BBC History of World War II

BBC History of World War II

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BBC History of World War II (1989-2005) is a 30-hour, 12-disc
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 collection of 10 BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 television films about World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The films include documentaries
Documentary film
Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

, docudramas, and "dramatized documentaries" (inter-cutting of historical footage with dramatic recreations).

The films

1. The nazis: A Warning from History
The Nazis: A Warning from History
The Nazis: A Warning from History is a 1997 BBC documentary film series that examines Adolf Hitler and the Nazis' rise to power, their zenith, their decline and fall, and the consequences of their reign. It featured archive footage and interviews with eye witnesses and was shown in six...

(1997, 6 Episodes, 290 minutes, 4:3 Fullscreen, 2 Discs)
  • Documentary on the reasons behind the rise and fall of the Nazis and of Nazi Germany
    Nazi Germany
    Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...


2. The Road to War: Great Britain, Italy, Japan, USA (1989, 4 Episodes, 195 minutes, 4:3 Fullscreen, 1 Disc)
  • Documentary on how Germany, Britain, Italy, The Soviet Union, France, Japan and the USA entered the war. Narrator is Charles Wheeler
    Charles Wheeler (journalist)
    Sir Charles Cornelius Wheeler CMG was a British journalist and broadcaster. Having joined the BBC in 1947, he became the corporation's longest serving foreign correspondent, serving in the role until his death...

3. Dunkirk
Dunkirk (TV series)
Dunkirk is a 2004 BBC television docudrama about the Battle of Dunkirk and the Dunkirk evacuation in World War II.-Awards:*BAFTA Awards 2005**Won: Huw Wheldon Award for Specialist Factual: Robert Warr & Alex Holmes...

(2004, 3 Episodes, 176 minutes, 16:9 Anamorphic, 1 Disc)
  • Docudrama on the evacuation from Dunkirk
    Battle of Dunkirk
    The Battle of Dunkirk was a battle in the Second World War between the Allies and Germany. A part of the Battle of France on the Western Front, the Battle of Dunkirk was the defence and evacuation of British and allied forces in Europe from 26 May–4 June 1940.After the Phoney War, the Battle of...


4. War of the Century: When Hitler Fought Stalin
War of the Century
The War of the Century: When Hitler Fought Stalin, is a BBC documentary film series that examines Adolf Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 and the "no holds barred" war on both sides...

(1999, 4 Episodes, 190 minutes, 4:3 Fullscreen, 1 Disc)
  • Documentary on the Russo-German War
    Eastern Front (World War II)
    The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...


5. Battle of the Atlantic (2002, 3 Episodes, 146 minutes, 16:9 Anamorphic, 1 Disc)
  • Documentary on the U-boats and the Atlantic convoys.

6. Horror in the East: Japan and the Atrocities of World War II
Horror in the East
Horror in the East: Japan and the Atrocities of World War II , is a BBC documentary film series that examines certain actions, including atrocities, and attitudes, of the Imperial Japanese Army in the lead up to and during World War II. The film also examines attitudes held by the British and...

(2000, 2 Episodes, 98 minutes, 4:3 Fullscreen, 1 Disc)
  • Documentary on the Japanese Army's
    Imperial Japanese Army
    -Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

     atrocities in the Asia-Pacific war
    Pacific War
    The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

     and why the Japanese fought to the death. Supplements on the Indian Army
    Army of India
    The Army of India consisted of both the Indian Army and the British Army in India between 1903 and 1947.Lord Kitchener was appointed Commander-in-Chief, India between 1902 and 1909...

     and the Burma War.

7. Battlefields (2001, 4 Episodes, 194 minutes, 16:9 Anamorphic, 1 Disc)
  • Documentary on El Alamein
    Battle of El Alamein
    There were two battles of El Alamein in World War II, both fought in 1942. The Battles occurred in Egypt in and around an area named after a railway stop called El Alamein at .* First Battle of El Alamein – 1–27 July 1942...

    , Monte Cassino
    Battle of Monte Cassino
    The Battle of Monte Cassino was a costly series of four battles during World War II, fought by the Allies against Germans and Italians with the intention of breaking through the Winter Line and seizing Rome.In the beginning of 1944, the western half of the Winter Line was being anchored by Germans...

    , the Battle of Arnhem
    Battle of Arnhem
    The Battle of Arnhem was a famous Second World War military engagement fought in and around the Dutch towns of Arnhem, Oosterbeek, Wolfheze, Driel and the surrounding countryside from 17–26 September 1944....

     and RAF Bomber Command
    RAF Bomber Command
    RAF Bomber Command controlled the RAF's bomber forces from 1936 to 1968. During World War II the command destroyed a significant proportion of Nazi Germany's industries and many German cities, and in the 1960s stood at the peak of its postwar military power with the V bombers and a supplemental...

     [Episode Name: "Bomber"] on the firebombing
    Firebombing is a bombing technique designed to damage a target, generally an urban area, through the use of fire, caused by incendiary devices, rather than from the blast effect of large bombs....

     of German cities. Presenter is Prof. Richard Holmes
    Richard Holmes (military historian)
    Brigadier Edward Richard Holmes, CBE, TD, JP , known as Richard Holmes, was a British soldier and noted military historian, particularly well-known through his many television appearances...


8. D-Day 6.6.1944 (2004, 2 Episodes, 90 minutes, 16:9 Anamorphic, 1 Disc)
  • Docudrama on the events surrounding D-Day
    D-Day is a term often used in military parlance to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. "D-Day" often represents a variable, designating the day upon which some significant event will occur or has occurred; see Military designation of days and hours for similar...


9. D-Day to Berlin (2004, 3 Episodes, 150 minutes, 16:9 Anamorphic, 1 Disc)
  • Docudrama on the breakout from Normandy
    Operation Cobra
    Operation Cobra was the codename for an offensive launched by the First United States Army seven weeks after the D-Day landings, during the Normandy Campaign of World War II...

    , Operation Market Garden
    Operation Market Garden
    Operation Market Garden was an unsuccessful Allied military operation, fought in the Netherlands and Germany in the Second World War. It was the largest airborne operation up to that time....

    , the Battle of the Bulge
    Battle of the Bulge
    The Battle of the Bulge was a major German offensive , launched toward the end of World War II through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium, hence its French name , and France and...

     and the German surrender
    End of World War II in Europe
    The final battles of the European Theatre of World War II as well as the German surrender to the Western Allies and the Soviet Union took place in late April and early May 1945.-Timeline of surrenders and deaths:...

    . Presenter is Sean Bean
    Sean Bean
    Shaun Mark "Sean" Bean is an English film and stage actor. Bean is best known for playing Boromir in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and, previously, British Colonel Richard Sharpe in the ITV television series Sharpe...


10. Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution' (2005, 6 Episodes, 300 minutes, 16:9 Anamorphic, 2 Discs)
  • "Dramatized documentary" on the Nazis' conceptualisation and implementation of the Final Solution
    Final Solution
    The Final Solution was Nazi Germany's plan and execution of the systematic genocide of European Jews during World War II, resulting in the most deadly phase of the Holocaust...


See also

  • Hiroshima (2005), another "dramatized documentary" marketed as part of the BBC History of World War II
  • World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West
    World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West
    WWII Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West is a BBC / PBS documentary film on the role of Joseph Stalin during World War II. The 2008 film combines narrative-led documentary segments, interwoven by dramatic re-enactments, with actors representing main political figures of the period....

    (2008), another BBC "dramatized documentary"
  • The World at War
    The World at War (TV series)
    The World at War is a 26-episode British television documentary series chronicling the events of World War II. It was produced by Jeremy Isaacs, narrated by Laurence Olivier and has a score composed by Carl Davis...

    , a 1970's series by Thames Television
    Thames Television
    Thames Television was a licensee of the British ITV television network, covering London and parts of the surrounding counties on weekdays from 30 July 1968 until 31 December 1992....