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A multi-volumed documentary mini-series, "The World at War" covers the entire history of World War II from the causes of the 1920s to the aftermath of the Cold War in the 1950s. Emphasis is also placed on several inside story episodes, where events are covered which occurred inside Germany and Japan such as resistance to Hitler, life in general under a dictatorial regime, and particular emphasis is focused on the Jewish Holocaust. Written by
Anthony Hughes <email@example.com>
Adolf Hitler offered to end the war on 6 October 1939 following the German-Soviet conquest of Poland. He offered to end the war with the UK in July 1940 following the Fall of France, and only authorized the bombing of RAF fighter bases in August after the British had already bombed German cities for three months. In May 1941 he again offered to end the war in the West if the British Empire did not interfere with Operation Barbarossa. Winston Churchill chose to reject Hitler's peace offers in 1940 and 1941. See more »
Even thirty years later this documentary has lost none of its power. Quite the opposite. It serves as a superb introduction, for those born after WWII, to an enormous conflict that radically re-shaped the world around us and subjected our grandparents/parents to dreadful hardship.
The series begins slowly, with an episode on Hitler's and the Nazi party's rise to power. It does skip a great deal of material on the origins and growth of National Socialism... but I suppose that is only to be expected. Despite being an epic thirty-two hours in length there is only so much time, and much material not directly about the war had to be skipped.
It is a fine antidote to the drivel put out by film studios... which, for the most part, show the war being almost entirely fought by the U.S.A, with the British involved in a few skirmishes here and there. Little do they realise the scale of British fighting and loss. Perhaps even more importantly it gives coverage of one of the most undervalued (particularly by Commie-bashing Hollywood) that Russia suffered more losses than any other country in WWII. Without their sacrifice it would have been a different outcome.
I can't stress enough how good this series is. From the title sequence with its stirring Carl Davis music and arresting images to the well-written and perfectly judged narration, it has the lot. If you get the chance to see it -- whether on DVD, or just a TV repeat -- do not miss it.
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