Two Down and One to Go

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Two Down and One to Go was a short propaganda film produced in 1945; as its title might suggest, its overall message was that the first two Axis powers, Italy and Germany, had been defeated, but that one, Japan, still had to be dealt with.

Presented by the Secretary of War (Henry Stimson) and narrated by Army Chief of Staff George Marshall, the film is notable for its heavy use of animated graphics, spliced with stock footage. Opening with a fasces being splintered over Italy, and a swastika being exploded over Germany, the film cuts to an Arthur Szyk caricature of Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler and Hideki Tōjō, an X being superimposed on the respective dictators, then turning to Tojo. Gen. Marshall informs the audience why the United States had chosen a Europe first strategy for the war, noting the supply lines where far shorter for Europe, and that the US simply did not have the material, in the early stages of the war, to launch an invasion of Japan. He also notes that in the European theatre the US had strong fighting Allies and airbases in England which could help them launch an attack on Germany, while in the Pacific theatre we had "no airbases near Japan, and no strong allies, however brave".

The general ends the film by reminding the audience that the war cannot be won until Japanese military might is "completely crushed".

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