Prelude to War was the first entry in the US War Department's Why We Fight series, a group of seven morale-boosing documentaries supervised by Lt. Col. Frank Capra. As brilliantly assembled as any of Capra's "populist" Hollywood films, Prelude demonstrates how the diplomatic and political blunders made in the wake of WW1 led inexorably to WW2. Especially culpable are those complacent citizens of the USA who were led to believe that the problems of the rest of the world had no bearing on their lives. While America sleeps, Japan and Germany slowly and methodically build their armies and launch their plans for global conquest. Throughout the film, the lies of fascisim and totalitarinism are contrasted with the ideals of Democracy. Unlike most other War Department efforts, the 53-minute Why We Fight was shown to both civilian and military audiences.