Armistice Day – World War II in Colour DVD Collection

 

    In order to mark Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday I am currently in the process of watching all the War DVD’s which I have collected from various newspapers over the years, and today(Thursday) I have started watching this really interesting series which contains rare archive colour footage of key events of the Second World War and is Narrated by Robert Powell. This series contains the Episodes.

 

Disc 1: The Gathering Storm

This film shows how the major powers ignored all the signs and allowed the likes of Mussolini and Hitler to begin the course that would lead the world into catastrophe.
 
Disc 2: Lightning War

This film focuses on the Blitzkrieg, the terrifying military tactic developed by the Nazis which crushes Poland and conquers France within weeks but it also reveals the heroics of the French resistance and the role they played in Dunkirk.

Disc 3: Britain At Bay

In June 1940, Britain stood alone against the Nazis. This film shows how close Britain came to defeat, as it’s exhausted air force struggled to fight off the German Luftwaffe. However, due to errors made by the Germans, Britain was able to regroup

Disc 4: Hitler Strikes East

When Hitler expounded his intention to invade Russia his generals looked at him in horrified silence. However, Hitler himself was certain of victory. This film follows the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk, the biggest tank battle in all history.

Disc 5: Red Sun Rampant

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attach on Pearl Harbour. As the sleeping giant awoke, the war that followed was characterised by major innovations, in particular the emergence of the aircraft carrier as the decisive weapon of the seas.
 
Disc 6: The Mediterranean And North Africa

This film tells the extraordinary story of the war in North Africa and features the heroics of the tiny island of Malta as it withstood wave after wave of Nazi assault. It ends with the Allies fighting their way up Italy with Germany in retreat.

Disc 7 Turning the Tide

This film follows the ’strategic bombing’ plans of Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris including the tragedy of Dresden where tens of thousands of ordinary German suffered and the Nazis attempts to cut American supply lines to Britain across the Atlantic.
 
Disc 8: The Soviet Steamroller

By July 1943, the Nazis were at the mercy of the mighty Soviet war machine. This film follows the Red Army as they slowly push the Germans back out of Russia up through the Ukraine, Poland and the Balkans – this was war on a monster scale.

Disc 9: Overlord

This film charts the careful planning of the D-Day campaign and the development of specialised equipment needed for the amphibious landings. It also reveals the deception plan that wrong-footed Hitler and how the Americans were very nearly driven off Omaha beach.

Disc 10: Closing The Ring

The year is 1944 and although the Allies are closing in around Germany, the outcome is still uncertain. This film explores the Allied disaster at Arnhem and the tragedy of the Waraw uprising, when Polish freedom fighters were abandoned to their fate by Stalin.

Disc 11: The Island War

This film looks at the war of the jungles including Burma where new specialist fighting units – like Ord Wingate’s Chindits – slowly pushed back the Japanese despite horrific conditions and savage hand to hand fighting.

Disc 12: Victory In Europe

This film follows the British and Americans as they cross the Rhine and the Russians as they push through Poland into Germany itself, covering the horrors of the liberation of Belsen and Buchenwald, the carving up of Germany by the allies and the Nuremburg trials.

Disc 13: Victory In The Pacific

Despite firebombing Tokyo and the loss of 200,000 lives, the Japanese refused to surrender. President Truman had no option but to go nuclear and the fates of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were sealed. The film ends with Japan subdued as their war crimes emerge.

Armistice Day – War in the Air

Daily Mail War in the Air DVD Collection

 

 

This week in order to mark Remembrance Day & Armistice day I have been watching various War DVD Collections, which I have obtained with various newspapers. They make make for fascinating and often harrowing viewing, and although they can never hope to recreate the terrible conditions exactly, they give some idea of the suffering many people went through durung this time, and the sacrifice many soldiers made in order to preserve the freedoms which today some of us take for granted. On Tuesday and Wednesday I watched this fascinating series

The Cold Dawn
This episode concentrates on the period when Allied Air Power seemed to be winning the war, The combined Allied Airforces could be found in action in Norway, in the Ardennes, in Italy and in The Balkans on the Russian Front. By now The Luftwaffe were showing signs of strain trying to defend The Fatherland and victory looked very likely for The Allies.

Eastern Victory
This episode of War in the Air covers the air war in Burma where the ability to deliver troops and supplies by air made a big difference to the war effort. Despite this Japan fought on valiantly until aircraft delivered the final knockout blow on Hiroshima & Nagasaki and Imperial Japan was forced to capitulate.

Overlord
This episode looks at the Allies plans for D-Day when it was realised that Air power would have a number of significant roles to play in the forthcoming invasion. On D-Day itself Transporters would deliver paratroopers & elite glider borne assault troops, while the combined air forces provided tactical air support in establishing the bridgehead to the beaches.

Facing New Weapons
This episode looks at the aftermath of the D-Day Landings when the Allies used their air superiority in order to defeat pockets of resistance that were holding out at Caen & Falaise, aswell as supporting the Allied advance on to Paris & Belgium. The German forces retaliated with their newly developed V1 Flying Bombs which fell upon Southern England forcing the RAF to resort to desperate measures in order to stop them.

Round the Clock

This program looks at the period from early 1943 to 1944 when the allies were pounding Nazi Germany, by day formations of B17 Flying Fortresses would battle their way through heavily defended skies to deliver their lethal cargo and by night  the Lancaster’s of RAF Bomber Command took over, with the German civilians paying a heavy price for their leaders ambitions.

Wings over Italy
The campaign fought in the skies over Italy is rarely mentioned. This program looks at the period from mid 1943 to mid 1944 when the allies realised that Air Power would play a significant role in the Anzio landings aswell as actions at Cassino & in the liberation of Rome.

Desert Air Force
Covering the conflict from Italy’s entry into World War II in Summer 1940 to the establishment of an advanced wing of the Desert Air Force in Tripoli in 1942, this episode covers the invasion of Crete, celebrates the heroic defence of Malta and looks at the role played by the Allied Air Power in the Western Desert in defeating the Afrika Korps.

Combined Ops
This episode concentrates on the arrival of American Bomber Squadron’s in Britain between 1942 and 1943 and how the Allies mounted powerful strikes against Nazi Targets, which were met by swarms of German Interceptors, and caught in merciless aerial battles stretching across hundreds of miles of sky.

The Rising Sun
This episode looks at the Attack on Pearl Harbour by the Japanese in December 1941, which was proof of the war winning potential of the Aircraft, and showed that battleships were now terrifyingly exposed to the lethal bomb load from a single plane. And how this led to the Air war in the Pacific from Pearl Harbour to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and reveals the Allies somewhat chaotic defence of India and Burma from the Air during that period.

Armistice Day – True stories of World War II

All this week, in order To commemorate Armistice day and Remembrance Sunday, I have been watching all the World War I and World War II DVDs which I have collected through the years from various newspapers. They make make for fascinating and often harrowing viewing, and although they can never hope to recreate the terrible conditions exactly, they give some idea of the suffering many people went through durung this time, and the sacrifice many soldiers made in order to preserve the freedoms which today some of us take for granted, and on Monday I watched this fascinating series.

Telegraph True Stories of World War II DVD Collection

The True Story of the Dambusters
This DVD features the true story behind The Dambusters, who were the daring pilots of 617 Squadron who set off on the night of May 16th 1943 on a mission to breach the Dams of the Ruhr Valley in Germany in order to disrupt the Nazi War Effort, to do this they used the famous Bouncing Bomb which was designed by Barnes Wallace and required precision flying at low level in order to be effective

Of the 19 Lancaster bombers that were sent, eight never returned, but despite the losses the attack was a success and many factories were flooded and the Nazi war industry was affected greatly by the resulting water shortage.

http://www.dambusters.org.uk/barnes_wallis.htm

The True Story of the Bridge on The River Kwai
This harrowing DVD looks at the true story behind the building of the Bridge on the River Kwai, which saw Allied POWs battling disease torture and starvation in order to hack through 255 Miles of Harsh Jungle to build the Thailand Burma Railway for the Japanese, this was achieved in only 14 Months at a horrendous cost.

 It is almost impossible to imagine the cruelty, Horror & Suffering endured by the Allied Prisoners during this time, and is sobering to think that more than 100 000 Men lost their lives during this time, caught up in a relentless cycle of Disease, cruelty & Death.

http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-battles/ww2/kwai.htm

The True Story behind D-Day – The Longest Day
Using remarkable archive film, this fascinating DVD looks at the amazing events of June 6th 1944 when Operation Overlord, which was the culmination of two years planning, was finally put into practice & the largest invasion force ever assembled was given the job of putting more than 130 000 men ashore on the Normandy Beaches.

Meanwhile nearly 25 000 specialist troops were also deployed by Glider or dropped by parachute, with Bombers and fighters pounding the German defences in order to provide cover for them. This program looks at how the idea for this audacious plan was first conceived developed and finally executed.

http://www.dday.co.uk/

The True Story of the Battle of Britain
Making dramatic use of rarely seen British, French & German film coverage, This is the true story of how, under the inspired leadership of Sir Winston Churchill, Britain was able to survive the thunderous assault by the Luftwaffe

It tells the story of the Desperately close run conflict between September 1939 and June 1941 that was either death or glory, and how Britain managed to win a tumultuous victory in the skies above Britain, which ultimately turned the tide of The Second World War.

http://www.raf.mod.uk/Bob1940/bobhome.html

I’ve also seen the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight a few times at the Severn Valley Railway’s popular World War II event and at Cosford. The sight and sound of those magnificent aircraft flying overhead is absolutely fantastic and totally unforgettable.