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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 and Benito Mussolini's decision to declare war on the United States on 11 December 1941 is described in the series as a mistake. However it is likely that it made no difference. As the UK had declared war on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor, all restrictions on aiding Britain were off. It would only have been a short matter of time until German and Italian U-Boats began sinking American ships that were carrying arms and munitions to the UK, giving the US government its casus belli to declare war on Germany and Italy. Hitler and Mussolini could no longer ignore the vast amount of economic and military aid the US was giving to the Soviet Union and the British Empire. Some historians believe that Germany and Italy should have declared war on the US after the Destroyers for Bases Agreement in 1940. The US had officially abandoned its neutral stance in March 1941 with the beginning of Lend-Lease. American destroyers escorting convoys had already been de facto at war for months with German U-boats in the Atlantic, and Hitler's war declaration made the Second Happy Time possible for U-boats. Early in December 1941 Hitler and Mussolini had learned of "Rainbow Five", plans for offensive operations by American forces against Axis forces in Europe and North Africa. It is disputed whether they were aware of the Plan Dog memorandum, which determined the US would focus on defeating Germany and Italy while fighting a defensive war in the Pacific against Japan. See more »
Although too young to remember the first showing of the series (being just a baby) I later caught repeats of it on television in the late 80's, just when I was getting interested in the war and all of its aspects. It was my grandfather who first showed me the series and also gave me my first interests, relating tales of his time in the Royal Navy at Malta and later in the Pacific. Since then I have devoured many books and seen many television series about the World War Two era, with mixed opinions. The British television stations are generally very good at producing these, as The World At War can easily attest, with many gems made by both the BBC and independent companies. I strongly recommend such titles as "The Nazis - A warning From History", "Blitz" and the BBC series about Dunkirk. "Britain At War In Colour", with its companion series "Japan", "Germany" and "America" are of a very high standard. The World At War is by far the best and, despite its age, never fails to deliver. There will always be new revelations about the war that will keep cropping up that obviously aren't included in the series and of course World War Two took place over such a large canvas that to produce a series with EVERY detail would take more time and money then any other, even if such an undertaking was even possible. What I feel I must say to those who decry that it does not include everything is that The World At War can't physically do that as a series but it sure as heck can prompt you to do further research - and make it enjoyable. That certainly worked for me: I now have a very comprehensive library of books, videos, DVDs and tapes and CDs. Recommend to anyone with even a passing interest. The series was so well made that they'd find it hard not to agree that it is quality programming and highly informative.
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