A story showing the 3 allied leader's, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin's actions and relationships behind the scenes during World War 2. It isn't as friendly as it seems. Shows how close ...
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A story showing the 3 allied leader's, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin's actions and relationships behind the scenes during World War 2. It isn't as friendly as it seems. Shows how close the war was to favoring the axis if the Soviet Union joined forces with Hitler's Nazi's. Written by
This is another outstanding effort by the BBC, from the same producers of Nazis: A Warning From History, Auschwitz, Between the Wars, War of the Century et cet. Many of those interviewed in those earlier efforts are shown here. The actors performing the roles of these historic men are almost perfect, right down to Voroshilov and Beria. The first episode provides what should be the bombshell- the USSR and Nazis working together as partners to conquer Europe. However, I was dismayed to find absolutely nothing at all about Russia's aggression outside of Poland's borders; nothing at all about the so-called Winter War against an helpless Finland for which FDR in a speech in Feb. 1940 complained that Russia was no different to Germany; nothing about the invasion and annexation of the Baltic states. Nothing about Soviet action in Bessarabia which helped in no small part to convince Hitler once and for all to attack. As terrible as Russian atrocities are presented here, they get off lightly. No doubt Rees's book would cover this (I haven't picked up a copy yet) but thought, with four episodes, the first could have at least mentioned more. This is in the end a minor issue in comparison to the overall quality of the series. Nevertheless, overall I was dismayed by the total lack of mention of the Dieppe fiasco which had served as the preliminary to the second front. By omitting this event, the series fails to provide a balanced view of how Britain had in fact tried to carry it out before it was feasible. The war between the USSR and Japan was completely jettisoned; as Max Hastings pointed out in his outstanding book Retribution, the USSR fought its own war completely outside the US; it didn't end its war when the series states the war ended on August 15. By failing to mention the Soviet army's sacrifice, again we only see half the story. I feel too that the Poles, who were the the most aggressive of all European nations in attacking Vilnius, Teschen, Melma, Silesia, Russia, the Czechs again at Munich etc, were made out to be martyrs when the land that was taken from them by the Soviets had, after all, been stolen through acts of wantan aggression only the decade before. Finally, despite the title, the last episode goes beyond a discussion of the alliance against the Nazis, but far too little on the origins of the Cold War to justify such a diversion. No mention, at all, was made of the Fulton Speech of March 5, 1946. Nothing at all about the Marshall Plan or a real discussion of the Truman Doctrine before it. Berlin Blockade? NATO? Korea? Lacking such crucial events, I honestly can't understand why an episode was devoted post May 8 1945. Having six episodes with which to describe an alliance lasting less than four years, I was rather dismayed by how much was left out. One small quibble I also have is to the use of the 1960 US flag of 50 stars on the cover and in the titles; so much attention to detail is shown in these series that it seems glaring to me (and lazy and the part of the makers) that the flag of the United States is incorrect. One wouldn't use the current German flag to represent Nazi Germany... www.tracesofevil.com
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