Film opens showing Adolf Hitler, in World War 2, with Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch, Army Commander-in-Chief, and other top military members, planning for Operation Barbarossa (Attack to the East toward the Soviet Union). As he walks away from the table, he speaks briefly to Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, head of the Kriegsmarine (German Navy). Next Hitler and Marshall Hermann Goering are seen strolling and conversing at the Eastern Front headquarters, "the wolf's lair," (Wolfschanze) near Rastenburg, East Prussia (now Poland). Scene shifts to the Soviet Union, where Joseph Stalin is seen speaking at a podium. A large outdoor audience, including some soldiers, is gathered to listen. Images showing the Soviet people responding to defend against the German Nazi invasion. Closeup of Soviet soldiers with shouldered weapons. The nearest is holding a PPSh-41 submachine gun. Closeups of Soviet women and men in military uniforms. Soviet citizens heading to enlist in the military. Soldiers marching loosely n a city street. Patriotic singing is heard in background. A formation of Soviet women marching. Some carry furled banners. Soviet women carrying simple farm implements, marching in a rural part of Russia and joining others who are working to prepare anti-tank ditches and barriers in the countryside. Views of hundreds of people working on this project. Weapons being provided to rural Soviet guerrillas who will operate behind enemy lines. Anti-aircraft guns being set up overlooking a harbor. Closeup of Soviet soldiers manipulating controls on a camouflaged anti-aircraft gun and others maneuvering a four-barreled anti-aircraft machine gun. Local farm family members on makeshift towers keeping watch over huge fields of wheat. Soviet farmers harvesting the wheat with scythes. An armed farmer shielding his eyes as he searches the skies for German airplanes. Closeup of a man cutting wheat with a scythe as women gather the sheaves behind him. Motorized harvesters at work in a field of wheat. Closeup of a woman operating one. Tractors used in harvesting. Women and children gleaning what remains behind in the harvested fields. Farmers driving their cattle East (away from advancing Germans). Evacuating Soviet people employ a scorched earth policy, burning their homes, barns, and anything that might be of value to advancing German forces. Views of burning houses. Soviet industrial enterprises working around the clock producing war materiel. Seen are petroleum facilities; a large plant expelling coke; coal pouring into a barge; men at work at a steel furnace; ribbons of hot steel moving out of rollers; a huge manufacturing plant in operation. Next, a Soviet Kliment Voroshilov (KV) tank is seen moving across a field. Russian Ploikarpov 1-16 fighter planes in flight. A large formation of German Dornier DO 17 bombers in flight high overhead. Soviet forces retreating. Views of fallen German soldiers, fires burning, and remnants of a downed German bomber. German prisoners of war marching under guard and others surrendering with hands in the air. Closeups of some German prisoners. A Russian Petlyakov Pe-2 aircraft parked in snow with engines running. Fallen German soldiers lying in the snow along a roadway, in Winter of 1941-42. A Russian Kliment Voroshilov (KV) tank maneuvering in the snow. Russian Bt-7 Light Cavalry Tanks proceeding toward the front in Springtime, 1942.
City of Novorossiysk is recaptured by Russians from Germany. Russian heavy artillery fired. Buildings in view. Smoke rises up due to explosions. Russian soldiers observe the area through binoculars. Russian soldiers aboard the ships. Naval and aerial bombardment on the city. Intense street fights. Wrecked and damaged buildings in view. Rubble on street. Russian soldiers cheer as Russians recapture Novorossiysk.
U.S. Vice President Henry A. Wallace on a journey to China through Soviet Union. An animated portion of a globe shows his next destination. The Vice President lands in Novosivirsk. A signal officer in a jeep gives signal. People on streets and the view of buildings in the city. Vice President visits the Yak fighter plane industry. American fliers and others look at the plane. The plane in flight. The biggest opera house in the world. Wallace addresses the people at a public meeting. He addresses them in Russian language. Civilians applaud. Wallace speaks into a microphone. People seated in a hall and listen to his speech.
The Moscow summit between the U.S. and USSR in Moscow, Russia. Wyeth family artwork being packed in boxes for a visit to the Soviet Union. Various paintings being packed up. In exchange, some Russian paintings and artwork seen that will be displayed in America. General Secretary of the Communist Party of Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev visits the United States during Glasnost efforts. People on the streets in what appears to be New York or possibly Washington DC are surprised when he exits his motorcade to shake hands directly with American citizens gathered on the sidewalks.The U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and his wife visiting Soviet Georgia and being greeted by Soviet citizens. Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan side by side at a summit in Washington DC. They stand together on the White House lawn as a band plays. Animation depicts the sharing of cultures between the two nations and the exchange of magazines. View of American rock star Billy Joel and his band performing at a concert in the Soviet Union on New Year's eve. A Moiseyev Dance Company folk troupe from Russia performing a dance in the United States. Cultural exchange between the two countries includes views of a piano performance by Vladimir Horowitz in Moscow and a ballet performance in the United States by the Bolshoi Ballet. Several Russian school children pose for pictures on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. Soviet teenage children enjoy a elevated ropes course in an outdoor program. People sit in an amphitheater with officials at a Chautaqua Talk in 1987. A group of Soviet citizens view a touring "Information USA" exhibit in the Soviet Union that presents American culture. They view the program on an array of television monitors. A young Russian boy speaks in Russian about his interest in learning about American culture. People watch a science exhibition. Astronauts of the USA and Soviet Union in a spacecraft. The astronauts open a connecting hatch and shake hands. Narrator describes collaboration of the two nations to monitor and study the depleting ozone layer of the earth and how to protect it. A man is shown sunbathing. Officials of the America and the Soviet Union sign an agreement relating to sharing information about safety of nuclear power plants. Soviet representatives and George Shultz, the U.S. secretary of State, inaugurate a new communication system that communicates nuclear dangers between the two countries. A woman in the communication room. Food grain pouring from a harvester, part of what is supplied to the Soviets. Soviet Union tanks and soldiers in Afghanistan. Soviet soldiers walking on a street in Afghanistan in front of a shop. Arrested American journalist Nicholas Daniloff disembarks an aircraft after his release. View of the exterior of the American Embassy in Russia. U.S. marine Sgt. Clayton J. Lonetree being escorted under guard after having been accused of collaborating in a Soviet spy mission at the U.S. embassy in Moscow. Scene inside a Voice of America radio broadcast studio. Sign indicates it is broadcasting in Russian. Close up of meter moving on a radio instrument during the broadcast. Dancers from the Dance Theatre of Harlem performing before their visit to the Soviet Union. A group of Soviet citizens including men, women and children walking outdoors. Mikhail Gorbachev with U.S. President Ronald Reagan at a ceremony on the White House grounds on December 8, 1987.
German diplomat Friedrich Werner von Schulenberg, of Nazi Germany, and Vyacheslav Molotov, of the Soviet Union meet together in Moscow, Russia, to sign the German-Soviet Border and Commercial Agreement. View of the two men and other representatives from each country at the signing ceremony. Narrator indicates that the agreement document covers expanded trade and commerce between the countries, establishes the northern border, and covers repatriation of Germans from republics including Lithuania and Estonia. View of the German and Soviet leaders each signing the document. Wax seals are added and a close-up of the signature page of the agreement is shown. (The Agreement also included the third set of secret protocols of the Hitler-Stalin Act or German-Soviet Treaty of Nonaggression. It followed the German-Soviet Frontier Treaty, which was the second secret protocol. Despite the pact, Germany attacked the Soviet Union 6 months later.)
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.