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Kaluga, USSR

Film | Accession Number: 2003.458 | RG Number: RG-60.3904 | Film ID: 2689

Sounds of artillery and grainy pan of trees and German soldiers. The narrator says that the infantry is entering Kaluga [USSR]. In the town itself: dead horses in the street, destruction. German soldiers moving along a street. They do house-to-house-searches. Civilians on the street (brief close-ups) as a long column of German soldiers moves through, some pushing bicycles. More destruction caused by Stukas (according to the narrator), including a destroyed and still-smoking transport train. Soviet POWs in "endless columns" march past buildings with thatched roofs. The line of prisoners stretches far into the distance. The column marches through a town. A brief shot of one of the prisoners, limping and with torn clothing. The prisoners break into a run at one point. A shot of a tank, as the narrator says that German tanks have reached the outer ring of defense outside Moscow (Kaluga is southwest of Moscow). Tanks in a long line traveling along the Smolensk-Moscow road. The narrator states that the cameraman who took these images was riding in one of the first tanks traveling toward Moscow. The perspective changes to that of someone in the tank as it crashes through trees and across fields. The reporter/cameraman gives his report as the battle ensues. Tanks driving across a field, explosions, burning structures, night fighting. The next day: the reporter states that snow has fallen overnight, but the battle goes on. Soldiers on foot and in tanks proceed along a snowy road. More fighting, shooting, explosions, burning buildings, planes from the Luftwaffe flying overhead in support of the ground troops. The reporter is now reporting events from the third, decisive day. Soldiers load and fire artillery. Germans in tanks and on foot pass burning buildings and dead bodies on the road. Finally, he reports, they have broken through the defenses. The original narrator returns and explains the several lines of defenses used by the Soviets in this battle, including automatic flamethrowers, pits to trap tanks, "hedgehogs" (crisscrossed iron bars strung with barbed wire), and a river lined with barbed wire entanglements, among others. The point is illustrated with a graphic of the various defenses as well as actual footage. The narrator points out that all of this was not enough to hold the Germans back.

Event:  October 1941
Production:  1941 November 05
Kaluga, Soviet Union
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of George R. Wheeler
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:50:06
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