Allied forces attack German-occupied Ortona, and San Pietro in Italy during World War II
Italy Date:1943 Duration:3 min 27 sec Sound:Yes
Opening scene shows British artillerymen bombarding the Italian town of Ortona, on the Adriatic coast of Italy, which is held by paratroops of the German 1st Parachute Division in World War 2. Closeups of British soldier operating 155mm gun. British officers planning the barrage. Battery of guns firing. View of shells striking Ortona, along the coastline. Heavy guns firing from under camouflage netting. Smoke rising from artillery strikes. Scene shifts to Allied occupied airfield in Foggia, on the coast, South of Ortona, where P-40 aircraft of the 99th Fighter Squadron are preparing to fly in support of the Ortona offensive. (This U.S Army Air Forces unit is comprised entirely of African American pilots and support personnel.) Closeups of airmen fueling and arming the aircraft, and of pilots gathered in a mission briefing. 99th Squadron aircraft taking off and departing overhead in formations. View from the British artillery position of numerous bombs bursting on Ortona. Film shifts to the Central Front in Italy where U.S. forces are engaged in the Battle of San Pietro. Views of American artillery bombarding German positions in San Pietro. Closeups of numerous U.S. guns being fired. An ejected shell flies through the air from a U.S. Sherman tank during the bombardment. Views of U.S. troops passing a Sherman tank as they enter San Pietro and begin searching for booby traps in the wreckage of the town. Closeup of a soldier dismantling a booby trap. German aircraft sweep overhead and bomb the town. American soldiers dig out a buddy who was buried by a bomb burst, but rescued unhurt. He smiles for the camera. Casualties of the fighting, including many civilians are carried on stretchers and assisted. Local residents are seen grieving over fallen relatives and friends. Groups of townspeople stand along a hillside and watch as Italian soldiers join with the Allies in the fighting. Jeeps are seen navigating the muddy mountain trails as far as possible. Then further movement requires the use of mules. Troops are seen with mule trains. Soldiers shoulder heavy ammunition crates and slog uphill with them over a muddy mountain trail.
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