Victory at Sea Films, 1952-1953

Summary Information
Title: Victory at Sea Films
Inclusive Dates: 1952-1953

Call Number: DC 596-DC 605; DF 868-DF 883

Quantity: 26 film reels (16 mm)

Wisconsin Historical Society Archives / Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research
Contact Information

Archival Locations:
Wisconsin Historical Society (Map)

This collection consists of all twenty-six episodes from the half-hour documentary television series Victory at Sea, originally broadcast on NBC in 1952 and 1953. Produced by Henry Salomon with narration by Leonard Graves and music by Richard Rodgers, the series used archival footage to present the history of naval warfare during World War II. The series won an Emmy award in 1954 for best public affairs program and in the same year was condensed into a feature film under the same title. All episodes are 16 mm, black and white prints with sound. They are arranged chronologically by original air date.


There is a restriction on use of this material; see the Administrative/Restriction Information portion of this finding aid for details.

Language: English

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Related Material
Administrative/Restriction Information
Use Restrictions

No duplication or public screening without consent of copyright holder.

Acquisition Information

DC 596-DC 605, DF 869, DF 871-DF 883 presented by Donald B. Hyatt as part of the Donald B. Hyatt Papers.

DF 868, DF 870 presented by Isaac Kleinerman as part of the Isaac Kleinerman Papers.

Contents List
DC 596
“Design for War,” 1952 October 26
Scope and Content Note: The story of the English Navy's battle against German U-Boats and the German advance through Holland and France. Also includes scenes of the bombing of England.
DF 868
“The Pacific Boils Over,” 1952 November 2
Scope and Content Note: Using Japanese footage, viewers see the planning, execution and, ultimately, the celebration of the country’s attack on Pearl Harbor.
DF 869
“Sealing the Breach,” 1952 November 9
Scope and Content Note: With war now declared by the United States, naval forces throughout the nation have joined to bring convoys of supplies across the Atlantic Ocean to the Allies in England. German U-Boats come through and manage to destroy some ships along the way.
DC 597
“Midway is East,” 1952 November 23
Scope and Content Note: The story of the Battle of Midway.
DF 870
“Mediterranean Mosaic,” 1952 November 30
Scope and Content Note: World War II comes to the Mediterranean Sea as Italian, French, and British naval forces struggle. The German Luftwaffe besieges the island of Malta, but their determined fighting pays off when King George VI pays a visit to the island, reviving their spirits.
DF 871
“Guadalcanal,” 1952 December 14
Scope and Content Note: The United States begins its offensive campaign to halt the Japanese advance by invading Guadalcanal and capturing the island’s valuable airfields.
DF 872
“Rings Around Rabaul,” 1952 December 21
Scope and Content Note: The United States continues capturing enemy bases in the Solomons by conducting amphibious operations across the chain of islands, until the Japanese stronghold on Rabaul is surrounded and destroyed.
DF 873
“Mare Nostrum,” 1952 December 28
Scope and Content Note: The Italian Navy fails to dominate in the Mediterranean Sea against the Royal Navy, and the lack of supplies brings the Axis campaign across North Africa to a halt.
DC 598
“Sea and Sand,” 1953 January 4
Scope and Content Note: The story of the Allied invasion of North Africa and the defeat of Rommel.
DC 599
“Beneath the Southern Cross,” 1953 January 11
Scope and Content Note: The story of German submarines and battleships in the south Atlantic and their attempts to prey on merchant ships. U.S., Brazilian, and British ships move in to stop them.
DF 874
“The Magnetic North,” 1953 January 18
Scope and Content Note: As the second World War spreads across the globe, even the harsh Arctic region becomes a battleground. In the North Atlantic, Allied convoys head for Murmansk, carrying supplies to aid Russia in its fight against Germany. In the Pacific, Japan seizes the frigid island of Attu as another stepping stone, but American forces quickly respond with their own invasion to secure the area.
DC 600
“Conquest of Micronesia,” 1953 January 25
Scope and Content Note: The story of the crucial role of the aircraft carrier in the war in the South Pacific. Because the islands of Micronesia are too remote for a land-based air strike, the Navy was responsible for carrying out an attack.
DF 875
“Melanesian Nightmare,” 1953 February 1
Scope and Content Note: Japanese forces continue their advance across the South Pacific by making a bold inland march along New Guinea. The fate of Australia hangs in the balance as the Allies take their own offensive operations to secure the vital base at Port Moresby.
DC 601
“A Roman Renaissance,” 1953 February 8
Scope and Content Note: A recap of battles that took place in Sicily, Salerno, and Rome. Shows footage of Adolf Hitler meeting with Mussolini and footage of General Montgomery meeting with General Patton to discuss strategy for the battles.
DF 876
“D-Day,” 1953 February 15
Scope and Content Note: The Allies stage the largest amphibious assault in history by landing thousands of troops along the Normandy coast of France. As the German army attempts to destroy the invading forces, Allied naval superiority once again proves to be the deciding factor in providing support and supplies to ensure victory.
DF 877
“Killers and the Killed,” 1953 February 22
Scope and Content Note: Although Germany’s surface fleet is no longer a factor beyond D-Day, its submarine packs continue to wreak havoc upon the Allied convoys that are vital to the survival of troops fighting in France. The Allies develop new ways to counter and destroy the U-Boat threat so that the Atlantic Ocean can continue to serve as the pipeline to victory in Europe.
DF 878
“The Turkey Shoot,” 1953 March 1
Scope and Content Note: The American battle fleets return to reclaim Guam after almost three years of Japanese occupation. The Japanese forces in the Marianas attempt to stop the invasion, but suffer devastating losses—and Guam returns to American hands to serve as an important bast in the drive towards Japan.
DC 602
“Two if by Sea,” 1953 March 8
Scope and Content Note: A recounting of the battle for two key islands of Palau, Peleliu and Angaur.
DC 603
“Battle for Leyte Gulf,” 1953 March 15
Scope and Content Note: The story of how Leyte Gulf, a U.S. stronghold in the Philippines, nearly fell to the Japanese but was kept by the U.S. in the end.
DF 879
“Return of the Allies,” 1953 March 22
Scope and Content Note: American forces begin the bloody task of dislodging the Imperial Japanese army from the Philippine archipelago. After taking the souther islands and landing on Luzon, the American fight their way north to liberate Manila. General MacArthur has kept his promise to the Filipino people: “I shall return.”
DF 880
“Full Fathom Five,” 1953 March 29
Scope and Content Note: From the earliest days of the war, the American submarine fleet was crucial to the success of interdicting Japanese convoys and defending strategic locations. The factories in Japan were totally reliant upon the shipping of resources from remote parts of their empire, and as merchant ship losses to submarines grew, the Japanese war machine faced certain defeat.
DC 604
“The Fate of Europe,” 1953 April 5
Scope and Content Note: A recounting of the end of World War II in Europe. Russia regains the Black Sea, France is liberated, and the Germans retreat and are crushed.
DF 881
“Target Suribachi,” 1953 April 12
Scope and Content Note: As the U.S. Navy continues to dominate the Pacific theater and Japan comes within striking range, the air campaign begins its final stage. A small volcanic island becomes prized for its airfields and an essential strategic target: Iwo Jima. A thirty-five day battle results with more than 47,000 casualties to both sides.
DF 882
“The Road to Mandalay,” 1953 April 19
Scope and Content Note: As the great naval battles sweep across the Pacific Ocean, a different type of warfare unfolds in the jungles of Southeast Asia. The early success of Imperial Japan’s armies placed India, a vital part of the Allied supply line, in peril and a successful defense of Burma leads to the liberation of vast areas of Asia.
DC 605
“Suicide for Glory,” 1953 April 26
Scope and Content Note: The story of Japan's last gasp against the U.S. Navy in the Battle of Okinawa.
DF 883
“Design for Peace,” 1953 May 3
Scope and Content Note: With an Allied invasion imminent, and nuclear devastation a reality, Imperial Japan submits to an unconditional surrender and with it World War II is over. As Allied troops begin returning to their homes in victory, war-torn countries around the globe begin rebuilding the destruction left by years of conflict.