British Universities Film & Video Council

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Strategy of Liberation

Series

Series Name
The March of Time 10th Year

Issue

Issue No.
4
Date Released
4 Dec 1944
Length of issue (in feet)
1820
Stories in this Issue:
  1. 1Strategy of Liberation

Story

Story No. within this Issue
1 / 1
Summary
The March of Time synopsis: Across the Atlantic, says the March of Time, streamed huge British and American convoys carrying the weapons and supplies of the New World to the British Isles, which had stood so valiantly as the last outpost of democracy in Europe. Within four years America was producing 573 warships a year; aircraft at the rate of 9,000 planes a month and 57,000 tanks a year, besides vast quantities of guns and ammunition. By May of 1944 the stock piles of the United States and Britain had reached a point which guaranteed that the Allied Armies would lack no piece of essential equipment, and early June saw the beginning of the most brilliantly conceived campaign in history.

As a prelude to "D" Day thousands of British and American fighters and bombers began a sustained attack on the coastal fortifications which the Germans has pronounced as impregnable. Road junctions were smashed and German trains, airfields and planes destroyed. Then cam June 6th, and Allied warships poured thousands of tons of high explosives on enemy beach defences and strong points, preparing the way for the military landings. Nineteen days later the Cotentine Peninsular was practically overrun, and supplies and reinforcements were moving up at a rate which insured that there was no lack of material to hamper the assault troops by the time the battle for Cherbourg commenced. By June 27th the last of the German garrison had surrendered, and the Allies were assured of what they most needed - a deep water port. But first German demolition had to be cleared up and acres of docks rebuilt. Within a few weeks American engineers had performed miracles of improvisation and the port’s capacity to handle freight was raised to its pre-war level, enabling an enormous supply of men and equipment to be built up on the peninsular ready for an all-out assault.

On July 25th a 2,000 plane bombardment of the St. Lo area was ordered, and within hours Patton’s tanks and men began to pour through the gap. While the British and Canadians held the Germans’ heaviest armour at Caen, the Americans swung North to form a trap for the Germans at Falaise. By August 14th the pocket had been reduced and the German offensive strength in Western France was broken beyond any chance of recovery. Then the liberation of Southern France began, and here, as in Normandy, paratroopers and airborne infantry led the attack. While the airborne army was at work cutting the German lines of communication, the amphibious forces staged a perfectly executed landing along the Riviera, and in spite of German resistance, American and French fighting forces streamed ashore and began their drive towards the ports of Toulon and Marseilles, and up the Valley of the Rhone towards the German border.
Meanwhile, the F.F.I., after battling with the Germans for four desperate days inside Paris, issued a call for help, and the assignment to free the city was given to the French Second Armoured Division. With Paris liberated and the Allies sweeping on across the German border there is the promise of liberty again. The liberty, says the film, without which no democratic nation can exist, and no man, woman or child know the security, peace and happiness of civilised life.
Keywords
Politics and government; Occupied territories
Written sources
The March of Time Promotional Material   Lobby Card, Used for synopsis
Credits:
Production Co.
Time Inc.

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