Presidential Palace in Havana. U.S. Secretary of State, Cordell Hull speaking at the Havana Conference. Flags of Nations attending.Franklin Roosevelt, on May 16, 1940,telling congress to imobilize for national defense. Airplane and engine plants. Navy ships being built. U.S. sailors and marines on parade. U.S. soldiers training with mock weapons. Flour bag "bombs" hitting a U.S. Army tank M2. Army trucks labeled "tanks." U.S. Army tanks M3. Empty "Adelphi" brand beer cans used for training.National Guard units Nationalized. President Roosevelt reading first draft numbers under the Selective Service Act. Men getting draft notices and physical exams. New soldiers in boot camp. German Ju 87 and Dornier 17 bombers taking off. Animated map showing German air attacks against Britain. Edward R. Murrow describing the "Blitz" from London. German He 111 bombers. British antiaircraft guns firing. Londoners in underground bomb shelter. Fire brigades pouring water on burning buildings. British warships at sea. U.S. Destroyers transferred to Britain. British Prime Minister Churchill assigning military basing rights to the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, Berle Brandenburg Gate and German, Italian, and Japanese flags flying in Berlin on September 27, 1940 Hitler greeting Italian Galleazzo Ciano, and Japanese Saburo Kurusu. Signing of Berlin Pact. Londoners resting in the underground shelters, while the relentless bombing goes on. American Charles Lindburgh talks of Britain losing while Wendell Wilkie says Britain will win the war. Britons cleaning up after a bombing. Polls showing increased American support for Britain.
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.
Anachronistic mixture of scenes from Germany, circa 1935, Italy, circa 1915, and World War 2. Opening sequence shows Waffen SS troops goosestepping on parade in Nuremberg,Bavaria, circa 1935. Then a scene is inserted of Italian Generalissimo Luigi Cadorna, Chief of Staff, Italian Army, in World War 1, who salutes while reviewing troops. This is followed by scenes of grim-faced civilians watching German forces occupy their countries in World War II. Finally a radio tower and antenna are shown.
Late 1930s and early 1940s life in Jerusalem, Palestine. Views from 1917 era as British military patrol under British Army General Edmund Allenby advances in military trucks up the plains from Gaza. Arab forces riding on camels. The Arabs move in support. Jerusalem is captured by the British in 1917. British men in the city. An aerial view of late 1930s and approximately 1940 "new" Jerusalem contrasting the ancient parts of the city and new building. Narrator descriptions and visual portrayals of nationalism among Jewish and Arab residents in Jerusalem. Jewish men construct what the narrator terms as "a typical Zionist house just going up" Jewish civilians walking on the streets including one woman pushing a baby carriage. Cars move on a street and a view of a bus moving up Queen Mary Avenue. Jewish residents at a beach of Tel Aviv. They enjoy the water and dance the hora at the water's edge. A British man teaches an Arabic farmer the modern methods of agriculture. Men harvest food grains with a harvester. Arab boys in a class get a proper education "as in Europe." Palestinian girls in dresses play a game of basketball. The ex mayor of Jerusalem Hussein al-Khalidi in the center and other people around him.
Farmers harvesting grain and corn with machinery on American farms with a narrow tractor harvester. Steel mills and heavy industry and cargo railroads in the United States. Industrial views with smokestacks releasing much smoke and smog (also pollution scenes). Scenes of New York City with busy streets filled with cars, buses, and trucks, together with pedestrians. Many varied 1940s and 1950s cars on the roads. Elevated and also aerial views of U.S. highway networks busy with 1940s and 1950s cars. Views of Jones Beach, on Long Island, New york. Scenes of destruction in Japan from the atomic bomb, with sweeping views of destroyed city in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. U.S. Army infantrymen engaged in house-to-house fighting in Europe during World War II, firing rifles and moving between points of cover in a city filled with rubble.
Past events show German invasions during World War II. German flags in view. German soldiers march. German planes fly in formation during Nazi Party rally at Luitbold Arena in Nuremberg Germany. Adolf Hilter salutes a parade as armored cars and German soldiers pass by. German Luftwaffe aircraft pass overhead in formation during a rally. Comparison shot shows German Wehrmacht army soldiers marching in close ranks, followed by a close up shot of United States Army soldiers marching in close ranks. German Chancellor Adolf Hitler in discussion with Hermann Goering (Göring). They approach a map and then turn their backs. British soldier on lookup watches the sky over London for signs of German bombing raid as parliament buildings and the River Thames are seen in the background. Elevated view of city center, streets, bridges and Russia Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union; possibly Moscow. View of the United States Capitol building in Washington DC. Animated map shows the German positions. Aerial view of devastation from German Luftwaffe bombing of Poland on September 1, 1939. Damaged buildings and houses in Poland due to German bombing in World War II. Polish civilians lined up. Polish people near wrecked horse cart and equipment. Polish citizens carry dead bodies on litters and dig graves for citizens killed in bombing. British people near Big Ben and Parliament buildings on September 3, 1939, the date England declared war against Germany. In London, British children walking toward railroad station near signs that read "To Evacuation Trains", to be evacuated from the London area for safety during the war. Scenes of anguished citizens in England and in France saying goodbye to loved ones including boys and girls being evacuated and husbands leaving for war service. They hug and embrace with emotion. Women wave handkerchiefs at a bus departing with children, then weep. German soldiers march invading Denmark and Norway in April 1940. Sad civilians flee in trucks.