• Short Summary

    Forty years ago this weekend, Europe was plunged into war. ??? conflict was to last?

  • Description

    GV POLAND, German armoured car crosses river, SV field gun across bridge 0.05
    GV German troops and vehicles advance along road 0.08
    GV & SVs Tanks advancing, guns firing (4 shots) 0.13
    GV Building explodes, MV tank past burning building. 0.13
    CU Injured child; MV PAN bodies on ground; TRACKING SHOT: wrecked village 0.24
    GV & SVs Refugees with cart (3 shots) 0.30
    SV German soldier tears Polish emblem from building, throws it into road 0.37
    SV Hitler shakes hands with officer, both give Nazi salute, GV troops parade past Hitler, SV Hitler salutes 0.45
    MVs BERLIN: Ribbentrop boards aircraft (3 shots) 0.54
    GV MOSCOW: Parade in Red Square, CU Stalin 1.00
    GV LONDON: Car arrives in Downing Street, MV King George VI enters No. 10 1.07
    ANGLE V Big Ben clock face, 11.00 1.10
    SV Neville Chamberlain and wife leave No. 10, car drives off 1.18
    GV Train arrives at station, SV Evacuee children enter train, CU child waves from window 1.26
    GV PARIS, FRANCE: Cars in Elysee courtyard, GV & SV French ministers leave Elysee Palace 1.34
    TGV Crowd at French railway station, MV women at barrier 1.41
    GV French troops wave from moving train 1.46
    AERIAL VIEW & MV Maginot Line 1.52
    CU LONDON: U.S. Embassy nameplate, SVs Americans leave Embassy and travel agency office (4 shots) 2.03
    GV Merchant ship at sea 2.06
    GV Submarine periscope, SV Torpedo travelling CU signaller's hands, GV Ship sinking 2.13
    SV 7 SCU GLASGOW: John F. Kennedy (aged 18) welcoming "Athenia" survivors 2.21
    WASHINGTON, D.C.: President Roosevelt with wife and son 2.26
    GV INTERIOR Cameras and pressmen 2.27
    SCU Roosevelt speaking, SV cameras, SCU Roosevelt speaking 3.04

    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."

    Initials BB/


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Forty years ago this weekend, Europe was plunged into war. ??? conflict was to last almost six years, and spread across the world. Before it ended with the atomic explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is estimated to have cost more than 35-million lives.
    SYNOPSIS: It began soon after dawn on September 1st, 1939, when the forces of Nazi Germany entered Poland.
    The Polish campaign lasted barely a month. The Polish army resisted stoutly, but had no answer to the Nazi Blitzkrieg.
    The victims of the bombardment of Warsaw were the first of millions of civilian ??? were to die. The refugees who poured across Poland's frontiers were the forerunners of millions more who would lose their homes -- or return to find their country changed out of all recognition.
    The man who was blamed was Adolf Hitler: the Nazi leader, with his demand for "living space" for a dominant Germany.
    A week before, his Foreign Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, had flown to Moscow to sign a non-aggression pact. The Soviet Union bought two years' more time to prepare for the attack Stalin was sure would come.
    Britain and France were pledged to Poland's support. King george the Sixth approved the British Cabinet's decision to give Germany till 11 o'clock on September third to withdraw. She did not do so, and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced that accordingly Britain and Germany were at war.
    The British expected air attacks a year before they actually came, and started moving children out of their major cities.
    Later the same day, France also declared war on Germany. The French were better prepared in military terms than the British, but less united politically. They had maintained conscription since the end of the First World War, and immediately ordered general mobilisation. But French military thinking was primarily defensive; to hod the apparently impregnable Maginot Line.
    Thousands of American visitors were caught in Europe. It was the height of the holiday season. Hurriedly, most of them made arrangements for a passage home.
    It was a dangerous journey. A German submarine torpedoed the liner "Athenia" on September 4th, and more than 100 lives were lost. The American Ambassador to Britain, Joseph Kennedy, sent his son, John, then aged 18, to Glasgow to greet the survivors.
    On the day war started, President Franklin Roosevelt broadcast a message to the people of the United States.

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    File reuters - Can Sell
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