Battlefield (TV series)

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For other uses, see Battlefield (disambiguation).
Battlefield
BattlefieldTitleCard.jpg
Genre War documentary
Distributed by PBS
Directed by Dave Flitton
Produced by Andy Aitken, Justin McCarthy
Written by Dave Flitton
Music by David Galbraith
Country USA
Language English
Release date 1994

Battlefield was a documentary series initially shown in 1994 that explores the most important battles fought primarily during the Second World War and the Vietnam War.[1] The series employs a novel approach in which history is described by detailed accounts of major battles together with background and contextual information.[2]

Production[edit]

The series provides a comprehensive narrative of the war; in addition to traditional tactical details, subjects such as personalities and motivations of the leaders, technological developments, management of war economies, strategic contributions of smaller battles, etc. are explored in terms of their contribution to particular turning points. The narrator (Tim Pigott-Smith) speaks throughout the series, with no interviews of actual battle veterans. The show is entirely made up of archive footage and 3D graphics. Rare archive film, including rare colour footage specific to each battle is included.

Detailed analysis of the battle including leaders, commanders, soldiers and weapons is presented. Events preceding the featured battle are presented, as well as some aftermath details. The political and military situation before each battle. Explanations of weapons and tactics. Detailed analysis of the cause of each battle. The action in the context of the war as a whole. Informative maps and graphics.

Episodes consist of two hour (100 minute) programs. Each episode of Battlefield is divided into segments. A typical sequence is as follows:

  • Prelude to Battle / Order of Battle / The Leaders / Strategy for Offense / Strategy for Defense / The Commanders / The Opposing Forces / Weapons / The Men / The Eve of Battle / The Battle, several Phases / The Battle Won / After the Battle

The series was produced by Lamancha Productions in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Episodes[edit]

Series One - 1994[edit]

Battlefield (Series 1)
Directed by Dave Flitton, Andy Aitken, Justin McCarthy
Produced by Dave Flitton (series prod.), David McWhinnie, Ken Maliphant, David Rozalla
Written by Dave Flitton, Andy Aitken
Narrated by Tim Piggott-Smith; Jonathan Booth
Music by David Galbraith
Distributed by PBS
Release date(s) 1994
Running time 6 116-minute episodes
Country USA
Language English
  1. The Battle of France
  2. The Battle of Britain
  3. The Battle of Midway
  4. The Battle of Stalingrad
  5. The Battle of Normandy
  6. The Battle of Berlin


Series Two - 1996[edit]

Battlefield (Series 2)
Directed by Dave Flitton, Andy Aitken, James Wignall
Produced by Dave Flitton (series prod.), David McWhinnie, Ken Maliphant, David Rozalla
Written by Dave Flitton, Andy Aitken, James Wignall
Narrated by Jonathan Booth
Music by David Galbraith
Distributed by PBS
Release date(s) 1996
Running time 6 116-minute episodes
Country USA
Language English
  1. The Battle for North Africa
  2. The Battle of the Atlantic
  3. The Battle for Russia
  4. The Battle for Italy
  5. The Battle of Leyte Gulf
  6. The Battle for the Rhine


Series Three (Vietnam War) - 1999[edit]

Battlefield Vietnam
Directed by James Wignall, Liam Tanner, David Black
Produced by Dave Flitton (series prod.), David McWhinnie, Ken Maliphant, David Rozalla
Written by Dave Flitton
Narrated by Gavin MacFadyen
Music by David Galbraith
Distributed by PBS
Release date(s) 1999
Running time 12 58-minute episodes
Country USA
Language English
  1. Dien Bien Phu - The Legacy
  2. The Undeclared War
  3. Search and Destroy
  4. The Showdown in the Iron Triangle
  5. Countdown to Tet
  6. The Tet Offensive
  7. War on the DMZ
  8. Siege at Khe Sanh
  9. Air War Vietnam
  10. Rolling Thunder
  11. Peace with Honor
  12. The Fall of Saigon


Series Four - 2000[edit]

  1. Kursk
  2. Air War Over Germany
  3. Manchuria
  4. Pearl Harbor
  5. Guadalcanal
  6. Leningrad

Series Five - 2001[edit]

  1. Tunisia
  2. El Alamein
  3. The Battle for Monte Cassino
  4. The West Wall
  5. Operation Market Garden
  6. The Battle for Caen

Series Six - 2002[edit]

  1. The Battle for the Crimea
  2. Scandinavia - The Forgotten Front
  3. The War Against the U-Boats
  4. Destination Okinawa
  5. Campaign in the Balkans
  6. The Battle for the Mediterranean

Broadcast History[edit]

The Battlefield series was originally aired on the BBC (UK) and PBS Television (USA). The Military Channel showed a shortened version of the series. Major networks still showing documentaries from the ‘Battlefield’ series include Discovery Networks Europe (UK) and PBS (USA).

DVD release[edit]

Battlefield series one DvD set.

Series one[edit]

The Battlefield series has been issued in videotape by Polygram Video (UK - PAL format) and Time-Life (USA - NTSC format). DVD collections were reissued by Polygram Video in the UK (PAL format) in 2005. In 2010 the original series was re-released on DVD in the US.

Specifications:

  • Release date: 02/05/2005
  • Format: PAL, six two-hour episodes on six DVDs
  • Running Time: 11 hours 10 minutes
  • Narrator - Tim Pigott-Smith
  • Executive Producers - David McWhinnie, David Rozalla, Ken Maliphant
  • Producer - Dave Flitton (series prod.)
  • Directors - Dave Flitton, Andy Aitken, Justin McCarthy

Series two[edit]

Specifications:

  • Release date: 02/05/2005
  • Format: PAL
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Running Time: 300 mins

Series Three[edit]

Series Three was reissued by Time-Life as 12 segments, each 50 minutes long, on NTSC VHS videotapes. The series was produced by LaMancha Productions and produced and directed by Dave Flitton. 3D Graphics by Greg Moodie and Gavin Bonnar. A PolyGram Visual Programming/Lamancha co-production. Narrated by Gavin MacFadyen.

Series Four[edit]

Series Four has been published by Time-Life with 50-minute NTSC VHS videotape episodes. The program copyright is Cromwell Productions, Ltd. (2001).

Reception[edit]

For Battlefield Vietnam:

'I have never seen a sustained narrative about the Vietnam War which captures the subtle nuances of it in such clear and simple language. Superb treatment.' - Dr. Robert Goldich, National Security Specialist, US Library of Congress

'Every department of politics or modern history should invest in this set, and use it.' - Journal of Strategic Studies'

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Battlefield (TV series)". IMDB. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Battlefield (TV series)". Vasile Iuga. Retrieved 1 July 2014.

External links[edit]