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The viewed print contained no onscreen credits. According to a December 1943 article in PM (Journal), this World War II documentary, which was commissioned by the U.S. War Department and features American newsreel footage and footage of film captured from the enemy side, was based on a report by Major General George V. Strong, Assistant Chief of Staff. The article noted that War Department Report marked the first time in history that the high command of the American armed forces made an official report to the country on the strength of the enemy, and that the release of the picture was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The War Department, according to PM (Journal), commissioned the film in response to urgings by labor leaders who believed the findings in the War Department reports were important and would interest a larger audience. Although a telegram contained in the AMPAS Library production files notes that the film was "released to its intended audience [on] December 7 1943," no other evidence has been found to indicate that the film was distributed for public viewing. According to a December 1943 Los Angeles Times article, War Department Report was a "restricted government film" that was previewed before a "limited audience" on December 20, 1943 at the Ambassador Theater in Los Angeles. The article also notes that the film was intended for showing primarily to war plant workers. The picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.