This film is part of Free

India at War

A compelling case for the involvement of the United States in Britain’s Indian Empire is made, in this comprehensive survey of the war effort in India.

Documentary 1942 19 mins


The second of a two-part March of Time issue on India released on successive months. While the first, India in Crisis, reviewed the factors causing disunity in India and the possibility of Japanese invasion, India at War analyses its existing contribution to the war effort. Japan’s rapid advance through Asia provides a re-framing of India as a ‘vital frontier’ for the US, with its defence deemed of paramount importance.

India’s contribution of armed forces is praised while its lack of equipment is emphasised, justifying US engagement in developing its manpower, resources and crucially, its existing heavy industry. Prominence is given throughout the issue to the price that should be paid to India for its involvement; that its citizens should live as ‘free men in an independent India.