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Warwork News No. 50 (1944)

Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

Main image of Warwork News No. 50 (1944)
Production CompanyBritish Paramount News
SponsorMinistry of Supply
From the Imperial War Museum Loan Collection

News item about Winston Churchill visiting the Allied front in Normandy.

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1. Churchill visits the front

A report from Normandy which emphasises the great victory won by the Allies on the beaches, then shows scenes inland including the construction of temporary airfields, a view of "a representative of the Fighting French" speaking to crowds at Bayeux and the visits by Eisenhower with Marshall and Churchill with Montgomery, Smuts and Brooke to their respective sectors.

German film of von Rundstedt and Rommel inspecting the "impregnable" Atlantic Wall to stress the achievement of the troops in overcoming the German coastal defences is featured, as the commentary compares the Atlantic Wall to the Maginot Line, powerless to stop the waves of Allied gliders (which now lie awkwardly in pieces in the countryside). Camera-gun film records strafing attacks on enemy supply trains and trucks (petrol tanks explode spectacularly).

Reinforcements arrive on the beaches where captured Germans wade out to landing craft which will take them to England. The commentary makes no reference to de Gaulle as film covers an address by Robert Schuman to patriotic crowds in Bayeux; The French reportedly consider Churchill their liberator. Smuts takes movie film of Churchill before the British party board HMS Kelvin for their homeward journey.

It is interesting to compare the editing style and the use of actuality footage employed in this film with the methods employed by the Germans in their D-Day Newsreel (which, of course, suggests a totally different outcome).

IWM Film and Video Archive Loans Catalogue (2000)

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Video Clips
1. 'Churchill visits the front' (8:04)
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