Scenes from a Japanese Yanagi (Willow) submarine mission that carried war-essential minerals and materiel to German-occupied Lorient, France, in World War 2. The submarine (I-30) code-named Cherry Blossom (Sakura in Japanese and Kirschblüte in German) is the first to travel from the Pacific to Europe, in World War 2. Opening scene shows I-30 underway on the surface, with its crew in dress uniforms on deck and officers in the conning tower. Several German Kriegsmarine (Navy) officers, including Admiral Karl Dönitz, Commander of the German U-boat fleet, and another Admiral, are seen rendering classic military (not nazi) salutes. Closeup of some Japanese officers and men standing on the deck of their submarine as it glides past the pier. Local seamen, all giving the Nazi salute, crowd the deck of a nearby ship. Glimpse of Doenitz and the other Admiral walking a gangplank to board the I-30, where they greet officers of the submarine, as the Japanese Naval Attaché to Germany, Captain Yokoi Tadao, and the I-30's Captain,Commander Endo Shinobu, stand nearby. Doenitz, and the two Japanese officers are seen conversing, on deck amidst gathering of German naval officers. Scene shifts to the land, where German Grand Admiral,Erich Raeder (4-striped admiral insignia on sleeve) speaks with Commander Endo Shinobu, as Captain Yokoi Tadao, stands nearby. Next, Officers and sailors are seen saluting from the conning tower of the I-30. A closeup of Commander Endo Shinobu saluting. The I-30 slowly moves away from the pier.
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, June 6, 1944. Soldiers tuning radios in the field. United States Sherman tanks and infantry move along country road in France. Audio includes portions from AFN broadcasts, including an announcer saying "You are listening to AFN Paris. This is the American Forces Network, on the road to Berlin." 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.
Alternating World War 2 footage and dramatized scenes with actors. German Luftwaffe bombers destroying French cities. Invasion of France by Germany. Burning buildings and debris in French cities. Hitler visiting Paris after occupation. German flag atop Eiffel Tower. Allied fighter aircraft shot down, pilot ejects and parachutes to ground as aircraft crashes with explosion. Pilot landing in parachute, gathering and hiding parachute. Actors conversation segment. Footage of sad looking and defeated French soldiers marching in streets of France under occupying German guard, as depressed French citizens look on. French General Philippe Petain at desk delivering speech that calls for collaboration with Germans. Close ups of sad and crying French men, women, and children in streets of France suffering war and occupation. Petain salutes soldiers during a parade after he abolishes representative government. Petain speaks from podium to gathered soldiers. View of French General Charles De Gaulle, in Britain, calling for continued French resistance and speaking to French officers on a warship. Actor dialog segment. Footage of Petain visiting Hitler. They shake hands while photographers record the meeting. Actor segments. Footage of Free French forces training and marching in various cities. Free French soldier receives machine gun training. French officer training in Russia at a Soviet recognition ceremony. French soldiers carry railroad ties and discuss over a map. RAF spitfires in flight. Sign at training camp "French Air Force Squadron. Flexible Gunnery School." Allied naval ships at sea; close views of ship guns. Smoke rises from French ship fleet scuttled at Toulon November 27, 1942. Mobilized French citizens receiving rifle training. Free French Army encampment with French flag raising ceremony. French citizens gather to read posted German notices. Parade celebrating liberation of Paris in World War II. Happy French citizens smile and cheer French, American, and Soviet allies marching in Paris.
Scenes shot in 1942 and 1943 from inside German occupied Paris France. German officers and civilians at the Longchamps racetrack in Paris, France. Horses run on a dirt track. German troops at the Eternal Light for the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at the Arc de Triomphe. A German Panther tank captured by the FFI (French Forces of the Interior) in 1944. French collaborator Ferdinand De Brinon speaks into a microphone. German officers listen carefully. Collaborators Marcel Deat, and Laval's son in law, Comte Rene de Chambrun also seen. French Regimental flag held by French collaborator militia. A crowd outside Notre Dame Cathedral. French Marshal Philippe Petain arrives in a car. French collaborationist troops stand at attention. Ceremony for the Legion against the Soviet Russia shows assemblage and German Swastikas on a wall.
Newsreel from 1942 shows 1918 World War I footage of a review of troops in France by Chief of Staff (and subsequently Brigadier General) Douglas MacArthur along with General John J. Pershing, head of the United States' National Army. Some French officers are also visible in the gathering. The military officers watch as U.S. Army troops, presumably of MacArthur's 42nd "Rainbow" Division march. Pershing and MacArthur review the troops along with other senior military officers. Pershing and MacArthur shake hands. Military automobiles on a dirt road near the men.