Film opens showing Adolf Hitler, in World War 2, with Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch, Army Commander-in-Chief, and other top military members, planning for Operation Barbarossa (Attack to the East toward the Soviet Union). As he walks away from the table, he speaks briefly to Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, head of the Kriegsmarine (German Navy). Next Hitler and Marshall Hermann Goering are seen strolling and conversing at the Eastern Front headquarters, "the wolf's lair," (Wolfschanze) near Rastenburg, East Prussia (now Poland). Scene shifts to the Soviet Union, where Joseph Stalin is seen speaking at a podium. A large outdoor audience, including some soldiers, is gathered to listen. Images showing the Soviet people responding to defend against the German Nazi invasion. Closeup of Soviet soldiers with shouldered weapons. The nearest is holding a PPSh-41 submachine gun. Closeups of Soviet women and men in military uniforms. Soviet citizens heading to enlist in the military. Soldiers marching loosely n a city street. Patriotic singing is heard in background. A formation of Soviet women marching. Some carry furled banners. Soviet women carrying simple farm implements, marching in a rural part of Russia and joining others who are working to prepare anti-tank ditches and barriers in the countryside. Views of hundreds of people working on this project. Weapons being provided to rural Soviet guerrillas who will operate behind enemy lines. Anti-aircraft guns being set up overlooking a harbor. Closeup of Soviet soldiers manipulating controls on a camouflaged anti-aircraft gun and others maneuvering a four-barreled anti-aircraft machine gun. Local farm family members on makeshift towers keeping watch over huge fields of wheat. Soviet farmers harvesting the wheat with scythes. An armed farmer shielding his eyes as he searches the skies for German airplanes. Closeup of a man cutting wheat with a scythe as women gather the sheaves behind him. Motorized harvesters at work in a field of wheat. Closeup of a woman operating one. Tractors used in harvesting. Women and children gleaning what remains behind in the harvested fields. Farmers driving their cattle East (away from advancing Germans). Evacuating Soviet people employ a scorched earth policy, burning their homes, barns, and anything that might be of value to advancing German forces. Views of burning houses. Soviet industrial enterprises working around the clock producing war materiel. Seen are petroleum facilities; a large plant expelling coke; coal pouring into a barge; men at work at a steel furnace; ribbons of hot steel moving out of rollers; a huge manufacturing plant in operation. Next, a Soviet Kliment Voroshilov (KV) tank is seen moving across a field. Russian Ploikarpov 1-16 fighter planes in flight. A large formation of German Dornier DO 17 bombers in flight high overhead. Soviet forces retreating. Views of fallen German soldiers, fires burning, and remnants of a downed German bomber. German prisoners of war marching under guard and others surrendering with hands in the air. Closeups of some German prisoners. A Russian Petlyakov Pe-2 aircraft parked in snow with engines running. Fallen German soldiers lying in the snow along a roadway, in Winter of 1941-42. A Russian Kliment Voroshilov (KV) tank maneuvering in the snow. Russian Bt-7 Light Cavalry Tanks proceeding toward the front in Springtime, 1942.
German soldiers battle against Russian troops on Eastern Front during World War II. A map shows the German campaign in South Russia. Captured Renault UE tankettes lead German advance in Crimea. Soldiers load and fire heavy artillery at enemy positions from atop a hill.
Block houses for German soldiers on the Eastern front. Russian war prisoners with axes cut down the trees into logs from snow covered forest areas. Men with hatchets and saws cut logs and smooth them for use in construction. War prisoners construct the block houses while German soldiers instruct and inspect them. Views of constructed block houses covered with snow. German soldiers work, drink,smoke and relax in the block houses. View of several block houses in snow covered areas.
Block houses in Eastern front. German engineers digging the ground for the foundation of block houses. Men with axes cut tree logs for the block house. Men place tree logs in foundation and construct the block. A man works with bricks beneath the log roof. Men cover the rooftop of the houses with mud and straw bedding. A man with a horse comes out from the block house. German engineers engage in constructing rooftops.
Block houses in Eastern front. A man with a grass cutter prepares the ground while others with spade digging for block houses. Men carry tree logs on their shoulders. German engineers construct the shades of the houses with tree logs and cover t with straw bedding. View of Russian prisoners of war cutting trees into logs in snow covered area.
German Me-109 and Stuka Ju-87 dive bombers take off from an airstrip near the Eastern Front during World War 2. Crews inside German Ju-88 bomber in flight. Formation of Ju-88s. Aerial view of snow-covered target area. The Ju-88s drop bombs that explode on ground. Heavy black smoke seen from one strike. . Soviet Yak fighter intercepter aircraft engage the bombers. Air-to-ground rockets being fired. Air-to-air rockets purportedly striking a Soviet fighter aircraft