Allied Army Generals in Maastricht, Netherlands during World War II. Supreme Commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, U.S. Army Lieutenant General Omar Bradley and U.S. Army Lieutenant General William Simpson at U.S. 9th Army Headquarters. They walk along a street.
American former war correspondents in the Netherlands and Belgium to mark the 25th anniversary of Allied invasion of Europe during World War 2. A sign on a building reads 'Esso Motor Hotel.' American correspondents leave the hotel. Road sign for "Maastricht". Airport hangar with lettering "Airport Luchthaven Zuid Limburg." A bus driven past a civilian band parading down a street. The correspondents seated in the bus. The bus driven past fields in the countryside. A road sign for "Centrum / Belgie". The correspondents get off the bus and enter a government building likely in Antwerp Belgium. Views from inside a bus as the correspondents arrive at NATO headquarters in Brussels. They get off the bus. The correspondents seated around a table during a meeting.
Film opens with a map showing the Ardennes forest with cities Aachen, Maastricht, Eschweiler in the north and Saarburg and Strassburg to the south. (Elements of the American VII Corps have penetrated the Siegfried line [West Wall] in the vicinity of Roetgen, Germany, in September, 1944, when this film depicts German defense responses, from their perspective. Numerous German rockets are seen speeding through the black night sky. In daylight, German gunners fire large artillery pieces as well as more rockets (Nebelwerfer) which also can be heard as the streak past. German gunners firing a 15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze 18 or sFH 18 heavy howitzer. Shells exploding in the distance. Closeup of German soldiers observing the shells exploding. American soldiers being taken as prisoners of war, march past dragons teeth of the Siegfried line. German tanks rolling along a road as Allied prisoners march the opposite way, under guard, with their hands over their heads. German troops slogging along a muddy road. Some carry panzerfaust anti-tank weapons. One carries an MG-42 machine gun. Bodies of fallen American soldiers on the ground. German tanks maneuvering and firing their guns. German soldiers in a village engaged in house-to-house combat with American soldiers.
Early days of Operation Market Garden in Nijmegen, Holland, Netherlands during World war II. Animated map of France, Belgium, and Netherlands. Allied transport and resupply aircraft in flight over clouds. Aerial view of Nijmegen Netherlands. Allied parachutes carrying supplies floating toward ground. The aircraft drop supplies in the south of Nijmegen. First Allied Airborne Army troops arrive by parachutes and gliders. The parachutists jump from the aircraft and descend towards the land. Unusual scene from camera strapped to the chest of a paratrooper. Shows view upon first jumping, and then view from paratrooper in sky descending and surrounded by other paratroopers with aircraft overhead and ground nearing below. U.S. aircraft parked on a field. The sky if filled with parachutists who are landing. German antiaircraft fire targets Allied planes. An Allied aircraft plunges toward the earth and crashes with a fireball. The Allied troops advance. Explosion in the foreground due to bombing. The aircraft drops bombs. Smoke raises in the foreground due to the bombardment. Gliders in flight. British 1st Airborne Division soldiers advance, engaging in Battle of Arnhem.
U.S. Army Air Forces C-47aircraft , number 42-93098, of the 9th Troop Carrier Command Pathfinder Group, and its crew. This is the first aircraft and crew to drop American paratroopers (pathfinders) over France during the Allied invasion, in World War 2. The aircraft taxis. Crew of the aircraft are seen in front of it, including pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Joel Crouch, Copilot, Captain Vito Pedone, Navigator, Captain William Culp, Radio Operator, Harold Coonrod, along with two crew chiefs. Crew members shake hands and board the aircraft. Colonel Crouch waves from the cockpit of the C-47 (but has not started engines). Major J.L. Sweetman boards another aircraft. Colonel Crouche's C-47 taxis to where the Pathfinders will load up. View of Control Tower at RAF North Witham, with ambulance parked outside it. Three hours before takeoff.Colonel Crouch, is seen on a path near the airfield, with a Pathfinder Captain and Lieutenant, who will be aboard his aircraft and be the first to jump into France. They kid around. The Pathfinder officers note that Colonel Crouch wears paratroop wings. Later, two Pathfinders, of the 101st Airborne Division , with camouflaged faces and American flag insignia on their right shoulders, step from woods and pose momentarily. Pathfinder Paratroopers line up to board C-47 aircraft as Lt. Col. Crouch rides a scooter at the airfield. Aircrews and Pathfinders pose for photographs before taking off. The lead aircraft, number 42-93098, with Lieutenant Colonel Crouch at the controls, takes off from RAF Station North Witham at 9:54 PM, on June 5, 1944. to begin the invasion of France. (Note: This C-47 was shot down on September 18, 1944, during Operation Market Garden, and crash landed on Haamstede Airbase, Netherlands. Although shot at by German troops on the ground, pilot, Maj Joseph A. Beck, and Navigator Lt. Vincent J. Paterno, survived as prisoners of war. Copilot Capt Fred O. Lorimer and another crew member were fatally shot.)
View from hill, above, of U.S. Army troops, from the 3rd Battalion, 115th Regiment, 29th Division, who have set up a field kitchen and mess along the side of a road (Nieuwenhagerweg) in Eygelshoven, the Netherlands, during World War II. Closeup of the troops in a chow line, receiving food in their personal mess kits. Closeup of one soldier's mess kit with his ration. Closeups of smiling soldiers and views of some eating their meals. [Note: In the first 10 seconds, two churches can be seen in opposite corners of the background.The oldest, on the right, sheltered US soldiers. The other, on the left, was hit by German shelling around December 20, 1944. U.S. soldiers of the 562nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion, Automatic Weapons (Mobile), Battery D, patched the hole in the church roof.]