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Guderian's forces in Warsaw and the USSR

Film | Accession Number: 2010.208.1 | RG Number: RG-60.1291 | Film ID: 2899

1941/1942 footage shot by a member of Heinz Guderian's 29th infantry division, before it left Warsaw for the Soviet Union, and during the invasion of the USSR. A group of women and small children, likely Polish peasants, walk across a field. A German soldier walks a motorcycle across a small stream but it gets stuck in the mud. Cut to the central train station in Warsaw with signs in German and Polish. Civilians and German soldiers stand in front of the station. German military cemetery with many rows of neatly kept graves. Soldiers visit graves; each is marked by an Iron Cross. The names of some of the dead are legible. Panning shot of a bridge, possibly over the Vistula. Cityscape with a line of cars parked in front of destroyed buildings, possibly still in Warsaw. People walk through a courtyard with a statue in the middle. 01:01:58 German soldiers hold an athletic competition: long jump and discus throwing. Soldiers confer around a map. CU of soldier sleeping on the grass. Various military vehicles cross a river on a pontoon bridge; legible Wehrmacht license plates.. This is the 29th Infantry Division, led by Guderian, heading for the Soviet Union. A plane flies overhead as the vehicles continue down a dirt country road. 01:03:48 General Heinz Guderian examines the smoldering wreckage of a Russian village. German soldiers walk through the village; buildings are still burning. Soldiers at ease watch the burning village. Russian civilians drag a corpse past a group of Germans. Quick shot of Russian POWs (or civilians?) watching the village burn. German graves marked by plain crosses. Two soldiers carry a wounded soldier on a stretcher. Panning shot of a large number of military vehicles and soldiers in a field. Some soldiers and officers lounge about while others march down a dirt road (some on horseback or horse-drawn wagons bearing artillery, some in trucks, some on motorcycles, some on foot). 01:05:30 German soldiers in helmets stand at attention for a ceremony. An officer, perhaps Guderian, pins a medal onto a soldier. A German encampment, where men seated at a table distribute ration coupons or money.

01:06:37 Prison camp for Soviet POWs. Some men make and cook food while seated outdoors on the ground. Long shot of a column of POWS walking across the grounds of the camp. They jostle for position to receive food. 01:07:05 German soldiers travel down a wide country road. Mud makes the going difficult. Cut to Russian villagers sitting against a wooden building. German vehicles parked at one end of the village. German soldiers carry antitank mines (?), and tanks are stationed around the village perimeter. A soldier looks out across a field and other soldiers position a Howitzer. 01:09:17 General Guderian stands with two other officers on a dusty road in a village, then gets into an open car. German soldiers cross a river in motorized pontoon boats and rafts, then begin construction of a pontoon bridge. A soldier with a metal detector searches for mines along the road. A soldier paints a painting of the construction scene. Heinz Guderian confers with another officer. Soldier work on the bridge in the water. German soldiers in prone position aim their rifles, their positions protected by barbed wire. German soldiers carry spools of communication wire on their backs. The camera focuses on a mother duck with several ducklings on the river. Vehicles and various materials are brought onto shore from the boats. More shots of soldiers in the water, many of them up to their shoulders, as they lift part of the bridge into place. 01:14:59 A tank is ferried across the river on a large platform pontoon raft. The last pieces of the pontoon bridge are floated into place; vehicles cross the completed bridge.

01:16:13 CUs of Russian peasants and German soldiers. Hot, dusty atmosphere. German soldiers in a Russian village get water from a well. Shirtless German soldiers unload supplies from trucks, position/prepare heavy artillery and fire howitzers in a field. 01:18:13 Cut to a tank climbing up a hill, then nice but quick shots of Russian peasants. German military vehicles haul artillery slowly up a dirt road. Two tanks tow another out of a ditch. 01:19:58 Panning shot of burning Soviet village. German soldiers squeeze through an opening in a wooden fence. The next shot shows two Germans setting fire to the thatched roof of a building. Burning Soviet tanks by the side of the road. More shots of German soldiers on the move, through fields and down roads. Several soldiers take cover behind a tank. Shot of an airplane flying overhead then (the same?) plane diving out of the sky and crashing into the ground. Burning wreckage of the plane.

Event:  1941-1942
Warsaw, Poland
Soviet Union
Accessed at US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of La Camera Stylo
Record last modified: 2020-02-04 10:39:06
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