Film: 1561

War + Military | 1930 | Silent | B/W


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Sinking of ship Panay in China 1930's

"Invasion in China". Medium shot of a top of a factory on the left hand side, there is a fire at the centre and dark grey smokes rises up in the air filling the sky, picture fades.
Words on the screen reads: "Irresitably the Japanese forces are moving westwards across China. At any moment some untoward "incident" might bring the western powers with interests in China, into this "undeclared" war of great and powerful nations."
Long shot of a city in China, there are some houses and some high chimney tops that are visible at a distance, at the left hand side of the screen an explosion takes place and smoke rises up to the sky. Change of view of the same explosion from another angle. Picture of Japanese soldiers, dressed in light coloured army uniform, they have two small bags that they wear across their shoulders as well as their rucksacks, marching. Closer shot of the march, all soldiers hold rifles on their right shoulder they are lined up into two lines and the march is taking place across a bend, there are grass in the background, very good clip for showing high spirited Japanese soldiers. Long shot of Japanese Cavalry unit, in columns of two, the men riding on horseback are advancing towards the camera. Countryside, a house can be seen at a distance in the background, near the camera, there is a road where Japanese soldiers line up in fours marching in a relaxed manner. A village/city, there is a lot of smoke in the air, there is a ruined building in the background, a horse is carrying a cart on which there is a driver, next to the driver a mini Japanese flag can be seen, the cart is full of supplies. A corner of a street, in the centre of the screen there are three Japanese soldiers firing a cannon, behind them there are more soldiers, in the background it is possible to see an empty, discarded shop with a wall poster saying "Ford Hire". A street in a city, a tank is positioned at a road, the street is deserted except some soldiers, who are poised to make an attack. Close shot of a ruined building, fire covers part of the house, front part has already finished burning, two soldiers emerge from bottom right hand side of the screen and cautiously advance to the building. More picture of some soldiers walking across a countryside. Medium shot of a part of a harbour, there are some ships at a distance, words come up on the screen which says, "twenty-five miles up river from Nanking the United States gunboat Pana lay at anchor to ensure the safety of her nationals". Picture fades.
Black and white map of China, the map shows China, Hong Kong, Formosa, part of Korea, bottom end of Japan, the map also marks the Yang Tie-Kiang river and the Yellow river, Nanking, Shanghai and Peking indicating the location in Yang Tee Kiang river, where "Panay" sunk. Shot of a blue sky with some clouds, there are three aeroplanes high up in the sky.
"Suddenly, out of a clear sky swooped Japanese bombing planes. One of the first bombs struck the "Panay" putting her engines out of action."
Shot of the sky, a Japanese aeroplane. View of the river taken from the ship, it is possible to see the iron structures of the ship near the camera, as a bomb drops to the sea water splashes high up in the air. Closer view of several splashes made by the shots going into water, on the opposite shore, there are only bushes. Picture of the sea, another shot is located nearby another ship. "With her Lewis guns the "Panay" offers determined resistance. Meanwhile casualties were carried below." Medium shot of a sailor shooting into the air with a gun attched to the side of the ship, he is wearing white shirt and dark trousers and is bending over to check his target. View of a part of the ship, where an injured person is looking over them. Close up of surface of the ship where the shot made a hole on the iron surface. Medium shot of the sailor arranging the weapons to shoot, another man with safety vest joins the sailor, he has managed to rescue an injured sailor who is then taken back into the ship. The plane up in the air. The sea with another big splash as the bomb drops in. Medium shot of the sailors aiming the guns. Picture of the sea, there is another ship close by.
"The Panay was doomed "abandon ship" was chalked on the deck by Lieut. Anders, wounded in the throat so unable to give the command."
Medium shot of the wounded captain. Medium shot of evacuation boat. Close shot of the wounded going on to the evacuation boat, a man has a large bandage over his head and blood has spilled everywhere soldiers help each other. Medium shot of the sea, the sun lights up the surfce of the sea, the rescue boat sails on.
"Back and fro between sinking ship and shore the Panay's launches crossed with the survivors," Long shot of the evacuation boat landing on shore, vegetation has grown high, "landing wounded on the swampy shore in a tangle of bamboo."
Long shot showing the wounded being lifted up to the shore from the boat. View of the sea, a survivor swims across." It is said that a Japanese launch machine gunned the sinking ship -- is this the launch?" Medium view of the evacuation boat advancing towards the camera, distant view of the Panay sinking into water. Surface of the ship, empty shells from machine guns scatter on the surface of the boat. Distant view of showing the sinking ship and the evacuation boat. Close up of the evacuation boat, two men with life vests stands. Distant view of Panay half in water. View of the river bank where bamboo has grown medium length. "Here amid the tangled bamboo lie the wounded. Sondro Sndrid, Italian journalist lies mortally stricken." A man in suit, dark hair with mustache bends over the wounded journalist. Medium shot of one of the soldier resting on ground in the bamboo bush, he smiles to the camera and waves to the camera. "Meanwhile, the "Panay" has sunk - the only remaining signs of the outrage are the buring oil tankers beached on the opposite shore. Long shot of a mountain in the background, sea and in the centre it is possible to see the Panay burning at a distance producing large grey smoke up into the sky.
"Then comes the weary task of evacuating dead and wounded overland to safety, in constant dread of further un-provoked attack." Medium shot of two men, bamboo covers the background, in the centre it is possible to see a shorter soldier dressed in dark uniform, supporting a sailor, who has been injured walk, the camera moves with the two men who walks over to another man, who is oriental, wears a life vest. Long shot of a part of a village in China, two injured people are being carried on stretchers the village is rural, there are several houses in view, the one in the centre has a white wall and roof made with hay. A square in the village, many injured men lied on stretchers that are placed on the ground, villagers dressed in traditional chinese attire view the injured people from a distance. Close side shot of one of the men who is dressed in dark clothes and has a dark cloth covering his head lighting his cigarette whilst he sits down on the stretcher, he looks over to the camera and smiles.
"Fron the Village of Hohsien by native boat to Nanshan -- 20 miles."
Mdeium shot of two native boats being stationed still in the river, from the river bank two wooden beams stretche across to the boat, there are more than 15 men who are standing on the boat carrying the injured on to the boat. Medium shot of four men placing the stretcher down, there are other men who are standing on the boat seeing what is happening. Close view, showing two injured men resting, there is a small roof above them, the background changes as the boat moves, at the bank four villagers move away. Close shot of another boat showing three men accompanying the injured, camera moves focus revealing more small river boats following.
"thence to Shanghai where safe from attacks of irresponsible Japanese airmen the survivors arrive at last." Long shot showing a boat arriving, it is going to station itself to another ship. View of three ships that are stationed. View of Shanghai and other boats in the distance from the ship. "From the United States crusier "Augusta" we watch the approach of H.M.S. Ladybird --which had previously been subject to attack - carrying the first of the survivors past the Japanese battleship "Idzumo", with her engine at half rest." British gunboats played part in the episode, which American vessels would have played had the positions been reversed." View of a ship in harbour. View of another ship. Close up, sailors lifting a box on to the ship. Shot of another ship. View of a coffin being lifted up to the larger ship, an american flag covers the coffin.
"Saluted by the American Navy, coffins are laid on the deck of the American flagship, while the international issue raised by the outrage of racks, the sentiments of law abiding nations." (?)
View of the coffin being lifetd on to the ship. Close shot showing coffin being lifted down by two sailors, while others watch. Sailors in columns. Six sailors lift the coffin up. View of the US flag, in the background it is possible to see Shanghai.
"As you may remember, Japan apologised." Close view of a Japanese official.
"It was great mistake. It was an unintentional and an unexpected occurrence. The Japanese Government and people wish to express their sincerest and profoundest regrets to the American Government and people on account of this deplorable incident." End of Film.

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