The Battle at St. Vith (1965, B&W, 58:00)
This remarkable documentary combines eyewitness testimony from key participants on both sides of a critical engagement in the Battle of the Bulge with outstanding archival footage, detailed maps, and a return to revisit the actual terrain where each phase of battle was fought..
Operation “Wacht am Rhein, “ the surprise attack launched on Dec 16th, 1944, was Hitler's desperate gamble to shatter the Allied advance by striking with a Panzer fist through a "quiet"sector in the Ardennes Forest, northwest to the vital supply port of Antwerp. A linchpin of the offensive was the early seizure of the road and railroad crossroads of St. Vith on the first day of the offensive. The Battle at St. Vith shows how a hastily formed, ad hoc group of American units manged to delay an overwhelming Panzer force for five critical days before being forced to withdraw, dealing the German plan an insurmountable delay.
From the German side, you'll hear frustration in the voices of Von Runstedt's Chief of Staff, General Siegfried Westphal and General Hasso von Manteuffel, whose 5th Panzer Army was tasked with seizing St Vith, when they give lengthy reports on the battle. On the American side, you'll hear vivid accounts of an aggressive defense from Gen. Robert Hasbrouk, Commander of 7th Armored, Col Gusten Nelsn (28th Infantry), Gen William Hoge (9th Armored), Colonels Oliver Patton & Thomas J Riggs (106th Infantry), and General Bruce C Clark, Commander Combat Command B, 7th Armored, who led the spirited deference of the St Vith perimeter. In a series of memorable face-to-face conversations, Generals Clark and Von Manteuffel compare notes on the battle . Among several first hand combat accounts, Lt Will Rogers Jr tells the dramatic story of his bazooka attack on a a German Panzer as part of "Task Force Jones" successful rearguard action. And don't miss rare late war footage of advanced German weaponry, including "King Tiger" tanks in action.
"There is no better account of the critical role played small, determined units in the outcome of a major battle than "The Battle at St, Vith." Zeno
Mastering the Bazooka Rocket Launcher (1943, B&W 28:00)
The Bazooka was a revolutionary weapon that combined a man portable "stove pipe" rocket launcher, pioneered by Dr. Robert Godard, with a shaped charge (HEAT) warhead, originally developed by Swiss immigrant Henry Mohaupt for the US War Department in in the 1930s. As you'll see, shaped charges focused a superheated penetrating jet of gas whose effect on armored targets was far out of proportion to it's relatively small size. The Bazooka put this awesome destructive power in the hands of a single soldier with a range of hundreds of yards.
When fired from the battery powered M1 launcher, the original M6 Rocket, introduced in 1940, could penetrate 4'' of steel armor, making it useful not only against tanks and armored vehicles, but also against pill boxes, walls, bunkers etc. with a range that far exceeded the capability of contemporary weapons like grenade launchers. The range of targets of an individual soldier was expanded geometrically with the introduction of the Bazooka.
You'll learn how to calculate range, fire from different positions, arm the rocket and ready the launcher for firing, set up remotely detonated launches using buried tubes, skip firing, leading the target, and more.
As you'll also see in this detailed training film, that throughout the War the Bazooka went through a running series of combat inspired changes that improved reliability, accuracy, handiness, and hitting power. As the War progressed, increases in armor thickness on German tanks rendered frontal assault by even the improved M9 launcher with M6A3 rocket often ineffective, promoting a change in tactics, targeting tank tracks and the less well protected top, sides, and rear of enemy vehicles
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and the usefulness of the of the Bazooka was immediately apparent to the Germans, who developed their own highly effective Panzerschreck series and later by the Soviets, who combined many of the the best features of the Bazooka and Panzerschreck in a weapon whose lineal decedent, the RPG-7, is still in use around the world. today.
"Launcher, Rocket, AT, M1 Technical Manual" 10 pages in Adobe Acrobat .pdf file format. Text, photos and illustration show you how to operate the original Bazooka. Manual is viewable on a computer DVD player. Don't have a DVD player on your computer? We can put the manual on a separate CD-ROM.) (Click here for info,)