British Universities Film & Video Council

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Series Name
The March of Time 16th Year


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Date Released
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The March of Time synopsis: The latest March of Time examines the military status of the United Nations and discusses what is being done to organise and strengthen the forces of democracy against the threat of Communist aggression. Though Korea was the scene of the initial armed clash, says the film, it is in the West that Russia has expanded most ruthlessly, and it is along the borders of free Europe that the Red Army has today massed a large part of its striking power.

An effective weapon is combatting Communist expansion has been the reviving of Europe’s war-shattered economy by the aid given under the Marshall Plan, which will have the long-range effect of providing a better standard of living for all. But, says the March of Time, while free Europeans have been rebuilding for peace, the industrial machine of the Soviet Union has remained geared to the production of weapons and munitions, so that their army may be ready to strike at any time. To meet the threat of force, the United States in 1949 inaugurated the Mutual Defence Assistance Programme. Under M.D.A.P. the United States began to ship weapons and other supplies to Europe to help build up the military establishments of the North Atlantic Treaty nations, who had agreed to pool their knowledge, their arms and their resources. The film visits various European countries to show the first steps that have been taken toward mobilisation and rearmament. In Germany training centres have already been expanded to enable increasing numbers of NATO officers to become familiar with American arms. Classes in electronics have been set up to insure an integrated system of communications among the field forces, and allied troops are regularly taking part in tactics exercises and manoeuvres. In France infantrymen equipped partly with US arms, are undergoing rigorous combat training. With almost seven hundred thousand men called up, and with more than three thousands men called up for service this year, France expects to contribute [illegible] joint defence forces a total of ten fully-trained [illegible] by the end of 1951, plus ten more by 1953. [illegible] for Britain, the Labour Party’s Secretary, Morgan Phllips, emphasises the fact that we intend to meet fully our obligations as a working partner in the alliance against aggression. Until British production of more modern arms is increased, the RAF are making good use of the American B-29’s and the British Tommy is already familiar with the latest American-made weapons, while defence exercises against bombing attacks on the industrial centres of England are being thoroughly tested.

Yet despite what had been accomplished by the end of 1950, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation had failed to mobilise a defence force sufficient to withstand the armed might of the Soviet Union and her satellites, who could strike with at least two hundred combat divisions. To meet this monstrous array of force, the allies could muster fewer than twenty undermanned divisions, capable perhaps of becoming sixty in three years. At the Brussels Meeting late in 1950, the foreign ministers and military leaders of the twelve Atlantic Pact nations met to take belated and urgent action. Unanimously electing General Eisenhower as Supreme Commander of the combined forces, agreement was reached upon the unified efforts of the West to preserve the freedom of the democratic world and teach the Kremlin that aggression will not pay.
Researcher Comments
This story was included in Vol.17 No.1 of the US edition.
Foreign relations
Written sources
The March of Time Promotional Material   Lobby Card, Used for synopsis
Production Co.
Time Inc.

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