tv Reel America Army in Action - The Tide Turns - 1965 CSPAN May 11, 2020 2:30pm-2:59pm EDT
the moral resolve and military strength to protect ourselves and those others with whom we have the common goal of the preservation of liberty and freedom. ♪ with the coming of spring, 1944, the winter stalemate in italy was broken. our forces slowly resumed fighting their way up the west coast of the italian boot toward rome. against bitter german opposition.
less than three years before, heightler had addressed the likestag. >> germany, italy and japan will wage common war on the united states to a victorious conclusion. >> in rome his fascist partner had declared -- >> fascist italy and national socialist germany, ever closely linked, participate from today on the side of heroic japan against the united states! >> a japanese militarist joined the derisive chorus. >> americans have radios, automobiles, big beefsteaks. when a people has those things, they don't want to fight. americans won't sleep in hammocks or lie in trenches. they are like a tiger whose stomach is full. they are sleepy. >> the american is no soldier.
our power drive up the italian boot forced the enemy to divert 30 of his divisions from france and the low countries, weakening divisions along the english channel coast, where our invasion of france was soon to come. we now had an army numbering millions of soldiers. we now had 150,000 armored vehicles as compared to the 29 tanks the army had in 1940. 400,000 artillery pieces were now engaged in the war effort compared to the 235 available in
1940. from a 1940 production capacity of 117 aircraft a month, we were now producing 9,000 planes of all types a month, a plane every five minutes, 12 an hour. here now was an air arm of 150,000 planes supporting the coordinated allied effort to wipe out enemy industry, supply routes, and communication facilities. the american tiger grown sleepy on a full stomach, or so the japanese had thought, was now fully awake, lean and fighting in the jungles.
on the 4th of june, 1944, our fifth army captured rome. it was a military victory, yes. but its psychological effect carried the greater impact throughout the world. for it was the first axis capital to fall into our hands, bringing consternation and foreboding to the enemy and fresh heart and rejoicing to the free world and its fighting forces. ♪ in england, after months of
planning and preparation, it was d-day minus two. general eisenhower was about to unleash the most massive amphibious invasion in history. during the big build-up england had become a vast staging area for troops and the materiel of war. thousands of vehicles and ready to be assembled combat-type aircraft. 20,000 railroad cars and 1,000 locomotives. 20 million square feet of covered storage and shop space. 44 million square feet of open storage space to hold a growing volume of supplies, wire, tires, bombs, shells and other explosive devices. awaiting invasion for embarkation were thousands of
trucks and support vehicles. row upon row of tanks. and a wide range of artillery weapons. 170 miles of new railroad had been constructed to haul more than 2 million tons of supplies and combat hardware to the invasion force. the united states army had constructed 163 airfields in england for the allied planes that were systematically bombing germany day and night.
the invasion directive issued by the combined chiefs of staff was concise. general eisenhower had his orders. >> you will enter the continent of europe and in conjunction with the other allied nations undertake operations aimed at the heart of germany and the destruction of her armed forces. >> another american general was to have a central role in complying with that monumental order, general omar n. bradley, field commander of american forces. d-day minus one. invasion forces began embarking in england, destination normandy. involved in this massive
amphibious invasion were some 3 million soldiers, sailors and airmen. 4,000 ships and boats. 20,000 vehicles of all types, and an endless list of combat support weapons. "operation overlord," the code name for the invasion, was close at hand. now as d-day and h-hour approached, the final logistical operation was under way.
in the darkness before dawn on june 6th, 1944, the great invasion began to unfold. 17,000 men of the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions with over 2 million pounds of combat equipment and supplies, were airlifted to carefully selected drop zones behind the envacation beaches, where they were dropped to secure key road junctions and other strategic objectives. the invasion armada, the largest ever assembled, was now in position off the coast of france. while our assault forces prepared for h-hour, allied naval power began their concentrated shore bombardment.
at omaha beach in the first assault, 30,000 american troops stormed ashore. british and canadian forces struck at three different beach sectors. at utah beach 20,000 american troops were landed. by the end of the first day our invasion force ashore totaled 120,000 men. with every passing hour, with each passing day, reinforcements streamed ashore to enlarge the
hundreds of our attack bombers and fighters were now over europe carrying payloads of destruction aimed at the vital centers of hitler's fortress europe. flying fortresses in heavy formations cascaded 3,500 tons of explosives, a ton every second, upon nazi-held positions. our mass bomber formations were now given a canopy of protective air support by p-38 lightnings. together they fought off enemy
ground artillery opened up. our tanks and infantry rolled forward, driving west to isolate brest and other ports on the peninsula. other elements pushed south. and east toward paris. ♪ what was left of ten german divisions was mopped up by the very men their fuhrer had told them were not soldiers and would not fight.
again, the aggressor had made a slight miscalculation. as the germans were meeting disaster in northwestern france, the united states seventh army combat hardened veterans of the fighting in italy hit the beaches in southern france on the morning of august 15th. ♪ during that day 50,000 men and their equipment were landed. ♪
the american 6th army corps pushed north along the roan river valley. and other troops moved eastward toward the italian border. the drive into the heart of france was deeper now. the 3rd army angled toward points just east and south of paris. the 1st army flanking the 3rd. the 7th now was moving up swiftly from the south. ten days after the landings in southern france paris was liberated after four years of nazi occupation.
♪ ♪ the liberation of paris, like the liberation of rome less than three months before was a cause for rejoicing and its psychological effect was reflected throughout the free world. among our troops who paraded so proudly were some whose fathers had followed the same flag down that famous avenue a quarter of a century before, celebrating another victory, which they too had won in the best traditions of the american fighting man and who had come there not for
conquest but to liberate. but the men of our fighting forces knew it was only one more important milestone along the rugged road to victory. allied armies held bridge heads all along the line of the seine. in the south of france they captured tulon and marseilles. the british and canadians took brussels and the great port of antwerp. the 1st american army pushed across the border into belgium and drove on to liage. the 3rd took their done.
the 3rd, having crossed the muse river, reached the moselle. now the allied front ran on a line all the way from the swiss border to the north sea. 7th army patrols coming up from the south met patrols from the 3rd army. the two armies were now linked up while the coordinated offensive to come. retreat for nazi forces caught on the wrong side of the line was cut off.
we rounded up our share of prisoners. the desperate plight of hitler's armies became more apparent as the bewildered legions of a once mightdy destructive force found themselves in the hands of the army they had been told never would -- longer than nine hours. ♪ in the 97 days since the 5th corps had led the assault on omaha beach it had come nearly 500 miles and now drove across
the german border and stood on the soil of hitler's germany. who was it? that once said the american was no soldier? ♪ in world war ii the american soldier proved his fighting qualities as he always has and always will. he stands second to none, and his leadership is second to none. from private to general he is the product of a free society, conceived in liberty.
he even has the power through his right to vote in free elections to choose his own commander in chief. he has a voice in making the laws which govern him. he has a precious heritage to defend, much to fight for when he must fight to defend his good way of life. he prefers the arts of peace, as all men of good will do, yet he knows how to practice the arts of war. in some of the scenes filmed of the actual historic events which have been documented in this series you have seen the reaction to the american soldier by newly liberated peoples in north africa, italy and france. to them he was and still is a living symbol of freedom for he came to their lands giving of
himself. not for conquest. but to liberate. to defeat and destroy a ruthless aggressor. or we might well say the aggressor, who like evil, throughout history lives on and has been known by many names. the aggressor. who would dictate and impose his will upon those he would conquer and enslave. and not the at least among those who stand opposed to him is the american soldier. he knows the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. ♪