7th Armored Division Document Repository
World War II Documents of and related to U. S. 7th Armored Division
Moving Picture Files
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Toward an Accurate & Complete Record of the 7th Armored Division

It is often said that "those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them". But if what is considered to be "history" is not accurate, then the lessons supposedly learned are not the lessons of history, and the suffering will be repeated. While you can come to the study of history with a hypothesis, you must be willing to alter or abandon that hypothesis if the accurate record proves that hypothesis to be wrong. If you are coming to "history" with a pre-conceived notion and seeking facts to confirm that notion and to attempt to force-fit the historical record to conform to your preconceived notion, then you are not seeking the truth of history, and you will not learn the lessons of history.

  • US Army Signal Corps Moving Picture Files
  • German Wochenschau Moving Picture Files

  • US Army Signal Corps Moving Picture Files

    The US Army Signal Corps did an outstanding job of taking still and moving pictures in all theaters of World War II. Those pictures are now all held at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Moving Picture Research Room on the third floor of Archives II at College Park, MD.

    The 7AD Document Repository has copies of four Video Master (VM) video tapes in the Audio-Visual folder. The details on the different clips contained on those tapes are given here, with a link to each clip. The tapes copied each had a 7AD clip on them. But the entire tape was copied. So most of the clips are not relevant to 7th Armored Division but are included here, in order to make them available to those who are interested in those clips. The 7th Armored Division clips are highlighted in bold red.

    7th Armored Division Historian, Wesley Johnston, who did the research and made the copies, used a spreadsheet that includes information about other clips not on these video tapes and also copied all of the index cards for 7th Armored Division in the NARA card index to moving picture clips. (Click on the underlined words to see the spreadsheet or index cards.)

    For each video tape, there is a file of the entire tape and separate files for each clip. There are a bunch of identifying numbers given for each, in case someone wants to go find the original at the National Archives and have a copy made from the original film and not the video tape. The video tape has a running time stamp, which is not present on the original films. In some cases, there were no INV numbers, even though the clip was clearly new. I have numbered these by adding an "a" or a "b" after the number -- or in place of the number if there was no INV number given at all. These letters are NOT in the NARA records but are entirely my own tool for identifying the clips uniquely.

    You can also find out more about an entry by entering its code into the National Archives' ARC search page. For example, for ADC 2294, simply enter "ADC 2294" in the search field. There are no details below the ADC level; that is, it does no good to enter INV numbers in the search page.

    In most cases below, the descriptive text is taken from the NARA ARC description. Those descriptions are inadequate in many ways. The main way is that each ADC entry usually contains several INV or LIB segments, which are all lumped together in the ADC title, often without being able to figure out what part of the title goes with what INV/LIB segment. Sometimes, the NARA descriptions omit unit information, which can be determined from the patches or vehicle markings of the units shown in the clip. In rare instances, the NARA descriptions are wrong: for example, in VM 905 ADC 3103, the ARC description has Gen. Bradley visiting III Corps HQ, while the camerman's slate clearly shows Third Army HQ and the clip shows Gen. Patton twice. There are index cards in the Moving Pictures Research Room, but those have been checked only for the 7th Armored Division clips. Presumably the index cards give more accurate information than does the ARC web site. The bottom line is that there are almost certainly errors in the descriptions below. So if you find an error, please let me know.

    The duration of each clip is given in hh:mm:ss format or mm:ss if there is no hour. The starting point on the original VM tape is also given. Underlined references are links that you can click on to see the clip. In general, a clip's file size is about 10 megabytes for each minute of duration. So a 4 minute clip is about 40 MB, which could be a factor if you are on a slow speed internet connection. In that case, you are probably better off right clicking on the link and downloading it to your hard drive (if you have enough disk space) and playing the clip from your hard drive.

    Almost all of these clips are entirely silent -- no sound at all.

    Video Master 137 (Duration 29:28)

    Video Master 572 (Duration 56:08)


    Video Master 732 (Duration 53:50)


    Video Master 905 (Duration 37:41)

    German Wochenschau Moving Picture Files

    The Wochenschau was a weekly show in the form of a newsreel. Some of them were relevant to the U. S. 7th Armored Division, which is the reason that they are included here.

    German Troops at Meijel, Netherlands - October 1944

    The German counter-attack launced 27 October 1944 through Meijel, Netherlands, was aimed directly at 7th Armored Division. The exact date of these images is not known, but this edition of Die Deutsche Wochenschau (#NR 740-741) was shown 16 Nov 1944, so that these images are either in late October or early November 1944, before the Germans were driven back out of Meijel.

    Dutch local historian Werner van Osch had seen still images from the show in books published by the Meiejel historical group Medelo. So he kept looking for the original video and finally found it at the YouTube site below. He has also provided four pairs of then-and-now photos captured from the moving picture.

    Then-and-Now Photos Captured from the Moving Pictures
    Click on any image for full size
    Junction Molenstraat/Kalisstraat

    Tank by Signpost

    Molenstraat, N of Kalisstraat

    FLAK Cannon - note signpost behind


    Men riding in halftrack front

    Dorpstraat at Kurversweg

    Full view of halftrack

    Copyright © 2013 by Wesley Johnston
    All rights reserved for this page.
    However, the contents of all of the linked files
    are placed in the public domain for free use,
    unless otherwise noted in the document.

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