tank trenches and fortifications). Cavalry charging across a field. A German tank rolling forward. A German Dornier Do-17 bomber taking off, and bombs falling.