On 1 December 1941, Wartime Pictorial News No. 32 was released to theatres in the UK. It ran a four-minute clip of the preparations and start of Operation CRUSADER, focusing primarily on the army and the navy. It starts at 05:48, which is well worth watching.
Thanks to Stuart over at Tanknet, I have come across this, and had a bit of a look. I want to note that I am publishing this for research purposes, and not to in any way, shape, or form endorse the content.
It’s a pretty comprehensive collection of this Luftwaffe propaganda magazine, that was published in multiple languages, and also featured a lot of colour pictures. Publication seems to have been bi-weekly, and it is reasonably close to the events, so for CRUSADER it is worth looking through the December to March issues of it.
The magazine carried foto stories of the war, both home and actual front, some political articles, regular columns such as ‘How they gained their Knights Cross’, some funny corners and a crossword, amongst other things.
When reading it we shouldn’t forget that it was a propaganda magazine for the Nazi regime, and anything, both pictures and text, needs to be critically considered in this regard, and with it constantly in mind.
Some sample content related to CRUSADER below:
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.
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.