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Left of the Line

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Library and Archives Canada: 35mm, VHS.
"British and Canadian Army Film Unit record of operations from D-Day to the liberation of Belgium. It begins with the following: This film does not attempt to depict the campaign as a whole. It is a short pictorial record of the British and Canadian Armies fighting from the beaches to Brussels. This film opens with scenes of Big Ben and London in the spring of 1944 as the narrator states that the allied plan for the invasion of Europe is ready. Other footage includes: tanks and other equipment moving through England to the coast in preparation for D-Day; ships and landing craft ready for the invasion; troops being briefed; troops going aboard ships; tanks and trucks being driven onto ships; ships and landing craft in profile on moonlit waters; aircraft and parachutes in the sky; ships’ guns firing; Canadian soldiers leaving a landing craft (French beach houses shown in the background in this well-known D-Day footage); troops and equipment landing on the beaches; troops running through villages; captured German soldiers; soldiers directing army vehicles along roads; crowds cheering in a Norman town; the British and Canadian troops advancing to Caen; soldiers firing mortars; buildings on fire; infantry on the march; an officer briefing soldiers seated in a field (he draws a plan of attack, in chalk on the side of a tank); soldiers advancing in grain fields; tank moving along as roadside sign says "Stop Enemy Ahead"; more scenes of captured Germans; tending to wounded soldiers; Montgomery and officers study a map as they plan the attack on Caen; tanks and soldiers shown at dusk as the British and Canadians assemble during the night of July 3; tanks firing; a German soldier surrenders; fighting in Caen; ruins in Caen; the advance of infantry into Caen; a tank going over the Churchill Bridge; crossing the Orne; a man drawing arrows on a chalk diagram, with one arrow down from Avranches towards the south (narrator describes the American advance into Brittany, with one part going for Brest and the other south and east); the German attack toward Avranches to split the American forces; the Allied plan to advance east toward LeMans to contain the Germans; reconnaissance planes; an attack by Typhoons on German tanks (aerial footage of explosions); the narrator explains that the British and Canadians with the Polish Armoured Division to the north were now well astride the Falaise road; Bernard Montgomery and a group of officers study a map; American troops moving east; artillery firing; Allied troops marching up a road as German prisoners march single file in the opposite direction; tanks; road sign for Thury-Harcourt, which was captured by British troops; soldiers and equipment moving towards Falaise; the final assault on Falaise; troops advancing through the city, dodging gunfire; tanks; another chalk diagram using arrows to show how the German Seventh Army is almost surrounded; aerial shots of bombing; artillery firing; close-ups of destroyed equipment, dead horses and dead German soldiers; German prisoners, some shown in close-up; the narrator explains that to the north the further bank of the Seine was now the immediate goal; trucks moving along; American troops had sped on to Paris; the British and American troops left Normandy; the race for the river crossings; troops assembling for the crossing; night scenes of artillery firing; dawn scene of engineers building bridges; troops getting into small boats to cross the Seine river; (British and Canadian troops crossed the river); tanks, trucks, motorcycles and soldiers crossing the bridges (British were going to Amiens, key to the port of Calais and Canadians north to Rouen); close-up of soldiers arriving on the riverbank, with a sign behind them which reads Vernon Bridge; more scenes of tanks; trucks moving through a town with the Union Jack flying from the side of the road; sign for Garage H. Le Carpentier along roadside as tanks move along; the Canadians entering Rouen; crowds chee ring; the British soldiers entering Amiens to cheering crowds; trucks moving along the road; the coast; two Canadian soldiers in Dieppe, pointing to the beach where so many of their gallant comrades fell just two years before; soldiers at a ceremony at a military cemetery as the Red Ensign flies overhead; Canadians marching into Dieppe as General Crerar takes the salute and crowds look on; a pipe band plays as they march and then gets into step behind them; crossroads signs for Steewerck, Warnetoon, Ypres and Armentières; more scenes of Allied soldiers greeted by cheering crowds; Allied trucks moving into Belgium; sign which reads Droits De L'État - Douane Belge; a young girl cheers at the side of the road; a small group of cheering people standing in front of a sign which reads Tournai; tanks moving along the road; soldiers waving from the top of tanks; trucks, motorcyles and civilians moving along a road; sign for Brussel/Bruxelles [sic]; crowds rush toward the camera in Brussels as it is liberated on September 3. The Allies move through Brussels and on to Germany."

This film was released to the Army through The Army Bureau of Current Affairs.