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Battlefield Detectives

33 customer reviews

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(Feb 14, 2012)
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$39.93 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Seen on the History Channel

New scientific insight into historic battles

"An eye-opening documentary" —The Times (U.K.) "Clear, concise, and rich in detail" —The Sunday Times (U.K.)

What explains the massacre at Waterloo? Why was Gallipoli such a disaster? What role did luck play at Hastings? Battlefield Detectives puts these and other famous battles under the microscope by revisiting the sites—some little changed, others transformed completely—where the fighting took place. Using 3-D computer models, maps, artifacts, original footage, and dramatic reenactments, investigators recreate the conditions at the scene.

New research is adding to our understanding of what really happened in some of the great battles of history, including Agincourt, Trafalgar, Balaklava, Little Big Horn, and Vietnam. Geologists are finding answers in the landscape and psychiatrists in the minds of the warriors, while climatologists and meteorologists are showing how weather was often crucial. From firearms experts and forensic scientists to crowd-behavior specialists, genealogists, and engineers, a wide range of authorities unlock the long-buried secrets of the battlefields.

Special Features


  • 16-page viewer's guide with articles on the Anglo-Saxons and Normans, the treasure ship Girona the Crimean War, the history of Kemal Atatürk, and Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, and a map of Bonaparte's battles
  • Biographies of major military leaders
  • Plus Nelson's notable quotes, the story of "The Charge of the Light Brigade" poem, and discussion questions at
  • SDH Subtitles

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Athena
  • DVD Release Date: February 14, 2012
  • Run Time: 432 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00662CFQ8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,636 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on January 2, 2012
Format: DVD
New battlefield research will enlighten even the most informed war historian. Evidence discounts myths, previous reports, and reveals new truths. The new look at major fields of war is comprised from detailed searches of historians, real footage, computer generations, geology, archeology, GIS maps, art, dramatizations, military figure interviews, strategists, meteorology, arms & warfare experts, artifacts, oceanography, and even psychiatry.

The History Channel presentation is unbiased, using all forms of entertainment as well as educational methods, not just narration. See old footage, and the present day scenes of where battles were fought. The detective work is intended to find out if history has been true to the reasons for the outcomes of these none battlefields. Myths are vanquished, lies revealed, and victor's names sometimes reversed. It is truly amazing viewing. Even my wife found each episode compelling, and educational.
A must-view set for any war historian.

48 minute episodes that have SUBTITLES available if desired.
Arranged in DVD set's order
1 WHO GOT LUCKY AT HASTINGS?: 1066 -Wm Duke of Normandy or King Harold of England, luckier or better? What role has the horse in battle? Cavalry vs foot warriors. 3-D maps tell a tale.

2 AGINCOURT'S DARK SECRETS: Oct 1415 -Henry V vs French in this Shakespeare glorified battle. Was the longbow the English victor's edge? 7000 Eng vs 20,000 Fr; iron vs steel; havoc vs accuracy.

3 WHAT SANK THE ARMADA?: 1588 -A colossal Spanish super nation failure. Elizabeth's Royal Navy had newly design ships. But was it weather that declared a winner, and causing the French a loss of ½ an armada?

4 TRAFALGAR'S FATAL FLAW: Oct 1805 -Brit battle win over Fr & Sp fleets.
Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kanenberg on March 25, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Love the History Channel, Military Channel, and all the documentaries they produce or I wouldn't have bought this DVD in the first place. But my review of this set is that its just 'ok' or maybe a little less, 2.5 stars tops and NOT worth the $40+ price. It isnt that the show isnt well done--the two cable channels mentioned make shows that are addictive for History 'geeks' like myself. But the episodes just don't have much 'juice' or suspense in my view. The big 'discovery' in most episodes is that terrain played a huge part in the battles they review and the outcome of who wins and why (Waterloo & Gallipoli in particular). Its all very well done and the computer graphics they use to recreate the effects of terrain and weather are all fine--they just aren't very 'exciting' to watch in my view. Its just a matter of taste. For me I was a bit diappointed with the show and wouldn't glowingly recommend to others it like I do other documentaries produced by the History Channel, certainly not at the price they're asking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris Bryson on January 29, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
There is a lot of interesting information about this battle in this video. What is annoying is the claim made at the beginning, and throughout, that this is the first time such claims have been made. John Keegan's 1976 *The Face of Battle*, which studies Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme, makes all of the arguments about the shape of the battlefield, the particular use of the longbow (including stating, quite matter-of-factly, that the arrows would not have punctured the armor of the French), the miscalculation in battlefield strategy, etc. The new research unveiled in this episode, as far as I can tell, are the specific claims about the French social order/focus on ransom, and the quality of the battlefield mud. The latter is clear in the contemporary accounts, however; and if the English archers' attacks were to be considered so radically against battlefield norms, one would think the French chroniclers would have mentioned it with disdain, since they watched the whole thing? Anyway, there is much here that is interesting, but the show makes rather radical claims to its innovation that are disingenuous at best.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great compendium of a variety of the Battlefield Detectives series from Athena to include Agincourt, Spanish Armada, Waterloo, Custer's Last Stand, and the Charge of the Light Brigade. Although quite a few episodes, this collection does not include all of the Battlefield Detectives, so be careful if you are buying additional single DVDs to avoid duplicate purchases. Really like this top notch series which applies scientific methods and factual evidence to examine battlefields of old to offer a more in depth explanation of what really happened. You will be very surprised by some of the conclusions reached in the series. As a retired Army Officer and student of history, I find all this extremely fascinating. Wish there was a follow-on collection to this original compendium that would package all the other outstanding Battlefield Detectives shows such as Gettysburg. A must have for any serious military historian.
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
Battlefield Detectives starts with an excellent premise: apply modern technology and archaeological technique to produce a truer picture of famous battles that either lack detailed documentation or are the subject of enduring myth. In some episodes, this succeeds brilliantly, casting new light particularly on the Battle of Hastings, the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War, the Battle of the Little Big Horn, and the Gallipoli Campaign of WWI. In other cases, particularly the Battles of Agincourt, and Trafalgar, the producers appear to have started with a premise and used only such evidence as supported it, often ignoring well-known contemporary documentation in their iconoclastic zeal. All episodes are interesting, but some need to be taken with a grain of salt.
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