'The Big Picture' episode narrated by Ronald Reagan depicts the life of U.S. General George S Patton Junior. General Patton steps down a barge. He waves as a military vehicle passes by. U.S. 3rd Army in Europe, 1942. Patton with soldiers. Childhood picture of General Patton. An adolescent Patton comes down a flight of stairs. He practices sword fighting with his father. Picture of Patton at Virginia Military Institute. Picture of Patton at West Point Military Academy. Patton with his established first football team for soldiers. Tanks during World War I. Patton in front of a tank as the first tank commander. General Eisenhower and Patton with other military cadets at the Tank School in Fort Meade. Patton and his wife pose as warriors of the past. A soldier helps another to wear military uniform. In 1942 Patton as a Lieutenant General on an American convoy towards North Africa. Artillery fired and battleships are exploded. American troops land on the coast of Africa. Civilians cheer. Patton comes down a flight of stairs with other military officers. U.S. President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in conference. Patton climbs into a military vehicle and it drives off. Fight in Tunisia. American soldiers fire artillery. Explosions in the distance. Patton gets down a plane and talks to U.S. General Alexander. Two men look through binoculars. German General Rommel walks into a trap set for him by Patton. German tanks destroyed. Patton with other officers. Conquest of Sicily. Fight in Sicily. U.S. 7th Army lands on shore.
U.S. Army soldier reads newspaper while listening to radio. Soldiers doing their respective chores, listen to AFN (American Forces Network) Radio. General Marshall and General Eisenhower announce the creation of AFN, in 1942. July 4, 1943, the first broadcast of AFN. General Eisenhower mingling with paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division, on the eve of D-day. U.S. B-26 aircraft in flight. United States soldiers aboard landing craft and wading ashore at Normandy, France, on D-day. United States Sherman tanks and infantry move along country road in France. Road sign points to St. Lo. Group of U.S. soldiers gathered around a jeep with a radio, listening to AFN, in Germany.
A United States troop transport ship at sea during the first World War. U.S. Army troops (aka dough boys) aboard the ship. U.S. Army soldiers march in formation in a large city square area in Europe (likely France) holding rifles during World War 1. United States troop ships being loaded with American soldiers for World War I, and scenes of U.S. troops in WWI marching in the streets of a European city. Scenes from earlier during combat in the war. World War I allied soldiers on battle front in France. Soldiers run to a bomb crater area for shelter when crossing no man's land. Soldiers fire artillery. Artillery shells explode. Allied soldiers running across a battlefield as tanks run beside them toward the German enemy. People wave U.S. flags as First World War war ends with Armistice. Large crowd gathers in New York celebrating WWI armistice. Newspaper held high by a man with headline "Germany Surrenders". Views in the United States of hard times in American towns after World War I ended and war industries were no longer providing money. View of forests. Girl draws water from a well. Man and a boy operate a grindstone sharpening a saw. Farmers plowing fields with horse drawn plows during great depression era. People do agricultural works at fields. Negro farmers at cotton office. Cattle in field. Man and a woman milk cows with hands. Man pours milk in vessels. Milk processing before bottling including pouring milk through a cooling device. Men on tractor at fields. A board reads 'For the common defense'. Views of a factory. A man operates a switch on a switchboard for generating electricity. Views of a power generation plant. Narrator describes how America will prevent a slide into hard financial times again after World War 2 ends. From a 1942 production with footage from 1917 through 1942.
New U.S. army recruits seated at benches in the classification center, taking notes, as an instructor at a blackboard tells them how to fill out their classification questionnaires, during World War 2. View of machines processing the questionnaires. Hollerith 88 column punch cards being sorted by machine. Newspaper article about the Air Force efforts to improve classification and assignments of new airmen. A recruit being counseled. An Airmen in barracks, filling out a post card form to complain about his assignment. Servicemen working with sewing machines and at long cobbler's benches repairing shoes. U.S. soldiers in pith helmets, laying communications cable from a truck. A soldier recording information about a shipment of supplies. Soldiers filling 5-gallon "jerry cans" with fuel from a hose. Others serving at a communications center in woods. A soldier fastening a cable to a tank. Soldier standing on a truck. Large group of soldiers gathered to listen to a lecture about explosives. Army draftsmen at their work tables. Soldiers using information and training materials.(Narrator states these materials are often ignored.) An army newsmap for Monday, August 31, 1942 posted on an Army office wall. A sergeant points to July, 1943, on a current calendar next to it, illustrating that the newsmap is long out-of-date. View of another newsmap and narrator notes they are produced weekly. An officer speaking to an auditorium of soldiers. A soldier arranging his personal gear. Infantry on field maneuvers, firing rifles as they advance across a field. Soldiers firing a Browning water-cooled machine gun; a mortar; and a 105mm M101A1 howitzer. The sergeant using a newsmap to brief his staff about the progress of the war. Opening frames of a War Department Film Bulletin, and soldiers in a theater, watching the film. Opening frames of the film,"Why We Fight," that goes on to show animated map of the German advance across Europe in World War 2. Scenes of German forces on the move, towing artillery, riding on tanks, and entering towns as they invade countries of Europe. Women and children running in streets under bombardment, and civilians fleeing from their homes during aerial bombing. A Bombed out city and civilian corpses lying on the ground. Women in Poland, identifying their dead and grieving over them. German Heinkel He 111 aircraft dropping bombs. Norwegians evacuating the city in trucks, and other vehicles and on foot, during the German invasion. A squadron of German Messerschmitt Bf-109 aircraft in flight. German Ju-87, Stuka dive bombers diving on targets. Civilians rushing to a bomb shelter, and others boarding a truck to evacuate. More He-111 bombers dropping bombs. A Ju-52 trimotor transport (type used to transport German paratroopers). Buildings ablaze in a town. Large formations of German aircraft of various types flying overhead. Building destroyed and burning from bombing. Ju-87s flying close past the camera.
Adolf Hitler addresses a large crowd in Germany. An animated map of Europe as it was in 1942. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in conversation. Anthony Eden and Maxin Litvionf, Russian diplomat at a conference. Close up of sign "10 Downing Street". Neville Chamberlain stands in front of the Prime Minister's residence house and enters. Adolf Hitler reviews marching German troops.
Scenes of the first daylight strategic bombing by the United States Air Forces against targets in German-controlled Europe. A dozen B-17s execute the first mission against railroad marshaling yards in German-held Rouen, France, on August 17, 1942. A year later, large numbers of U.S. bombers attack Schweinfurt, Germany during World War II. U.S. B-17 Flying Fortress planes take off from U.S. Air Base in England. A formation of B-17s in flight. They head towards Germany. U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower and his aides confer. Unescorted B-17s over Schweinfurt under heavy attack by German FW-190 fighter planes. The B-17s drop bombs over the target area. Ruins of Schweinfurt after bombings. A FW-190 goes down after facing attack. Dead and wounded men unloaded from B-17s which return from the Schweinfurt raid. Panoramic views of ruined Schweinfurt on August 20, 1943.