Major battles of World War II are recounted in depth.
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2004   2001   1995   Unknown  

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Jonathan Booth ...
 Narrator (6 episodes, 2001-2004)
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Storyline

Six two hour programs describing the pivotal confrontations of World War II (France, Britain, Midway, Stalingrad, Normandy and Berlin). Each conflict is placed in the larger context of the global situation. Strategy and tactics are described in detail with excellent graphics. Archival footage from several sources includes rare film from the Moscow archives. Written by Raymond Clay <banquosa@concentric.net>

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3 July 1995 (USA)  »

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Balanced, Respectful, and Detailed Historical Presentation
17 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This series is an exceptionally superb telling of a history that still is often told with the same type of propagandistic bias found in newsreels of the 1940's and 1950's. The text of the series, and the wonderfully even-toned yet captivating narration, gives a mood of relaxed academic instruction without strident interjections. For those who like history presented in a thorough, balanced, and entertaining manner, this series is exactly what you are looking for.

The series does what it says: a firm focus on those factors affecting the battlefield. Political events are ignored, except those which had a direct impact on tactical considerations. This limiting of scope allows an even greater detail of the battles themselves to be revealed. Instead of a rehash of broad details of battles such as Stalingrad, and how it was a German blunder; we get a complete account of WHY the battle occurred, WHO was involved, WHAT happened and with a full detail of the men, units, and equipment used by each side.

Thankfully, there is a refreshing lack of bias in this series. There is no stupid narration talking about "Nazi tanks advancing". A respectful and accurate "German tanks advancing" is used instead. After all these men were, in the main, courageous and skilled soldiers just like those of any nation. They were fighting for their homes and nation just as surely as the British or the Soviets, and the fanatical excesses of the Nazi party were far from their minds and intentions. Similarly, we don't hear of any "Communist Hordes" repelling invasion. The Soviet armed forces, just like the German and British, and spoken of in factual, academic terms. In all cases, national tendencies and superiorities are detailed in a factual, detailed manner, almost as if a Martian were explaining true human history.

This is a war documentary that is actually soothing in its sonic presentation. The historical film is not presented with blaring explosive noises. The soundtrack is a brilliantly composed piece that creates an ambient effect to background the film and narration, with well-timed moments of change and progression and the story unfolds. The overall effect is one of peering through a portal of time to see what happened, while a unbiased professor elaborates on all the fascinating things we see occurring. This is an ideal way to understand History.


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