War Pictorial News 26

The IWM holds the newsreels. No sound, but in a way that’s not so unfortunate if you know what you’re looking at, because it takes away the pathos and the received pronounciation.

This one shows quite a few interesting things. ‘Bush’ artillery (captured Italian guns) being fired; a quite comprehensively destroyed Panzer IV; the bombed out wreck of the Italian navy’s obsolete armoured cruiser San Giorgio, amongst others.

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060007261

Well worth your time!

Movie Monday: Giarabub (1942)

The siege of Giarabub (also called Jaghbub) was the final success of Empire forces related to Operation COMPASS, the first counteroffensive, which destroyed the Italian forces in North Africa. It was taken on 21 March 1941 following a 3-month siege, by a combined Anglo-Australian force consisting of 2/9 Australian Infantry Battalion, 6 Australian Divisional Reconnaissance Regiment, and a battery of 4 Royal Horse Artillery. 10 days later the Axis commenced it’s second offensive.

Giarabub came to play a role later in 1941, when Oases Force set out from it for its raid on Gialo (Jalo/Jalu), the topic of our first book. In 1942 it was re-taken by the Axis, and occupied until the withdrawal to the west in October 1942.

To get everyone in the mood, here’s the Italian movie about the siege, from 1942.

Movie Sunday – Archivo Luce

Movie Sunday – Archivo Luce

Below you can find Youtube videos as well as direct links to three newsreels from the Italian Archivo Luce website.

The commentary is obviously in Italian, but the imagery is interesting, showing off a lot of Italian kit, and some of the very nifty camouflage used for positions.

Screen Shot 2020 02 09 at 4 38 13 PM

 

Italian troops at Sollum

 

With the troops besieging Tobruk, 29 Sept 41

 

Italian Artillery at Tobruk, 24 Nov 41

 

The misdeeds of the RAF”, showing damage to Benghazi Cathedral and a sunk hospital ship, 9 Oct 41

 

General Bastico at Benghazi, 9 February 1942

 

Supply in the desert (this is from August 1942 and about the logistics chain to El Alamein, but still of interest)

You need Silverlight installed to view these on the Istituto Luce website. The quality there isn’t great. If you get a white screen, hit return. You may have to do that 2-3 times for the movie to appear.

Operation Crusader Newsreels

Operation Crusader Newsreels

For those who like to get a feel for what the desert looked like, and the period propaganda, the AP archive has a lot of Movietone reels online:

First up, Rommel at Bay (with a nice view of the shortened Beaufighter wing referenced in this older post), of 18 December. Quite a bit of staged shots, my favorite being the Italian soldiers forced to climb out of a German Panzer IV…

Jingoistic tone, Germans are ‘gangsters’, and of course gets Ed Duda wrong, as El Duda, who presumably abides. Lots of hardware shots though.

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Next up, Rommel on the Run, of 15 January, which of course he wasn’t anymore then.

I used ‘Libya “World War 2″‘ as search terms.

Happy viewing.