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Published on Mar 21, 2019

Forward Commandos is a short 1942 film from Raymond Spottiswoode (father of Hollywood director Roger Spottiswoode) that shows viewers the winter/arctic guerilla tactics used by commandos of the Allied forces against the Nazis during World War II, based on tactics employed by Russians in a similar environment. The film also shows some commandos operating in other countries with drier, warmer climates, and concludes with an Allied raid on a Nazi-held city on the coast of Norway. The film opens with footage of a Japanese warship at sea (00:25). Tanks move across snowy ground (01:20). Serbians on horseback ride against German forces. British commandos run through the streets of a city (02:12). Commandos parachute out of a transport plane (02:37). Men run and man a tank in Libya (03:17). Commandos hide themselves in the forests of Burma. Soviet civilians mobilize to build defense barriers (04:22). Soviets blow up a Nazi radio station (05:01). The film shows soldiers with skis preparing to traverse snow fields. A bush pilot takes off from an arctic location (06:14). Men ski in line. Armored vehicles traverse snowy fields (06:43). At the Canadian Army Winter Training School in Ottawa (07:24), men train by skiing down slopes and across fields. The film shows footage of Nazi trucks stranded in the harsh Russian winter (08:14) and some of the men who succumbed to the cold, now just frozen corpses on the ground. A man comes out of a makeshift shelter in the harsh conditions (08:50). Skiers pull equipment on sleds. Soviet men make meals around a small fire (09:45). Men ski and then run across snow-covered terrain (10:30) on a mission to blow up a frozen river and its bridge. The bride and river charges are detonated, exploding any possibility of crossing the river at that point. Members of the Royal Canadian Air Force train in the science of winter warfare. An aerial view shows an air field (12:30). A plane flies over an arctic area. Pilots test electric clothing and their ability to breath in freezing temperatures (13:10). Allied fighter planes take off from an air field (13:50); a patrol bomber scouts for icebergs in the North Atlantic’s shipping lanes. The film shows ships sailing on rough waters (14:46). The ships pass through an ice field (15:57). British and Norwegian Commandos prepare for battle aboard their ship. The film shows footage of night fighting as Nazi shore batteries fire on the Allied fleet (17:10). The Allied Commandos fight in a Norwegian city (17:46). Troops carry their wounded and dead back to their ships. Nazi soldiers surrender. Nazi oil tanks are set ablaze and destroyed (19:19). Men detonate a house during the raid on the Nazi-occupied city. The film ends with the Allied troops leaving the Norwegian coast on landing craft vessels.

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com


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