World War Two Film Clips
This three page reminiscence provides an example of the persuasive power of film and it tells the tale of an important event at a small industrial building in Hollywood, California, that housed the Navy Film Services Depot between 1942 and 1945.
"Taking the Offensive" was the name given to this small, low budget training film that was produced on that dusty sun-bleached street and it didn't appear to be anything terribly special to the NCOs who produced it at the time - but they learned later that their film provided a badly needed shot in the arm to the then untested officers and men of one particular heavy cruiser that was destined to tangle with three Japanese ships the next day.
Click here to read about the Battle of the Coral Sea,
"General Sir Thomas A. Blamey, Australian commander of Allied ground forces in the Southwest Pacific, declared the Japs have massed 200,000 first-line troops on the approaches to Australia and might be expected to launch an offensive at any time."
It was a clear day on a fast track for James Forrestal (1892 – 1949) when the U.S. Congress passed the Two Ocean Navy Bill during the Summer of 1940. At that time both Europe and Asia were engulfed in war and it seemed certain to many that the U.S was not going to be able to avoid it. Serving as the Under Secretary of the Navy, with Frank Knox (1874 – 1944) presiding as his senior, Forrestal was charged with the duty of building the U.S. Navy into something far more dangerous than it already was, and build it he did.
Read the story of the CAMPBELL, a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter - she sank six German U-boats in twelve hours during one of the nastier moments that made up the Battle of the Atlantic.
CLICK HERE to read about the women of the U.S. Coast Guard during the Second World War.
"Not only did Germany limit the size of her fleet, but she failed to push technical developments. For example, she was behind the Allies in developing radar, and her torpedoes were mechanically deficient. She was ahead of the Allies in perfecting magnetic mines, but these proved to be a short-lived advantage... The priority for naval construction was so low that when the war began in September, 1939, the naval strength allowed in the treaty of 1935 had not been reached."
"Thus, in the opinion of Admiral Doenitz, Germany, for the second time within 25 years, lost her bid for world supremacy because of her weakness at sea."
This is a short anecdote that recalled a slice of life on board a USN troop ship as it ferried men from one bloody atoll to the next. The two speaking parts in this drama were both officers who butted heads regularly until they understood that what united them was the welfare of the
dying young men returning from the beaches who had given their last full measure.
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