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tv   Reel America Why We Fight Divide and Conquer - 1943  CSPAN  August 18, 2018 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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1945. to explain the causes course of the war to u.s. army troops. frank capra supervised production of the "why we fight" series, using a team of army corps technicians and hollywood veterans. america, divide and conquer. the documentary details military aggression by germany after the september 1, 1939 invasion of poland. using animated maps created at disney studios, newsreels, traumatized scenes, a nd nazi and u.s. army footage, "fight and conquer" covers the invasions of denmark, norway, belgium, holland, and france.
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narrator: six years of hard training and actual battle experience in spain and poland have made the german army look invincible. but what about the british and french? first, let's take up the british. they started from scratch, but both at home and abroad, an army was growing. for not only had written bclared war -- canada -- ritain declared war -- canada, australia, new zealand, south
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africa. the whole commonwealth of nations was determined against hitlerism. britain had one weapon that was ready, the royal navy. fleetits from the british malta,ployed at suexz, gibraltar, in the channel, and in the north sea, blockading germany. world conquest was impossible without running smack up against the rock called britain. counterstrike against that little island? -- how to strike against the little island? that was the question. standing in between were the countries of don't jump, norway -- belgium, norway, sweden. the peoples of these countries were hard-working and free. they feared a violation of their
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neutrality. hitler knew this. he also know if they united with the allies, they would form a solid democratic war against france aggression -- against nazi aggression. before striking with his army, he used another weapon, the propaganda barrage to make them lose faith, to divide and conquer. the problem amanda -- propaganda minister told them germany did not want a war at all, it was france causing all the trouble. than it was hitler's turn. 1939, hech in october needs all kinds of promises. anthe danes, he said, nonaggression pact with denmark. states,to the northern
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germany has no conflict. to the dutch, he says the new reich shall continue the traditional friendship with holland. to the belgians he announced the forth no claim gium.is as a threat to bel meanwhile they picked out the first victim -- norway. its fjords would make excellent u-boat bases. also, it would give the nazi vital airbases. this is a british naval base, and this, the blockade fleet. at this time, the german-based bombers could not reach them. defenses would be brought under easy bomber attack.
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but he could not take norway without taking tiny denmark ,the springboard for his attack. april, 1940 -- acrossman army rolled the mutual borders of little denmark, and in a matter of hours it occupied the entire country. by nightfall, denmark is erased as a nation, and the danes go into slavery, a lowly six months afore hitler announced nonaggression pact with denmark. the danes will not forget. meanwhile, in norway, peaceful merchant ships like these have sneaked into the ports. that is, they look like merchant ships, but if the norwegians had x-ray eyes, this is what they would have seen, the trojan
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horse of ancient greece brought up-to-date with new and deadly weapons. the nazisely date overran denmark, these ships sprang to life. ♪ time, nazi warships, discovered along the entire coastline, started steaming up the norwegian fjord. ships, tanks, transport, men, planes, all flung themselves simultaneously upon a defenseless country. by whole job was made easier treacherous fifth columnists, who seized power and suppressed resistance. nazi warships steamed past guns
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that could have blasted them out of the water. this is one of the greatest acts of treasury the world has ever known. it brought the major international fame, making his name synonymous with the word traitor. by april 9, the germans were in introl of all seven ports which they were landing. ♪ for the first time in more than 200 years, the people in norway saw an invading army parading through their city. many of these nazi soldiers strutting as conquerors in 1940 had last seen in norway some 20 years earlier, when as german refugee children, they had been raised by kind norwegians. now these same germans are back
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to repay that kind of kindness with terror and destruction. the nazi stand out in all directions -- fanned out in all directions. but norwegian troops stopped t hem in one area. >> [gunfire] narrator: so the germans brought up their bomber. ♪ narrator: the norwegians were forced to flee to the north under constant, unopposed air
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attacks. it was here where an american military attache was killed, the first american soldier to lose his wife and this one. -- life in this war. circlede nazi patrols every strategic village. parachute troops landed high in the mountains. unopposed bombing raids sent defenseless civilians fleeing in starved terror. >> [sirens]
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narrator: they hadn't wanted war. they had done everything to avoid it. hoping they could escape the nazi scourge, they compromised and tragically failed to unite with other democracies. now they face the scourge defenseless and alone. before the allies could come to their aid, the germans were in control of all principal ports. despite this, british, french, and polish contingents landed and made inroads along the coast. they attempted an encircling movement on the city, under constant, heavy, and almost entirely unopposed air attack. >> [explosions] narrator: while the scene of action was out of range by british fighter planes, they brought up aircraft carriers. but these are at a disadvantage
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when faced with land-based plane . the allies were badly battered from the air. facing heavy losses, they withdrew from a hopeless situation. further to the north, they met with better success, inflicting heavy naval losses on the nazis. [explosions] ♪ narrator: they made landings and held the town for nearly two months. ♪ incidentally, they also took their first prisoners
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of the present war. s overwhelmingi' air superiority proved a deciding factor. and the allies were forced to withdraw under terrific air bombardment. >> [explosions]
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narrator: loyal norwegians were left with ruins, their dead. even though six months before, hitler said germany has no conflict with the norwegian state, and has none today. the norwegians will not forget. and hitler, hitler had another victory. he had hijacked two four countries. the world wondered and marveled at this man's efficiency. ♪ narrator: when a man throws away all regard for the laws of god and man -- society had a police force to deal with this gangster, but not with gangster
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hitler. he got what he wanted, bases for use against britain. the drive-through france would give him the southern claw for his pincher movement, weakening france for the final invasion. then germany could reach out in all directions for world conquest. ♪ his next move must obviously be through france, to get his claw. toough france, how was she face the onslaught? ese scenes are ancient history. they occurred in 1914. the german armies, without warning, had smashed across neutral belgium, across france a few miles from paris.
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out tonch reserve riding -- battle the enemy in anything that could move. in the center of the french lines stood the ninth army. on september 5, 1914, he is reputed to have said, my right has driven in, my center is giving way, the situation is excellent. i attack. >> [gunfire] ♪ did attack. the german onslaught was
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checked, and paris was saved. that comparatively unknown general later became the highlight chief -- the allied chief in a signing armistice with the germans. to this general the french people erected a a monument, whose model was "attack, always attack." still later, the war weary french people erected another monument, this time to a minister of war. between the ideas symbolized between these two statues may l ie the story of the fall of a great nation. in other times, the proud spirit of france demanded nothing less than victory. spirit no longer proud,
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asked only to avoid defeat and place its feet in concrete. mightyfrench built the chain known as the maginot line. these were built deep into the french land. they were connected by underground passages and railways, guarding france's eastern borders facing germany. was forced to declare war against the nazi menace, the french troops, instead of attacking, wait for the nazi troops to smash itself against the maginot line. proudly announced, whoever makes the first in this war will be hurt. but hitler did not go near the maginot line.
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that was france's strong point. instead, he attacked the week point. hitler knew the french had tried to avoid war, instead of preparing for it. that knowledge was one of his greatest weapons. he knew they had planes, but they were antiquated. she knew they had tanks, but were few in number. was of all, he knew france a disillusioned nation. what made this change in the french spirit? in the first place between 1940 and 1918, the french suffered more than 6 million casualties in iraq defense of their land -- in the heroic defense of their land against the germination. stimulated with new determination, new ideals. and secondly, the savior of the week of nation, to which the french had pinned their hopes of
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peace, the greed of special interests combined to shape the faith of the french people in democratic ideals. when a people loses its faith in its own ideals, it is ripe for the insidious words of the devil. france still looked imposing, but hitler's political termites has the no way at national unity that the castle was ready to crumble. >> [explosions] narrator: during those months of military inactivity that we call of phony war, a barrage german propaganda affected
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soldiers on the maginot line. thedo you fight? ask banners. poems and friendly notes were sent over by balloon. claimed by awere german band. -- played by a german band. the british will fight to the last drop of french blood. you have been deceived. this was an imperialistic war for britain. we germans want nothing of france. what is happening to your wife back home, soldiers? the british are stationed in your villages. yes, france was ready to the plucked. whole force of the nazi light was turned -- might was turned to the west.
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through the low country in 1914? what was the 1940 plan of conquest? it was believed the germans would try a swing through the low country. but even after hitler's rape of scandinavia, holland still clung to neutrality. so the french 70 division along the border of belgium, 17 in the maginot line. 10 divisions here, in case mussolini got bored. the british have 10 divisions here. the allied strategy in an attack against the low countries was to swing their armies like a gate into belgium, the hinge being the maginot line. by ahinge was protected
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edr state honeycomb -- forest honeycomb area. ardennes wased the impossible by armored forces. it was a costly mistake. ♪ the hour of trial had come. democracy of the thee for strength to meet coming hurricane of terror. ♪ rhine --oss the
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german]king >> [applause] a delirious man possessed the germination. -- the german nation. german]king >> [applause]
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>> [chanting] come.or: their time had ♪ narrator: without even bothering
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to declare war, the german armies launched an attack against the borders of holland, from the maginot line north to the sea. the action was simultaneous, sold for purposes of clarity, let's take up one country at a time. first let's see what happened in holland. ♪ >> nazi ground forces smashed through the hastily erected defenses, but the main attack was to come from the air, far behind the defense line.
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narrator: over 10,000 troops were landed in this manner. before even the stunned citizens of rotterdam knew they were at lumnists took
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different parts of the city. speeding, nazi columns others taking by out bridges. the dutch were doomed to defeat. on the fourth day of the invasion, the nazi gave the dutch a ultimatum, all mustlities must sees -- cease, or rotterdam will be bomber flat. the dutch in general had little choice. to save the lives of innocent civilians, he accepted the german terms. but after the non-conditional
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surrender, the nazis bombed the city anyway. german bombers flew low over the city of rotterdam and bombed it into a heap of rubble.
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♪ narrator: one of the most ruthless exhibitions the world
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has ever seen. 30,000 men, women, and children were killed in the space of a 90 minutes. only six months before hitler's is said the new reich endeavored to continue the friendship with holland. forget.h will not --belgium, the brits creek the blitzkrieg stormed. attack wasrman directed at the outer canal river line. the anchor of which was a modern and seemingly impregnable fortress. replica of the mighty for in czechoslovakia. they knew every detail of the fort's construction and every weakness.
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bombers, troops, dive flamethrowers, special battalions, all working together as a well-trained team. they knew exactly where to cross the river. >> [explosions]
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narrator: you will notice that this engineer knows exactly where to the explosive charge.
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the fort withstood the nazi attack for exactly two days and moved on.erman army an hour and a half after the german invasion began, troops crossed the french and belgian border. as they raced across belgium to take up defense positions, they met an obstacle they had not counted on, refugees. ♪
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the refugees did not get that way by accident, the nazi's robotically bombed the towns and villages otherwise devoid of any military value. as to driveto kill the inhabitants out on the highway. gunnersxpert machine the nazi's would heard them along. refugees used as a weapon of force. a new low inhumanity.
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no school today the sign says, the children are otherwise occupied. >> [screaming] ♪ no school today. ♪ narrator: although only six
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it had announced the reich forth no claim which might in any way be a threat to belgium. the belgians will not forget. allies?ut the that the convinced attacks on german -- on belgium and holland were the main threats. the attack on belgium and faint, the only a main attack was to be centered where the allies least expected the forest. for this blow they had secretly assembled the mightiest striking force the world has ever seen. it included 45,000 armored vehicles.
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at the same time that the nazi armies were flooding into holland and belgium, this started to move. well-trained engineer battalions went first. they were met only with scattered allied patrols.
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they cleared pathways for the tanks to follow. in three days, the german armored force reached the river, two days faster than the french thought any troops could get
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through. by old rules, the germans should've stopped for artillery before trying to cross the river. the nazis had a new type of artillery. --y lasted french positions they blasted french positions. with feverish haste the germans laid a broad across the river with anything and everything.
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this tremendous concentration of firepower continued through the night. by the following day troops were able to get across the river.
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these troops held the bridge until the engineers came up. then, without wasting a moment, the main armored force of the german military machine rolls through. there went the old ball game for the allies. from here on, it was only a matter of how long. hasn't one of the
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intelligence officers explains the detail. of the breakthrough. actually, the break was a long a front expending -- extending 50 miles. further north, the allied armies of into these positions. the german armies had swept into line at theken the knewl, and for all anyone ne with pairing two/-- preparing to smash against the allied front. on the 14th and 15th it became clear that the german in the greaters strength and that the french ninth army attacked while moving into mission had been shattered. bitout a doubt, this was a of morbid danger and the french high command ordered the abandonment of the positions, although they had not yet been attacked. those positions were abandoned
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solely because of the situation developing near sedan -- near sudan. in the meantime, the french seventh army had been ordered to fourth marchoric to the south into the area threatened by the rapidly advancing german spearheads. this army was not used to attack lank, rather used to restore the broken f ront. the allies left their faith in defense, it was doomed to fail. it was confronted with a new technique in warfare. and, and tanks in action. the world was staggered in which the speed of the germans moved. secret for the neighbor armies to moves so fast, so rapidly?
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armored forces came first. closely followed by motorized divisions which peeled off forming solid walls. through the court or, less formed, it armed with supply trucks to feed the ever lengthening columns. it was obvious that if the allied situation was to be restored, the german column would have to be cut. 17 the general attack the and captured a few prisoners. the forces were like a in thing the side of a rhinoceros. a subsequent attack was met with less success. for a successful counterattack against the jarman -- against the german court or did not success. where numbers of divisions were required, only a handful of companies and battalions were available.
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to cut thettempt german court or -- court or -- corridor was made. a lack oftained -- sustained firepower doomed this unit to destruction. on may 21 the german spearheads ed, protecting their flank, the germans fanned out to the north and east. perfect to be the battle of annihilation. on may 28, the belgian army, compressed into a small space laid down its arms. the desperate french and british defenders with their backs to a sea at the of dunkirk. narrator: one of the greatest disasters in history seemed in
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the making. the entire british army facing annihilation. a strange far came armada. float,g that could people of britain had come to rescue their army. british fighter fans fought to a standoff. while below, units held the germans back long enough for the miracle of dunkirk to take place. 211,000 british troops, plus
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more french and belgians were rescued. go backe determined to again with new tools, new weapons to blast the hated nazis out of this world. free men are like rubber balls, the harder they fall, the higher they bounce. leading the british was a man who had been bouncing all of his life, winston churchill. theried for years to warn world about germany. meantime, a situation that faced france was as hopeless as a military situation can be. lost, therermy was were fewer than six divisions left to defend almost 211 miles. frontline, there were no reserves. despairing people of paris sent their children south, praying
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that some miracle would keep them from harm. the hopeless men of the french army, without adequate arms or equipment braced themselves for the coming below. the french resistance was determined, but by june 8 and the left flank army had been a general withdraw was on the line and the same. came on junetack 9, within two days the german armored and motorized divisions rode out into the open terrain. with this breakthrough, the issue of the battle of france was decided. from that time on, there was a official talk of an armistice. what about the famous martian a line -- maignot line.
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the germans launched to attacks, in both times penetrations had been affected. this was against fortifications defended by men devoid of hope. mussolini, now thinking it was safe, sent his division racing across the border. daggerhand that held the has struck it into the back of its neighbor. ♪ organize resistance in france was no longer possible. government faced to alternatives, retired to north africa and carry on from there or give up the struggle. france's leaders were old and tired. by men who sought a
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german victory in his chance for personal power, on june 16 he asked for an armistice. hitlers carried to adolf . also characteristic were his terms for the armistice. it must be signed in the coach where the defeated germans were met in the last war. the french delegation arrived to pay the final price of french dish unity -- disunity and the treachery of some of its leaders.
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, a price thate for centuries to come, the french will not forget. than 3/5 of their country was to be blacked out by a military occupation. the remainder was to be controlled by a french government acceptable to hitler's. a dayof 4 million francs was to be imposed on the french people to support the german army. nearly 2 million french prisoners of war were to be taken into germany and kept there as hostages to work as slaves or rot of hunger, tuberculosis, or other diseases. separated fromy a their families in order to decrease the french birth rate and thus eliminate france as a
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power in future generations. men, women, and children must slave in farmers and factories for the master race, or starve. subjectll be a class of --e, we will not have a date french children were grew up -- would grow up to inadequate food so many would it reach the age of 12 before growing new teeth. ,ny attempts to protest thousands of french civilians would be executed. the price the french were to pay as they signed the armistice. master of the master race must go to paris to tour the streets of what was once the city of light. you will notice, no cheering crowds here to welcome in the new order.
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when the people of paris come to the streets again, it is to hear the voice of dictators telling them what they must do. how they must live. what they must say. what they must think. telling them how to be slaves. gone is the republic of france. gone is free speech and a free representative government. gone is liberty. gone is equality, and fraternity. these are the french, with their years they listen. their minds and hearts, these are down at the mediterranean where the battle colors of the regiments are being taken to africa. glory --e we as their
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the people weep as their glory departs. they don't know france has a rallying point. a soldier in the great tradition had not surrendered. he will continue to fight, gathering loyal frenchmen from all over the world to become the free french army. the fighting french. yes, the people weep watching their colors go. not knowing two years later those the flags would be in north africa alongside the stars and stripes, alongside the union jacket. standore, their leaders united in the common cause with the leaders of their allies. once more the red white and blue of france would fly high. from out of the ashes of defeat of france their soul has been born again.
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♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] our nine week series 1968: america in turmoil is available as a podcast. you can find it on our website www.c-span.org/history. this american history tv, only on c-span3. the 70thear marks anniversary of president harry truman's 1940 eight executive order to desegregate the u.s. military. sunday, author ron james and a colonel
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discussed the decision and its effect on african-americans. >> soldier say we are here to fight, we are here to fight. college-educated african-americans, mostly from new york an. they said you can go fight with the french. the losted them babies, they taught them how to use the weapons and the men learn french. they became very close. the french obviously had a very different off the -- attitude. he writes this memo to the french military mission station with the american army and it is called secret information regarding black american troops. it is important for the french officers who have been called upon to exercise command over black american troops are to
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live in close contact with them, to have an exact idea of the petition occupied by negroes in the united states. although a citizen, the black man is regarded to as the white american as an inferior being. black is constantly being censored for his want of intelligence and discretion. the vices of a negro are a anstant oppressed to american. we must denounce intimacy between french officers and black soldiers. we must not eat with them, shake hands, meet to talk, or meet with them outside of the requirements of military service. we must not command to highly the black american troops, particularly in the presence of americans. watch the entire program on sunday at 6:30 p.m. eastern on american history tv, only on c-span3. shellshocked is a term coined
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during world war i to describe andhological trauma symptoms associated with relentless and sometimes days long artillery attacks soldiers were forced to indoor during the tom's in the trenches. next, historian rachel levandowski gives a talk about psychiatry and world war i shellshocked. a historian in the secretary of the defense historical office, she details the nature of shellshocked and the lessons learned and sometimes not learned by military psychiatrists at the time. this is 50 minutes. for tonight's program, this museum is always committed to sharing the stories of triumph in challenges in military medicine. tonight, we will hear from rachel levandowski

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