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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apocalypse: World War II
I have at least twenty historical dvds of WWII, and Countless Hollywood movies about WWII. What I believe makes This series and Blu-ray unique is seeing more of a perspective of the civilians during WWII. Many of the historical dvds give the viewer details of the battles, and film and pictures of the battles, but more from a soldiers perspective. I am glad to add this...
Published on April 20, 2011 by Matt O.

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91 of 110 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Be Fooled - It's Very Average
I have what is apparently the original version of this series which I ordered through Time-Life. It is in English with a rather bland narrator whose voice I don't recognize. While not obviously inaccurate the narration doesn't go into a lot of detail and repeats many well-worn cliches (i.e. Polish cavalry DID NOT deliberately charge German tanks in September 1939; they...
Published on March 16, 2011 by T. Womack


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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apocalypse: World War II, April 20, 2011
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This review is from: Apocalypse: World War II [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I have at least twenty historical dvds of WWII, and Countless Hollywood movies about WWII. What I believe makes This series and Blu-ray unique is seeing more of a perspective of the civilians during WWII. Many of the historical dvds give the viewer details of the battles, and film and pictures of the battles, but more from a soldiers perspective. I am glad to add this to my collection because I believe it added that civilian perspective. Many people forget that the civilian causaulty rate dwarfed that of the soldiers lost during WWII. The civilians were just as courageous as the soldiers in many instances. Hopefully we will never have to repeat the lessons that so many learned.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's set some facts straight about this Exceptional documentary, October 25, 2011
This review is from: Apocalypse: World War II [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Hi all, I have seen some comments about this documentary having more insights and details lived by the French people.

Well it's perfectly normal, as this was originally produced by a joint France-Belgium venture and of course will have a tid bit more for them.

Rest assured, it covers the War at large and I have learned tons from it.

This being said, I find this English version not marketed well enough, as it is presented solely as an action packed (which it is) documentary, whereas in French it is featured as a documentary about and against totalitarianism and its effects on civilians (with a civilian perspective!).

It is the only documentary that has a created a tremendous and lasting effect on me, with the level of stress and goosebumps raising by the episode. I have shared this documentary with many of my friends and colleagues, and it had the same effects on them, rarely have I seen unanimous reviews on any production like this (be it a documentary, a movie, or else).

I have seen the original French version of course, and it's narrator is also detached and neutral, as in the English version, leaving the viewer to make up his own opinion without any hints from the narration.

If you're looking for a Terminator-like movie or football game style commentary, please look away.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has become one of my all time favorite WW2 docs, September 30, 2011
This review is from: Apocalypse: World War II (DVD)
First thing I must point out about this series, is don't expect this to be the most comprehensive in terms of technical details, this is more of a broader overview of the conflict. The aspect that makes this series fantastic is the footage..it is some of the best, if not THE best I've ever seen. Especially German military footage, I don't think I've ever seen another documentary on the second world war with better footage of the Wehrmacht. A lot of the footage in Apocalypse you won't find in any other series, or if you do it will most likely be in black and white and not remastered in HD. This is a more cinematic presentation of the war, with no interviews to break up the continuity. The sound is also a great selling point for Apocalypse, because it's in 5.1 surround. If you have even the slightest interest in WW2, pick up this one. If you want a more detailed synapsis on the conflict I would suggest picking up the classic 'The World at War'.
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91 of 110 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Be Fooled - It's Very Average, March 16, 2011
This review is from: Apocalypse: World War II (DVD)
I have what is apparently the original version of this series which I ordered through Time-Life. It is in English with a rather bland narrator whose voice I don't recognize. While not obviously inaccurate the narration doesn't go into a lot of detail and repeats many well-worn cliches (i.e. Polish cavalry DID NOT deliberately charge German tanks in September 1939; they simply got surprised in the open by a German armored column). Disc 2, which details the first 6 months of the Pacific War, contains very little new info and I quickly became bored watching it.

Time-Life promotes this series as being spectacular and new. A lot of the footage is indeed new, but I also had seen much of it before on history websites. There are also some curious parts in which the script feels like it was solely written to incorporate available footage.

That said, there is some very interesting footage that I had never seen before. Colorized footage of U.S. battleships burning at Pearl Harbor and Japanese planes apparently ditching in the ocean after their carriers had been sunk at the Battle of Midway was nice. Footage showing executions of Jews and alleged collaborators can also be quite graphic, as can be the scenes of dead bodies.

I would recommend buying this series only for the footage, much of which is definitely worth the price of admission. But if you've been studying World War 2 in detail for any length of time don't expect to learn anything particularly new. If you're new to this subject, know that this is a well-produced series that looks and sounds nice, but just be careful about repeating what you learn from it.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars some new footage but not much, July 9, 2011
This review is from: Apocalypse: World War II (DVD)
I bought the 4 dvd set from Time Life and watched it today. While some of the footage was new, much of it was stuff I had seen on the history channel and the victory at sea series. Some of the information was informative like the French invasion of Germany after the declaration of war and the fact that Hitler did not pursue the English troops evacuating at Dunkirk although Stukas did sink some of the evacuation craft. Some of the footage fell short of telling the whole story, like the part about the bombing of Monte Cassino in Italy. Much of the new footage focused on the eastern front. While the development of the Soviet air force played a large part in the battle, it was overlooked in this dvd. The pacific war footage showed the battle for Saipan and said that it was the place where B-29s took off to attack Japan, and they covered the atomic bomb drops on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, although those attacks were launched from Tinian and not Saipan. This package wasn't worth it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Apocalypse :World War 2, October 10, 2011
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This review is from: Apocalypse: World War II [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The DVD available is not like the series shown on T.V. The audio has been altered with the original narrater being replaced with a someone who is very monotone. It really changes the presentation of the show in a negative way.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing compares, May 26, 2011
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This review is from: Apocalypse: World War II (DVD)
I've watched every English speaking WW2 documentary out there, and many non-English ones too. This one is in a class of its own. I'm not a fan of colorizing footage for aesthetic reasons, but it was done beautifully and I could not help but feel that it brings images to life and makes the stories more absorbing.

It's unique for several reasons:

1) There are many new footage that were not shown previously.
2) It's more raw and graphic than anything WW2 that you've seen before. And while not suitable for the faint hearted, this is the reality of war, and a documentary is supposed to bring you as close to reality as possible.
3) While no WW2 documentary could be truly balanced because winners write history, this is as close to balance and objectivity as I've seen them. No where else will you hear that the alleged Dunkirk "victory" was indeed an act of clemency by Hitler, and in other documentaries they vaguely describe how war started on Western front, but here it tells how Hitler didn't want to go to war with Britain and France that even after they declared war on Germany they were ignored despite the French attacking villages in Germany.

An excellent addition to my collection.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A flawed coverage of World War II, January 6, 2013
This review is from: Apocalypse: World War II (DVD)
This French production purports to encapsulate World War II in a set of three discs of 280 minutes duration in total but there is a heavy emphasis on the European and Russian theatres of World War II, and in particular, the French role in the defeat of Nazi Germany. The crucial battles in the North African Campaign and the entirely separate and massive Pacific War receive relatively brief coverage despite the fact that German victory in North Africa would have given them control of the Suez Canal and the vital Middle East oilfields, and Japanese victory in the Pacific in 1942 would have threatened Hawaii and Australia and seriously transformed the strategic situation in Europe and Russia. If the United States Navy had been defeated at Midway, local political imperatives would have forced President Roosevelt to defend Hawaii against planned Japanese occupation. This situation would almost certainly have delayed D-Day by at least a year, and possibly seen a Russian army reach the English Channel.

No mention is made of the fact that the Chinese were holding down at least thirty Japanese divisions throughout the Pacific War. The Chinese earned their place at the signing of the Japanese surrender. The Americans and Australians did all of the heavy lifting in the Pacific War, and earned their places at the Japanese surrender but I fail to understand why the French were at the signing in Tokyo Bay when they collaborated with the Japanese in Indo-China and contributed no significant military support to the defeat of Japan.

Being a French production, we should not be surprised that far more time is spent on the Battle for France than on the Battle of Britain or the Battle of the Atlantic despite the fact that the two latter battles were arguably among the five most important battles of World War II. In coverage of the North African Campaign, no mention is made of the lengthy and vital Allied defence of the port of Tobruk over twelve months which was a constant thorn in Rommel's side and forced him to land his reinforcements and supplies at Tripoli, including fresh supplies of tanks, and move them across 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) of exposed desert when his front line neared the border with Egypt. While Tobruk remained in Allied hands, Rommel's supply lines were constantly stretched to breaking point every time he approached the border with Egypt. In the Pacific War, the Battle of the Coral Sea (May, 1942) is completely ignored despite it being Japan's first strategic defeat and the fact that it laid the foundation for the massive defeat of the Japanese navy at the Battle of Midway (June, 1942). The Japanese defeats in the lengthy and bloody Papuan and Guadalcanal Campaigns (both early 1943) forced Japan on the defensive for the rest of the Pacific War but neither campaign rates a significant mention in this French production.

My advice to those interested in balanced coverage of World War II is to choose the magnificent The World at War (30th Anniversary Edition), and for much better coverage of the Pacific War look elsewhere.

I have watched many hundreds of hours of archived World War II film, and feel that the researchers have done a remarkable job in unearthing film that I have never seen before. Much of the archive war action footage of the European and Russian theatres appears to have come from WW II German and Russian military and propaganda sources, Wehrmacht soldiers' personal filming, and other private sources that include filming of intensely personal scenes of civilian suffering.

Considerable effort has gone into restoring the archive film covering the European and Russian theatres by removing scratches and blotches, and the rendition in colour is quite extraordinary. The production has been colorised in such a way that the injected colour appears perfectly natural and never garish. The only exception to colourising is in the scenes depicting Nazi and Japanese brutality towards their victims. These scenes are depicted in the original stark black and white.

Less care has gone into coverage of the Pacific war and restoration of archive film. The coverage of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in this film has errors, such as promoting air attack leader Mitsuo Fuchida from commander to captain and placing him on the carrier Zuikaku instead of the flagship Akagi. The archive film of the Pacific War is mostly very poor quality by comparison with archive footage from Europe and Russia which is mostly very good. This can probably be explained by the heavy emphasis on the European and Russian theatres. Of Hirohito as Japan's war leader in the Pacific War, this production makes the absurd claim with regard to Emperor Hirohito "Did the emperor know (about the atrocities committed in China)... he reigns but does not govern". The researchers for this French production have not done their Pacific War homework adequately. Hirohito was not a token leader of his military but a "hands-on" commander in chief who approved every major Japanese military action, including all of Japan's military aggression. His aides-de-camp were active on every front.

The French producers make the naive assertion: "Along with imperialism, the underlying cause of World War II is racism". The underlying cause of World War II was not racism but greed for the territory and resources of other countries. Nazi and Japanese aggression was fired by extreme militarism in both Germany and Japan. Racism was employed by both the Nazis and Japanese to justify their military aggression to their own people. The Nazis despised Jews and murdered six million of them. The Japanese despised the Chinese and murdered between five and ten million civilians and prisoners of war by horrifying methods including burying them alive and burning them alive in mass graves.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Martin Sheen, March 12, 2012
This review is from: Apocalypse: World War II (DVD)
First of all, the content of this documentary is excellent. However, it is NOT the version on Smithsonian Channel HD that is narrated by Martin Sheen. Make no mistake, it is the same documentary, just with a different narrator. Unlike Sheen, this narrator is outright boring. Every other aspect of this 6-part documentary is the same. I was very disappointed in this product, as I loved the one I saw on TV.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take Carefull !!!, December 6, 2011
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José do Egito Teles Rocha (Fortaleza, Ceará Brazil) - See all my reviews
This Bluray disc should be played with bluray player that works PAL pictures, like used in Europe. If you run it in a NTSC device you will only hear the voices....
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Apocalypse: World War II [Blu-ray]
Apocalypse: World War II [Blu-ray] by Apocalypse: World War 2 (Blu-ray - 2011)
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