British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Underground Report


Series Name
The March of Time 9th Year


Issue No.
Date Released
10 Jul 1944
Length of issue (in feet)
Stories in this Issue:
  1. 1Underground Report


Story No. within this Issue
1 / 1
The March of Time synopsis: The March of Time brings news from inside Hitler’s Fortress Europe. It is made up of films captured by the Allies or stolen and smuggled out of Europe by the underground organisations of Norway and France. It is of great topical interest, for this is the kind of material with which army intelligence deals, the inside information upon which invasion strategy must be determined.
Allied pressure is driving Germany back into its European fortress, that fortress which the Nazis have been working for four yearss to make impregnable, to turn its cities into bastions, its vast resources into defensive weapons and its subjugated peoples into allies or willing or unwilling collaborators.

Willing allies were the despicable politicians and would-be dictators who followed Quisling’s way to wealth and power, helping the Germans enslave and destroy their own countrymen. By the help of traitors like Pierre Laval and by using food as a cudgel Hitler has succeeded in mobilising Europe’s manpower and resources for Germany’s military and economic defence. A major question to the intelligence services of the invasion chiefs is, "What is the extent of this success?" For four years, the productive capacity of virtually the entire continent has been Hitler’s. All its millions of cattle, all its rich grain fields, have all this time been contributing to the food reserves the Nazis have been piling up. The manufacturing power with which Germany entered the war has been increased almost two-thirds by conquest. By intimidation and force they have rounded up twelve million workers, including prisoners of war, to keep farms and industries going to feed the German war machine. With this huge pool of labour, and in the seized plants of the occupied countries, the production of armaments for Germany has increased tremendously year by year. Hitler’s chief internal worry is the underground and resistance groups which have grown to formidable strength from Yugoslavia, Greece and Poland to France and the Lowlands. Today those situated in France are a powerful potential in the Allied offensive against Western Europe. Ninety-eight per cent of the men and women of France are either active or passive resisters. For years secret groups have been hoarding weapons stolen from Vichy or the Nazis, or smuggled in by Allied planes and submarines. Underground newspapers have kept the various resistance groups in touch with each other and informed with news from the outside world. Against a multiplication of repressive edicts resistance has become organised and methodical. More than seventy-five per cent of the able-bodied Frenchmen called up by the Nazis for forced labour in Germany have managed to escape. By the thousands these men have fled to the Haute Savoie or the Massif Central, mountain regions beyond the effective control of the enemy, there to become soldiers of the Maquis. This guerrilla army, today a real military organisation, may well prove the equivalent of many added divisions to the Allied invasion forces.

Hitler’s Wehrmacht is today doubly on the defensive for its strength must be turned away from the enemy within to the more powerful enemy threatening the fortifications which line the coast from Spain to Denmark, and the other mighty forces sweeping in upon Germany from the east. The armies of the Soviet, outnumbering the Germans and proved in combat to be the Nazis’ match in fighting ability and generalship, are enveloping and annihilating more and more of the divisions Hitler now desperately needs for his Atlantic Wall. In Britain, the intelligence officers who evaulated the results of the air attacks which were a prelude to the invasion, saw even closer at hand their ultimate goal - the complete internal breakdown of Germany. The German people are learning the meaning of that "total war" their leaders unleashed on the world with their consent. Barcelona, Rotterdam and Coventry are now avenged at Stuttgart, Emden and Berlin. But still the Germans hope that by the threat of suicidal resistance behind the tough inner fortress of Germany itself, which may only be breached at great cost to the Allies, they may be able to temporize and extort a peace that will leave them the chance of rebuilding in another generation a bigger and better war machine.
Researcher Comments
This story was included in Vol.10 No.10 of the US edition.
Politics and government; Occupied territories; War and conflict
Written sources
The March of Time Promotional Material   Lobby Card, Used for synopsis
Production Co.
Time Inc.

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