31 Dec 1941. Japanese newsreels

Submitted by David on Mon, 12/30/2013 - 19:19

Update, 10 Jan 2019: The clips listed below are no longer online, but Moddsey has found another, similar set:

May not be in the same sequence as listed but the contents are similar as seen here:  https://www.criticalpast.com/stock-footage-video/1941+hong+kong

The following newsreel clips aren't dated, but they'd likely have reached Japan soon after the British surrendered.

Newsreel #1http://www.t3licensing.com/license/clip/750146_003.do?assetId=clip_29275934

  • 0:00 - Titles
  • 0:05 - Japanese soldiers marching alongside river. Location unknown
  • 0:15 - Japanese soldiers marching along dirt track. Location unknown
  • 0:20 - Japanese soldiers in vegetation. Location unknown
  • 0:23 - Japanese firing field gun. Location unknown
  • 0:29 - British and Indian POWs being marched down a hillside track. The same group of men are shown in in one of the photos on the cover of Tony Banham's "We shall suffer there". He identifies them as "British and Indian POW's captured at Shing Mun". The Japanese captured the Shing Mun redoubt on 10th December.
  • 0:40 - Sign shows "Tai Po Road". Caterpillar-tracked vehicle tows trailers with Japanese troops on board.
  • 0:48 - Japanese troops on slope consult documents. Buildings in background. Location unknown.
  • 0:50 - Japanese sentry. Long, deserted road in background. Kowloon?
  • 0:53 - Column of Japanese troops march along deserted road. Kowloon?
  • 0:58 - Column of Japanese troops, led by flag-bearer and officer on horseback, march along deserted road. Kowloon?
  • 1:05 - Another column of marching Japanese Troops, but accompanied by a European wearing a Tam-o-shanter. Who was he? In Kowloon?
  • 1:11 - Column of Japanese troops march along deserted road. Collection of single-deck buses in background. Kowloon?
  • 1:18 - Japanese soldier in vehicle hands out paper (money?) to civilians
  • 1:21 - Crowded street. Vehicle with loudspeakers on the roof. Japanese throwing papers from vehicle to crowd.
  • 1:26 - Japanese "Peace Mission", including Mrs Lee and her dachshunds setting off from the Harbour View Hotel in Kowloon. This happened on 13th December.
  • 1:38 - Japanese troops looking across waterway through binoculars. Location unknown.
  • 1:42 - Ships at sea. Location unknown.
  • 1:51 - Several shots of Japanese troops crowded onboard a ship, and ships underway. Location unknown.
  • 2:23 - Guns on larger Japanese ship, and guns firing. Location unknown.
  • 2:29 - View of harbour. Location unknown.
  • 2:32 - Ship guns firing again.
  • 2:33 - Aerial view of Stonecutters' Island. Smoke rising from western end of island.
  • 2:37 - Japanese planes flying in formation
  • 2:42 - View of Mount Davis from north, showing clouds of smoke rising from its slopes. Probably after bombing by plane, given previous view.
  • 2:46 - Aerial view of unknown location
  • 2:50 - Japanese seaplane in flight.
  • 2:53 - Ships at sea. I guess these are Allied ships, trying to avoid being bombed.
  • 3:01 - Aerial view of Taikoo dockyards
  • 3:07 - Aerial view of north shore of Hong Kong Island. Pans across, Causeway Bay, the Typhoon shelter, and the clouds of smoke rising from the blazing APC oil tanks at North Point.

Newsreel #2http://www.t3licensing.com/license/clip/977064_003.do?assetId=clip_29636974

  • 0:00 - The first section duplicates film from Newsreel #1, with some additiona shots of Japanese soldiers onboard ship.
  • 2:13 - Japanese troops crouching behind rubble, then running. It looks as though there are tram power lines in the view, so it should be on Hong Kong island.
  • 2:17 - Japanese soldiers run across the frame carrying a box of shells then firing a field gun from behind sandbags. Location looks to be Kowloon, facing Hongkong island.
  • 2:27 - Japanese troops run across area behind wire fence, and climb a large crane marked "Babcock & Wilcox". Would this be at the Hung Hom dockyards?
  • 2:34 - Smaller cranes, with billowing smoke in the background. Probably the APC tanks at North Point.
  • 2:38 - Japanese soldiers run up seawall with smoke billowing behind them. APC tanks at North Point again?
  • 2:47 - Large area of oil on fire.
  • 2:51 - Oil tanks on fire. 
  • 3:04 - Pall of smoke hangs over building.
  • 3:10 - A view of some large equipment I don't recognise
  • 3:14 - British bunkers, showing damage from fighting
  • 3:19 - Japanese officers looking at wrecked British ships
  • 3:37 - Crowd of British POWs in Statue Square. They look to be from the Navy. 
  • 3:58 - This shows the Japanese victory parade, which happened on the 29th December. It begins with planes flying in formation along the north shore of HK island, shown from the air and from the ground.
  • 4:24 - Japanese officers on horseback ride towards Central, following the tram line past the Cricket Club and the Supreme Court building. Japanese troops line the street.
  • 4:30 - The parade moves along a different section of road that I don't recognise.
  • 4:36 - View of the troops lining the route. Location unknown.
  • 4:38 - The parade passes buglers. Location unclear.
  • 4:42 - The parade moves along a different section of road that I don't recognise.
  • 4:49 - The parade moves along DVRC. The P&O building is visible in the centre of view.
  • 4:57 - The parade continues west along DVRC. The Gloucester building is visible in the centre of view.
  • 5:02 - Japanese soldiers with the boxes containing the ashes of their fallen comrades. Location looks like the Queen's Road E / Hennessy Road junction.
  • 5:06 - Final view west along tram lines, Jardine House on left, GPO on right.

Newsreel #3http://www.t3licensing.com/license/clip/750147_005.do?assetId=clip_29275935

  • 0:00 - Titles
  • 0:05 - View down Kowloon peninsula with Hongkong island in background. Smoke rising from several locations.
  • 0:10 - Japanese soldiers climb up sea wall and run inland
  • 0:17 - unclear
  • 0:20 - Japanese soldiers run out from shelter of building
  • 0:24 - View of harbour. Location unknown.
  • 0:27 - Japanese tanks. They look to be driving east along King's Road, with the chimneys of the North Point power station in the background.
  • 0:34 - Indian POWs and western civilians walking past the Commercial Press building in North Point.
  • 0:42 - View of sunken wrecks in the harbour. Hung Hom dockyards in the distance.
  • 0:45 - A plume of water rises from an explosion in the harbour.
  • 0:48 - A small boat races along the harbour under fire. Possibly one of the British MTBs?
  • 0:57 - Japanese planes in sky, and shell-bursts from anti-aircraft fire
  • 1:01 - Camouflaged Japanese soldiers looking through binoculars
  • 1:04 - Japanese artillery team firing field gun. Location unknown.
  • 1:09 - View of artillery shells exploding near their target. Looks like British fortification, but location unknown.
  • 1:11 - Camouflaged Japanese soldier looking through range finder.
  • 1:13 - Japanese artillery firing.
  • 1:20 - Smoke rising from built-up area. Location unknown.
  • 1:22 - Smoke rising from built-up area. Looks like the Naval dockyard.
  • 1:25 - View west along North shore of Hongkong island
  • 1:30 - Remainder of newsreel is a Japanese man reading an announcement.

Thanks to contributor Moddsey for providing the links to these clips. If you can add any details to the scenes - eg identify people, locations, or equipment - please let us know in the comments below.

Regards, David

Date(s) of events described


These links no longer work, and the website t3licensing.com looks to be out of business. If anyone knows the new location for these videos, please let us know in the comments below.

I found out where some scenes from Newsreel 1 were shot.

0:20-0:23 : Japanese observers and field artillery firing at Shatin from Kao Tao near Tai Po.

0:05 : Japanese infantry marching up Sha Lo Tung Hills.