This Official Films newsreel, “News Thrills of 1942, Vol. 3,” begins with “Egypt: First Pictures of British Stand Against Rommel” (00:24) in the Egyptian desert west of Alexandria. In the summer of 1942 (possibly leading into or as part of the First Battle of El Alamein), British forces (00:29) move into position to prevent German and Italian troops, led by Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, from breaking through to Alexandria. General Claude Auchinleck oversees the Eighth Army’s operations and rallies his men (00:43). Antiaircraft guns and extra stores of ammunition are set up in preparation for the fight (01:02). Royal Air Force (RAF) planes provide cover for ground troops (01:14) and bomb advancing Axis columns (01:45). A British tank passes a downed Nazi plane (01:35), and other destroyed German and Italian planes are shown (01:38). The Eighth Army pushes forward (02:00) and captures Axis soldiers (02:23), equipment, and bombs (02:41), while the RAF drops bombs of their own (02:50). The following segment shows footage of the US Marine landing at Guadalcanal—presumably on 7 August 1942—as part of the campaign to capture the Solomon Islands from Japan (03:09). Under command of Marine General Alexander Vandegrift, the Allied warships move into position (03:15) as US aircraft leave cruiser decks (03:30) and bomb Japanese targets. The first Marine forces climb into landing barges (03:52) and head for the island. 11,000 Marines make it to shore, invading the island and setting up machine guns (04:10). However, the Japanese base is deserted (04:15). The Marines raise “Old Glory” over the island with General Vandegrift standing at salute (04:26), marking an end to the nine-hour raid. The newsreel’s next segment is “Dieppe: Commandos & Rangers Raid Occupied France” (04:33). It shows the Dieppe Raid, an Allied operation designed to attack and briefly hold a port on German-controlled France. The raid begins on 19 August 1942 as over 6,000 Canadian soldiers, British Commandos, and U.S. Army Rangers—the Canadians making up the vast majority—cross the English Channel (04:38). Royal Navy Destroyer flotillas give off smoke screens (05:02) to protect Allied soldiers preparing to invade. An aerial view of the city (05:14) comes before what appears to be a British warship firing (05:23) on the coastal city. RAF squadrons provide air support, eventually battling the Luftwaffe, and appearing to shoot down one of the German planes (05:45). RAF planes suffer heavy fire, and losses are significant: one RAF Spitfire goes down (06:00) but the pilot is quickly rescued (06:10). Fighting rages across land, sea, and air before Allied forces pull out and return to England (07:25), ending the rehearsal operation. “Over Europe: First Films of R.A.F. Hedge-Hopping Raids” (07:27) provides footage of a low-altitude raid on German-controlled France. A night-bombing squadron is briefed on their mission (07:33), before they join a force of 1,100 low-altitude bombing planes (departing England from airfields all across the country (07:46). RAF Bostons fly over the English Channel and French countryside (08:10) at just fifty feet above ground, too low for Nazi planes to safely attack. The low-flying squadron barley flies above the buildings of an industrial area (08:28), before dropping bombs over the seaport of Saint-Malo (08:46), possibly on 31 July 1942. Footage shows the exterior nose followed by the cockpit of these of “lightning-quick” planes (09:00). The newsreel ends with a cartoon ad for war bonds, depicting Hitler, Hirohito, and Mussolini hanging from the gallows with “HANG THE AXIS!” superimposed over the cartoon (09:19).
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