This film is part of Free

Britain and Peace; G-Men of the Sea

An exhortation to Britain to stand up to the Nazi threat is paired with a reconstruction of a US Coastguard operation against gun smugglers.

Anthology 1938 23 mins


A suspiciously large number of padlocks on a garage door arouse the suspicion of undercover agents in this reconstruction of an US coastguard operation to catch gun-runners. And would the English rather have a cup of tea than go to war? The provocative suggestion of complacency is balanced by some judicious flattery: in 1938, Britain is ‘the one nation Hitler does not want to fight’.

A tightly edited narrative in which reconstructed scenes are combined with real footage (of Haile Selassie, Hitler, Mussolini and Chamberlain) warns a pragmatic nation of shopkeepers, tea-drinkers and churchgoers of the dangers of complacency. Shots of people drinking tea and relaxing on the beach intercut with footage of Hitler entering Austria typify March of Time’s provocative style. The quotation from Mein Kampf to show the Nazi threat was a tactic the newsreel had used before in ‘Nazi Conquest No. 1’. This story was made for the British edition and was not shown in the USA.