Release Date: 02/02/21
TO THE SHORES OF IWO JIMA (1945): Photographed in combat areas by cameramen of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, To the Shores of Iwo Jima features what may be the most graphic war footage seen by American audiences in theaters during World War II. With Allied operations in the Pacific Theater ramping up, Imperial Japan heavily fortified the island of Iwo Jima. Twenty thousand Japanese soldiers laid in wait to defend the island against the attacking American forces. On the morning of February 19, 1945, the U.S. Marines commenced Operation Detachment, with the express goal of capturing Iwo Jima. So began the 'toughest 26 days in Marine Corps history.' Since the large number of Japanese soldiers were defending an island only four and a half miles long and two and one quarter miles wide, the Marines were forced in many cases to resort to hand to hand combat. Flamethrowers were used to lure out Japanese hiding in caves. 'When we can't dig them out...we burn 'em out' says a hard-talking Marine. Finally, on March 26, the Battle of Iwo Jima came to an end. 4,000 American soldiers had lost their lives. To the Shores of Iwo Jima was released to theaters shortly afterwards by United Artists. Four cameramen were killed capturing the footage seen in the film, while another ten were wounded. This was the first time that Americans saw the iconic flag raising on Iwo Jima, but also shocking scenes of the casualties of war. To the Shores of Iwo Jima would be nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject at the 1946 Academy Awards. The film's narration is provided by Reed Hadley, later the star of the popular TV crime shows Racket Squad and The Public Defender.
SQUADRON 992 (1940): A vital part of British military defense during WWII was the Balloon Command of the Royal Air Force. They helped defend against German Luftwaffe dive bombers that were strafing from heights frighteningly close to ground level. The barrage balloons (huge blimps tethered to the ground) forced the Nazi planes to fly higher and into the range of anti-aircraft fire, elimating their threat. Squadron 992 was made by the Ministry of Information to explain this new defense and commend the ingenious work of the men of the RAF. A spine-tingling recreation of the 1939 Luftwaffe attack on the Forth Bridge in Scotland demonstrates the need to move operations further into the Highlands. The ghastly nature of this sequence served as a wake-up call to many Britons, who hadn't been taking the war seriously. (The Forth Bridge raid was recreated using eyewitnesses accounts from a BBC broadcast.) Changes in German tactics meant that Squadron 992 went out of date quickly and had a relatively brief theatrical run, but it did receive a release in Canada through Columbia Pictures as part of their Canada Carries Onseries.
BONUS:F.D.R. 1882-1945:A short biographical documentary produced by Official Films about the life of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Released to a nation in mourning shortly after his death on April 12, 1945, it celebrates the strength and perseverance he displayed during the struggles of the Great Depression and World War II.
|Label: Alpha Home Entertain|
|Run Time: 60 mins|
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