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tv   Reel America Why We Fight The Battle of Britain - 1943  CSPAN  August 26, 2018 4:00pm-4:55pm EDT

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with senator mccain, you can visit our by the summer of 19 40, nazi germany had conquered most of europe and hitler was making plans to invade england. railamerica, from 1943, the battle of britain, the why we fight series. it is a 53 minute u.s. war department film which was shown to war department members and in theaters. ofdetails august and the end december 1940. hollywood director and a team of veterans and army signal corps technicians show how the british defeated hitler's air force at a cost of more than 40,000 civilians and vast destruction on the ground.
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the master race was riding high.
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♪ [drums] now, adolf hitler stood just as
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napoleon had stood more than 100 years before and look across the english channel to the one obstacle that stood between him and world domination. britain was sharing and white in the choppy water. island smallere than the state of wyoming. island seemed open for world conquest. the fall of austria, czechoslovakia, poland, denmark, norway, holland, belgium, france, had given him more than 100 million slaves to work for him or starve. the preliminaries were over. it was time for the main events. the battle of britain. ♪
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hitler and his generals drafted their plans for the conquest of britain. could wreck the whole timetable of world conquest. six weeks of final preparation went into the plans. six weeks to determine the history of 1000 years. it was full proof. steve for yourself -- see for yourself how simple it was to be. the germans planned for an invasion of england. phase one was to knock out the royal air force and get control of the air. this had wiped out poland and france. destroy communication and transport lines.
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above all, get command of the air. two, pulverized the coastline with dive bombers. get parachute troops to take over the airfields and establish dominance. phase three. actual invasion. they come across in high-speed barges under an umbrella protecting fighter planes. then, send spearheads of armed might to divide, surround, and destroy all opposition. that is all there is to it. conquer britain. forced a surrender of the british.
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with the combined power of germany, britain, italy, france, and japan, he could control the seas. the torch of freedom flickered low. on the invasion coast, more than 100 police with german divisions were singing the nazi theme song, sailing against england, as they waited the words from hitler. here, for weeks, all of the supplies and weapons of the nazi war regime had been turned for the britain -- toward written. -- britain. ♪ the jobs of the nazi whale were sent to swallow. what about jonah? how was he doing?
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, but italso had an army was dragged from the sea of dunkirk. music]ic an army without weapons. they had the left behind on the roads of france. motorized equipment, all abandoned to save the one priceless item, men. ♪ in all of britain, there was not enough equipment for one modern division. only one tank for every thousand square miles of territory.
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everyne machine gun for 1500 yards of the beach. britain had a navy, too, but it was scattered all over the globe, guarding food and supply lines. the british new it would be suicide to use their feet -- fleet and the narrow waters of the english channel with the german air force and control of the air. britain also had an air force, and air force outnumbered 10-1 by the enemy both in men and machine. then written herself. -- britain herself. the people of britain who would be terrorized and forced to surrender. they knew every man, woman, and child would be hitler's target in the onslaught that could come at any moment. they knew they had a job to do and not much time to do it. the young, not so young, and the old.
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the clerk, the butcher, the farmer, the members of parliament, they formed a civilian army, written's home guard. they started from scratch. ♪ equipment,, supplies, all were scarce. one shallow fire at each practice. the women of britain refused to be left out. too. are in this, put up the barrage balloon. guns -- man the guns. run the railroad to get the trains through on time.
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planes. carry the dispatchers. drive the ambulances and run the buses. see that our men are fed and do not go hungry. ♪ others worked. men and women alike. they worked full-time, overtime, 50,letime, 40 hours a week, 60, 70. hours meant nothing. -- tea meantthing nothing until the government
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forced them to cut down hours. when they were not working, the men patrolled the moors from parachutes and blocked the roads. something had happened here that the germans could never understand in a democracy, it is not the government that makes war, it is the people. to lead them, the people had chosen winston churchill as their prime minister. in everythe words british heart when he said, we
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--ll defend our island, and whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on beaches, landing streets, and on the hills. we shall never surrender. ♪ this was britain and its darkest hour. the people knew they were in for the worst. they did not panic or runaway. they patrolled and waited. they drilled and waited. they worked and waited. waited for the terror they knew was coming. [sirens] that is the sound that became part of the life of every man, woman, and child. [baby crying]
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august 5, 1940, the battle for britain. ♪ here comes the loose off the -- luftwaffe. in dozens of flights, hundreds of planes. bombers.dive across 21 miles of channel. that eight short minutes of water. their first tactics were to bomb convoys on the channel loaded with food and ammunition.
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german fighters waited for the defending planes of the royal air force, the raf to appear. they did not have long to appear. -- weight. --wait. [plane engines]
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the raf came, facing odds of 6, 8, 10-1 and adobe and, shouting the cry tally ho. [lane engines] engines] calls for the men
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of the raf to be knocked out of the air. the men of raf did not read the nazi plan. in the first four days, the raf not 182 german planes out of the sky. notkn --ocked -- knocked 182 german planes out of the sky. they flew over the thames river.
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[explosions] >> take cover! engines] hitler made off with 180 more planes. thatuftwaffe went to stamp -- southhampton trying for a knockout before supplies overseas ran out. they cannot be knocked out.
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cargoes were unloaded for the protection of the raf overhead. spitfires and hurricanes in the air was not panning out. he switched his main attacks the fighter airfield. maybe you could destroy the planes on the ground. he bombed the airfields and the fields were hit. but the planes were saved. for britain, unlike poland, did not make the mistake of bunching the planes on the runways. the planes of the raf were scattered and hidden, only a few on one field. the spitfires still went to meet the enemy. in the first 10 days of the battle of britain, he launched major attacks to get on the air and lost 600 790 aircraft. 60 british loss --
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pile -- pilots bailed out. ♪ valuable trades men were saved and ready to fight again. the church -- crews of the planes were lost forever. ♪ the pace was too hot. something was going haywire. they had to call a timeout. on the 2000 mile front from norway to france, the whole nazi
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blitz program was being stalled because the raf was still in the air. the troops were getting horse from singing we are sailing against england. ♪ the long-range german guns were getting hot from bearing shells across the channel. [explosions] in public, hitler assured the germans that mr. churchill tells his people england will win but i tell you victory belongs to germany. [cheering] private, he put the head of the loop -- raf on the hot seat -- head of the luftwaffe on the hot seat. he ordered a tax on in land air drums and industrial centers.
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maybe he could knock out the raf on the assembly lines. too.opted the tactics, more fighters and fewer bombers. maybe he had fewer bombers to send. -- were did send war perfected, fighters at high altitudes, fighters on both sides, fighters in the front and in the rear, fighters weaving in and out of the bomber formation. britain, winner of the first round, was ready. with higher morality and sharper defense. improved listening post for set up along the coast and warned of the enemy's approach before he left the continent. a quick flash from a station. pilots were on their way to meet the enemy while he was still over the channel. day, out of sight and
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almost out of sound of the watchers on the cliffs, 4, 5, and six miles over the dover area. -- the dover area became known as house corner -- hell's corner. the enemy broke through defenses. [bombing] ♪ they reached an land to the air drums. aircraft plants. ammunition factories and machine shops. >> gunfire in the southeast, ride. >♪
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[whistle blowing] ♪ the workers kept working. the raf kept flying. the men with wings alone in the sky, behind them, motors and machine guns were shooting down more than the luftwaffe. they were smashing the nasty
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plan of the world conquest. >> 109 destroyed. i had a wonderful party thinks. >> are you all right? this -- augustof 24 and september 5, 25 major attacks were launched. the cost of germans, 560 planes. 219 andish lost only saved 132 pilots. hitler's plans were going haywire. the nazi's were blind with rage.
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the german mind has never understood why free people fight on against overwhelming odds. hitler knew he was superior in every weapon except the weapon of spirit. he told garang, to break the spirit and crush the people. crush the spirit of democratic life itself. the invasion would have to wait. the raf is would avoid and smash the city of london into the rubble hitler made of warsaw and rotterdam. could london take it? the people themselves and not know the answer. the defenses were hastily assembled. barrages stayed at high altitudes. the royal air force held onto its last reserves. nazi general guering
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they sent children out of the city. -- they sent children out of the city. type -- they tightened air raid parsons and is stationed more airplane spotters. favor hearst firefighters and moved into bomb shelters -- rehearsed firefighters and moved into bomb shelters. they carried on. the first blow came on september 7. [sirens] >> planes are coming in.
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>> take cover in the basement. please do not run, but keep moving. third-floor, clear. >> second floor, clear. >> first-floor, clear. 375 german when planes came rolling up the thames river, the battle of britain became the battle of london. thegermans broke through charge of hurricanes and spitfires and went to meet them. this was savage destruction.
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[bombs exploding] engines] bombs fell alike on the homes of the poor and rich. hospitals, shops, churches. days, the not these were to drop everything on the city of london. explosives --s of
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tens of explosives. torpedoes sheared away whole buildings. the war of the man in the street let out. ♪ he learned to exist with very little food. he forgot what it meant to have a night sleep, spending most of his time underground in the damp, dark him and cold. >> filling in early tonight? -- going in early tonight? >> i will be back in a few minutes, if you want. >> how we get you up there? >> give this young lady a list that. -- lift up. ♪ the air raid wardens stayed other post -- stayed at their
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post. doctors and nurses worked steadily as bombs crashed around them. squads labored night and day. >> issue that -- is she dead? >> fireman said net's to the bombs and went out to put out fires. this was life in the blitz. rules of nazie warfare, britain was refusing to crumble. across the channel, the enraged goldring took command of the operation. oring took command of the operation. on september 15, he sent the loot drop into one of its greatest attacks. into one of its
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greatest attacks. ♪ 500 german bombers and fighters rolled over being west coast. -- the english coast. the british met the challenge by throwing in everything they had. ♪ a historic three-dimensional battle took place inside an area of 60 miles long and 5-6 miles high.
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[plane engines] [shooting] 200 individual dogfights took place within the first 30 minutes of the rate -- raid. [shooting]
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[explosions] [plane engines] >> keep a lookout for them. coahuila some -- some of the german bombers broke through london defenses. they reached the center of the city. [bomb sirens]
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[plane engines] >> where are you? >> blimey, i thought they got you. made? -- me? i had my fingers crossed. ♪
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yet.e biggest bang 185 aircraft shutdown. the 500 german planes that came over that day, more than one third were shut down. in the 28 days of terror from september to october, the nazi's dropped 15 million pounds of bombs on the city, killed civilians and wounded 10,000. palace,ll on buckingham westminster abbey, the houses street,ament, fleet the center of the news, st. bombs dashingal,
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the historic past of the lives of englishmen. but, in these 28 days, the nazi lost 900 planes and crews. the more they sent over, the more were shot down. the british ship -- spitfire proved to be a deadly weapon. if this concept, pretty soon, no more the flava -- luftwaffe. 6, the germans changed tonight attacks so maybe they could avoid a deadly spitfires and hurricanes. maybe that way they could crash the stubborn british spirit. air, mind control of the never mind phase one, phase two, phase three. now just concentrate on bombing the people into submission and make them cry for mercy.
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engines] ♪ [piano music] [sirens] ♪ the raf was not much help at
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night. it was german bombs against british guns. >> hello, dear. >> lost a good amount of men tonight and they? -- didn't they? london was left of a roaring inferno -- as a roaring inferno. homes were destroyed by incendiary's. blocks were aflame. ,till, the people of london night after night burrowed underground and morning after morning dealt themselves out of themselvese -- dug out of the wreckage. ♪
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>> would you like to sit down? >> thanks. >> did you sleep well? >> what about the come -- when i came down around 2:00? >> >> i do not hear it, did you? >> we are getting used to it. ♪ >> don't you think you had better go away from this for a bit? >> of course not.
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it would take more than this to get me out of my home. >> the battle of london was the battle of the people of the city. and spite of bombs, fire, and death, they got to their desks to spend 10 or 12 hours working, working, working. the british spirit was stronger than ever. the raf was flying higher than ever, not only higher, but further. operators. ep781. 10 aircraft. there was a big one the other night. this is your target for the night. the submarine shipbuilding yards.
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a widely important target. it has got to be hit hard. then the midst of life-and-death struggle, the british from strength to defend and counterattack with the few bombers they could get together. [victorious music] hit the charlie airborne, sir. can you hear me? >> ok, skipper. >> operator, is everything ok? >> it seems to be around here, sir. ♪
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>> standby. i am going into a glide. [plane engine] [shooting] >> study. steady! --
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[explosions] >> i got a bull's-eye with the last one. >> here was the raf giving it back. hitler cried night gangsters, for this crime, i will attack with thousands old red -- revenge. all of the german i bombers were put into the air. bombers were put into the air. ♪ [explosions] [explosions getting louder]
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>> a thousandfold revenge was coventry. on the night of november 14, one million pounds of bombs were dropped on the city. coventry was smashed to the status of warsaw and what -- rotterdam. [sad music]
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the people of coventry dug their loved ones out of the ruins and saw them to their last resting place in a common grave. [mournful music continues] hitler could kill them, but
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damned if he could kill their spirit. they knew the bench was as a rifle and aas new enemy had to be destroyed. the day was coming when they would strike back. and how they would strike back. ♪ christmas, 1940. [chorus singing o come let us adore him]
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christmas, this season of peace on earth and goodwill toward men. hitler's first burst of rage against the people who cannot be licked. [bomb sirens] [yell] he cannot bomb them into submission, so he would burn then to ashes. -- them to ashes. millions of firebombs rained down on the great city of london.
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morematter of minutes, than 1500 different sections of thatity worst into flames merged into the greatest fire in recorded history. in the midst of the fire and destruction, vital water mains were shattered and water pressure was almost entirely cut off. heroes of the night were men of the london fire brigade as they stretched temporary hose lines to the center of the thames river.
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the nazi's had carefully picked a night at which the thames river had one of the lowest tides on record. while london burned above them, the people of the city held on, chin up, thumbs up. they knew this was the people's war and they were the people. the people could not be panicked, could not be beaten. ♪ [cymbals crashing] thehe months to come, british suffered many bombings and burnings.
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theretion calls on cold -- curis and when hot courage from then, they die. -- hot courage runs thin, they die. engines roaring] [shooting] [explosions] the battle of britain was one -- won, but not by hitler. hitler had lost the battle. he lost 2375 german planes and their crews. for the first time, it was the germans who ate the bitter dirt
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of the feast. gone was the legend of it and sensibility. the not destruct britain with all of their might and leveled thousands of homes and damaged millions. they killed more than 40,000 men, women, children and seriously wounded 50,000 more. soldier setle nazi foot on british soldier -- soil. hitler cannot stop. in our next film, we will show how he turned to the east again. why did the nazi is lose the battle of britain? first, because the regimented people met an equally determined free people and the free people made them quit cold. >> we have been bombed, dive bombed, dry level bombed, machine guns.
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we have had invasions. the last lot we had. we are still sticking it and we are going to stick it. >> second, because this was a new kind of war and the raf for the men who could fight. these were the men who belonged to what hitler called the week and a soft democracies. the british did more than save their country, they won for the world a year of precious time. it was not only for the people of britain, but for the people of the world that winston churchill spoke when he said >> never, in the field of human conflict, has so much owed by so many and so few. ♪
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interested in american history tv? visit our website. you can view our tv schedule, preview upcoming programs, and watch lectures, floors, archival films, and more. american history tv at
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tonight on q and a. national constitution center president and ceo jeffrey rosen talks about his biography of william howard taft. >> he never learned politics. he told his aid, who served roosevelt and taft as an aid, i will not play a part in the popularity. if the people want to reject me, that is their prerogative. madisones were james and alexander hamilton. madison and hamilton believed the majority should rule, but only slowly and thoughtfully over time. than passion should prevail. he believes the entire system is set up to slow the direct expression of public passions of the people can be governed in the public interest, rather than through faction, mops that favor
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self-interest rather than the .ublic good tv,, on american history edward l'engle talks about the experiences of american soldiers on the western front during world war i. he is the author of never in finer company, the men of the great wars of the last italian -- battalion. and to conquer hell. site innhower national gettysburg posted this hour-long event. >> good afternoon and welcome. we are at the world war i camp weekend. this is an opportunity for the public to learn about cam cole, which was a camp training program for tanks at the gettysburg national


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