This episode of The Big Picture's TV Series "Army in Action" focuses on the aftermath of World War II in Europe and Asia. The plight of defeated Germany and Italy, with their decimated cities and homeless population, is clearly illustrated with footage of the stark devastation. Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leveled by atomic explosions, are also shown and the situation in Japan described. The tragic costs of World War II are elucidated, with a focus on the reconstruction of cities, people, hearts and minds, and an assessment of the bitter cost of conflict. The post-WWII effort to lead defeated adversaries to democracy, and the Marshall Plan work, and the Occupation of Japan and the Occupation of Germany is shown.
The Nuremberg Trials and Japanese War Crime Tribunals are also shown, with the judgement against those who led their nations into defeat.
Starting about the 17 minute mark, the rise of the Soviet block is shown, with the Russians annexing formerly free nations and stifling opposition, including in Manchuria, Lithuania, Poland, East Germany, etc. The descent of the Iron Curtain in Europe is mentioned at 20 minutes, as Winston Churchill speaks on the subject. Sec. of State George C. Marshall is shown proposing the Marshall Plan at the 20:30 mark. At the 23:30 mark, the Berlin Crisis of 1948 and the Berlin Airlift are shown.
The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was an American initiative to aid Europe, in which the United States gave $13 billion (approximately $120 billion in current dollar value) in economic support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II. The plan was in operation for four years beginning in April 1948. The goals of the United States were to rebuild war-devastated regions, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, make Europe prosperous again, and prevent the spread of communism. The Marshall Plan required a lessening of interstate barriers, a dropping of many petty regulations constraining business, and encouraged an increase in productivity, labour union membership, as well as the adoption of modern business procedures.
The Marshall Plan aid was divided amongst the participant states roughly on a per capita basis. A larger amount was given to the major industrial powers, as the prevailing opinion was that their resuscitation was essential for general European revival. Somewhat more aid per capita was also directed towards the Allied nations, with less for those that had been part of the Axis or remained neutral. The largest recipient of Marshall Plan money was the United Kingdom (receiving about 26% of the total), followed by France (18%) and West Germany (11%). Some 18 European countries received Plan benefits. Although offered participation, the Soviet Union refused Plan benefits, and also blocked benefits to Eastern Bloc countries, such as East Germany and Poland. The United States provided similar aid programs in Asia, but they were not called "Marshall Plan".
The initiative is named after Secretary of State George Marshall. The plan had bipartisan support in Washington, where the Republicans controlled Congress and the Democrats controlled the White House with Harry S. Truman as president. The Plan was largely the creation of State Department officials, especially William L. Clayton and George F. Kennan, with help from Brookings Institution, as requested by Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Marshall spoke of an urgent need to help the European recovery in his address at Harvard University in June 1947.
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