- Title: VARIOUS: SPECIAL REPORT - 50th anniversary of world war two
- Date: 24th August 1989
- Summary: (VISLIB) (ALL GAUMONT BRITISH/ BRITISH PARAMOUNT NEWSREEL) POLAND, September 1, 1989 GVs. SVs. German armoured car crosses river. Artillery. Marching column. German officer tears down Polish Eagle and throws it on ground. (5 shots) September 1939. GVs. SVs. Tanks advance, guns fire. Building explodes. Tanks past burning building. Injured child. Bodies on ground. Wrecked village. (8 shots) GVs. Svs. Poles fleeing. Polish prisoners march. (8 shots) GVs. SVs. German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler out of plane, greets officer. Troops march past. Hitler salutes. (4 shots) BERLIN, GERMANY, August 23, 1939 Ribbentrop boards plane. (MOSCOW, SOVIET UNION). parade in Red Square. Stalin. Troops march. (8 shots) LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (September 3, 1939) SVS. GVS. Prime Minister's residence at No. 10, Downing St. King arrives, leaves car and enters. BIG BEN shows time: 11 o'clock. Prime Minister Neville chamberlain and wife leave. News headlines. Crier reads war proclamation. (10 shots) GVs. SVs. Children evacuated, board train. Men fill sandbags and stack them around buildings. anti-aircraft gun emplacement. Gun. (7 shots) GVs. SVs. U.S Embassy. U.S citizens out of building. Tourist office. (AT SEA). Liner. Periscope. room of submarine. Torpedo through water. Ship sinking. crew survivors. Passengers. (GLASCOW, SCOTLAND, U.K.) John F. Kennedy welcoming survivors. (11 shots) WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES SV. President Franklin Roosevelt with wife and son. Roosevelt with wife and son. Roosevelt speaking (SOT) (shots) PARIS, FRANCE, August-September 1939 SVs. GVs. President of Council of Ministers leave Elysee. French reservists board train. Families at barrier. Men wave from moving train (NORTH-EASTERN FRANCE BORDER). Maginot Line tank trap. French field gun firing. Shells explode. Man looks through binoculars. Men run. Tanks advance. (10 shots)
- Embargoed: 8th September 1989 13:00
- Location: VARIOUS LOCATION
- Country: Poland
- Topics: Conflict,History
- Reuters ID: LVA66WXH41MY52FFK67MV9G1IJZ
- Story Text: On August 23, 1939, Germany signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union and Hitler's troops marched into Poland. Britain and France, who had pledged support to the Poles, gave Germany until September 3 to withdraw. She did not, and war was declared, the conflict was to last almost six years, and spread across the world before it ended with the atomic explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It cost an estimated 35-million lives.
SYNOPSIS: It began soon after dawn on September 1, when the forces of Nazi Germany entered Poland. The conquest of Poland was to take barely a month. Polish troops were helpless against the massive strength of Hitler's Third Reich.
The Polish capital held out until the end of September against the pounding of German guns. Those killed in the bombardment of Warsaw were the first of millions of civilians to die in the six-year conflict.
Refugees fleeing before Hitler's relentless advance poured across Poland's frontiers. They too were the first of millions more who would lose their homes.
Hitler himself visited his troops to see them prove their overwhelming superiority in a demonstration of the Blietzkrieg technique.
A week earlier, his foreign minister Joachim yon Ribbentrop had flown to Moscow to sign a non-aggression pact. This surprise alliance convinced the West that war was inevitable. For the Russians, it meant time. Stalin, possibly aware that Fascist Germany would eventually renege on the pact, occupied the Eastern part of Poland.
Britain and France were pledged to Poland's support. King George the Sixth approved the decision taken by Britain's Prime Minister Neville chamberlain -The Germans were given until 11 o'clock on September 3 to withdraw. They did not do so, and accordingly, Britain declared war on Germany
The British expected air attacks a year before they actually came. Their first action was to move children away from major cities.
Volunteers assumed responsibility for the protection of people and property. They piled up tens of thousands of sandbags against major public buildings and manned anti-aircraft guns that were to respond to airborne enemy fire a year later.
American tourists caught anawares in Europe swarmed to their embassies in Paris and London. In their thousands, they made hurried plans to return home.
The journey was perilous. A German submarine torpedoed the liner Athenia, bound for New York, on the very first day of war. More than a hundred died. some of the Survivors were brought back to Scotland. They were greeted in Glasgow by John Kennedy, the 18-year-old son of the US ambassador to Britain.
In Washington, President Franklin Roosevelt had stated the American position on the day the war started.
ROOSEVELT: "When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all nations everywhere is in danger. This nation will remain a neutral nation, but I cannot ask that every American remain neutral in thought as well. Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts. Even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or to close his conscience."
France honoured her pledge to support Poland, and, like Britain, declared war on Germany. The French believed they were well prepared. They had maintained conscription since the First World War, and immediately ordered general mobilisation. French military strategy was primarily defensive. Leaders believed the Maginot Line, facing Germany's Siegfried Line, was impregnable. They were soon to be proved wrong - nine months later, Nazi troops were in Paris.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2014. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None