This Walt Disney film taught World War II soldiers how to use an anti-tank rifle

Before Lady met Tramp and Captain Jack Sparrow was dependent on rum, Walt Disney Productions’ humble beginnings included informational videos.

Amazingly, one of these educational videos was a theatrical short on how to effectively operate a high-calibre rifle used to take down tanks.

Developed in 1942, “Stop That Tank!” was a 22 minute instructional film produced by Walt Disney Productions in partnership with the National Film Board of Canada.

In it, a cartoon rendition of a prancing Adolf Hitler breaks the monotony of the forthcoming chore: sitting through another instructional film that the soldiers would soon be watching. Afterwards, Disney’s signature vintage mix of using actual characters, cartoons, and a narrator, provide detailed instructions on the proper techniques of using the rifle — such as loading, aiming, firing, and cleaning.

The rifle mentioned in the film happened to be a Mk.1 “Boys Anti-Tank Rifle” that was originally manufactured in Britain. Weighing in at 36 pounds, this monstrous .55 calibre rifle .55 —  slightly reminiscent of Barrett’s M82 — stood at 63.5 inches tall and had a 36 inch barrel.

Here’s what the film’s animation looked like:



Watch the entire video below:

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