Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Video: British Pathe Newsreels - North Africa, 1942.

Operation TORCH - The Invasion of North Africa, Nov. 1942

[American troops can be seen getting into a landing craft personnel, ramped (LCP).
Royal Navy photographer - Lt. J.E. Russell. Credit - Imperial War Museum]


A deep collection of WW2 newsreels can be found on many sites. A number of them can inform viewers of the role played by Canadians in Combined Operations during WW2, as they manned landing crafts and transported troops and materials of war to beaches in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and France.

One can link to several producers of newsreels by visiting the following: The Newsroom Blog.

Below are links to five newsreels produced by British Pathe related to Operation TORCH, the invasion of N. Africa, 1942. Some explanatory notes from British Pathe are included:

1. Link -  Newsbriefs From North Africa (1942)

Various locations in North Africa.

In Mers-el-Kebir, a Mediterranean port near Oran, we see various shots of American soldiers marching along the streets. They are to supplement the strong US force already in Algeria. British troops march through Algiers.

Views of the seaplane base of the Gulf of Arzeu that was captured so quickly by the Americans that enemy torpedoes and aircraft were left behind.

Several quick shots of American soldiers and sailors* posing with local civilians. (And more).

*Editor's Note: At about the 35 second mark of the above newsreel, a group shot (sailors, soldiers, townsfolk) reveals two or more Canadians in Combined Operations, in my opinion.

The 2nd and 3rd sailors on the left look very familiar, but no names come to mind.
However, the 5th sailor from left (with white cap and fresh cigarette in his mouth)
may very well be P. Bowers, Canada (See below). Photo - Screen Still.

Five Canadians in Combined Operations. Photo taken in Glasgow, likely in 1942.
Back row, L - R: J. Dale, P. Bowers, Joe Watson (Simcoe, Ontario)
Front row, L - R: Chuck Rose, Chippawa, Ontario and Joe Spencer, Toronto.
Photo Credit - From the collection of Joe Spencer. Used with permission. 

P. Bowers appears in this photo, as well, sitting 2nd from left. S. England, circa 1943
Don Linder, Kitchener, first on left. Don Westbrook, Hamilton, first on right.
D. Harrison (my father), centre, sticking his head out from behind Bowers.

2. Link - The Turn Of The Tide - Allied Landings In North Africa (1942)

North African coastline and Algiers, Africa.

Various shots of a large convoy of American transporter ships and the British naval escort heading towards the coast of North Africa. Italian planes fly overhead and the gun crew of the escort ship jump to action, firing with the anti-aircraft guns. As night approaches, the guns go into action again and the night sky fills with tracers.

View of the coast at Algiers as seen by the American Rangers and British Commandos as they prepare to land. British troops board landing craft and start to come ashore. Great shots of them moving towards the beaches and landing (one has a bicycle). American soldiers do the same. Supplies are brought ashore, including a truck, a jeep and a large field gun.

3. Link - Allies in Algiers - November 1942

Various shots of British troops disembarking from troopships in Algiers harbour and form up on the quay - they then march off. A convoy of jeeps moving along street, people looking on. British troops marching through streets.

4. Link - North Africa Campaign, 1942

Views of North African coastline showing the port of Bougie, East of Algiers. Landing craft can be seen in foreground. Various shots of British troops in landing craft, and disembarking onto the quay of the port.

5. Link - Rommel Goes West 1942

Dawn shots of tanks of the 8th Army preparing for their move forward to Benghazi. M/S of infantry on foot following up across the desert. Tanks and field guns in action when some resistance is met.

Various shots of a massive convoy of American troopships with British warships in escort as they near the coast of North West Africa. The landing craft come ashore carrying the men and supplies. They are the follow-up to a night landing by the Commandoes just west of Oran. Locals help the troops to unload supplies.

American troops landing on Arzeu beach. R.N. Photographer - F.A. Hudson
Photo Credit - Imperial Wat Museum, UK. (IWM)

Please link to Video: Fox Movietone Newsreels - Sicily, 1943.

Unattributed Photos GH

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