World War II in the Newsreels

Hundreds of short films, featurettes and feature films were produced during World War II. Some of the better and/or more memorable items are listed here. Be advised that wartime vitriol comes through loudly in these movies, so if you are easily offended you might want to chose wisely.

File Title Year Time Synopsis Comments
Battle-for-Marianas.avi Action At Angaur 1945   The taking of Angaur by the "Wildcats" 81st Marine Regiment. (Following "Battle for the Marianas.)  
Ah-bio.wmvAdolf Hitler 1944


Biography of der Führer  
After-Mein-Kampf.wmv After Mein Kampf 1940


British production covering Adolf Hitler's rise to power.  
Chapter Menu  The Air Force Story 1945


Air Force history prior to WWII.  
All-Out-for-Victory.mpg All Out for Victory! 1943


Contributions of handicapped and disabled workers to World War II industrial production.  
Appt-Tokyo.aviAppointment in Tokyo 1945


Highlighting key events in the Pacific War.  
Army-Nurse.mpg The Army Nurse 1945


Shows the daily life and work of the Army nurse, including training and off-duty activities.  
As-the-twig-is-bent.mpg As the Twig is Bent 1945


On the problem of youth crime during World War II and the fear that the US was loosing a generation to delinquency.  
Attack-in-the-Pacific.wmv Attack in the Pacific 1944


After an intro to some of the peoples of the Pacific, the video covers the Pacific phase of the war.  
Battle-for-New-Britain.avi Attack! The Battle for New Britain 1944


Covers the attack on Arawe Beach and Cape Gloucester, New Britain.  
Battle-for-Marianas.avi Battle for the Marianas 1944


Attack on Tinian, Saipan, etc. (Action At Angaur follows at 20:00.)  
Battle-of-Midway.avi The Battle of Midway 1942


Director/cameraman John Ford's coverage of the fighting on the Midway atoll.  
San-Pietro.avi Battle of San Pietro 1945


Primarily combat-footage of the battle on the Italian mainland.  
Brazil-at-War.mpg Brazil at War 1945


Documents Brazil's contribution to the Allied war effort.  
Campaign-in-Poland.avi Campaign in Poland 1940


"Felzug in Polen", German newsreel footage of the invasion of Poland.  
Campus-on-the-March.mpg Campus on the March 1942


US colleges and universities retool to assist war effort.  
Challenge-to-Democracy.mpg Challenge to Democracy 1944


US-produced film attempting to defend the internment of Japanese Americans.  
Children-of-Japan.mpg The Children of Japan 1941


Made prior to December 7th, this film shows the daily life of a middle-class Japanese family.  
Close-Harmony.mpg Close Harmony 1942


Discussion on the need for unity between labor and management as the US mobilizes for World War II>  
Coast-Guard-SPARS.mpg Coast Guard S.P.A.R.S. 1943


Women in the wartime US Coast Guard.  
Combat-America.avi Combat America 1944


Follows the 351st Bombardment Group. Clark Gable narrates.
Insomnia.mpg Combat Fatigue: Insomnia. 1945


A Navy recruit must learn to deal with his insomnia (PTSD). Dick York stars.
Conquer-by-the-Clock.mpg Conquer by the Clock 1943


Encourages American worker to make the best possible use of their time in a war where industrial production and combat are synchronized on an international level.  
DDay-Convoy.avi D-Day + Convoy to Normandy 1954


"The Big Picture": Preparation for, and land on the beaches at Normandy.  
D-Day-Minus-1.mpg D-Day minus 1 1945


Record of the operations of the US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions in Europe.  
December-7th.avi December 7th 1943


Recreation of the attack on Pearl Harbor. (Directing credits to John Ford, with original director uncredited.)  
December-7-Pearl-Harbor.mpg December 7th, Pearl Harbor 1942


Theatrical featurette promoting bond sales on the first anniversary of December 7th.  
Desert-Victory.avi Desert Victory 1943


From the victory at El Alamein to Tripoli. Academy award.
DZ-Normandy.avi Dropzone Normandy 1945


Glider operations on D-Day.  
Every-Minute-Counts.mpg Every Minute Counts 1944


Balancing work and family in a time of heightened mobilization.  
Everybody's-War.mpg Everybody's War 1943


Folksy story of soldiers from a small town. Narrated by Henry Fonda.
Fighting-Lady.avi The Fighting Lady 1945


Story of an "anonymous" carrier (USS Yorktown) in the Pacific war.  
Fleet-Came-Stay.wmv The Fleet that came to stay 1945


Footage depicting the operations of U.S. and British naval forces fending off Japanese Kamikaze attacks.  
Freedom-Comes-High.mpg Freedom Comes High 1944


A young wife learns that freedom must sometimes be paid for in lives, when her husband's ship is struck  
Fury-in-the-Pacific.wmv Fury in the Pacific 1945


A motion picture chronicle of the invasion of Peleliu Island and the join U.S. forces' capturing of Bloody Nose Ridge.  
Gracias-Amigos.mpg Gracias, Amigos 1944


How World War II was won through the help of South American republics who furnished raw materials to the Allies.  
Great-Battle-on-the-Volga.avi Great Battle on the Volga 1962


Filmed by nearly 150 Soviet cameramen, the movie looks at the Eastern Front.  
Great-Generals-Bradley.avi Great Generals: Bradley 1948


Short bio.  
Great-Generals-Eisenhower.avi Great Generals: Eisenhower 1953


Short bio.  
Great-Generals-Patton.avi Great Generals: Patton 1947


Short bio.  
Henry-Browne-Farmer.mpg Henry Browne, Farmer 1942


African American farm contributes to US war effort.  
Here-is-Germany.avi Here is Germany 1944


Germany's rise to power is illustrated in this documentary that covers Frederich The Great to the containment of the Third Reich.  
Hollywood-Canteen.mpg Hollywood Canteen  


Short on the famous USO operation.  
Hollywood-V-C.mpg Hollywood Victory Campaign 1945


A comedy-drama about Hollywood's help in the war effort.  
House-I-Live-In.mpg The House I Live In. 1945


Drama about tolerance in wartime America. Stars Frank Sinatra.  
Its-Everybodys-War.mpg It's Everybody's War 1945


Plea for increased commitment by Americans to win the war.  
Japanese-Relocation.mpg Japanese Relocation 1943


The US government explains its actions.  
Kamikaze.wmv Kamikaze 1945


Sympathetic look at the kamikazes. Directed by Perry Wolff
KYA-Britain.avi Know Your Ally: Britain 1944


An introduction to Great Britain and the vital role it played in defeating the Axis powers. Directed by Frank Capra
KYE-Japan.avi Know Your Enemy: Japan 1944 1:02:26 Gen. George C. Marshall narrates this look at Japan. Indicative of wartime attitudes. Directed by Frank Capra
Last-Will-Tom-Smith.mpg The Last Will and Testament of Tom Smith  


Story about an American GI in a Japanese prison. Narrated by Fred McMurray.
Let-There-Be-Light.avi Let There Be Light 1946


Emotional disturbed veterans being treated at Mason General Hospital John Huston directs.
Letter-From-Bataan.mpg A Letter from Bataan 1944


Soldier pleads to the folks at home to conserve scarce wartime resources.  
Marines-at-Tarawa.wmv With the Marines At Tarawa  


Filmed by combat photographers of the 2nd Marine Division.  
Memphis-Belle.avi The Memphis Belle 1945


Covers the first 8th Air Force B-17 to complete a "tour" of combat duty. "It all happened to us, but not on any one flight."  
Movies-At-War.mpg Movies at War. 1945


Informational piece on how motion pictures were used in the war effort.  
Mr-and-Mrs-America.mpg Mr. and Mrs. America 1945


Mobilizing citizens on the home front in World War II.  
My-Japan.mpg My Japan 1945


Complex and disturbing anti-Japanese propaganda film produced to spur the sale of US war bonds. Explicit violence and extreme racism.
Concentration-Camps.avi Nazi Concentration Camps 1945


Presented as evidence at the Nuremberg war crimes trials. Directed by C. Svilov. (Graphic material)
Negro-Colleges-in-War-Time.mpg Negro Colleges in War Time 1944


Education and training of African Americans as part of the US war effort.  
Nuremberg.avi The Nuremberg Trials 1946


Soviet film on the trials  
Our-Enemy-the-Japanese.mpg Our Enemy: The Japanese 1943


Stridently anti-Japanese film that attempts to convey an understanding of Japanese life and philosophy. Narrated by Joseph C. Grew.
Payoff-in-the-Pacific.avi Payoff in the Pacific 1945


Covers the Pacific War to the surrender of Japan.  
Postwar-Germany.wmv Postwar Germany 1947


Silent (with text frames added in editing) tour of Germany. "Home movie" type production.
Radio-at-War.mpg Radio at War 1944


How radios helped win the war. Produced by RCA.
Zero-Recog.mpg Recognition of the Japanese Zero 1942


Produced for the use of the pilots that shared air space with the legendary fighter. Ronald Reagan stars.
Remember-These-Faces.mpg Remember These Faces 1945


Intense view of American soldiers in combat, produced to sell World War II bonds.  
Report-From-The-Aleutians.wmv Report from the Aleutians 1943


"Hey, it's cold up here!" Narration and direction by John Huston. Oscar nomination.
Ring-of-Steel.mpg Ring of Steel 1941


Features home defense forces of the US. Stars Spencer Tracy.
Secret-Life-of-Adolf-Hitler.avi Secret Life of Adolf Hitler 1945


Examination of aspects of Hitler's private life.  
Soldiers-in-Greasepaint.mpg Soldiers in Greasepaint 1945


Study of how the entertainment industry supported the war effort at home and overseas.  
Smashing-the-Reich.wmv Smashing the Reich 1961


Covers the European Theater. Directed by Perry Wolf
Solomon-Islands.wmv Solomon Islands 1945


The struggle to control Guadalcanal. Footage of Adms. Nimitz and Halsey included.  
Spreading-Holocaust.avi The Spreading Holocaust 1944


Covers US involvement in the war from Pearl Harbor to the invasion of Italy.  
Stilwell-Road.wmv The Stilwell Road 1945


A look at the China-Burma-India Front. Narrated by Ronald Reagan.
Strategy-in-the-Pacific.mpg Strategy in the Pacific 1944


Lowell Thomas helps pitch for workers for the Curtiss-Wright airplane factories in this series of short films.  
Strictly-G.I.mpg Strictly-G.I.  


"Photographed report of an Armed Forces Radio Service Program". Good example of a wartime radio program.  
Suggestion-Box.mpg Suggestion Box. 1945


How war plant workers made suggestions that resulted in efficiency and economy.  
Surrender-in-the-Pacific.wmv Surrender in the Pacific 1945


Post-war events in the Pacific, including Tojo Hidecki's attempted suicide.  
Target-for-Tonight.avi Target for Tonight 1941


Recreation of an RAF bomber mission, with actual military playing the roles.  
These-People.mpg These People 1944


Frigidaire plant converts to military production during World War II.  
This-is-the-Philippines.wmv This is the Philippines  


Indoctrination film for soldiers heading for duty in the Philippines.  
Thunderbolt.avi Thunderbolt 1947


P-47 Thunderbolts of the 65th Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Group. Directed by William Wyler and John Sturgis.
Shores-Iwo-Jima.avi To the Shores of Iwo Jima 1945


The battle to take Iwo Jima. Produced by Milton Sperling.
Town.mpg The Town 1945


Shows life during wartime in an AMErican town (Madison, Indiana). Directed by Josef von Sternberg.
Troop-Train.mpg Troop Train 1945


Evocative film following a troop train; the coordination of effort; its staging and assembly of cars, cargo and passengers; its heavily guarded journey through the American countryside; and the food, sleep, exercises, training, drilling and recreation of its soldier-passengers.  
True-Glory.avi True Glory 1945


Covers European Theater. Narration by Robert Harris and Peter Ustinov. (Academy Award for best documentary.) Prologue by D.D. Eisenhower.
Tunisian-Victory.avi Tunisian Victory 1944


Co-operative effort of the British Film Unit and U.S. Army Signal Corps. Narration by Bernard Miles and Burgess Meredith. Directed by Frank Capra
Unfinished-Business.mpg Unfinished Business 1943


Postwar adjustment is easy for a young World War II veteran who is welcomed back to his job at U.S. Steel with a position, training course, and counseling.  
USNEWSREVIEW.mpg US News Review: The Plywood Bomber 1942


Newsreel on the Mosquito, etc.  
VJ-Day-San-Francisco.mpg VJ-Day San Francisco 1945


Celebrating the end of WWII. Unnarrated.  
Voice-of-Victory.wmv Voice of Victory 1944


How radio equipment helped win the war. Produced by RCA
Wartime-Nutrition.mpg Wartime Nutrition 1943


Wartime work of public welfare agencies in World War II.  
What-Makes-a-Battle.mpg What Makes a Battle 1944


Analysis of the Marshall Islands campaign.  
When-Work-is-Done.mpg When Work is Done 1943


War plant workers flood the town of Sylacauga, Alabama, and the town constructs facilities and organizes activities to make them feel welcome. Excellent, idealized view of home front life in a World War II factory town.  
Why-Were-Here.avi Why We're Here 1943


Informational film on the US contribution to the Chinese war effort.  
Wings-For-This-Man.mpg Wings for this Man 1944


This film features the "Tuskegee Airmen".  
Wings-Up.mpg Wings Up 1944


Feature on the Officers Candidate School for aviation recruits. Narrated by Clark Gable
Women-In-Defense.mpg Women in Defense 1941


Narrated by Katherine Hepburn. Commentary by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Wood-for-War.mpg Wood for War 1942


Forest production and its strategic importance. In Kodachrome.
WWF-Battle-of-Britain.wmv Why We Fight 4: The Battle Of Britain 1943


The "Why We Fight" series of seven films was a major WWII propaganda effort for the U.S.  
WWF-Battle-of-China.wmv Why We Fight 6: The Battle Of China 1943


The "Why We Fight" series of seven films was a major WWII propaganda effort for the U.S.  
WWF-Battle-of-Russia.avi Why We Fight 5: The Battle Of Russia 1943


The "Why We Fight" series of seven films was a major WWII propaganda effort for the U.S.  
WWF-Divide-Conquer.wmv Why We Fight 3: Divide and Conquer 1943


The "Why We Fight" series of seven films was a major WWII propaganda effort for the U.S.  
WWF-Nazis-Strike.avi Why We Fight 2: The Nazis Strike. 1943


The "Why We Fight" series of seven films was a major WWII propaganda effort for the U.S.  
WWF-Prelude-to-War.avi Why We Fight 1: Prelude to War 1942


Discusses how the diplomatic and political fallout of World War I resulted in World War II.  
WWF-War-Comes.wmv Why We Fight 7: War Comes to America 1945


Promotes "the good war" theme and emphasizes the common bonds of the American peoples, along with the pre-December 7th shifts in attitude toward the Axis.  
Marines-at-Tarawa.avi With the Marines at Tarawa 1944


Covers the first opposed amphibious landing by the USMC in WWII.  

Compiled and formatted by Larry Jewell for the HyperWar Foundation