Sailors in the communications center of the German headquarters of the Kriegsmarine Northern fleet, work at numerous teletype stations. Next, the Admiral (Generaladmiral) in command, Rolf Carls, is seen pouring over nautical charts, with officers of his staff. Scene shifts to naval armory where marine mines are being prepared for deployment. They move through the processing lines and then transported by rail. At a port, a crane lifts a mine, on a wheeled dolly onto the minelayer ship, "Tannenberg," where crew members roll it along the deck. Sailors write on it with white chalk. The Tannenberg seen underway, and then with sailors rolling mines (on their dollys) off the stern of the ship in the Baltic Sea. Sailors moving mines along the deck to the stern for launching. View from another ship of the mines dropping from astern the Tannenberg. Next, officers on deck in cold weather gear, look through binoculars as they sight threat from Soviet aircraft. Interior of the ship as sailors manipulate controls for an anti-aircraft gun. The ship's gun and a machine gun being fired. Soviet bombers seen very high overhead. Camera pans about the deck showing sailors firing at aircraft. Something raises a plume of water astern (a near-miss?). Next, several German patrol boats are seen moving at high speed. Sailor on a speeding patrol boat, stands precariously atop it as he signals with semaphore flags. From a patrol boat, bombs (or mines) are seen exploding behind in its wake. (Note: The Tannenberg was a passenger and ferry built in 1935. On 2 September 1939 the German Navy had her converted to a minelayer. In August 1940 she served as flagship of the minelaying ships, in the North Fleet. She was sunk on 9 July, 1941, off Sweden.)
Wide-ranging review of U.S. Navy aircraft operational in 1941. Formation of U.S. Navy Douglas SBD Dauntless aircraft in flight. One enters shallow dive and emits smoke as a screen for warships during training exercise. Nine U.S. Navy Douglas TBD Devastator torpedo bombers peel off from echelon formation and dive toward the sea, as the Douglas SBD Dauntless emitting smoke skims over the water. A glimpse of the Aircraft Carrier, USS Enterprise (CV-6) is seen in the background. The TBDs launch their attack under cover of the smoke screen. They drop their torpedoes low over the water and climb out past the USS Enterprise. Her deck is empty. Large formations of U.S. Navy SBD and TBD aircraft fly overhead. TBD and SBD aircraft are seen landing on the Enterprise. Deck crews and signal officers, with paddles, are seen at work. An F4F lands on the flight deck. Deck crews position the aircraft, after landing, and chock their wheels. Plane captains attend to their aircraft, including refueling them. Scene shifts to land base, where mechanics work on various aircraft, including a PBM Mariner flying boat. At TC: 03:13, a U.S. Navy JRS-1 flying boat is seen in flight. (This is a Sikorsky S-43, Baby Clipper. The Navy had about 15, or so, of these, just prior to World War 2.) A mechanic is sitting on the nose of this aircraft performing some task, while in flight. (Clearly, the aircraft is capable of very slow flight.) Next seen is a Navy N3N trainer plane; an SNJ (North American T-6 Texan); Several Consolidated PB2 Coronados; PBY amphibian; Vought Kingfisher;Grumman F4F Wildcat;formation of Douglas TBD Devastators;formation of Douglas SBD Dauntless; and closeup of SBD with canopies open and pilot and rear gunner visible. Brief view of Lexington-class aircraft carrier.
Soldiers at war in the North Sea. Soldiers and officers board a ship. Wounded are carried on stretchers on the ship. Pilots and bombardiers board a plane. The plane takes off. A hangar in the background. Airplanes in flight hover over the sea. Ships underway at the sea. The planes drop bombs over Nazi ships and U-boats. Men fire a gun from a U-boat. They wave their hats.
A German amphibious biplane takes off. Pilot in the plane. View of the clouds from the plane. The sea below. A soldier in a life raft in the water. The pilot lands the plane in the water. The soldier in the life raft hooks a wounded pilot to the rescue line. The pilot pulls him into the plane. The soldier also gets in and the plane takes off.
Preface to U.S. in World War 2. German U-boat on surface. Crew climbing down into submarine and at duty stations while submerged. Torpedo trails bubbles underwater. Ship hit and explodes. Newspapers report torpedoing of American ships: SS Robin Moor, SS Lehigh, SS Sessa, SS Steelfarer, and SS Montana, by German U-boats. Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson calls on U.S. Navy to secure sea lanes. Wendell Wilkie agrees. U.S. Congress repeals Neutrality Act, November 17, 1941. Deck guns being placed on U.S. Merchantmen. Japanese warships docked and troops entering Indochina, as local people watch.Japanese troops by Dong Dang, near Chinese border. Situation described by animated illustrations.Japanese Special Envoy, Saburo Kurusu, is dispatched to Washington. Pan American Boeing 314 flying boat taking off. Japanese Naval Task Force of warships underway. Kurusu arriving in San Francisco, on November 14, 1941. He steps from the aircraft and makes statement to reporters. Japanese Ambassador, Kichisaburo Nomura, and Special Envoy Kurusu escorted into the White House by Secretary of State Cordell Hull, on November 17, 1941. Japanese troops bombarding Chinese city with artillery. November 26, 1941, View of Executive Office Building with statue of Victory atop U.S. Army First Division Monument. Secretary Hull announcing proposal to Japan.The Japanese representatives leaving the White House. Japanese aircraft carriers steaming toward Pearl Harbor. Japanese flight crews getting briefed on December 7,1941. Nakajima B5N (Kate) torpedo bombers taking off and in formation. Secretary Hull at his desk. The aloha tower and aerial view of Honolulu. Sailors at outdoor Sunday service, and relaxing at Pearl Harbor. Vehicle entering Hickam Field. Japanese airplanes bombing Pearl Harbor. Explosions on U.S. warships. USS Arizona (BB-39) suffers direct hit and explosion, as filmed from the deck of U.S. Navy Hospital Ship, USS Solace (AH-5). Shots of pilots and point of view from pilots inside Japanese bomber and attack aircraft, through a mix of dramatized segments from Japanese propaganda films about the Pearl Harbor attack, and real footage from the Pearl Harbor attack. View from Japanese planes bombing and strafing Ford Island. U.S. sailors firing antiaircraft and machine guns down Japanese planes. Secretary Hull describes memorandum from Japanese.
U.S. Marines during landing maneuvers in New River, North Carolina. Marines charging from landing barge onto beach. Transport at sea. American flag on mast. Convoy of transport sat sea. Naval officer looks at plane flying overhead, speaks to Marine officer, and then looks through binoculars. Marine bugler. Sailor on bridge blows whistle. Landing barges and Higgins boats are lowered from transport. Navy officer on bridge gives orders through megaphone. Sailor holds signal flags beside him. A gun is lowered from transport. Marines climb down cargo net and board landing boat. Landing boat and barges approaching shore line and beaching. Marines dash through surf and charge onto beach. Medium tanks roll off landing barges onto the beach.