Film scenes span from early 1940s through mid 1960s. Film opens showing armed conflict in Laos and South America. Soldiers firing rifles in jungle areas. Armed men running across a field and in a town in Cyprus. Heavy armor engaged in conflict and buildings burning in undisclosed location. Riots in Congo with a crowd of men beating another man. Armed Republic of South Vietnam soldiers (ARVN) moving through jungle in Vietnam. A Viet Cong shot as ARVN troops attack a hut. People fleeing in streets of Cuba as government soldiers engage armed revolutionaries under Castro. A civilian woman suffering a seizure as Red Cross workers attempt to carry her. Burned body of dead tank crew soldier atop a tank. Medical corps persons moving wounded on a stretcher. Various views of ARVN with captured Viet Cong in Vietnam. Narrator discussion about Geneva Conventions and Counterinsurgency. View of the Palace of Nations building in Geneva Switzerland. Scene shifts to inside, in 1949, where delegates of 59 nations are gathered to develop rules to protect prisoners of war, wounded prisoners, noncombatants and others caught up such internal conflicts. View from ground of German paratroopers during World War 2, jumping from Junkers Ju-52 trimotor transport planes. Closeup of German soldiers leaping from a plane and descending in parachutes. Japanese soldiers surrendering to Americans on a Pacific Island in World War 2. Several scenes of massacre victims lying on the ground, victims of Nazi German brutality in Europe during World War II. Survivors of a Nazi concentration camp near the time of its liberation in 1945. A U.S. Army medical corpsmen help one to a stretcher. Executed prisoners of war. Courtroom of the Nuremberg trials. Seen in the front row of Nazi leaders are: Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Alfred Rosenberg, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, and Julius Streicher. Seated behind them are: Karl Dönitz, Erich Raeder, Baldur von Schirach, Fritz Sauckel, Alfred Jodl, Franz von Papen, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Albert Speer, and Konstantin von Neurath. Scene shifts to the postwar trial of Japanese Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma, in the Philippines. Prisoners with hands bound, in an unidentified Asian conflict, being herded into an open truck. Views of the document constituting the 3rd Geneva Convention of 1949, addressing treatment of prisoners and of parts directed to "conflicts not of an international character." Views of a traumatized civilian driver wounded and a female passenger killed in in his car (appears to be in Cuba or Latin America). Armed gunmen have the man leave the car. A man lays the body of the woman beside the car. Scene shifts to a group of surrendered Vietcong fighters with their weapons stacked. Wounded combatants being carried on stretchers. American survivors of a Japanese prison camp receiving a good meal after being rescued - this is possibly in the Philippines in 1945. Many of the American prisoners are gaunt and emaciated and malnourished. Narrator recites list of activities prohibited by Geneva conventions, as images show these activities: A ditch filled with victims of massacre. Hostages being taken in an internal conflict in an African country. Prisoners being beaten by non-uniformed civilians in and humiliated in public. A recently liberated prison with a former prisoner in striped uniform beating a man as a group is marched away (likely a World War 2 concentration camp with a liberated prisoner beating a former Nazi guard). Death sentences being rendered without due process. A court in Cuba. A boy pointing at a lineup of prisoners. A prisoner shot.
Review of conflicts involving U.S. from World War Two to 1970. A U.S. soldier with rifle and binoculars, on guard. German Chancellor Adolf Hitler speaks in Germany to mass audience. German mobilization and blitzkrieg. U.S. troops firing small arms on island in Pacific. U.S. soldiers on half-track firing artillery. Explosive destruction of Nazi swaztika and Eagle symbol on top of building in Zeppelin Field, Nuremberg, Germany. General Douglas MacArthur stands as Japanese General signs surrender documents aboard USS Missouri, ending WWII. Times Square in New York City on VJ Day. American troops firing artillery and small arms in Korea. Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev speaking at the UN. Newpaper headlines about postwar Berlin Crisis. Soviet missiles on display in military parade in Red Square, Moscow. Soviet General Georgy Zhukov and Nikita Khrushchev,at Kremlin, reviewing the parade. Cuban President Fidel Castro giving a speech.A newspaper headline reading: 'Khruschev orders removal of missiles'. Soviet cargo ship with covered missiles on its deck. Red flag with image of Lenin and message: 'Partido Communista Dominicano'. Chinese people marching with massed flags. Mao Tse-Tung,President of China, waving. A U.S. soldier in,South Vietnam,looks through binoculars. and then walks carrying his M-16 rifle. A map of Vietnam.
Film showing city of Hiroshima, Japan, the day before, and the day after the dropping of the atomic bomb in World War 2. Sequence opens on August 5, 1945, the day before the event. Camera pans over the city. Japanese air raid lookouts are seen on watch for allied bombers. View of actual atomic bomb detonation, over Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945, as seen from aircraft high overhead. Next, the complete destruction of the city is seen from camera at low altitude showing the four and one half square miles of the city flattened and burned. A Japanese hospital still functioning, with red cross flag on it. Hospital workers retrieving victims of the bombing. Ambulatory victims clustered in dooways and halls. Shadow image of a large industrial valve wheel burned onto wall behind it. Similar image of a ladder burned onto a wall. The decorative pattern on a womans dress burned onto skin of her back. Japanese physicians treating victims of thermal and radiation burns. Views of various victims, including some children, and their respective injuries. Scene shifts forward one year, to August 6, 1946. Children are lined up outside a school building, and then seen inside their classroom. disfiguring results of injuries are still evident on the children at their desks. Sequence shifts again, this time to United Nations delegates grappling with the issue of controlling atomic weapons. Closeups of American delegates, including James F. Byrnes (Secretary of State)and James B. Conant, President of Harvard University in the assembly. Closeups of representatives from South Asian nations. Closeup of USSR delegation, headed by Foreign Minister,Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov. Signs identifying delegates from Colombia, Egypt,Iraq, Bolivia, China. Final sequence shows several U.S. atomic scientists in their respective laboratories, including Enrico Fermi and Vannevar Bush. United states representative to the UN, Warren Austin, speaking about the so-called, Baruch Plan, for international control of atomic weapons. (Principal author, Bernard Baruch, is standing behind speaker's left shoulder.) USSR delegation, headed by permanent representative, Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko, who is seen presenting the Soviet plan. View of explosion and mushroom cloud during U.S. Operation Crossroads atomic bomb test in the Pacific.
Setting: North Field, Tinian Island in Mariana Islands, South Pacific, almost a week after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima Japan, August 8, 1945, during World War II. Public Relations Officer, Major John F. Moynahan (not seen) is interviewing members of the Crew of the B-29, Enola Gay, from which the bomb was dropped. Here he interviews Captain William Sterling "Deke" Parsons of the U.S. Navy who was weaponeer aboard the Enola Gay, during the mission. and who now serves as Scientific Head of the Atomic Bomb Project in the Pacific Theater. Captain Parsons describes the events of the mission from their early morning departure through the actual bombing. He notes that the actual bombing went smoother than earlier practice missions.
An orientation film about the American campaign against the Japanese in the South West Pacific during World War II. A U.S. Army intelligence officer reads a document as he studies American strategy to attack Japanese positions on the Admiralty Island in the South West Pacific. An officer at a map of Los Negros. Aerial views of the island. An aircraft lands on sea and soldiers in rubber rafts move towards the island. Soldiers reconnoiter the island. An officer at a map and he makes a phone call to confirm the strategy to be followed for the attack in the South West Pacific. Nearly 800 soldiers of 1st Cavalry Division assemble for the attack. They embark onto Higgins boat at a beach and pull away. The soldiers get aboard a ship at sea. A convoy of U.S. ships underway to invade Los Negros. Officers aboard the ship confer. Naval guns being fired at the coast of Los Negros. Aircraft in flight as they provide an aerial cover. The soldiers get into landing crafts from a ship. The aircraft in flight.
An orientation film about the American campaign against the Japanese in the South West Pacific during World War II. A map of the South West Pacific area depicts islands of New Britain and New Ireland as the chief objectives of the Americans. By taking over these islands the Japanese would be isolated in the area. But a strong defense zone around these islands proves to be the main deterrent. U.S. officers including U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur discuss the strategy to attack and isolate the Japanese in the South West Pacific region. Animated map of the region depicts American plan to capture the Admiralty Island by attacking the island of Manus and Los Negros to be followed by an attack in Madang in New Guinea. This would result in isolation of New Britain and New Ireland and weaken apanese position in the region.