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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>
Some historians have suggested there was no need for an invasion of Japan (Operation Downfall), and a naval blockade would have starved Japan into surrendering. It is believed Operation Starvation would have forced the country to surrender in the summer of 1945 if it had been started earlier. 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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