Animated map shows changes in borders and nations surrounding Poland up until 1937. A map with strategic importance city of Danzig in Poland. Map shows Czechoslovakia, Russia, Hungary, Ottoman Empire, and Germany.
Views of industrial development projects and activities during Soviet Russia's first 5-year plan under Joseph Stalin. Mining activities, with ore being moved on conveyer belts and open rail cars. view upwards toward piping and towers in a petroleum refining plant. Steel plant and open hearth furnace. Turbine deck in a hydroelectric power plant. Electric transmission lines. Farmer irrigating crops with machinery. Workers shoveling grain out of open bed trucks. Apartment houses under construction. A machinist turning metal on a lathe. Factory workers in a room with pictures of Lenin and Stalin on the wall. Freight trains underway (ostensibly to Siberia). Officials visiting a machine shop, during the 2nd Five Year Plan, in 1935. They present worker's medals to Stakhanovites (superior workers). Views of Stakhanovites conversing and comparing medals at a presentation occasion. View of criminal (political) proceedings conducted in the Great Purge (Yezhovshchina) during 1937-38. Photograph of N.I. Yezhov (called Stalin's executioner, by the narrator). Picture of Stalin walking with Felix Dzerzhinsky, Lev Kamenev, and Gregory Zinoviev, Ca. 1925. The latter two images are circled as narrator says they were quickly disposed of after Stalin seized power. View of trials in which persons are accused of plotting with Leon Trotsky, in 1936, at the Hotel Bristol, in Copenhagen (according to narrator, who notes that the hotel was no longer in operation in 1936). More trial scenes. Image of N.I. Yezhov is shown, again, as narrator states that he was purged in 1938, along with other officials.
Celebratory parade of Russian citizens, carrying banners and enjoying themselves, in Red Square, Russia. Spectators enjoying the festivities. Among banners carried is one artistically depicting a Junkers 52 (JU-52) airliner flying the globe. (This may allude to Aeroflot commencing international flights in 1937).
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.
Japanese army officers examining foreign military equipment. A Japanese worker employing electric drill developed in a Western country. The Japanese freighter, Tatsuno Maru, loading scrap iron at a port in the United States. Other Japanese freighters loading coal and oil for shipment back to Japan. View of the Washington Naval Conference in Memorial Continental Hall, Washington, DC, held in 1921-22 and again in 1927 and 1930, to deal with several lingering issues. Glimpse of Japanese people holding flags while gathered near the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Glimpse of Japanese army troops on parade. Japanese Navy warships at sea. A fleet of Japanese Mitsubishi G3M bombers and Nakajima Ki-27 pursuit planes, parked on an airfield. A loose formation of Ki-27s airborne. Animated map illustrates Japanese fortification of Mariana, Caroline, and Marshall islands in the Pacific. Animated map illustrating China's greater size and population vis-a-vis Japan. Animated map illustrating Japanese occupation of Manchuria in 1931. New York Times newspaper with headline "Japs Seize Manchuria" hovers over fires burning in Manchuria. Other newspaper headlines reporting on Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia; the Spanish civil war; surrender of Czechoslovakia; invasion of Poland; Nazi assaults on France, Belgium, and the Netherlands; the London Blitz; and Nazi advances against Russia on the Eastern Front. Fnally, a Boston Hearald extra edition headline reports: "Pearl Harbor Bombed." A still photograph of Japanese Baron Tanaka Giichi (on left) with two other dignitaries, circa 1929. Japanese infantry streaming into Manchuria and then celebrating as they walk into local town. A busy street in a Chinese city. Japanese soldiers in Manchuria escorting local prisoners along a street. Animated map illustrating Japananese warships surrounding harbor of Shanghai, China. View from a Japanese ship bombarding Shanghai. Smoke rising from shell striking on Shanghai waterfront. View from land of severely damaged buildings on a street, and a shell exploding in background, as Chinese defenders move to successfully repel the Japanese forces. New map illustrates subsequent Japanese move, annexing Jehol, from occupied Manchukuo, and Korea. Japanese troops entering a town in Jehol. Sun newspaper headline: "League Censures Japan." Chinese diplomat protesting at League of Nations. Japanese troops exiting railroad trains in Jehol. Aisin Gioro Puyi aka Henry Pu Yi, Kangde Emperor (Kang-te Emperor) of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo, is seen saluting Japanese troops on parade. Closeup of Puyi wearing shaded glasses, looking directly into the camera. chiang Kai-shek, with other Chinese officers. Reenactment of barbarian forces riding against China and thwarted by the Great Wall. Many Chinese walking in a long line along the Great Wall. Map tracing the Great Wall across China. Aerial view of the Great Wall from overflying airplane. Japanese troops marching through a city gate; infantry climbing a sheer cliff; and helmeted Japanese soldiers marching past civilians in a city. Map illustrated progress of Chinese unification by year 1937. Japanese officers conferring during occupation. Japanese troops leave a barracks, riding in open trucks. A line of the troop trucks moving along the dirt street of a town. The troops climb from their trucks in the town.
Soldiers and people clearing the field in Russia. Closed shops in the field. Troops marching along the street in front of a building. Soldiers on horses passing on the street. Officer in jeep pass by amidst the people. People watch through the windows of houses. Officer on horses holding a banner.