The US War Department created an instructional film in the Second World War to teach American troops how to handle German infantry weapons in case their own issued guns were damaged on D-Day.
Released in 1944, it featured instructions on how to identify, operate and maintain enemy weapons such as the Karabiner 98K and the MG42 to allow troops to make use of any captured guns during the assault.
The 12-minute, black-and-white instructional movie was produced for US commandos and paratroopers to prepare for Operation Neptune, the assault phase of Operation Overlord, also known as the Normandy Landings.
More than 150,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy on 6 June 1944 and military leaders wanted to ensure the soldiers could quickly pick up and fight with any weapons they had to hand during the relentless fighting, including those captured from the enemy.
Produced by the Signal Corps Photographic Center, Issue No. 115 was titled Enemy Weapons – German Infantry Small Arms and showed service personnel using and disassembling weapons such as the standard German Army rifle and machine-guns.
The voiceover goes into great detail while following the action of the man disassembling a Karabiner 98K, saying: "The weapon may be disassembled by raising the knob and drawing the bolt backward.
"Pull out the retaining bolt lever on the left of the receiver and remove the bolt.
"With the firing pin cocked and the safety in a vertical position, unscrew the cocking head.
"Remove it and the firing pin assembly from the bolt, insert the firing pin in this hole in the stop, press down on the cocking piece until the firing pin head can be turned one half turn, then remove it next."
War Department Field manual 21-7, released in January 1945, details the hundreds of instructional videos that were made during WW2 and explains their overall aim, saying: "The purpose of films and film strips is to present military subjects in a vivid, interesting and accurate manner.
"They are designed as aids to teaching and learning. They supplement but do not supplant the work of instructors.
"By themselves, films have only limited value; however, when used in accordance with sound principles of military instruction by a resourceful instructor, they are invaluable."
However, the US War Department was keen to encourage the proper use of training films so as to not "endanger a training program", saying: "Soldiers can be expected to learn little from training films when they are marched into a hot classroom or recreation hall and forced to sit through the showing of a series of unrelated films for a prolonged period."
Military instructional films showing the sound principles of military training had many advantages.
For example, the Enemy Weapons video standardised the training, brought the demonstrations to the troops instead of bringing them back for training, and every man could see and hear all phases of an action that otherwise might only have been seen by those who were closest.