Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
The War -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Early in 1943, the War Department arrived an envelope from in Waterbury, Connecticut. at 1032 North Main Street

The home of the Ciarlo family. They knew it was coming.

There were three boys in the family. Two were exempt from the draft,

and another on the way Dom, married with one child and still too young to go. and Tom, just 16 was 19 and single, But the middle son, Corado, working at Waterbury Steel Ball, a perfect candidate for the army. called him Babe. His family and friends

WOMAN: And he was the one to go. to all of us Of course its was a shock forever. and my mother cried forever, so it was a tough time, But that's the way the war was, passed away in, um, in 1937. and not only that but my father had heartbroken at that time already. My mother was very, very

go up the cemetery all by herself. My mother would take the bus and of English. She couldn't speak a word man at the bus was, "Cemetery". And all she could tell the was going off to war, Then to know that my brother she was scared. all over again, She didn't want to go through this very hard times. so it was hard times, MYSTICAL HARP MUSIC

a song by Frank Sinatra. RADIO ANNOUNCER: Here's number 6, # Let's get lost...# (Sinatra sings) MAN: May 9, 1943 - Dearest Mum and family, the 'Lucky Strike' program we are listening to is singing 'Let's Get Lost'. and Frank Sinatra What a voice he's got. because I will be home soon enough. Tell Mum not to worry about me to give her Mother's Day greetings. I am calling Mum hours for the call to go through, I will have to wait five or six

but it is worth it.

with my basic training From now until I get through I will be pretty busy. from me for a few days So, if Mum doesn't hear that I am alright, but just busy. you explain to her Love, Babe.

MACHINE GUNSHOTS By January of 1943, for more than a year. Americans had been at war

the Japanese advance US Navy warplanes had stopped at the Battle of Midway destroying four enemy carriers, on the Imperial Navy in 350 years. and inflicting the first defeat

in the Solomon Islands The Marines had taken Guadalcanal had defeated the Japanese at Buna and American and Australian forces

on the island of Papua New Guinea. the Japanese home islands But the 4000-mile march towards was just beginning. still held prisoner by the Japanese. And thousands of Americans were Sascha Weinzheimer, Including 9-year-old from the Sacramento Valley. whose family came

from Fort Deposit, Alabama. And Corporal Glenn Frazier in the snows around Stalingrad, Meanwhile, his empire eastward across Russia Hitler's dream of expanding was ending in catastrophe his surrounding armies. as the Red Army annihilated EXPLOSION

with their vast war machine, But the Germans, of Western Europe. still occupied most been able the agree on a plan And the Allies had not yet or a timetable to dislodge them. to be content to nip at the edges For the time being, they would have of Hitler's enormous domain. in North Africa American troops were now ashore for the first time ready to test themselves the German and Italian armies. against REFLECTIVE MUSIC

For the people of Mobile, Alabama, Luverne, Minnesota, Sacramento, California, Waterbury, Connecticut, and every other town in America, and pace of life, the war would dictate the rhythm imagined a year before. in ways they could not have Franklin Roosevelt's new deal And the sense of national purpose the Great Depression had brought the battle against on winning this war. was now fully focused

when this war will end MAN: I do not prophesise that this year of 1943 but I do believe as very substantial advance will give to the United Nation and Rome and Tokyo. along the roads that lead to Berlin task in peace, as well as in war, A tremendously costly, long-enduring is still ahead of us. But as we face that continuing task,

state of this nation is good. we may know that the The heart of this nation is sound. The spirit of this nation is strong. Faith of this nation is exemplary. APPLAUSE a real message of confidence WOMAN: Roosevelt carried

with his voice.

that we could do anything He gave us all the confidence he asked us to do

do anything he asked them to do. and certainly boys could driving force. And he was the powerful Now, England had Churchill, but we had Roosevelt. Pearl Harbour, And from the time he announced that we would go to war, and announced we were all behind him.

JAZZ MUSIC MAN: The lucky thing was, get its first stage to battle that the American army didn't where some people wanted us to. going across the channel the North African thing They had to go through a very expensive one. which was a learning experience, Our army got to be God damn good. they were like anybody else, But at the beginning they weren't too good at it. in Casablanca, in January 1943, At an allied conference for the cameras. everything went well And President Roosevelt Winston Churchill and British Prime Minister nothing less announced they would accept from the enemy. than unconditional surrender both men were concerned. But behind the scenes, to find ways to work together. The Allies were still trying

under General Dwight Eisenhower The previous November allied troops

in Morocco and Algeria had made coordinated landings without meeting much resistance. in neighbouring Tunisia. But Hitler strengthened his forces to race east to engage the enemy Eisenhower's troops were meant Montgomery and his Eighth Army while British General Bernard Africa corps westward from Egypt. pursued General Erwin Rommel's

Tunisia next-door to Italian Libya RADIO ANNOUNCER:

is at the rear of the Axis Army. It's the next objective for the American half of the Nutcracker campaign, closing in from Rommel at the west, as the British smash from the east. The aim is to chase the Axis out of North Africa, threaten Italy and other Nazi-dominated territories in Europe

and open shorter supply lines to Russia. That is the meaning of the American drive the Tunis. After two months of sporadic fighting

the battle for North Africa suddenly intensified. BOMB BLAST On February 14, Rommel sent his seasoned veterans against the untested, poorly led and ill-equipped Americans. His goal, he said, was to instill in them an inferiority complex of no mean order, and for a time he succeeded. EXPLOSIONS

With the American forces, was Private Charles Mann,

a farmer's son from Luverne, Minnesota. But I guess that it's good you were afraid, but it did not interfere with what your real thinking was because you had one idea and that was you were going to make it.

Rommel's forces quickly overwhelmed the Americans whose armour proved no match for German Panders. Some soldiers called allied tanks 'Ronson's',

after the cigarette lighter. For their propensity to burst instantly into flame when hit. Stuka dive-bombers screamed down upon the Americans. Some men held, others panicked. Survivors fled westward across the open plain. They would not stop for 50 miles.

MAN: They didn't know what the hell they were doing. Guys had never been under fire before, and when they got hit they did not know what to do and they retreated. And they had terrible leadership. It was chaos. War is always chaos. The commander of the American troops there was a visible coward. He built a headquarters for himself in a rock chamber some 20 miles back from the line, with the argument he could communicate better from there. So, he was appalling. After beating back two American counterattacks, the Germans poured westward through the Kasserine Pass, gateway to Algeria, threatening the Allies' main supply base at Tebessa. GUNSHOT

In two weeks of fighting, 6000 Americans were lost.

45 soldiers from little town of Red Oak, Iowa, were killed or reported missing. A third of those who lived were victims of neuro-psychiatric disorders brought on by the first experience of battle for which they were totally unprepared. 2400 surrendered.

"The Americans simply did not know how to fight", a British commander said,

"and if they didn't learn quickly they will play no useful part "whatsoever in the invasion of Europe". General Eisenhower agreed. "Our operations to date," he confided grimly to a friend, "Will be condemned in their entirety by all war college classes "for the next 25 years". The correspondent, Ernie Pyle, was with the troops and struggled to make sense of what he had seen. MAN: You folks at home must be disappointed at what happened to our American troops at Tunisia. Personally I feel that some such setback as this, tragic though it is for many Americans for whom it is now too late, is not entirely a bad thing for us. It is alright to have a good opinion of yourself but we Americans are so smug with our cockiness

we somehow feel that just because we are Americans we can whip our weight in wildcats. MAN: But I think every ground war has to begin that way, because what's going to happen to people is so unthinkable. It is only after you have been in it a little while that you are capable enough to understand what's happening well enough, to do well at it.

And you have to do well at it. The Americans pulled themselves together. Air strikes staggered the German advance.

American artillery moved in to hammer German tank columns with howitzer shells. The enemy was running out of ammunition, food, gasoline, while the Allies were well supplied with everything they needed to keep fighting.

Fearing a counterattack, Rommel pulled back through the Kasserine Pass.

Eisenhower replaced his inept commander where with a major general named George S. Patten who would transform the beleaguered second corps into a determined, capable force. MAN: It was purely a matter of pattern, using different tactics to beat them suckers, that's what it amounted to. We had done so poorly towards Rommel's forces

that next time around we done it right.

Now the Allies pushed forward, surrounding the German and Italian armies on Cape Bon in northern Tunisia.

On May 12, after three more months of fighting, the last Axis troops in North Africa surrendered, 250,000 men. The lessons the Allies had learned had come hard.

76,000 men had been lost, including Captain Richard Aldridge, a flyer from Mobile, who was reported missing, and Private Charles Mann from Luverne, who had been wounded in the neck by shrapnel. MAN: I bled like a stuck hog. If that had been an inch higher or lower, I would have had it. The prolonged six-month campaign in North Africa had forced the Allies to postpone the planned invasion of France once again. From August, until Spring of the following year. But the Allies had proven they could work together toward victory. And the inexperienced Americans were beginning to learn how to fight. MAN: The most vivid change in our men, is the casual and workshop manner in which they now talk about killing. They had made the psychological transition from the normal belief that taking human life is sinful, over to a new professional outlook, where killing is a craft. To them now, there is nothing morally wrong about killing. In fact, it is admirable thing. So you at home need never be ashamed of our American fighters. The greatest disservice you folks at home can do for our men over here is to believe we are at last "over the hump". For actually - and over here we all know it - the worst is yet to come. Ernie Pyle. UPBEAT MUSIC MAN: An army of 150,000 men, women and children invaded an American city. Whites, Negroes, Indians, Creoles, Cajuns. They came from every corner of the land, their roots in every curve of the globe. Moscow, Indiana, Warsaw, North Dakota, Hamburg, California,

Milan, Missouri, Baghdad, Kentucky. Some came out of patriotism, some out of grim necessity, some for a richer life. All came to do a war job. This could be any one of 100 great American war centres. It happens to be Mobile, Alabama but the story is the same in every war town in America. The chronic unemployment that had eaten at Mobile and every other American town for a decade during the Depression - was over.

UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS Idle factories were back in business. Mass-production was an American invention but now it reached levels it's inventors could never have imagined. Nearly all manufacturing was converted to the war effort. In 1941, more than 3,000,000 cars had been manufactured in the United States. Only 139 more were made during the entire war. Instead, Chrysler made fuselages. General Motors made aeroplane engines, guns, trucks and tanks. And at its vast Willow Run plant at Ypsilanti, Michigan, 67 acres of assembly lines under a single roof that one observer called the "Grand Canyon" of the mechanised world. The Ford Motor Company performed something like a miracle, 24 hours a day.

The average Ford car had some 15,000 parts. The B-24 Liberator long-range bomber had 1,550,000 parts. One came off the line at Willow Run every 63 minutes.

If the American military wasn't yet quite equal to the Germans or the Japanese, American workers would soon be able to build ships and planes faster than the enemy could sink them or shoot them down.

By the end of the war, more than one half of all the industrial production in the world

would take place in the United States. Mobile was among the fastest growing of all American war towns. Even before the war began, powerful Democratic congressman, Frank Boykin, landed his city a $26,000,000 defence contract that transformed the municipal airport into Brookley Field, a major Army Air Force supply depot and bomber modification centre, that provided 17,000 civilian jobs. In 1940, Gulf Ship Building had had 240 employees. By 1943, it had 11,600. In the same period Alabama Dry Dock went from 100 workers to almost 30,000.

They included Hank Williams, the future country music star, and the parents of future home-run hitter Hank Aaron.

MAN: It was seven days a week and during the war, when it was so strong it was 12-hour days, five days a week. 10 hours on Saturday, 8 hours on Sunday. You felt like you'd had a week off. It was such an influx of people that you got on each other's nerves.

And there weren't enough watering holes to entertain everybody. So they get out and have fights and drink and all that kind of stuff. African Americans streamed into Mobile from all over the South in search of defence work and a fresh start. They found both. But they also found the same kind of discrimination they had known at home. MAN: Mobile was a pretty fair-minded city,

and before this time, whites and blacks got along pretty good, as long as they had the status quo. But when blacks began to get homes, to buy homes

and to ride in big cars, um, it turned some people off. The policemen would stop you and give you a ticket. My cousin got a ticket for driving 16m/h in a 15-mile zone. RADIO ANNOUNCER: 150,000 people, 10 full military divisions, the civilian equivalent of Rommel's entire African army bivouacked without warning in the narrow confines of one peaceful southern city. Less than three years ago you might have walked blocks in Mobile without encountering a person. Today you stop to scratch your head and a line forms behind you. No wonder there is such chaos and congestion of traffic. WOMAN: Mobile became so crowded in six months,

that people were living in vacant lots, they put up tents in vacant lots. People went into the boarding houses

and one room would hold as many as four men. They would sleep for so many hours, get up and leave the bed,

go to work and another man would take the bed. MAN: This was a neighbourhood grocery store. These girls, welders, checkers and machinists. Emma Belle Petcher was from the tiny town of Millry, Alabama.

Most of her girlfriends had taken secretarial jobs once they had gotten out of high school. But Emma Belle, like her father, loved to take things apart. WOMAN: I always fixed my own appliances at home growing up. The washing machine got a nail in the pump, I took the pump apart, took the nail out of the housing of the pump, and you know, I didn't have the patience to call in a repair man who would call maybe three days later and not tell you morning or evening. So I would empty the washing machine, turn it upside down, take the screwdrivers - I knew how to do all this stuff. So I packed my little cardboard suitcase, got on the bus and went to Mobile. So they put me in a school to learn aeroplane accessories. That was starters, generators, alternators, and some other things! So we did those parts, just those little, um, instruments over and over and over until graduation. We had to almost put them together blindfold. Petcher breezed through all her tests and got a job working on aeroplanes. By 1943, 6,000,000 women had entered the workforce and nearly half of them were working in defence plants. 'Life' magazine paid tribute to the mythical "Rosie the Riveter"

as neither drudge nor slave, but the heroine of a new order.

In Mobile, 2500 women worked at Alabama Dry Dock.

1120 at Gulf Ship Building, and 750 at Brookley Field, where Emma Belle Petcher worked her way up to inspector, responsible for quality control.

WOMAN: You would be assigned x number of planes

to be responsible for. I was to inspect the torque in the screws in the wings and go into the gas tanks and crawl up in the wings with a flashlight. Well, I was so conscientious I just didn't make the mistakes. WOMAN: I worked at the government nursery school which was downtown in Christchurch, Bragbury. And we had the children of the women that worked in the shipyards. "Rosie the Riveter" would come bring her child in all of her headgear and togs that she did her riveting in, and drop her precious little baby off and go down and work all day and come back at 5 o'clock and pick the child up. MAN: In the story of Mobile, there is the story of every American war town.

MAN: Dearest Mum and family, I am feeling fine. And I hope to hear the same from all of you, always. I am at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia. I would have called you up, but there are no public telephones at the camp and I feel bad that I didn't call Mamma

but I felt for sure I would go to New York or Massachusetts. I would have done anything in the world to have been home that weekend. From here I do not know where we are going, and when we are going, but I am almost positive it is overseas. There is nothing to worry about, because I will not see action for a long time. The war will be over soon. Love, Babe. MAN: To the War Department, Washington DC. Can you furnish me with the exact status of my two sons, Walter Weinzheimer and Conrad Ludwig Weinzheimer who were American citizens but resided in the Philippines at the outbreak of the war, stop. Are they military or civilian prisoners? Dead or alive? Or missing? Stop. Such information is urgently needed. Ludwig Weinzheimer, Thornton Farms, Thornton California.

Ludwig Weinzheimer was a well-to-do farmer in the Sacramento Valley. Just before Pearl Harbour,

his daughter-in-law had written to him from Manila asking him if his sons and their families including his granddaughter, Sascha, shouldn't come home to California. War seemed very close. The old man told them all to stay where they were.

"The rumours of war were exaggerated," he said. Now, filled with guilt, he was frantic to find out what had happened to his two sons and their families. He wrote to everyone he could think of, old friends, the Red Cross, the War Department, the State Department. In October, the State Department told him the family had been reported to be in the Santa Tomas internment camp in Manila, but it could provide no further information. GIRL: On February 15, 1943, a few days after my 10th birthday we moved into the Santa Tomas camp. We left Mila, our ama, crying loudly.

After bowing to the sentry on duty, we went through the gate, where Daddy was waiting for us. Sascha Weinzheimer. For almost 14 months after Manila fell to the Japanese, Sascha Weinzheimer, her mother, her sister, Doris

and her younger brother, Buddy had managed to stay out of the camp the Japanese had established for foreign civilians

on the campus of Santa Tomas University on the city's outskirts. But after Sascha reported having seen Japanese soldiers drowning a small Filipino boy, her mother decided they would be safer in the prison than outside it.

Their father had been in prison there for more than a year, so long, that his young son no longer recognised him. There were now some 4000 prisoners at Santa Tomas,

American and British, Dutch and Norwegian, Polish and French. Immediately the Japanese did not want to have anything to do with us. They were not going to feed us, they were not going to follow the Geneva Convention rules so you were left to fend for yourself. The Philippine Red Cross provided rice. Filipino friends of the internees passed canned foods and fresh vegetables through the fence. Families were permitted to build themselves bamboo shanties with palm leaves for roofs in which to spend the day. At night they were herded into crowded dormitories in the main building. Everyone was assigned a job. GIRL: It was funny to see bank presidents and other men like that cleaning toilets and garbage cans. Mother had toilet duty four times a week. There were all kinds of people in camp. Some were hard workers, like Daddy, others were gripers who liked to talk lot and gold bricks who didn't do anything at all. The prisoners organised churches, schools, police, even a morality patrol meant to keep teenagers from disappearing together into dark corners. Your world becomes very small, and you don't think beyond your little environment. Because, everything that is important to you is right there it is not in the States, it's not back at the plantation,

its's right there. with what you can, So you have to make do in this small sphere. from the lines in tin the cans GIRL: We got our chow then we would eat in our shanty what happened and mother said no matter with a table cloth we would eat off our bridge table and a small bowl of flowers with our coloured dishes

so long as we could. Sascha Weinzheimer. JAPANESE ARMY ORDERS

the Japanese when we were captured MAN: We didn't know anything about much about us. and they didn't know anything their language. We most certainly didn't know to be compelled or made, And to be able know what the order was, obey an order that you didn't even a misunderstanding or not any idea on you maybe surviving. and this depending the Bataan Death March Glenn Frazier had endured Camp O'Donnell in the Philippines, and weeks of imprisonment at so unlikely where survival had seemed into a mass grave he had thrown one of his dog tags

of many of his fellow prisoners. that held the bodies if they were ever recovered That way, he thought, would find some comfort his family back in Alabama had happened to him. in knowing what to take Guadalcanal, As the Marines had struggled all the way to Japan Frazier was shipped camp near Osaka. to a prisoner-of-war gave us was like a serial number. MAN: The number that the Japanese (says the number Japanese), And mine was 632, clothes, and they put it on your saying "632", you had a little black mark and I was part of your records.

the way through my days in Japan. And I kept that number all and his fellow prisoners The commandant told Frazier as guests of the Emperor. they would be treated well, They were not. they had was rotten. What little food Barracks were unheated. into 10-man shooting squads. The prisoners were divided he and all the would be shot. If one member tried to escape, and nearly died. Frazier developed double pneumonia All the prisoners were made to work in Japanese foundries or on the docks loading and unloading ships. they walked to and from the docks. Small children jeered and cursed as for having surrendered Calling them cowards rather than fight to the death. Guards beat the prisoners regularly of rules could prove fatal. and the smallest infraction

coming back from a detail that day One day I was walking,

and the weather was cold on the streets of Osaka and I put my hands in my pocket with everybody else. and I am walking along and they checked us in, When we got the camp and called me out and said, this guard pointed me out

in your pocket?" "Why did you have your hands I said, "Because I was cold", office and the interpreter says, so they took me in the commander's "That is against the military code. "Soldiers do not walk with hands in pockets" And I said, "Well, I am not a soldier, I am a prisoner-of-war".

So the commander banged his fist on the desk, he was a major, and got up and he says,

The interpreter says, "He don't like your attitude". So he come up an started arguing with me.

And I couldn't understand anything he said. and he said, So he pulled his saber out an example of you, "He was going to make they have to obey orders." "so the other men would understand here and nicked me a bit So he puts the sword to my throat of blood coming out and I could feel a little bit "He's going to execute you". so the interpreter said, if I had any last words to say So he asked me in the eye and I said, and I looked him straight but he can't the kill my spirit, "He can kill me, in his body and haunt him "my spirit is going to lodge "until the day he dies". He had a frown come over his face and lowered his sword and took three steps backward and ordered me to be put in 5x5x5 cubicle in the ground. I had never seen a Japanese backdown in front of any of his subordinates until that particular time, because once they got to that point, they went through with it. Regardless of the results.

MAN: Luverne, Minnesota. All of us use the phrase, "After the war" so much it almost becomes meaningless. he thinks of new tyres, The motorist uses it when to drive as fast a new model car and the right and as far as he pleases.

the words are not often spoken, But for all of us, although you boys come home. it means the day when if you had witnessed it, It means, as we did this week, a portion of a little drama and the wild gladness the ecstatic happiness of family reunions. of thousands weary uniformed man The other morning an unshaven, ribbons on his breast with a stream of gaily coloured and was driven to his home. slipped off the morning train Instead of going in the front way, he went around the back, unnoticed, probably he just wanted to feast his eyes on home.

His children were watching at the front, their noses almost boring holes in the window panes, as they watched of a sign of Daddy. Nobody needs to describe their shrieks of joy when he walked in from the back door to surprise them. If you could have seen them later, hanging onto his hands for dear life could hold him home forever, as though they a bit misty yourself. you could not have helped getting Rock County, 'Star Herald'. Al McIntosh, in Luverne, MAN: I think particularly there was this general feeling of we are doing the right thing we are in the right, we are doing collectively, and all of the things that a lot of people together. has sort of brought It was a totally different feeling can ever be duplicated, ever. that I do not think could have that sense of oneness I just don't think that you that we had when we were growing up. At home and overseas, Americans were slowly, sometimes painfully, learning to work together, but President Roosevelt warned the country in the Summer of 1943, "It's not too much to say that we must pour into this war "the entire strength and intelligence and willpower "of the United States, before victory could be won". Closed Captions by CSI

This program is not subtitled



When the '60s arrived, took place in Australia. many cultural changes baby boomers got their P-plates. One that had an impact was that was mobile Australia's biggest generation and ready for adventure. to explore the coast, So the surfers headed north in search for the perfect wave. This is Crescent Head, greatest surfing breaks. one of Australia's I surfed it about 40-odd years ago. change my life the way it has. I had no idea it would from local surfers I first heard of Crescent around the Dee Why area in the north shore. And then I started coming here with a few people in their cars. I wasn't driving, but I was riding in the boot or somewhere like that, luxuriously. The water here was just beautiful and warm, crystal clear. 300-yard ride on the point,

really consistent waves.

We just surfed all day, every day. It was nonstop. With the publication of Bob Evans' surfing magazines,

Crescent Head became a magnet for surfers looking for perfection. Then Evans made films of class surfers in Australia. at class surfing locations international surfing stars These films made 'Midget' Farrelly and Crescent Head. out of the likes of Nat Young, To get up to here, the highway was pretty bad at the time and it was an eight-hour grind. of the trek north Crescent was the first place and camping equipment and whatever. with all the gear

entail taking any fancy clothes The safari north really didn't or anything. in their boardies and wetsuits The guys lived and pots and pans, maybe to cook with, and it was all pretty basic. They would sleep here and... ..just surf themselves stupid and, uh, and then head further north to places like Angourie and Byron. And a little bit further down the track, Noosa was discovered as well.

The beauty the surfers saw then is the same that we see today. But the places they rested their boards and draped their towels are now attracting holiday-makers from all over the world. Crescent was such a magic place in those early days. It was...had a real country feel to it, number one. There were some post and rail fences right in town here and the local people were rural, they were real farmers and cattle people.

Is that going to fit? Is that OK? Yeah. It's fine. Is that alright? I came up here about 27 years ago and bought some acres with my brother, which we still own along the road here. And, uh, we settled on the property and I built a factory and it's still operational, we're still doing boards there.

Movement out of the big cities by the people of my generation - we were really the first ones to up and just pack up and go and give it a go. I think they have just contributed no end to the ongoing future of Crescent Head and all along the coast and, uh, they've stayed, their families are grown up now

and they're spending their futures here as well. You know, you're not meant to tell people your secret surf spot. But the jewel in the crown is still Crescent Head. I had a French guy here last year and he was here for about six weeks and he just couldn't believe how good it was. And he was just living in the back of his car. They're coming here because this place is just such a darn nice place, with heaps and heaps of waves and, uh, lovely weather, beautiful, clean water. And, uh, what more can you ask for?

The Gare Saint-Lazare - Paris. In 1933 something was captured near here by artist and photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Armed with a revolutionary new camera, he shot a moment. This moment. It took only a fraction of a second to bag, but came to be known as 'a decisive moment', now the most familiar concept in all of photography. It's a strategy that has illuminated photography's potential for all of us. In Germany, that same year, Hitler's Nationalist Socialist Party enjoyed its own moment. Within six years 'The Decisive Moment' and 'The Historical Moment' would collide on the battlefields of Europe. The result would be iconic images of war by legendary photojournalists

like Robert Capa. Photojournalism was born in the chaos of modern warfare. But when the fighting finally stopped, the question remained of just how good photography had been at explaining what all the blood and suffering had been about. We thought that was the world. Now, we've realised there were a lot of myths in that. Trusting the photograph was probably a huge mistake from the beginning.


This is Henri Cartier-Bresson, the godfather of photojournalism. From the early 1930s he prowled the streets snapping moments, fleeting action that found its perfect expression and true meaning through the content and composition of the picture. Bresson, a surrealist sympathiser, always maintained that he was first and foremost a painter. But his decisive moments transformed the face of photography. MAN: Bresson's pictures were about being in the right place at the right time. He could step into a space and see the theatrical possibilities. It might be at the top of a flight of stairs that wended their down to the street below. And he had a sense, "If I hang out here, someone's gonna bike along." He understood that into this space life will come.