This film is part of Free

The Navy and the Nation

An impressive overview of the work of the men and women responsible for organising, planning and producing equipment for the US Navy in 1943, from riveters to radar manufacturers.

Documentary 1943 19 mins


This panoramic survey of the American nation’s crucial efforts to supply the needs of the US navy at a vital stage in the war manages to be impressive in scope, without sacrificing the journalistic eye for detail for which The March of Time was known. From the rubber raft demonstration (their black bases deter sharks) to the narration by a young female factory worker, the report sweeps the viewer along with its mixture of gripping footage and ‘all in this together’ optimism.

The miraculous feats of production testified to in this March of Time film’s commentary are no idle boasts: the collective effort depicted in this film was decisive in giving America a numerical advantage over the Japanese navy. The footage of radar testing in the Naval Research Labs and new ship designs in the Navy’s model basin show the rapid scientific and technological advances which also gave the US a vital edge over the Japanese. It is interesting to compare this film to an earlier issue - March of Time, 6th Year No.4 - US Navy 1940 - which explains why, in the years after World War I, America’s fleet had suffered from years of neglect.