The History Channel Ultimate Collections: World War II
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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?
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you a history buff like me then you'll want to get this. It has hours of footage form WWII and lots of information and some footage never seen. Excellent Package.Published 16 months ago by BigDrM
dry, boring, bad narration. Avoid this set - there are much better products out there.Published 19 months ago by bizzybee
If you are looking for the four year U.S. history of WW II this may fill the bill. It is really
good and you will not be sorry to view the action that it took to win the war.
I gave this series of DVDs 5 Stars because of the manner by which the story is told and it is also a comprehensive collection of some of the very best film taken of the war and... Read morePublished on August 7, 2013 by DIGITALSHOOTER
Very informative, and amazing footage. I would very much recommend this DVD series.
My wife was even glued to it!!!
Purchased as a gift for my father. He was very excited to receive it, and has slowly been watching each DVD.Published on March 18, 2012 by Dr. Bink
This is the worst video documentary I have EVER seen, not the material, the quality. I have seen much of the footage in other documentaries but this looked as if it was filmed from... Read morePublished on January 19, 2012 by Richard C Cloven
Received this item in a very timely manner . . . I did order it in error . . . returned itPublished on February 5, 2011 by N. E. Edwards