Sign over American Embassy in China. Colonel William Mayer, former military attache in that embassy relates events precipitating Second Sino-Japanese war. Scenes of the Marco Polo bridge near Peking, on night of July 7, 1937, as Japanese artillery bombards the area. Animated map shows movement of Japanese forces out of Manchuria to occupy Peiping and Tientsin. Victorious Japanese troops stand atop a building, raising their flags and shouting cries of victory. Japanese army officers sit around a table smiling and contended and others walk in a group. Chinese artillery crews are seen retaliating as they fire field pieces at Japanese positions in Shanghai. Shells explode in background, and Chinese infantry advance through damaged buildings and rubble. Animated map shows Shanghai and other cities, and film transitions to view of the bustling city of Shanghai on the Yangtze River. In the seaport, large ocean liners and freighters, as well as tug boats and Junks, are seen. What looks like a Japanese Tachikawa Ki.54 Type 1 transport plane takes off over a Chinese pagoda. Double-decker buses travel through the streets. Rickshaws are also seen. Map outlines the foreign residential areas of the French Concession and the International Settlement. American, British and Japanese flags are shown in the International Settlement. Detachments of troops from Japan, Britain, France, and United States Marines are seen. A U.S. Marine is posted as a sentry at the Shanghai Power Company. Coolies carry heavy bucket on a long pole. British, French and Japanese troops also performed sentry duties. Japanese troops and armored cars are seen. A scuffle breaks out in August, 1937, and Japanese soldiers start moving in trucks, take up firing positions, and begin firing guns from their armored cars. Map shows Chinese counterattack pushing the Japanese contingent toward the Khangpoo River. Next it shows Japanese warships and reinforcements in the Yangtze River and their advance toward Woosung and Shanghai. Views of Japanese warships bombarding the shore and large explosions from their striking shells. Beachhead is shown South of Shanghai, where two divisions of Japanese infantry are seen arriving in landing craft. They advance across the fields toward Shanghai. Map shows Chinese withdrawals to West and South, toward Nanking and Hangchow. Chinese medics along with infantry march in retreat. Japanese pilots are seen being briefed. Next, Japanese Mitsubishi G3M bombers are seen in flight, and bombardiers and other crew in them. Bombs falling on the city. Civilians running for cover as bombs explode. Aichi D3A1 aircraft dropping bombs. The Shanghai waterfront being bombed and civilians running.
The International Exposition in Paris, France in 1937 (Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne). High altitude view of the area from the Eiffel Tower, with the National Socialist Germany Pavilion and the Soviet Pavilion flanking it togehter with other buildings. A bridge over the Seine. Exterior of the French Museum of Modern Art building with large flat relief sculptures designed by Alfred Janniot reflecting the power of land and sea. A sculpture in the courtyard of the Museum. Officials and dignitaries gather inside a building and discuss amongst themselves. They come down the stairs from the building. People watch the buildings and the sculptures. Soldiers stand holding rifles. High altitude view of ships underway in the River Seine. Exterior of a building. A bridge over the river Seine.
Street views of the White Russian refugee neighborhood (Russians in exile) in Paris, France, during 1937. Many buildings with Russian writing on them. Signs in Russian identify newspapers, "The Last News" and "The Renaissance." Sign at Paris Metro station with Russian signs on buildings in background. Brief view of Eiffel Tower behind pillar of Russian Embassy showing Czar's royal crest. Automobile and tram traffic on the streets. "Chez Korniloff" (name of restaurant) written on a vehicle.
Japanese troops parade for Emperor Hirohito, mounted upon a white horse. Italian troops goosestep and German troops goosestep on parade. View of Austrian town with snow-covered Alps mountains in background as German troops enter Austria on March 13, 1938 during the Anschluss. Local citizens welcome them, displaying swastika flags and giving Nazi straight arm salutes. Troops, military vehicles, tanks, motorcycles, and horse-drawn artillery comprise the German invading force. Shifts to Spain, where war torn buildings reflect effects of German and Italian intervention during the Spanish Civil War. A donkey standing near field artillery piece. Artillery being fired from an urban park in Spain. Artilleryman using a range finder. German gun crew with heavy artillery piece. Soldiers wearing Adrian steel helmets, firing a two-wheeled water-cooled machine gun. Spanish carrying wounded on stretcher. Spanish civilians inadvertently slain during civil war conflict. Starving dog walking in street. Huge poster of Francisco Franco and view of him on reviewing stand saluting marching Nationalist troops. Repeat of Hirohito reviewing troops and Italian and German troops goosestep. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini stand together in open car heading to Fuhrerbau in Munich, Germany, for signing of Agreement between Germany, Italy, Britain, and France in 1938.Neville Chamberlain, and Edouard Daladier riding in car to Fuhrerbau. Views of the principals signing the accords. Hermann Goering seen. In Italy, Mussolini waves to cheering crowd from balcony. German troops enter Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia) greeted by joyous ethnic German inhabitants.German military brass band playing in open trucks. Signpost pointing to Prag; Eger; Joachimsta; and Komotau. German troops marching into Prague.Italian Destroyer in port, as Italy invades Albania in 1939. An Italian L3/33 tankette being unloaded from a ship.Bicycle troops riding in Albania. German gun position overlooking river. Hitler at Reichstag mocks Roosevelt plea to stop invasions.
Aerial view of the Château de Candé, near Tours, France where, after renouncing the throne, The Duke of Windsor married Wallis Warfield Simpson, in a private ceremony on 3 June 1937. The Duke and his bride pose for photographers. Also seen are brief Scenes from their honeymoon trip to Venice, Italy. A canal filled with gondolas. The couple in a motorboat named the "Ca' Loredan 2."
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.