U.S. troops huddle together on Sherman tanks late in World War 2 in Europe. U.S. Infantry and tanks moving across open fields. View from cottage window of American infantrymen swarming across a field. U.S. tanks and infantry entering outskirts of Cologne, Germany. One soldier plays a French horn, as he marches into town. Several German civilians walking together. German soldier POWs (prisoners of war) being herded under guard of American Army forces. German civilian refugees walking on a road. Graffiti scrawled on wall reads "Hitler ist Kaput". Numerous trucks filled with German prisoners of war. Civilians watching as U.S. Army M10 tank destroyers move into town towing 155mm long tom guns. Amusing graffiti by U.S. troops reads, "I'll walk Cologne" with arrow pointing (alluding to popular song, "I'll Walk Alone.") U.S. troops loading and firing 155 mm long tom guns. Civilians holding their ears, as they watch. U.S. troops entering center of Cologne, Germany. Towers of Cologne Cathedral visible in background. U.S. infantry firing from behind pile of rubble. Tanks rumble through streets of Cologne. House to house fighting. U.S. Army 3rd Armored Division tanks in streets of Cologne, and soldiers with small arms firing at buildings in clearing operations from building to building. A German soldier emerges from building with hands held up in surrender. Tank firing causes part of a building to collapse. Infantry moving along roadway with Cathedral visible in near background. City buildings of Cologne seen destroyed with rubble everywhere. German Mark V Panther tank is hit by fire from U.S. Army gunner Corporal Clarence Smoyer in a M-26 series Pershing tank (a T26E3) with a 90mm gun, at position at the An den Dominikanern and Marzellenstraße crossroads. German Army soldiers jump from the Panther tank. The Panther Tank is hit again from the American Pershing tank, and goes up in flames and smoke. View from wreckage of the Cologne Cathedral. Bridge across the Rhein (Rhine) River. U.S. forces moving across the bridge. A sign posted on bridge pillar reading: "Cross the Rhine with dry feet, COURTESY OF 9TH ARMD DIV." View from vehicle crossing the bridge. U.S. medics treating casualties in wooded area.
Reconstruction of Cologne, Germany. Aerial views of Cologne, Germany in 1930, before its destruction in World War II. Shows pre-war Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollerm Bridge on the Rhine river. Various buildings in Cologne including train station. Scene change to Fuhrer Adolf Hitler speaking. Aerial and street views of damaged bridges and buildings in Cologne after World War II. Destroyed sewer pipes, piles of rubble in Cologne. American Military Government men, also known as "MG" lined up in streets. The U.S. flag is raised. Signs behind men read, ""Militarregierungsamt" and "military government" Close up faces of MG soldiers. Large groups of civilians crossing the newly named McNair bridge. Sign reads, "Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair Bridge Designed by 1067 Eng. Const. Gp". A U.S. military government officer wearing a lip microphone addresses a crowd of civilians. Truck equipped with horn-loaded PA speakers amplifies speech. German men, women, and children are deloused using DDT, which is sprayed in power form into their clothing. A German man with an SS blood type tattoo under his left arms is examined. The tattoo identifies him as a former SS soldier. Germans in line to be interviewed for new military government positions. Germans civilians at interview table being questioned. They sign the interview papers using a fingerprint. The first German police force of Cologne, Germany following World War II. They are given arm bands reading, "MG-Police." The former head of the Prussian Senate on camera, identified as one who fought the Nazis.
Allied 9th Army advancing beyond Munich, Germany, during World War II. U.S. soldiers firing mortars from a street and a cemetery. Allied troops crossing a pontoon bridge across a river. U.S.soldier, from 102nd Infantry Division, leads line of German civilians to safety, as troops and vehicles enter the town of Erkelenz. U.S. troops fill the streets and sidewalks of the town as they pass through. Prisoners of war and forced laborers are freed by advancing Allied forces. Group is seen wearing berets. One wears a fez. Boxes of Red Cross foods intended for American prisoners are found opened and used by Germans in Eppendorf, Germany. On February 28th, 1945, soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 413th Regiment, 104th Infantry Division,find the boxes in German military billets and throughout the town. Views of boxes with "American Red Cross Prisoner of War Food Package," written on them. Units of the 1st Allied Army are seen driving directly toward Cologne, Germany. A Sherman tank is seen completely covered by U.S. infantrymen, riding on top. U.S. infantrymen cross stream on makeshift steel bridge. Infantrymen take cover in railroad culvert as tanks of U.S. 3rd Armored Division move forward to deal with intense German resistance. Incoming artillery shell squeals overhead and explodes nearby out of camera view. U.S. troops take shelter behind brick wall. U.S. troops occupy abandoned German trenches. A commanding defensive view from one of the trenches. On March 2, 1945, troops of the 83rd Infantry Division, advancing toward Cologne, pass through town of Neusse. Sign on wall reads: "Mit Hitler zum Sieg." Another reads: "Wir kapitulieren nie!" U.S. troops reach the Rhein River. Telephoto lense view shows city of Dusseldorf and its bridges, spanning the Rhein (Rhine) River.
Animated map shows direction of Allied forces converging on Germany, Western Powers from the West, and Soviets from the East during final phase of World War 2, in Europe. Newspaper headline reads: "Russians strike for Berlin."The New York World-Telegram newspaper headline reads: "Yanks Cross the Rhine!."U.S. Army troops seen in house-to-house fighting in Germany.American troops standing at Rhine River viewing Cologne, Germany. The cathedral at Cologne. Film of Hitler's troops crossing the Rhine in 1936 contrasted with views of many German prisoners of war being marched under Allied guard, in 1945. USAAF P-38 lightning aircraft taking off on mission against German targets. View from Allied aircraft strafing German target which explodes. A P-38 landing on a snowy airfield. USAAF P-47 of the 388th Fighter Squadron (C4), 365th Fighter Group, landing and skidding sideways off the runway. It slides in the snow and strikes another P-47 aircraft with engine running, on the ramp. B-24 Liberator bombers taxing for takeoff. Formation of USAAF B-17 bombers dropping bombs all over Germany. Formation of B-17s at very high altitude, leaving contrails behind them. U.S. infantry and armor fighting in snow-covered streets of German city. Allied troops, including Polish soldiers, fighting in the snow. Allied wounded being carried while under fire from German forces. U.S. Sergeant Peter Di Guiseppi and Private Pat Brady being interviewed. De Guiseppi remarks that the war seems like it will never end. Brady recounts being in a tank that hit a mine or something that exploded and abandoning the tank faster than he could ever imagine. He hunkered down in a ditch while bullets flew all around him, including the ammunition from the destroyed tank.
Narrator states that on March 2, 1945, during World War 2, 700 Lancaster and Halifax bombers of the British Royal Air Force fly over Cologne, Germany, to bomb roads and bridges leading across the Rhine River. Closeup aerial view of a British Halifax bomber with H7 painted on its fuselage, identifying it as belonging to No.346 Squadron RAF. (This is a Free French bomber squadron incorporated into the Royal Air Force and operating out of RAF Station Elvington.) View from one of the aircraft looking down on the city below as bombs fall from the plane. Narrator refers to U.S. 1st Army attacking Cologne and this bombing to strike German forces fleeing the city. Heavy smoke seen rising from bomb explosions below. A huge black cloud is seen in the air as a German scarecrow antiaircraft bomb destroys a Lancaster bomber. Smoke rising from the city. Narrator emphasizes that the Cologne Cathedral is not touched.
Allied troops advance towards Cologne in World War II, Germany. Map depicts Allied invasion of Western Europe and advance towards Germany. U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister of UK Winston Churchill, and Soviet President Joseph Stalin meet at Yalta conference in Ukraine. Allied armored units advance toward Cologne, Germany. Artillery fire shells at buildings. Allied fighter planes bomb enemy positions. Aerial view of Rhine River. Allied units and tanks advance. Allied armored units enter Cologne. Ruins in the city of Cologne.