Catalogue number
  • WPN 70
Production date
Place made
Subject period
  • whole: Number Of Items/reels/tapes 1


License Film
Object description

An edition of the British official newsreel "War Pictorial News", produced by the Ministry of Information, Middle East.

Physical description


Full description

I. 'ARMY POLICE DOGS.' Dog handlers from the Corps of Military Police march along with their canine charges as the commentary points out that many of the animals were handed to the Army police school for the duration of the war. The dogs, guided by their handlers, display their agility by vaulting over wooden hurdles. The dogs are groomed by their handlers at a tented training camp somewhere in the desert. A mongrel is instructed to climb a ladder, traverse the roof of a building and descend the other side. A handler dressed in padded clothing and a protective mask is mauled by a guard dog during a training exercise.

Full description

II. 'CHURCHILL IN THE WESTERN DESERT.' An RAF Lockheed Hudson communications aircraft taxies to a halt at a landing strip in the Western Desert watched by waiting RAF personnel. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill is accompanied by Air Chief Marshal Arthur Tedder on a visit to "the men in whose hands lies the defence of Egypt, the Royal Air Force in the Middle East." Churchill reviews the RAF guard of honour and calls the assembled spectators over to him for an impromptu speech. Following Churchill's words of encouragement and appreciation, he is given the usual "three cheers" by his audience. British troops line a desert track as Churchill and General Bernard Law Montgomery walk along in deep conversation. Churchill drives off in a GA 4X2 1-ton truck (Ford O1 Y ?) giving his characteristic two fingered victory salute. The commentary states that the reason for Churchill's trip to the Middle East was to unify Allied strategy in the area. General Montgomery points out areas of interest as Churchill orientates himself with a map. The commentary quotes from Winston Churchill's recent speech regarding the defence of Egypt stating "We are determined to resist and stop the enemy's attack on Egypt and the Nile Valley with the same resolution with which we resist his attacks on England itself." Churchill visits a New Zealand desert war grave cemetery and then is shown driving across a desert terrain with accompanying official cars and armed escort.

Full description

III. 'PACIFIC BATTLE.' The commentary outlines United States naval operations against the Japanese in the area of the Solomon Islands. A United States Navy (USN) Curtiss SOC Seagull scout observation seaplane is catapulted from above a gun turret on an unidentified USN ship to presumably carry out a reconnaissance sortie. The commentary points out that the war in the Pacific extends over vast distances and is generally a sea and air conflict. A USN sailor operates radio-communication equipment in the steering house of a vessel. USN sailors manhandle a Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat fighter aircraft along the wooden flightdeck of a USN Fleet Aircraft Carrier. Aircraft armourers carry .50-in ammunition and push trolleys bearing 250 and 1000lb bombs in order to prepare the various types of carrier aircraft for a mission. Armourers work on a Wildcat using wing and fuselage access panels. USN pilots of VF-2 smoke cigarettes and pipes during a wardroom briefing prior to a sortie. The commentary states "Just as they did at Midway, in the Coral sea and now in the Solomons, the warships of America's Pacific Fleet are out looking for trouble." A large number of Wildcat fighters start their engines as a Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless dive-bomber takes off. The enemy are spotted and the guns of the USN fleet open fire on unseen targets. A Mitsubishi G4M1 bomber of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) passes the USN fleet at very low level following a bombing run and is fired upon by USN anti-aircraft teams firing water-cooled Browning .50-in heavy machine guns on marine mountings. USN ships fire on enemy held positions on an island. the commentary states that a Japanese tanker ship has been hit (USS Enterprise ?) losing its precious cargo of oil. The commentary states that "Pearl Harbor was one thing, but that won't happen again" as smoke rises on the Japanese held island following the bombardment by USN ships.

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