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
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)
- ADC 2294 (ARC ID 16098) starts at 1:01:00
- Unit Unknown - 4 Sep 1944 - Verdun, France - Duration 1:06
Gen. Walton Walker (XX Corps CG) awarding medals - by W. R. Ehring, unit 53 [Starts at 1:00:09; INV 1732]
- 80ID - 31 Aug 1944 - Nettancourt, France - Duration 1:05
80th Infantry Division to Bar-le-Duc - by Sgt. Clyde B. Smith, unit 56 [Starts at 1:01:15; INV 1732b]
- 7AD - 5 Sep 1944 - Verdun, France - Duration 1:55
Gen. Lindsey Silvester (CG 7th Armored Division) awards Silver Star to Fernand Legay and three others for saving the bridge at Verdun - by W. G. Snowden, 166 Sig Co [Starts at 1:02:21; INV 1733]
- Gen. Bradley - 31 Aug 1944 - Morlaix, France - Duration 0:56
Gen. Omar Bradley (CG 21st Army Group) boards an airplane that takes off [31 Aug 44 was the meeting date at Morlaix, not shown on the video.] - by T/5 Arthur Stockhoff, unit 51 [Starts at 1:04:16; INV 1757]
- Gen. Eisenhower- 31 Aug 1944 - Morlaix, France - Duration 1:06
Gen. Dwight Eisenhower (CG SHAEF) boards an airplane that takes off [31 Aug 44 was the meeting date at Morlaix, not shown on the video.] - by T/5 Arthur Stockhoff, unit 51 [Starts at 1:05:12; INV 1758]
- Gen. Eisenhower- 9 Sep 1944 - Brest, France - Duration 1:04
Gen. Dwight Eisenhower (CG SHAEF) & Gen. Troy Middleton (CG VIII Corps) view the siege of Brest - by Lt. Tom Hope, unit 51 [Starts at 1:06:18; INV 1758b]
- Unit Unknown - 30 Aug 1944 - France - Duration 1:11
Mortar Activity - by R. Brill, 166 Sig Co [Starts at 1:07:23; INV 1620]
- 7AD - 5? Sep 1944 - Verdun?, France - Duration 2:10
Possibly Will Rogers Jr. (814th TD Bn, att to 7AD); Gen. Lindsey Silvester (CG 7th Armored Division) presenting Silver Stars to 7AD men - by F. R. Owens, 166 Sig Co [Starts at 1:08:35; INV 1734]
- ADC 708 (ARC ID 14515) starts at 1:10:47
- 1st Ranger Bn - 11 Jan 1944 - Italy - Duration 5:28
1st Ranger Battalion: explosive goes off in town square, disrupting civilians; men move up cautiously; men march; mechanic repairs jeep - by S/Sgt. Lannigan, unit not given [Starts at 1:10:55; no INV number]
- 3ID - 15 Jan 1944 - Italy - Duration 5:23
labeled 1st Ranger Battalion but mostly 3rd Infantry Division awards ceremony; also haircuts - by S/Sgt. Lannigan, unit not given [Starts at 1:16:24; no INV number]
- ADC 871 (ARC ID 14678) starts at 1:21:56
Video Master 905 (Duration 37:41)
- ADC 3170 (ARC ID 16973) starts at 3:00:00
- ADC 3138 (ARC ID 16941) starts at 3:08:47
- 3AD? - 20 Jan 1945 - Eupen, Belgium - Duration 5:13
INFANTRY PROBLEM (TRAINING), EUPEN, BELGIUM, 01/20/1945 -- ?3rd? armored division: officers talking, men advancing across snowy fields; explosions from incoming - camerman not given, unit not given [Starts at 3:08:47; LIB 2340]
- ADC 3103 (ARC ID 16906) starts at 3:14:01
- ADC 3139 (ARC ID 16942) starts at 3:19:51
- 3AD - ?Jan 1945? - Sterpigny> & Cherain?, Belgium - Duration 4:32
multiple rolls: 3rd Armored Division advance Sterpigny?, Cherain?, Belgium; knocked out A/33AR/3AD tank; dismounted troops advancing along road in winter - by Rosenman, FUSA [Starts at 3:19:51; LIB 2337]
- 7AD - 20 Jan 1945 - Edenbach? & Ambleve / Amel, Belgium - Duration 2:15
7th Armored Division whitewashed tanks; dead Germans at Ambleve, Belgium [also called Amel, Belgium] - by Sgt. Cook, FUSA [Starts at 3:24:23; LIB 2338]
- 8ID - 21 Jan 1945 - Breinig, Germany - Duration 2:06
Graduation of US Army 8th Infantry Division soldiers in Breinig, Germany. Gen. William Weaver (CG 8ID) speaks to soldiers [NARA description gives date as 20 Jan but camerman's slate has 21 Jan.] - by Sherman, 167 Sig Co [Starts at 3:26:37; LIB 2339]
- ADC 2768 (ARC ID 16571) starts at 3:28:45
- Unit Unknown - ?Dec 1944? - ?Vaals, Netherlands? - Duration 3:19
Rest area at Vaals, Holland; German wounded & PWs; tanks firing - Weisweiler?, Germany [NARA ARC for ADC 2768: REST AREA, VAALS, HOLLAND; SARRE-UNION LIBERATED, FRANCE; STREET FIGHTING AND PRISONERS, WEISWEILER (?), GERMANY; "HILL 187", NEAR VOLKENRATH (?), GERMANY, 12/07/1944] - by T/5 Halloran, 165 Sig Co [Starts at 3:28:45; LIB 920]
- Unit Unknown - ?Dec 1944? - ?Sarre-Union, France?, ?Weisweiler, Germany?, ?Volkenrath, Germany? - Duration 5:35
five rolls: explosions by distant buildings; dead German; Hill 187; men advancing by tanks in field; (24 Nov) Mortars firing [NARA ARC for ADC 2768: REST AREA, VAALS, HOLLAND; SARRE-UNION LIBERATED, FRANCE; STREET FIGHTING AND PRISONERS, WEISWEILER (?), GERMANY; "HILL 187", NEAR VOLKENRATH (?), GERMANY, 12/07/1944] - by Leiter, unit not given [Starts at 3:32:04; LIB 921]
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
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
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