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The History Channel Ultimate Collections: World War II


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DVD 10-Disc Version
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Product Details

  • Actors: Patrick O'Neal
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Color, 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: 10
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 28, 2006
  • Run Time: 892 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H5U5US
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,702 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The History Channel Ultimate Collections: World War II" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Includes:
  • World War II: The War in Europe
  • World War II: The War in the Pacific
  • Biography: General Douglas MacArthur: Return of a Legend
  • Okinawa: The Final Battle
  • Empires of Industry: War Planes of WWII
  • Nuremberg: Tyranny on Trial
  • Great Blunders of World War II

Editorial Reviews

World War II encompassed some of America's greatest triumphs and most bitter defeats. World War II: Ultimate Collections is a comprehensive and intimate survey of this epic war.THE HISTORY CHANNEL® has collected nearly 30 of its greatest World War II documentaries each packed with original archival footage interviews with military experts and historians and gripping reenactments on 10 DVDs.System Requirements:Run Time: 892 minsFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DOCUMENTARIES/MISC. Rating: NR UPC: 733961762808 Manufacturer No: AAE-76280

Customer Reviews

A history buff should really look past the narration and look at the footage.
Military Intelligence
This is the worst video documentary I have EVER seen, not the material, the quality.
Richard C Cloven
So, the original episodes no longer exists and you get heavily edited programs.
James E. Adam

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

139 of 147 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 8, 2006
Format: DVD
This is a great ten disc set showcasing what the History Channel always did best in my opinion - document World War II. I haven't liked how the History Channel has "mainstreamed" its offerings over the last few years, and thus this set is a real treat for long time viewers. It's also great for your kids to watch if they think that history is boring - it will change their minds. The following are the set's contents:

DISC ONE:

World War II: The War in Europe - Part 1

This disc contains four episodes from War Chronicles, a multiple-episode series of war documentaries written and directed by Don Horan, and hosted and narrated by actor Patrick O'Neal. Running about 26 minutes each in length, the episodes included on this disc were produced in 1983 and 1985. They feature no interviews, just O'Neal and at times, an anonymous narrator who, inexplicable, drops in additional voice-over material explaining in detailed narration over the graphic archival footage, the various battle campaigns. Primitive visual aids are used to highlight the action which at times consist of just O'Neal, pointing at a map. The episodes included are:

The Greatest Conflict: From the German Blitzkrieg to the Allies' bloody battle for Berlin.

North Africa...The Desert War: Details the German attack on Kasserine Pass, where the British 1st Army and untested American troops faced the full force of Germany's seasoned Afrika Corps.

The Beachhead at Anzio: Follow the story of the Allied landing, the brutal German counterattack, and the final Allied offensive that would turn the tide of this historic battle.

D-Day...The Normandy Invasion: discusses the largest amphibious assault in world history.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Magellan HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 29, 2008
Format: DVD
I note that there are a lot of lukewarm reviews of this set, and even a fair number of negative comments relating to its shortcomings. For me, though, as a beginner in World War II history, something I knew very little about, I found this set quite enjoyable and informative. I liked how each episode is divided into various segments discussing the country's leaders and generals, the armies and positions involved, order of battle, military strategy, and the weapons themselves--ships, tanks, planes, etc. This approach made it very easy for a non-specialist to follow and to learn from.

The footage is truly spectacular; in one film sequence, a Stuka dive-bomber scores a near miss on a tank, which flies up into the air, flips over, and lands on its turret, upside down. Wow. The extensive footage of fighters strafing tanks on the ground, shooting down enemy planes, bombers dropping hundreds of bombs, and battleships firing massive broadsides are amazing to watch. With extensive footage of aerial dogfights, sea battles, artillery, tank, and infantry action, you get fantastic footage of every aspect of mechanized warfare in the 20th century.

Besides the many important facts about the history, you pick up many fascinating smaller tidbits of information. I had thought that the Russian equipment was inferior to the other armies, but the Russian T-34 tank was the best of any tank in WWII. It had thick, sloping armor that the Germans couldn't penetrate initially, since most German tanks were equipped with a lighter machine gun and the heavier, more effective gun was only in limited use by the time of the battle of Russia. During the battle of Stalingrad, the rifles of the Germans froze and often became unusable.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By James E. Adam on May 29, 2007
Format: DVD
I agree with the majority, that this set is very incomplete. While content presented on WW II is good, I have other issues.

The running time is approximately 810 minutes (not 892 minutes) on 10 DVDs in the standard cases, which requires at least 6 inches of shelf space. Only 4 DVDs were required, but 10 DVDs were used.

I mainly purchased this set for the 10 Military (Great) Blunders episodes. I was hugely disappointed that all episodes ran between 20:55 and 21:07 minutes. I have some of these episodes on VHS and they ran 22 minutes and I was hoping that original running times of perhaps 23 minutes, would be in this set. The problem is the History Channel (and the rest of the TV universe) keeps cutting runing times for more commercials. So, the original episodes no longer exists and you get heavily edited programs. Maybe, if the History Channel had shipped the original, uncut episodes, 892 minutes may have been correct.

Bottomline, while there are much better choices for WW II content, there is some unique information, so that you don't feel too ripped off. But, Cable Networks (e.g. History Channel) are the worst of the worst, with commercials galore and distracting on-screen logos. That's why we buy these DVDs, right?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Military Intelligence on February 24, 2009
Format: DVD
A history buff should really look past the narration and look at the footage. A majority of the narration in this collection occurred in the early 1980's when soaps ruled the networks and cable was just beginning, so looking at the material from that era, its understandably rough material.

If the narration bothers some, I suggest putting the soundtrack of your favorite war movie on and then watch the images. Most films of WWII did not have sound, so most anything that you hear in these films are constructed from a sound affects studio done by hand or pre-recorded sounds already in their library. You cannot possibly judge this by today's cinema standards.

I would recommend picking it up for under $25 because some of the films are already available on other collections, but its nice to have them all gathered in one set. So that would cost you about $1 per film in this collection. A bargain.
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