Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive

The Case of the Tremendous Trifle

About this item

Description Addressed to "the men and women of American industry," the film tells the story of the Allies' targeting a strategic site for bombing in order to halt German industrial production. Introduced as the story of, "One of the thousands of unsung trifles that go into the making of our fighting weapons […] This the biography of one of those fragments, the life and death of a small steel ball." Dramatizations depict the strategic planning and intelligence gathering leading up to the bombing of the ball bearing manufacturers in Schweinfurt, Germany. In the U.S. a refugee of the concentration camps is contributes his knowledge of German industry. In the U.K. a captured German officer who formerly was a salesman for the bearing manufacturers is interrogated. Use of photo reconnaissance and spying is shown to aid in preparation for a precision bombing mission. Actual footage of preparations and execution of daytime bombing raids and combat illustrate the Schweinfurt mission. Concludes with assertions that recent Allied successes in battle could be attributed to the destruction of the bearing factories. Final narration addresses workers in the U.S. suggesting that the small "trifles" that make up industrial production will win the war for the Allies.
Creator United States Army Signal Corps
Date Issued 1944
Original Format 16mm
Duration 20:01
Color/Black & White B&W
Sound/Silent Sound
Nation of Origin U.S.
Geographic Coverage Schweinfurt-am-Main, Germany
Temporal Coverage August 17, 1943

October 14, 1943