Opening scene shows a man being roughed up by a group of men in an alleyway. A slate comments (in French) that when nations are bellicose, an assassination can cause a world war. Next, a slate shows picture of the world and states (in English) "One murder may start a world war." Another slate (in French) states that In 1914, while Europe's armies and fleets were more powerful than they had ever been, the nephew of the Emperor of Austria (Archduke Ferdinand) was assassinated. A front page is shown of newspaper, "Journal De Geneve" carrying the story. Next scene is a view of the city of Sarajevo. The ancient Emperor's Mosque dominates the scene. A slate appears asking Where is Sarajevo? It is followed by a map of Europe in 1914, which zooms in on Austria and Serbia and identifies and labels Sarajevo,in Austria, close to the Serbian border. Slates (in French) says Austria accused Serbia of War and other nations enter the melee. Animated World map shows the nations getting involved, starting with the German Empire in 1914, including its African colonies, and then successively showing Russia, France, Belgium,Great Britain, Japan, and the Ottoman Empire. Map advances to 1915, showing the Italian empire, Bulgaria,and Central Arabia. In 1916 it adds Portugal, Roumania. Next, the U.S.A. is added in, 1917, along with Central and South America, Greece, Siam, and China. Finally, the slate shows the war ending in 1918. Slate shows Armistice Day, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th Month (November), with time shown on hands of Big Ben in London.
Montage of scenes related to European mobilization and preparations for World War I, from 1914 through 1919, plus brief views of Mark VIII tank maneuvers, circa 1924. Patriotic French citizens fill a street as France mobilizes for World War 1. Italian soldiers marching to war through a town. British King George V seen with Prime Minister David Lloyd George and other British officials. British First Lord of Admiralty, Winston Churchill poses and "mugs" for camera. British troops being transported along a country road on double-decker buses and slogging through the mud in France. Two French soldiers join the line of "tommies" to be photographed, and then step out of line to watch. King George V with Field Marshal Douglas Haig, and other officers, next to their automobiles in field, during the King's visit to his troops in 1916. The King and British officers observe tests of Mark IV tank, circa 1917. Scene shifts to August 10, 1916 showing the Prince of Wales and King George V, accompanied by Field Marshal Douglas Haig, and other officers, observing the Battle of Pozières (in Battle of the Somme) from a safe distance, using a telescope. U.S. Army Mark VIII International Tanks in daytime and nighttime maneuvers (likely at Fort Meade, Maryland) circa 1924.
The uses and importance of weapons since ancient times in the United States. Pages showing U.S Congress Act creating the National Bureau for the Promotion of Rifle Practice, 1903. Exteriors of the 71st Regiment National Guard Armory building in New York City at Park Avenue and 33rd Street. People enter the building. German troops on parade circa 1914. American troops mobilized for World War 1, and traveling on troop trains in 1918. Troops moving along a muddy road, with military supplies in wagons being pulled by horses. American soldiers firing their 1903 Springfield rifles, from a bunker in France. Americans firing a M1914 Hotchkiss air-cooled machine gun and another U.S. gun crew firing a Browning M1917 water-cooled machine gun. U.S. troops wearing gas masks, firing a trench mortar. American gun crew firing a 155mm howitzer (as some hold their ears).French troops walk past destroyed buildings above which a blimp is seen flying with French observers in a gondola suspended underneath.
Two U.S. soldiers in a foxhole, set up a French Hotchkiss Model 1914 heavy machine gun, North of Villers-Tournelle, during World War I. Several American soldiers crawl across a field and set up another Hotchkiss machine gun on a tripod. One of the supporting soldiers runs forward to give the gunners two ammunition cannisters. Scene shifts to another team setting up a Hotchkiss Model 1909 light machine gun, on a tripod. Soldiers with ammunition are seen in background. Several American machine gunners step through their own barbed wire defenses to set up another Hotchkiss Model 1909 light machine gun. A machine gun crew firing a Hotchkiss Model 1914, pointed skyward. One feeds strips of 8mm lebel ammunition into the gun. (World War 1. WWI. WW1)
German cavalry on horseback entering Belgium and Berman infantry marching in France, at the start of World War 1 (1914). The famed Taxicab army is seen carrying French soldiers in Paris. General Ferdinand Foch reviewing elements of the French 9th Army. French and British troops firing a British BL 8-inch howitzer. French troops rushing across no-man's land of trenches and barbed wire, as shells burst. German soldiers taken prisoners in trench. General Foch shaking hands with U.S. General Pershing, aboard a U.S. warship. Sketch of signing of the armistice, November 1, 1918 on a railway carriage at Compiegne. Monument to Marshal Foch. Monument to Minister of War, Andre Maginot. concrete being poured. French construction of the Maginot Line. Animated illustrated cross-section of the line.View of troops moving on rail cars in the Maginot line. Glimpse of Maginot line guns on surface. At outbreak of World War 2, French troops deploy to the Maginot line. French troops inside bunkers and tunnels of Maginot Line. Marshal Petain reviewing the troops as they deploy. Muzzle of a Maginot line gun. Hitler with Military Chiefs planning. View of French Foreign Minsister, Aristide Briand,during signing of the 1928 Kellogg-Briand antiwar pact in Paris.Frank R. Kellogg, U.S. Secretary of State at the table to Briand's left. His signature on the document. A field full of French Bloch MB.150 airplanes. French airman poses with Potez 58 airplane. French AMC 34 tanks. Crowd milling about at Renault Building and unrest elswhere in Paris, France. Newspapers chronicle failure of the League of Nations. Movie cartoon about weakening of France by Nazi inspired social strife and sabotage. French Army troops in mess hall eat at long tables and pour wine with meal. Idle French troops across the Rhine River targeted by German propaganda and psychological warfare including banners; messages by balloons;German bands playing French tunes; large loudspeakers broadcasting in French.
Mix of actual footage and scenes with actors. Professor in laboratory extolling virtues of international research and researchers, in science and medicine. Voice-over with German accent speaks about inferior peoples and the scenes darken. Images of Nazi, Fascist, Japanese leaders and their followers including Fuhrer Adolf Hitler, Pierre Laval, Oswald Moseley, Fritz Kuhn, Japanese Emperor Hirohito, Rudolf Hess (or Heß), Julius Streicher, Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler and Benito Mussolini. Footage from World War I era shows rubble of bombardent in French cities and towns, and French citizen refugees leaving homes with hand pulled wagon carts. Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm descends steps and reviews cheering German Army forces in 1914. French poster calls for military mobilization. Mobilized French soldiers march in France as citizens cheer them off to war. Explosions of shells on World War 1 battlefield. French "taxicab army" of French military vehicle line leaving Paris. Battles of Verdun and Chemin des Dames showing French artillery and French soldiers. David Lloyd George confers with Clemenceau. Close ups of General Foch and then of General Joffre. Armament factory in France manufacturing arms in World War 1. British battle scenes at Passchendale and Ypres. Scenes of U.S. battles at Chateau Thierry, the Argonne. U.S. Marines battling at Balleau Wood and Cantigny. Lloyd George greets citizens in England. Close up of British General Haig. American General John J Pershing greets French Generals in World War I. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson is shown. World War II era events: Adolf Hitler addressing a crowd. Brownshirt SA soldiers and other German Army soldiers march and goosestep. Remilitarized Germany invades Poland and France. Hermann Goering reviews marching troops. Close up side view of Hitler giving Nazi salute to cheering troops. German artillery and railroad guns fired and tanks advance. French civilian women and children refugees flee in carts as Luftwaffe aircraft strafes their path.