Film opens showing map of Normandy, France. Next, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower is seen seated in a jeep, conversing with an officer, standing nearby, who makes notes in a pad. Lieutenant General Omar Bradley sits in the back of the jeep, and a Major General stands beside the jeep. Other officers stand around in the background. Eisenhower converses with the Major General. Scene shifts to closeup of Lieutenant General George Patton. U.S. B-24 Liberator bombers fly overhead, part of a two thousand plane bombarding the Saint-Lô area on July 25, 1944. Closeup of a B-24 dropping bombs and views of bombs exploding on the ground. American M4 Sherman tanks and infantrymen advancing after the bombardment. U.S. troops riding atop an M8 Greyhound armored cars and M4 tanks. Animated map shows the extent of U.S. advance from Saint-Lô encompassing the entire Breton Peninsula. Then, it shows American forces swinging North and around to the West, trapping German forces at Falaise. A Tiger tank, camouflaged in shrubbery, moving along a road, followed by motorcycle, and trucks full of German soldiers retreating from the trap at Falaise. Brief closeups of German soldiers in some of the vehicles. A German FW-190 fighter-bomber seen flying very fast and low toward the camera. An explosion. British and Canadian soldiers coordinating in the field, further South. A battery of Allied heavy guns firing from camouflaged positions. An American 105 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M7 (called M7 Priest by the British) firing from a wooded area. Shells exploding in the distance. German soldiers sheltering from the shelling. Fires burning. Allied jeep driving past knocked out German tanks. A field ambulance leads a long column of German prisoners of war. They march four a breast with hands clasped over their heads. A convoy of Allied heavy duty trucks bringing supplies from beachheads to the front lines. (World War 2; WW II; WW2)
Battle-weary American soldiers attend an open air chuch service by a barn in Normandy. U.S. gunners commence a concerted artillery barrage before tanks and infantry advance toward Saint Lo, France, in World War 2. Various artillery and tanks are seen, including one M4 Sherman Crab Tank (Mine sweeper). P-47s, flying low altitude close support missions, bomb a critical target, and troops move ahead on the way to Saint Lo. Two German soldiers run to surrender. Saint Lo falls. Scenes of the devastation in the city.
American troops and war correspondents in France, during World War 2. They visit Mont Saint Michel, a small rocky island at the mouth of Couesnon River in Normandy, separating Normandy and Brittany. View of the island with a monastery at the top. War correspondent Robert Capa (of Life and of Time Magazines) looks on and takes pictures. Military jeeps leave the island. Madam Poulard stands under a sign at her Hotel Poulard. Sign for the Hotel and its reputed omelette. Soldiers on the street. Shops and French flags. GIs at the Benedictine Abbey and steepled church. An old French man points. U.S. Soldiers take a tour of the monastery with a woman guide. Steeples, towers, arches and other architectural features of the abbey and monastery. War correspondents including Charles Collingwood, Chicago Daily News' Helen Kirkpatrick, New Yorker Magazine's Joe Liebling (Abbot Joseph Liebling) and Warden Becker. Helen and Charles pose for the camera. Ernest Hemingway, covering for Colliers Magazine, drinks and talks to Bill Walton. War correspondents including Bill Stringer seated and walking on the street. They visit the monastery and take pictures. Civilians on the streets. Tall sticks in sand placed by German forces around the island to prevent Allied planes from landing at low tide. Three war orphan brothers whose parents were killed at the battle of St Lo, play on the beach as their grandmother looks on. Views of the island and patterns on the sand around the island from the receding waters of low tide. St. Malo, Brittany: Field near Saint Malo. American soldiers bathe and swim in a lake. They fool around in the water, taking a break from battle.
U.S. 9th Air Force air attacks against France during World War II. Aerial views of the 9th Air Force aircraft in flight on June 7, 1944. A convoy of Allied ships underway in the English Channel. Landing crafts circle around the ships. Aircraft attacks German gun emplacements and smoke rises as bombs hit the targets. Saint Lo being bombarded. U.S. Army Air Forces B-26 Marauders bombard marshaling yards. Billows of smoke rises due to bombing. Bombs drop and impact results in smoke and fire.
German forces engaging Allies after Normandy invasion. French firefighters use hoses on burning buildings ostensibly hit by Allied bombing during World War 2. German soldiers relaxing and talking in France. A German commanding officer congratulating several young German officers, in the courtyard of a building. German Generals meeting and consulting together. The senior General and staff depart in a camouflaged army vehicle. French road sign points to town of Saint-Lo. Camouflaged German tank moving along road. German Tank Destroyer Jagdpanther (Sturmgeschutz IV Sd.kfz.163) following behind, on road to Saint-Lo. Closeup of German officer riding in open top of a camouflaged armored car. German infantry on their way. One carries an 8,8 cm RPzB.54 "Panzerschreck" rocket launcher, over his shoulder. Another behind him carries a flame thrower. German soldiers digging in at side of road. One has improved version of Panzerschrek (Model 8,8 cm Raketenpanzerbüsche 54) that has a shield to protect operator. The German soldiers fire mortars. Several sit quietly as the sounds of bombardment surround them. One taps wireless message on communication equipment. Two carry a wounded SS trooper, who stands as best he can to report to his commander.
Distant view of Notre Dame church in Saint Lo town after allied bombings of World War II. One tower of Notre Dame church blown off by artillery fire. CIC patrol on outskirts of St Lo. Patrol men consult a map. Three soldiers takes shelter behind a wall. Another soldier looks over city through binoculars.