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Desert Victory - The Battle of Alamein (1944)

Harold Alexander , Winston Churchill , David MacDonald , Roy Boulting  |  NR |  DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Harold Alexander, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler, Bernard L. Montgomery, Erwin Rommel
  • Directors: David MacDonald, Roy Boulting
  • Writers: J.L. Hodson
  • Producers: David MacDonald
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Koch Vision
  • DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009
  • Run Time: 62 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001NH4CHQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,170 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Desert Victory - The Battle of Alamein" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The Imperial War Museum Collection features rare and fascinating original films preserved in the Museum’s archives. Many have never been released to the public before and are presented here, complete and uncut, for the very first time.

Winner of the 1943 Academy Award for Best Documentary, Desert Victory (directed by Roy Boulting) was made by the British Army and R.A.F to capture the Battle of El Alamein as it happened. Teams of cameramen followed the 8th Army troops into battle against Rommel’s Afrika Korps and recorded some of the war’s most extraordinary frontline footage.

This special 2-disc collector’s edition also includes four bonus films covering desert survival techniques for downed airmen, the early victories against the Italians by General Wavell and two different perspectives on the siege of Tobruk.

Land and Live in the Desert
Produced by the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942, this rare film vividly demonstrates survival skills for air crews shot down in the desert.

Wavell’s 30,000
Produced by the Crown Film Unit in 1942, this film provides a detailed account of British and Commonwealth successes under General Sir Archibald Wavell against the Italians in Libya culminating in the capture of Bengazi.

The Siege of Tobruk
Produced by the Army Film Unit, Imperial Forces and the British Newsreel Association in 1942, this film provides rare material of the first siege of Tobruk and shows British, Australian and Polish troops defending this small Libyan port.

Defenders of Tobruk
Produced by the Australian Department of Information Official Unit in 1942, this short film focuses on Australian troops during the first siege of Tobruk.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WWII North African campaign of 1940-42 December 31, 2008
Format:VHS Tape
Released to the public shortly after the events it depicted, DESERT VICTORY is a one-hour British-made documentary concerning their 8th Army's North African rout of Erwin Rommel's Panzers. The all-important Battle of El Alamein gets in-depth coverage that includes re-enactments. The majority here however is actual close-up combat footage that came dearly: four cameramen were killed and thirteen wounded or taken prisoner while recording these scenes. Also featured are some captured German films.

This is one of the finest contemporary WWII documentaries-- a fast-moving description of a crucial early British victory.

As of 1/09, DESERT VICTORY was not available on a DVD worth recommending (only bootleg-quality knockoffs exist).

Of interest are the three-hour WWII IN COLOR and WORLD WAR II - THE LOST COLOR ARCHIVES, both on DVD.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.

(7.3) Desert Victory (UK-1943) - archive footage of: Erwin Rommel, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler, Bernard L. Mongomery, Josef Goebbels and other important figures
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plucky Brits beat Boche May 20, 2012
DESERT VICTORY (1943) Directed by David Macdonald.

A nifty documentary covering in great detail the British 8th Army defeat and pursuit of the Africa Corp from the Second Battle of El Alamein in Oct, 1942 to the conquest of Libya. According to wikipedia which as always must be taken with a bucket of salt, footage from this is used all the time in HISTORY CHANNEL and A AND E docs on the subject as well as in the movie THE DESERT FOX but I do not recall seeing much of this footage before save for some tank shots. Much of the doc is concerned with El Alamein which is explained in GREAT detail AND what is also nice is that it does not neglect the Italians whose second Roman Empire was destroyed by this campaign. Film won an Academy Award.

Documentaries made DURING the long as they have nothing to do with Russia are usually SO much better than stuff made afterwards.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good movie for anyone interesed in WWII September 7, 2011
Well made British documentary with healthy balance between re-enactment and documentary. I would rate it much better than similar US-made documentaries (like Vicory at Sea), where re-enactments cget flat out annoying. I like the details explained and very appropriate footage. Among the minuses... for some reason, parts of the movie are pitch black. Black where you can see nothing. Yes, I understand everyhting about black and white documentary fils of WWII vitage, but I bet that this was some sort of unsucsessful night scene re-enactment that can be probably cut out. I do rewcommend this movie to anyone interested in WWII history!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather an odd combination! December 24, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Well narrated with excellent original footage. The British campaign in North Africa is an interesting study of multinational military forces within a single command. This documentary is a composite of original footage from multiple sources. Certainly intended to be released to the public but I would choose to disagree with another review that it is typical of propaganda films. The information and description of the strategy used is accurate and well presented. It is intended to be easy to follow and includes a personal touch here and there. Imagine the North African desert as the scene for some of the most important tank battles of WWII . . . the logistics are staggering!

Unfortunately the presentation on US forces in the Aleutian Islands is typical of the propaganda films during this timeline. Not as well known as the battles in the South Pacific island hopping, it is none the less important. The main focus is on Kiska and the preparations necessary to defeat the Japanese presence in the Aleutians.

Recommended for those with an interest in WWII . . . beginners, those who want an interesting overview and WWII history buffs. The original footage is worth the time.

Suggested viewing from the German perspective: Rommel - The Complete First Season. The episodes are in reverse order. Offered as Amazon Prime instant video.
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5.0 out of 5 stars On of best WWII documentary films April 16, 2014
By BioBob
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Interesting from historical point of view. Demonstrates relatively higher level of sophistication by British in "documentary" film making during WWII. I watched it in the context of having read "Five Who Returned" which details the military/political pressures on film makers at that time. Has loads of actual battlefield footage which was a big advance for that time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A documentary February 19, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
A documentary with a propaganda overlay, to be expected. Thank goodness the Allies won after all! Good historic film of real events. Worth the watch.
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