Troops battle during the Spanish Civil War. Spanish Nationalist troops fire artillery targeting the city of Bilbao as smoke rises in the distance. Smoke rises as shells hit. Spanish Nationalist on foot and in trucks enter the city of Bilbao. Soldiers cheer and celebrate their victory. Soldiers cross a bridge. (Note: Momentary sounds of cheering can be heard in two places, but the film is otherwise silent.)
Japanese troops parade for Emperor Hirohito, mounted upon a white horse. Italian troops goosestep and German troops goosestep on parade. View of Austrian town with snow-covered Alps mountains in background as German troops enter on March 13, 1938. Local citizens welcome them, displaying swastika flags and giving Nazi straight arm salutes. Troops, military vehicles, tanks, motorcycles, and horse-drawn artillery comprise the German invading force. Shifts to Spain, where war torn buildings reflect effects of German and Italian intervention during the Spanish Civil War. A donkey standing near field artillery piece. Artillery being fired from an urban park in Spain. Artilleryman using a range finder. German gun crew with heavy artillery piece. Soldiers wearing Adrian steel helmets, firing a two-wheeled water-cooled machine gun. Spanish carrying wounded on stretcher. Spanish civilians inadvertently slain during civil war conflict. Starving dog walking in street. Huge poster of Francisco Franco and view of him on reviewing stand saluting marching Nationalist troops. Repeat of Hirohito reviewing troops and Italian and German troops goosestep. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini stand together in open car heading to Fuhrerbau in Munich, Germany, for signing of Agreement between Germany, Italy, Britain, and France in 1938.Neville Chamberlain, and Edouard Daladier riding in car to Fuhrerbau. Views of the principals signing the accords. Hermann Goering seen. In Italy, Mussolini waves to cheering crowd from balcony. German troops enter Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia) greeted by joyous ethnic German inhabitants.German military brass band playing in open trucks. Signpost pointing to Prag; Eger; Joachimsta; and Komotau. German troops marching into Prague.Italian Destroyer in port, as Italy invades Albania in 1939. An Italian L3/33 tankette being unloaded from a ship.Bicycle troops riding in Albania. German gun position overlooking river. Hitler at Reichstag mocks Roosevelt plea to stop invasions.
Scenes of Spanish civil war. Map depicts road from Madrid to village of Fuenteduena (aka Fuentiduena), and surrounding area. Towns of Aranjuez and Arganda, as well as the Tagus River are shown.Arrow points to spot on Jarama River, 25 miles from Fuenteduena. Republican soldiers climb a hill. They organize supplies and ammunition at a defensive position in the hillside. Several walk silhouetted against the sky as sound of machine gun fire is heard in background. Repubican troops hunkered down in grass, discussing the situation. Closeup of two in conversation. Change of scene show soldier using field radio to communicate. Glimpse of farmland at village of Fuenteduena. Soldiers using periscopic binoculars to view battlefield. Others carrying ammunition and a gun crew firing a field artillery piece. Spanish Republican officer conversing with others on a hill overlooking orchard below and battlefield beyond. More firing of artillery piece.
Animated map shows the front line of battle, between Republican and Nationalist forces, running West of Madrid from West Park through University City, during the Spanish Civil War. Camera pans across landscape, from a high vantage point, and then focuses on buildings of University City, where Nationalist forces have taken up positions in a palace with two pointed towers, and near a ruined clinical hospital. Republican troops are seen entering through a gate at the hospital, where the bearded Brigade Commander Jesús Martínez de Aragón is seen consulting with his staff. (Narrator notes that he died in the attack on the Casa del Campo soon after this scene was filmed.) Views of sandbagged buildings inside the hospital compound. The Brigade Commander is seen with some of his soldiers, while rebels are trying to move further into the clinic compound. His soldiers take up defensive positions inside clinic buildings, carrying heavy arms up the stairs. Republican defenders firing machine guns from inside the building, and moving through rubble to other positions. Views inside the clinic and sound of glass breaking. Continuous sound of machine gun fire. Two soldiers fire through a small hole in a concrete wall. View, from Republican defensive position, of a battle-scarred multistory building across the way. One of the soldiers writing a letter home (dated May 4, 1937). Another soldier rolls a cigarette.
Fascist Rebel bombardment of Madrid, during Spanish Civil War, angers population and promotes recruitment into the Republican Army. A group of men march down a street with a small boy, who appears to be in boy scout uniform, in the front rank, carrying a flag. Recruits are seen being organized into marching groups. Sidewalk in front of a railroad station is filled with new recruits. They march under direction of Republican soldiers. Motorcade of automobiles carrying Manuel Azana Diaz, President of Spain, stops surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd, in Valencia. The President steps from his car, enters a building, and delivers a speech emphasizing the democratic election of the government and decrying the need to defend it and the soil of Spain from fascist rebels. Scene shifts to several men in rural area, discussing the need to complete new irrigation projects in time for new defense of Madrid. They already have their pump and must build the pump house. One man types on a typewriter while another sketches the plan to pump water from the Rio Tajo (Tagus River), to irrigate crops. View of horse-drawn wagon loaded with cement for construction. Two men discussion construction plans. Masons using rudimentary methods to erect a pump house. Later view of pump house as men work on the roof. Men digging irrigationl canal from the river and upward toward the agricultural fields. A soldier who hitched a ride on a truck, jumps off. View of a letter he wrote a few days ago, on May 4th. He arrives at his house and is greeted by his mother. Farmers trimming plants in field to be irrigated. A boy calls one of them, his father, to come home.
Documentary film titled 'The Spanish Earth' depicts drought conditions in rural Spain. Two Spanish farmers feeling the dry earth, breaking it in their hands. Men with mules moving in foreground, with miles of parched farmland and a city in background. Fields with what appears to be a line of clay chimney-like structures across the foothills, each rising about 10 feet from the ground. View of the village of Fuentiduena with two of these structures in the foreground. Smoke coming from one on a hillside. (Note: Narrator is Ernest Hemingway.)