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US Tanks Advance; German POWs; Burning village

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1990.492.1 | RG Number: RG-60.0002 | Film ID: 1

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    US Tanks Advance; German POWs; Burning village


    Slate: PROJ 186, MURPHY, 24 MAR M3. 03:20:48 MS, US tanks rolling into village, some greenery, trees, and a large white house visible in BG. 03:21:09 MS, Establishing shot, through opening in rock formation. Open field and road beyond field. Tank rolling by 'window' in FG. One tank has a visible #48 painted on the side, in white. 03:21:22 MCU, back of head and helmet of US MP in FG as he motions for tanks to pass by. MSs, US army vehicles, mainly tanks moving along dirt road, alternating scenery in FG, chain link fences, MPs, shrubs and tree branches. 03:21:41 MSs, military vehicles approaching camera (head on), a series of tanks with US MOs on board pass by in a foggy haze (BG and FG no longer visible) tanks emerge from a cloud of smoke. 03:22:07 MCU, round, flat canister, on ground, gas issuing out of 4 jets, streaming up and into the air. 03:22:16 MSs return to images of tanks moving along road, barren trees somewhat visible in BG. 03:22:29 MS tanks continue to pass; on right side of frame, in FG, yellow road sign visible, German writing, in black, not legible. 03:22:35 MS, tanks rolling by, white star visible on side; in FG, debris and rubble of destroyed German village. MSs, from roadside, camera follows a US military convoy of tanks and supply trucks as they pass by.

    03:23:29 New roll of film, slate reads: PROJ 186, MURPHY, RHINE XING, 24 MARCH M5. MSs, US tanks advancing, various military vehicles (cars, motorcycles), MPs directing traffic. 03:24:21 MSs, angle up from roadside, tanks and vehicle moving more slowly, moving through abandoned/destroyed village. Soldiers sitting atop tanks, 2 or 3 burned out buildings visible in BG. 03:25:15 CU, white sign with black writing reads: TO BRIDGE, with arrow pointing to screen right; in BG, soldiers visible sitting atop tanks. 03:25:18 MS, billowing clouds of smoke shooting into air, in this shot, source of smoke cloud isn't evident. in BG, US tanks continue to pass along road. 03:25:26 MS, source of gas cloud revealed, a metal drum is on fire, surrounding land is being burned. 03:25:38 MLS, parked military vehicle to screen left; screen right, US soldiers march into village. MSs, soldiers continue to march, one by one, passing camera. 03:26:05 MS camera follows soldiers from behind as they march into the distance. 03:26:07 MS soldiers marching in village, facing camera.

    03:26:19 New roll of film, slate reads: PROJ 186, MURPHY, GERMANY, MAR 25 M6. 03:26:26 MS, US tanks along road, greenery along roadside. 03:26:27 MS, camera follows from behind as 2 German POWs walk along road with their hands raised, camera tracks POWs, 2 more appear in frame with hands raised. 03:26:30 MS, US military vehicles on road in German village, both sides of street are lined with houses. 03:26:36 MS, camera follows from behind as 2 German men walk along road, one is wheeling a bicycle. 03:26:38 MS, dead body in a field, seen from a distance. 03:26:39 MS, footage taken from atop a US military vehicle, quickly moving along road, filming other US military vehicles and abandoned German cars along the roadside. 03:27:01 MS, camera shooting from moving vehicle, as they approach German village, German soldiers in a semicircle formation in a clearing near the village awaiting the arrival of Allied troops. 03:27:08 MS, German soldiers/POWs marching along road, towards camera, US tank bringing up the rear. 03:27:18 LS, sky, airplane (doing sharp nose dives and dips) barely visible in the sky. 03:27:27 MS, back to a village, civilians and US soldiers visible in BG walking about. White surrender flags (?) are hanging from the windows. 03:27:31 MS, German soldiers turning over possessions, etc. to Allied soldiers. 03:27:38 MS, US and German soldiers, Germans being loaded onto tanks (POWs) for transport. 03:27:43 MS, mixed shot of crowd. German civilians and soldiers, US soldiers(?), waving to camera. 03:27:48 MS, German POWs along road with possessions, waving back to crowd. 03:27:56 MS group of five German POWs continue march along road, the fifth man is holding a white flag of surrender. 03:28:08 MS, large group of German POWs marching on road, approaching camera. US tank visible in FG, screen right, moving away from the camera. Germans led by a woman in a long white apron. MS, procession of POWs continues from road through field. 03:28:41 MS, US tanks rolling by quickly, a charred body in an open field is intermittently visible in BG. 03:28:43 MS, 2 dead bodies in a grassy clearing. 03:28:46 MCU, face of one of the bodies: male, in blue shirt with gray patch. 03:28:50 MS, American soldiers and tanks back in the village marching behind the German POWs.

    03:29:07 New roll of film. Military vehicles on roads during the evening, filming from moving vehicle, very little visibility. MS, approaching village, one sign evident hanging from building, a Red Cross banner. MS, another shot of Red Cross center-we can see that the sign is had painted on cloth. 03:29:30 MCU, German, staring at camera, sitting on top of something, while other mill about in BG. [VQ: Much of this footage was shot at night, no auxiliary lighting; footage is murky, can make out figures but very little detail is evident.] 03:30:31 MS, return to daylight, soldiers atop a tank. 03:30:49 LS, village up in smoke (nightfall). 03:31:04 MSs, a closer look at burning buildings, etc. It is night time, image mostly black BG with bright orange flames flickering; pattern of flames continues to change, some in FG, some in distance (eery imagery).

    03:32:16 New slate reads: PROJ 186, MURPHY, GERMANY, MAR 30 M8. 03:34:52 MLSs, very little visible, overexposed (footage is blue/white in color, very washed out at this point), tanks are moving in FG. Row of homes up in smoke, angle changes and other houses are visible. 03:36:08 Allied military personnel viewing items laid out on the ground, one pile seems to be clothing and personal effects. Camera pans to a group of dead bodies in a semicircle, many lying in pools of blood. Soldiers in BG are taking photos to document the scene. 03:36:51 MCU, corpses-this shot is held for a long period of time.
    Event:  March 24-30, 1945
    Production:  1945
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration
    Producer: United States. Army Air Forces.
    Camera Operator: Murphy

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    03:20:48:00 to 03:37:27:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 1 Video: One Inch - b&w and color - NTSC
      Master 1 Video: One Inch - b&w and color - NTSC
      Master 1 Video: One Inch - b&w and color - NTSC
      Master 1 Video: One Inch - b&w and color - NTSC
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 1 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - large
      Preservation 1 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - large
      Preservation 1 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - large
      Preservation 1 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - large

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    Public Domain
    Conditions on Use
    To the best of the Museum's knowledge, this material is in the public domain. You do not require further permission from the Museum to reproduce or use this material.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased this collection from the National Archives and Records Administration in November 1990. The footage was obtained as research for the Museum's Permanent Exhibition.
    Footage is also available on sub-master PD#25 : Liberation Color Footage Reel 1.

    Duplicate footage on Film ID 846, Story 2048.

    USHMM replaced the online streaming video with a new, higher resolution digital file produced for the VHH project. The 16mm film source from NARA was scanned by the Austrian Filmmuseum in 2021.
    Film Source
    United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Motion Picture Reference
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 1573
    Source Archive Number: 18 SFP 9121
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 08:07:31
    This page:

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