The Century of Warfare
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A CENTURY OF WARFARE explores the pivotal battles, profiles the commanders and chronicles the myriad ways in which war has shaped the modern world. The 26 hour-long episodes in this monumental set feature an encyclopedic collection of archival film dating back to 1896, creating an unforgettable visual record of every major military engagement from the precursors of World War I to the liberation of Kuwait.
THE HISTORY CHANNEL is proud to present this epic, landmark series, now available in its entirety and presented on DVD for the first time ever.
DVD Features: Interactive Menu; Scene Selection
- 26 50-minute episodes on 7 discs
Top Customer Reviews
The strength of this set lies in attention to detail, such as the strong opening episode which examines the political and social make-up of the world from the late 1800s up to the start of the First World War. Factors often overlooked by more conventional military history video productions are given their just due, including a refreshingly thorough examination of the Balkan tinderbox.
World War I is given very detailed treatment, particularly in lesser known theaters. For example, the episode entitled Battle Fleets and U-Boats takes the time to cover many secondary naval clashes, as opposed to the usual tunnel-vision emphasis on submarine warfare and the Battle of Jutland.
World War II is a weak spot, primarily because there are more comprehensive works available, in particular the masterful "World at War" series. However, given the overall scope of The Century of Warfare, these are relatively minor weaknesses.
The Korean Conflict is given more than a cursory look, another conspicuous plus for this production. Many minor conflicts which have been largely ignored (at least by Western historians) are also covered.
Production values are excellent, relying on historical footage with no attempt to edit or correct flaws. This insistence on authentic images imparts an almost tangible immediacy and power to the series.
The one serious weakness is in the narration. Robert Powell's droning, monotonous reading of the script is an excellent prescription for insomnia but does little to support what is often a powerful and gripping visual record.Read more ›
If you are considering buying this collection, please understand that this is a British production (with a British narrator) and has a decidedly British point of view. This should not keep you from purchasing Century of Warfare.
The 20th century is often refered to as the "American Century" for good reason, but you may not get that feeling or understanding from this DVD collection. After watching this, you may get the idea that Great Britain is still a super power as it was at the dawn of the 20th century. That's OK, the videos in this collection are excellent and, even in it's treatment of WW II, there are videos that I have not seen in V at S or W at W.
As for the narration, it has been criticized in other reviews as dull and monotonous. Well, as I said, the narrator is British and he does keep that famous "stiff upper lip," but the narration is insightful and well done.
The Century of Warfare goes beyond just the military aspect of the century and delves into the political, economic, and social events of the century. Yes, Great Britain was a super power at the beginning of the 20th century and the wars she fought took its toll on this nation in more than the loss of life. Perhaps a lesson that should not be lost on the United States today.
This is in stark contrast to the junior high school level journalism-propaganda type programs on PBS that pass for history lessons.
One shortcoming is that it does not give enough time to the espionage operations of the wars. Another is some minor errors. For example the Bismark is claimed to have been sunk. The captain claimed it was scuttled. Underwater photos of the wreck confirm this.
There are some errors. In the Vietnam portion they describe a general rotating out after two years (standard Army practice) as being relieved of his command. They fail to mention that the final collapse was caused by congress cutting off resupply of critical items such as ammunition. Tet 68 was a US victory. Almost of the Vietcong were killed when they fought to the death instead of retreating. After that the war was carried on by regular army troops of the north who wore civilian clothes. Another error was their inferring that the US public in general had turned against the war by 1972 or so. Nixon won the election by the second greatest landslide in presidential election history. He won over the other candidate who wanted to stop the war immediately and withdraw immediately.
The first part of the series is"The Violent Century", which is very much both an overview and introduction to the series. It covers the lead up, fighting and aftermaths of both World Wars plus the Cold War as well. After that it primarily it looks at the advancement of weapons technology including the evolution of submarine--warfare and air-warfare. This first part also looks at the rise of weapons of mass destruction and unconventional warfare and how they changed the face of warfare forever along with the conflicts that rose up in the back half of the century (or at least up until 1993). This episode alone is well worth the price tag as it gives a fine overview of the wars and weapons of the last century.
The heart of the series therefore lies in the nineteen parts that act as its coverage of the two World Wars. Parts two through seven cover World War I in virtually every imaginable detail from the lead up to the war, both the Western and Eastern fronts, the war at sea and the beginnings of air-warfare.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well worth the price. Good content selection and first rate narration.Published 12 months ago by John L. Olsen
I am Brazilian, i like read and study the ww2, i don't receive yet but i know the series from internet. I decided buy because it's a great serie. If you like of ww2 buy. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Fernando de Nazaré Ferreira Júnior
This is a series that covers the vast subject of human conflict in the twentieth century. Starting with World War One, it spends most of the series on World War Two, and finishes... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Pen Name
If you like military history, these are the DVDs for you. There is a lot to watch and it mainly focus on WWI and WWII. But overall, very well put together and good narration.Published 22 months ago by Tom
Highly recommened and the packaging met expectations. Bought it used to save some funds for our Media Center. Very excited to be able to save so much on these videos.Published on November 18, 2013 by Christopher Youmans
The add shows the whole pack. I got just one episode, but I did enjoy it. I've seen the entire documentary. Read morePublished on October 7, 2013 by Warlock
I have borrowed this from a local library and left Volume two in the car on a cold day. It cracked as I attempted to remove it from the case which was rather old and poorly... Read morePublished on March 2, 2013 by duke