German forces entering the outskirts of Kaunas, Lithuania, during their surprise offensive on the Eastern Front during World war 2. Three German soldiers stand next to a parked staff car in a town. Several local women in bonnets and babushkas stand behind them.A Panzer III tank breezes past between them and the camera. Lithuanians and ethnic Germans (Volksdeutschen) wave their hats in welcome and one gives a Nazi salute, as a Panzer I tank enters the town. Soldiers on motorcycles and another Panzer I tank follow. Soldiers ride horses pulling artillery caissons camouflaged with tree branches. Soldiers ride in them. Closeup, near the ground, of horses, their trappings and the caissons they pull. Scene shifts to soldiers loading war materiel onto flat raft ferries at a river bank. Soldiers work to load a 105mm light howitzer, model 18, onto a ferry. A ferry carrying several caissons being pushed across the river by a ferryman in a small boat using a long-shaft outboard motor. Another ferry is seen carrying horses and infantrymen. A line of soldiers walk their bicycles along a path beside the river towards a spot where several large river steamer boats are docked. Substantial buildings of old town Kaunas stand on the other side of the river. Camera pans across the cityscape, showing twin spires of the Catholic Church (Jesuit) of St. Francis Xavier and associated buildings. View from riverbank as German soldiers descend its slope and walk towards a riverboat. The arch of a suspension bridge is seen in background. Troops cross a long plank to board the riverboat. View of soldiers gathered on deck of the riverboat. The German flag and the Lithuanian flag, just beneath it, are seen flying atop a tall structure at the port. Later, as German soldiers disembark from riverboats, they are greeted by women, in what appear to be nurses uniforms, who distribute flowers to them. The soldiers proceed along a paved road beside the river. The arched suspension bridge, shown earlier,is now seen to be part of the bridge connecting Old Town with Aleksotas across the Nemunas river. It consists of several arches, but only one is standing, and the rest destroyed. The infantry on bicycles speed down an incline on the road.
German troops at the Eastern Front during World War II . Animated map illustrates Eastern Prussian-Lithuanian border and German troop's movement into Kaunas German troops stand near a field gun. Troops loaded on tanks and march forward. They fire a gun. Smoke arises due to fire. Damaged buildings due to fire. Trucks loaded with troops and as they enter a city. Kaunasians wave to passing German vehicles. A view of the city. Lithuanian villagers present flowers to advancing German troops. A German soldier on a bicycle waves.
Animated map showing Western boundaries of USSR and arrow depicting German thrust Eastward into Lithuania toward the city of Kovno (Kaunas). The attack commences with a heavy artillery bombardment. German artillery batteries are seen firing 15 cm sFH 18 howitzers. Shells burst in the background. A German soldier gives a hand signal and German Army vehicles move forward beginning with an SdKfz 251 half-track armored personnel carrier, towing a trailer; a staff car; motorcycles; and a Panzer II tank. Camera focuses on German armor moving on the road and across the fields, including Panzer II and Panzer I Ausf. A tanks. Tank commanders stand in their hatches and look through binoculars. Infantry move forward along a path beside a tank stuck in a deep ditch at the roadside. Infantry running across a field while Sound of machine gun fire is heard. Huge explosions are heard and smoke rises at the battle front ahead of a group of advancing German tanks. Several Soviet prisoners are marched to the rear under guard. They salute as they are brought before a German officer who issues orders to them and their guards. Closeups of individual Soviet prisoners shaking their heads and raising their hands. A half-track towing a field piece, passes in background. German soldiers aided by impressed local men, build a short section of corduroy road with logs, to facilitate movement of vehicles over a culvert. A German staff car rides over it, followed by a half-track tractor Sd.Kfz. 7, full of soldiers, and towing a 75mm infantry gun. It passes through remmants of barbed wire fence. Artillerymen manually set up a 105mm howitzer and begin firing it. Others in a battery seen firing. German troops fire an 8cm mortar. Gunners firing MG-34 heavy machine guns. Smoke rising from artillery strikes. German infantry on bicycles move along a path. Scenes of destruction as German forces begin entering outskirts of a town.. Fires burning everywhere
Animated map shows progress of German surprise June offensive on the Eastern Front in World War 2. Having passed through Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania, German forces now move toward Soviet-occupied Dünaburg (Daugavpils) on the banks of the Daugava River,in Latvia. A German Panzer I tank and infantry on bicycles ride into village on the way. Next, infantry take cover as they receive fire from houses in the village. The soldiers advance cautiously and return small arms fire toward the source. A panzer I tank moves along the road with turret turned and guns (unseen) trained to the side. Fires have broken out among wooden structures. A local resident gives directions to several German soldiers. German infantry search house-to-house for belligerents. Local communist sympathizers are rounded up. Closeup of a woman and two men apprehended. A group of Soviet and Latvian communists sit on the ground, where they are being held. A contingent of German soldiers on horseback ford a stream ahead of horsedrawn artillery pieces and caissons. Closeups of wagon wheels as they roll through the water. A field piece (7.5 cm FK 16 nA) is towed behind one wagon. Troops walk single-file across a narrow plank bridge over a stream. Others help lift bicycles up the steep opposite bank. Local people wave to German army troops marching 3 & 4-abreast in relaxed formation. Women throw flowers at soldiers passing in a staff car. Two panzer II light tanks (SdKfz 121 Panzerkampfwagen II) on a dirt road, raise dust as they pass.
Airman Felix Waitkus leaves for Lithuania but crashes in Ireland. Waitkus takes off from Floyd Bennett Airport, New York for Kaunas, Lithuania. Fog and failing gas results in a crash in a field near Ballinrobe, Ireland.
Germans retake Kaunas, Lithuania. A Nazi flag being raised on a building and war heroes being decorated. A German officer pins up medal on the uniform of the soldiers. The German troops stand in a squad and being decorated. The soldiers smile.