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The Century of Warfare (1993)

Robert Powell , Dai Bao , The History Channel  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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The Century of Warfare + The World at War
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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Powell, Dai Bao, Fulgencio Batista, David Beatty, Ahmed Ben Bella
  • Directors: The History Channel
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2003
  • Run Time: 1350 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008PHCY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,515 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Century of Warfare" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 26 50-minute episodes on 7 discs

Editorial Reviews

Ride into Aqaba with Lawrence of Arabia. Stand with Patton as his tanks lead the Allied breakout from the coast of Normandy. Patrol the nighttime jungles of Vietnam…

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Well-rounded treatment of 20th Century conflicts. February 19, 2004
The Century of Warfare is a somewhat inconsistent but generally satisfying production that mixes flashes of brilliance with equal doses of mediocrity.
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.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If it weren't for the British ... June 12, 2006
By tjc
I just recently purchased this DVD set and I am, for the most part, happy with it. I also own the Victory at Sea and The World at War DVD sets and this is a good addition to my collection. V at S and W at W deal only with WW II, so the value of C of W is it's dealing with other 20th century conflicts.

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.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars college level history lessons December 18, 2005
By it
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is real history given at the freshman college level. The main information is in the audio with the video as illustrations.

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.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well done set with comprehensive coverage December 1, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This set more than makes up for the "Disaster" (Victory) At Sea collection recently released by the History Channel.
These discs are wonderfully mastered, with very few recreations ( and those are subtly done ) plus first rate production values: the sound quality is superb, the music plays quitely in the background and adds to the overall effect, rather than being a distraction. The narration is informative, and well paced. The narration comes out front and center in the 5.1 format, with the music providing stereo effects, and the dubbing of the sound effects is well done, and matches the pacing and content of the original silent film well. There is some minor surround info, but that is not a detriment. The discs break the years/events into well chosen blocks, and the net effect is that a great deal of information is presented, without being dull or overbearing. Some of the early moving footage is particularly rare and has been well cleaned up in these transfers. The narrative perspective tends to be British, talking about the "war of 1914-1918" rather than "World War One" as Americans are used to, but the overall effect is very competent and correct. While admitedly no historian, I didn't notice any real gaffs in either facts or the conclusions as presented.
The quality of the transfers is EXCELLENT, holding up very well even on a big screen ( 47" ) in progressive scan. The image is sharp, and well lit. The intro's are a bit repetitous, but at least they don't everwhelm you in blasting modern stereo and then leave the audio to fade out to inteligibility when you get into the program, and each of the 4 major segements on each disc has a "Play all" button so you don't have to endlessly work the remote or the menus.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars very well done
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 27 days ago by Tom
5.0 out of 5 stars Prime Used meets Expectations
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 5 months ago by Christopher Youmans
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointed
The add shows the whole pack. I got just one episode, but I did enjoy it. I've seen the entire documentary. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Warlock
5.0 out of 5 stars I got the last one
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 more
Published 13 months ago by duke
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good film
A very complet historical dvds, also very entertein and it is a good way to lern some historical topics, i like it
Published 16 months ago by janet
5.0 out of 5 stars Century of Warfare.
Century of Warfare was a good buy at a great price . I have watched all the volumes and completely happy with their content
Published on March 6, 2012 by Robert J. Hovis
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasic Collectors item
This superb and Outstanding account of WW2 Video footage and voice over are both Excellent.This box set is a must for all who study the events of War
Published on January 20, 2012 by Gary
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Condensed Knowledge, I'm a War Junkie!
I watch these shows repeatedly. My favorites are about the Eastern Front and the Pacific in WWII. I transferred these to my media server, and use PlayOn to stream it to wherever... Read more
Published on May 18, 2011 by SeventhSamurai72
5.0 out of 5 stars The Century of Warfare
This outstanding documentary, with rare footage and in depth reporting, should be shown to every young person. Read more
Published on June 25, 2010 by Janet Lister Caldwell
5.0 out of 5 stars The Conflicts That Shaped A Century
Between two World Wars, the Cold War plus numerous other conflicts, the twentieth century proved to be perhaps the most violent in terms of armed conflict. Read more
Published on January 31, 2010 by Matthew Kresal
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