- The Battle of Russia
name = Why We Fight: The Battle of Russia
Frank Capra; Anatole Litvak
Office of War Information
Julius Epstein; Philip Epstein
War Activities Committee of the Motion Pictures Industry
11 November 1943
runtime = 83 min
country = flagicon|United States
language = English
The Battle of Britain
The Battle of China
imdb_id = 0036629
"The Battle of Russia" was the fifth film of
Frank Capra's " Why We Fight" propaganda filmseries. It is the longest film of the series, beginning with an overview of previous failed attempts to conquer Russia: by the Teutonic Knightsin 1212(footage from Sergei Eisenstein's film Alexander Nevsky is used here), by Charles XII of Swedenin 1704, by Napoleon Iin 1812and by Germany in World War I.
The vast natural resources of the
Soviet Unionare then described, showing why the land is such a hot prize for conquerors. To give a positive impression of the Soviet Union to the American audience, the country's ethnic diversity is covered in detail. Later on, elements of Russian culture familiar to Americans, including the musical compositions of Tchaikovsky and Leo Tolstoy's book War and Peaceare also mentioned. Communismis never mentioned at any point in the film. The start of the film also includes a quote from U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who commended the Russian people's defense of their nation as one of the most courageous feats in military history.
The film then covers the Nazi conquests in the
Balkans, described as a preliminary to close off possible Allied counter-invasion routes, before the war against Russia was launched on June 22, 1941. The narration describes the German "keil und kessel" tactics for offensive warfare, and the Soviet " defense in depth" used to counter this. The scorched earthSoviet tactics, the room-to-room urban warfarein Soviet cities, and the guerilla warfare behind enemy lines are also used to underline the Soviet resolve for victory against the Nazis.
One powerful scene shows Russians swearing their
:"For the burned cities and villages"
:"For the deaths of our children and our mothers"
:"For the torture and humiliation of our people"
:"I swear revenge upon the enemy"
:"I swear that I would rather die in battle with the enemy"
:"Than surrender myself my people and my country to the Fascist invaders"
:"Blood for Blood!"
:"Death for Death!"
Siege of Leningradand the Battle of Stalingradconclude the film.
* [http://www.archive.org/details/BattleOfRussiaI "The Battle of Russia" part 1 download] on the
* [http://www.archive.org/details/BattleOfRussiaII "The Battle of Russia" part 2 download] on the Internet Archive
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