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French Communiqué (1940)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

At the frontier between France and Germany, sentries guard the bridge. A notice invites people wishing to look at the German side over the sandbags to pay a 'tax' of one cigarette.

In the French countryside, shepherds and farmers go about their usual business. Troops help with the grape harvest.

A small town has recently been bombed by the Luftwaffe - the streets are full of rubble, and sandbags have been erected across the street. The larger city of Strasbourg had been evacuated, with a shop window notice promising to re-open after victory.

Troops climb a hillside and stand by with their machine guns. Food supplies arrive, pushed by soldiers on trolleys, or carried over their shoulders. In the kitchens, potatoes are sliced, sausages made and bread is baked. Parcels arriving from home are sorted and delivered. Mules carry mail through the forest.

Christmas 1939. Tables are laid for a celebratory meal for the troops. A show is put on, featuring traditional accordion music and folk dances. Christmas Eve. Soldiers attend mass. Outside in the snow, the sentry keeps watch.

Spring comes, and ploughing begins in the fields. Artillery guns are fired repeatedly as a warning to the Germans.