The Unknown War: WWII And The Epic Battles Of The Russian Front
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
The Unknown War was a landmark television documentary series about the Soviet struggle against, and ultimate victory over, the Nazi war machine. Hosted and narrated by Academy Award winner Burt Lancaster, this sprawling series features rare and stunning footage recorded by Soviet camera crews on the front lines, most of it unseen since its original broadcast 30 years ago. From the June 22, 1941, invasion of the Soviet Union to the Russians victorious march into Berlin in 1945, the devastating battles in the air, at sea and on land are detailed with astonishing images. These stories of heroism, savagery and suffering from what the Russians call The Great Patriotic War will shed new light on the Red Armys massive contribution to the Allies defeat of Hitler in World War II.
Analysis by Willard Sunderland, associate professor of Russian history at the University of Cincinnati
Top Customer Reviews
The Unknown War was produced with Soviet participation after the release of The World at War, which the Soviet government felt paid insufficient attention to their part in World War II. Released in 1978, The Unknown War is sympathetic to the Soviet struggle against Nazi Germany and that may be why it was quickly withdrawn from American TV after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
The Unknown War TV series is one of the few documentary accounts of the war on the Eastern Front from the Soviet side. The interviews of many leading Soviet generals commanding some of the most decisive battles on the Eastern front, along with the Russian participation in the editorial staff of the series, compose an alternative (to Western) view of the gigantic clash between Germany and the Soviet Union.
Because the series was written from the Soviet perspective, it ignores or glosses-over Stalin's pre-war purges of his senior officer corps, the pre-war famines that decimated the peasant class, the non-aggression pact with Germany, the Soviet invasion of Poland and the Soviet invasion of Finland. It often praises the valor of the Soviet soldiers, without ever mentioning that deserters and even those who failed to advance with sufficient speed were summarily shot.Read more ›
Still the video is great to see. The reason this series was made was a response to the World at War series which barely touched on the Russian front. I agree that the story of the Russian front had to be expanded more but to only do it from the Russian viewpoint is not right either.
One last thing to type about. According to Wikipedia the original running time was 1040 minutes. This release is 990 minutes. So on average 2 and a half minutes were cut off of each episode.
Correction: I see a representative of SHOUT who is the originator of this release admitted they made a mistake in listing the run time as 990 minutes. It looks like the end of the rainbow has been reached with this release after all! It is supposed to have an interview with Rod McKuen who was involved with the making of this series and an interview with a professor of Russian history!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After watching this, I researched but Lancaster to see if he had communist leanings. BurtLancaster is the narrator. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rob
First saw these in college, lo those many years ago. They are fantastic. Completely overhauls your understanding of World War II. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Terry McKay
I have enjoyed the series very much,, It is extremely informative. However, the dvd disk #2 is defective. Can you replace it please?Published 4 months ago by Pat Smith
Amazing photography, and this series helped to answer a number of questions I had about the relationship between the U.S. and Russia. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Petesweet
This five DVD set chronicles the epic Russian resistance to the WWII German invasion of their nation and their final victory over the cream of the Nazi armies but the tale is... Read morePublished 6 months ago by David G. Wuchinich