Scenes in Lyndhurst, New Jersey after explosion in the Canadian Car and Foundry Company in Kingsland (in Meadowlands of New Jersey) during World War 1. The company built shells for shipment to Russia in World War I. Over 500,000 shells were destroyed in the blast and fire, bombarding the surrounding areas in Kingsland - Lyndhurst. Black smoke rising in the distance, at night, seen from the coast. Close views of industrial buildings and homes on fire. Night views of homes and buildings engulfed in flames. People walk through smoking wreckage afterwards and pick through debris. Devastation covers area flattened by explosion and fire. Twisted railroad tracks covered by debris. A pile of munitions shells in a heap in the burned out shell of a building. View of the D.L.&W (Delaware, Lackawanna & Western) Railroad Shops building at Kingsland (now Lyndhurst), with DL&W train car 605 parked in front. Railroad Shops building is pitted with holes and broken glass from 3-inch shell bombardment. Two men inspect a damaged railroad car with broken glass and a 3-inch shell embedded in the side of the car. A heavily damaged residential house with holes and blown-out windows, and a shell embedded in the front door. Citizens pick through wreckage in front of a building where only cement pilings remain. Scene shifts to Perth Amboy area, October 1918. View of displaced families made homeless by the T.A. Gillespie Shell Loading Plant explosion (Morgan Depot Explosion; largest munitions factory in the world). Refugees sit in a town square. Men, women, and children among the refugees. An Army soldier and Navy sailor seen near refugees as they eat and drink. View of Smith Street in Perth Amboy with shops damaged by the blast. Under Martial Law, U.S. Army troops patrol with rifles to prevent looting. Pedestrians and a streetcar pass. Sign along sidewalk for entrance to Michaels & Co. at 178 Smith Street. (Suspected cause of incidents: Gillespie - worker error; Kingsland - sabotage as in the 1916 Black Tom explosion.)
The Russian Revolution of 1917. Scenes of trench warfare on the Western Front during World War I. German soldiers firing at enemy positions. Ill-equipped Russian troops in the field, and suffering from pestilence and disease. A Russian soldier wearing no shirt and with no equipment is seen scratching at itches on his own body. Starving, sad Russian children are shown back in Russia. Scenes of St Petersburg, Russia in March 1917, during demonstrations for increased bread rations. Responding Russian troops defect and join demands for the transfer of power from the Czar to an elected parliament. A military vehicle loaded with troops is seen rallying and celebrating with Russian people. Minister of Justice in the Provisional Government Alexander Kerensky speaks to a large crowd. Czar Nicholas II, who has abdicated, sitting on a stump, with a few guards behind him. Political prisoners are freed from prisons. Leon Trotsky, speaking from a train platform, upon his return from exile in Canada. Summer, 1917, and Alexander Kerensky becomes Head of the Russian Provisional Government. Kerensky, standing in the balcony of a building, proclaims Russia a republic. A large crowd gathered outside the building. Vladimir Lenin speaking to a large crowd on the Kerensky Republic. View of Farmer workers with shovels in a field. Lenin and Trotsky call for the members of the Farmer Worker Army Union Soviet to work against the Kerensky Republic. View of Lenin speaking against the Republic and for class warfare. Lenin's Bolsheviks riot and seize the railroad stations, telegraph lines, and government offices. A tower column of the Russian monarchy is seen falling to the ground. Events on November 25 after the Russian Revolution: A number of people on a street during elections called for by Kerensky. View of Lenin talking to people in the streets. Lenin's Bolshevik group loses to the SR party. People in the streets near the time of the election. The elected assembly of the Socialist Revolutionary Party is seen meeting under the protection of Trotsky's Red Army which is seen marching near a crowd. Catherine Breshkovsky is seen standing and speaking at the assembly meeting. The elected assembly in session. The assembly refuses to turn power over to the Lenin Soviet. The members of the elected assembly are seen finally giving in to the Bolsheviks and the factions of the SR that have split to support the Bolsheviks. The leaders of the defeated faction of the Socialist Revolutionary Party (SR) are seen leaving the grounds of the assembly. In the next scene, a crowd protests against the dismissal of the elected assembly, to no avail.. Lenin speaking to a large crowd. He speaks about the power won and maintained by violence. Views of the demonstrating crowd.
U.S. artillerymen firing 155mm Howitzers M1917A4, in World War 1. The pieces are set up in several locations and conditions. Some are placed at edge of fields; others against berms; and several in ruins and rubble of buildings. Troops fire 155mm GPF heavy field gun, under cover of camouflage canopy.
Opening slate cites year 1917. First scene shows Russian people removing a banner from a store front, that identifies it as a provider of goods to the Russian Imperial Court. People at entrance of a building crowd around Red Army soldiers handing out paper fliers.Russian Army Cossacks gather with other soldiers in a city park square where some hold red flags. Soldiers and citizens parading in a city square carrying banners and flags. A vast city square filled with people elbow-to-elbow. Some people stand on a monument in the square. Several banners are seen. Bankers and investers at entrance and steps of a stock exchange (possibly the Brongniart's Stock Exchange building, Paris) representing Western financing of the Bolshevik revolution. More scenes of people marching in Russia, including a large contingent of Army soldiers in greatcoats, at the end of the film.
Momentary image of Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, Russian mystic and advisor to the Russian Imperial family. German troops fighting in no man's land on Western Front in World War 1. Ill prepared and equipped Russian troops clean themselves and clothing of fleas and lice, that cause heavy casualties from typhus. Explosions on front lines. Starving Russian civilians at aid camp. Demonstrations for increased bread rations, in St. Petersburg, Russia, March, 1917, getting out of hand. Tsarist troops sent in to quell the disturbance, instead, join in the revolutionary protests. Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky, member of the Provisional Committee of the State Duma, vice-chairman of the Petrograd Soviet,and first Minister of Justice in the Provisional Government, is seen tipping his hat, and later giving a speech. Czar (Tsar) Nicholas II, seen sitting on a tree stump, with soldiers behind him. Russians crowding a square, breaking down prison bars, and releasing prisoners. Dissidents haranguing Russian crowds. Kerensky speaking to crowd. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin returning by train from exile in Switzerland. Leon Trotsky arriving by train from Canada. Kerensky on a balcony as, head of the provisional government, in Summer, 1917, proclaiming Russia a Republic. Young women marching in parade. Lenin making remarks. Field filled with farm workers (worker army union, AKA Soviet) tilling soil with hand tools. Lenin, bareheaded (holding his cap behind his back) making a speech. An unidentified cathedral seen in background. Bolsheviks stir up unrest. Winged Victory column topples. Bolshevik mobs take over government buildings
British troops fight against Germans on the Western Front during World War I. British troops fire artillery. British troops load shells in artillery. The British forces advance from trenches and attack across No Man's Land. British troops pass shells in a line and load artillery. Troops climb out underneath barbed wire and leave trenches to advance on battlefield in World War 1; several close-up scenes in trenches and of trench warfare. Tanks crossing over trenches. Soldiers carry ammunition from a bunker. A German soldier dies. Artillery is fired, tanks move on the battlefield. German troops operate a machine gun. A wire mesh in the foreground. British troops emerge from trench together and begin running across No Man's Land during an offensive charge.