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To Lieutenant General Millard F. Harmon1
January 4, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
A special effort is being made to increase production in industrial plants in the United States. The measure which appears to provide the best incentive to the workers is the showing of films in the plants of the actual conditions under which operations are conducted on the various fronts.
To produce such films a considerable increase in such footage must be available. Especially is it desired that this footage cover the war as it is actually being fought, without the usual effort to eliminate the tragic aspects of battle or campaign.
The program is now handicapped by insufficient footage of film of combat conditions and it is therefore important that an effort be made to obtain such footage and rush it to the War Department as quickly as possible. The following are particularly desired:
a. Actual combat scenes involving men, equipment, armored vehicles and weapons in actual operation.
b. Scenes showing casualties during and immediately after action.
c. Results obtained by American artillery, aerial bombs, hand grenades, mortars and other destructive weapons.
The Under Secretary of War, who is charged with supervision of production, will greatly appreciate your seeing that the necessary instructions are given to procure these views.2
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Harmon was commanding general of United States Army Forces in the South Pacific Area. This letter was sent to all combat theater commanders.
2. Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson reported that between June 1943 and February 1944 the number of motion picture film showings in war industry had grown steadily from 458 showings to an attendance of 75,000 in June 1943 to 20,499 showings to an attendance of 5,317,417 individuals in February 1944. During this same time period, the films had been shown over 56,000 times to over 15,000,000 individuals on the home front to stimulate war industry and civilian morale. (Patterson Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, March 23, 1944, and Marshall [Somervell] Radio to Theater Commanders, March 28, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), p. 233.