War Pictorial News No.243
Description of film
This is a newsreel clip aimed at French and British audiences. The British voice over explains what is happening. The Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden is shown being greeted by top Soviet officials. Red Army guards and bands play national anthems. Eden then makes a report of his visit to the public. He praises the courage of the Red Army and claims the tide is turning against Germany. We then see shots of wrecked tanks in the snow and German dead. Eden then talks of how the British and Soviets are united in their aim of defeating Germany and achieving a long lasting peace.
In the years before WW2 relations between Britain and the Communist USSR (often referred to as Russia although it was much more than just Russia) were very poor. In fact, they were so bad that in 1939 the Soviet leader Stalin made an alliance with Nazi leader Hitler, even though they were political enemies. In 1941 Hitler betrayed Stalin and attacked the USSR. British leader Winston Churchill immediately allied himself with Stalin. By 1943 the German attack was being turned back by the Soviet forces. Eden was visiting at this time.
Interesting or important points about the film
There are many interesting features in this clip. It says that the two sides are completely united in their aims. Does this suggest that there is some doubt about this and that Eden is trying to reassure the British public? Many people still did not trust the USSR and it is certainly true that many in the USSR did not trust Britain.