United States 80th Infantry Division in Chalons-sur-Marne, France during World War II. A water-filled field. A U.S. soldier stands along with the Mayor of Chalons-sur-Marne. The soldier stands with a United States flag in hand. He presents the flag to the Mayor. The flag is raised to the peak and is not lowered for the day. United States soldiers gather for the flag raising ceremony. French civilians gather. A band of musicians play instruments.
Quaker members of American Friends Service Committee help people in France. They work at the Matson Maternelle de la Marne Maternity Hospital in Chalons-sur-Marne, France. Exterior of the hospital. Two nurses come out, holding a baby. Exterior of the hospital which was opened in 1922. Groups of nurses walk in the ground. American, English and French nurses in the hospital. A patient arrives in a horse drawn carriage. Nurses help a pregnant mother to step into hospital. Interior of the hospital ward. Separate ward for dependent children who come in with their mothers. Nurses play with the young children. They feed the babies. Maternity ward. Mother in bed is given baby. Patient leaves hospital with husband and new baby.
View from a 4-engine airplane in flight over altocumulus clouds. Setting sun creates pink colors. Scene changes abruptly to views, inland from Omaha Beach, at Colleville-sur-Mer, France, of the temporary military battlefield cemetery established by the U.S. First Army, on June 8, 1944, right after the Allied invasion of Normandy, in World War 2. Simple wooden crosses mark the graves of the fallen Americans, each identified by one of their dog tags fastened to the marker.
Film opens with map showing lower France and Mediterranean areas.However, it shows images covering primarily the French Riviera (or Côte d'Azur) under German occupation. German infantry march along a road. A flight of German FW-190 Fighter airplanes flies inland from the Mediterranean Sea and crosses low above a harbor. Change of scene shows a single fighter plane buzzing the Marseille Port. (It looks like a P-47 with invasion stripes. But It does not draw any anti-aircraft fire.) Camera tracks it from vantage point at the Marseille Basilica, high above the harbor. Brief view of the Basilica as the aircraft passes. A glimpse of the Marseille Port below from the Basilica. View of the Marseille Transporter Bridge designed by Ferdinand Arnodin and built in 1905. (It was destroyed after these films were made, in 1944.) A German soldier peering through binoculars in front of a 2 cm Flak 30/38/Flakvierling, quad anti-aircraft gun position. Another one is seen in the background. Several more views of German anti-aircraft and other gun emplacements protecting the Marseille Port, including 88mm guns, heavy machine guns, and coastal defense guns. Scene shifts to German soldiers marching near the French Riviera beach and palm trees. Italian cavalry are seen riding in formation, ostensibly from Nice. Italian soldiers in trucks are being transported along the Riviera waterfront. A road sign points toward Toulon at 6.3 kilometers away. (So this location is probably near Sanary-sur-Mer.) View of the Toulon harbor, where the French battleship Provence, scuttled in 1942, is seen settled low in the water at a pier.
Twenty one former Nazi SS men go on trial before military tribunal for the massacre of 1944, of 642 men, women and children at a village in Oradour-sur-Glane. While in the village, seven survivors survey the charred buildings of the hamlet which was put to torch. Abandoned bicycle with flowers. Mourners at graves.
View of bridge across the Marne River destroyed by retreating German soldiers. . View shifts to U.S. Army XX Corps troops,trucks,jeeps,halftracks and tank destroyers crossing a pontoon bridge erected by Army Engineers nearby, at the bridgehead captured on 27 August 1944, during World War 2. French civilians watch from the bank of the river and wave as troops pass through their village. Using this crossing, the XX Corps continued its advance on Rheims.