Desert victory and intense Army training in 1941
Newsreels helped to boost public morale during World War 2, especially when there was film associated with Allied victories, or an uplifting look at how troops were getting themselves into even better shape to face the next challenge.
Key success at Bardia
The Battle of Bardia in January 1941 is less well-known in Britain than action at Tobruk (3 weeks later) or El Alamein (1942) but it was the vital first victory in the North African Campaign that disabled Italian air power in Libya and saw the surrender of thousands of Italian troops. It was led by an Australian force, brought in alongside the British in Egypt. This newsreel is a follow-up to the actual battle, showing aerial footage of the location, the importance of supply lines and the dejected crowds of prisoners. The rapid Allied advance prompted the arrival of the German Afrika Korps under Rommel in February.
Sharpening up recruits for the next fight
With so much action of the war taking place overseas and difficult to film, the Newsreels often reported from the Home Front with items such as this extensive look at servicemen training in mock-battle conditions – firing weapons, hurling hand-grenades, wire-cutting, undertaking mechanical repairs, tackling obstacle courses and confronting the ‘enemy’.