World War II in Colour

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World War II In Colour
Also known asWorld War II in HD Colour
Based onWorld War II
Written byJonathan Martin
Narrated byRobert Powell
Theme music composerDe Wolfe
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
ProducersMatthew Barrett
Martin Hughes
Phil Howard Jones
Philip Nugus
Antony Oliphant
EditorsAntony Oliphant
Simon Astbury
David Grewal
Aneta Naszynska
Running timeApproximately 10 hours 33 minutes
Production companyWorld Media Rights
Original networkChannel 5
Original release2008 (2008) –
2009 (2009)

World War II In Colour is a 13-episode British television docuseries recounting the major events of World War II narrated by Robert Powell. It was first broadcast in 2008–2009. The series is in full colour, combining both original and colourized footage. The show covers the Western Front, Eastern Front, North African Campaign and the Pacific War. It was on syndication in the United States on the Military Channel.[1]


1"The Gathering Storm"
Just years after World War I, Germany and other nations are in an economic depression. Leader approval ratings of Germany, Italy, Japan and Spain are shallow, giving the rise to military dictators along with their parties. Years after Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany, he and his generals plot the invasion of Poland.
2"Lightning War"
The Germans develop a new military tactic known as Blitzkrieg. The Nazis use Blitzkrieg, dominating land and air warfare, allowing them to take Poland and conquer France in matters of weeks. Britain and Canada, as well as other Commonwealth countries, declare war on Germany.
3"Britain at Bay"
July 1940, Britain is standing on its last legs while being pummeled by Germany. Though Hitler has better soldiers and a more powerful air force, critical errors of the Luftwaffe allow Britain to regain strength and start pushing back.
4"Hitler Strikes East"
After the unsuccessful attempt to defeat the British, Hitler focuses his attention on the Soviet Union. This proves to be quite a military gamble.
5"Red Sun Rampant"
On 7 December 1941, the Japanese bomb the U.S. Fleet in Pearl Harbor. The United States officially enters World War II starting with the Pacific Front.
6"The Mediterranean and North Africa"
After success in North Africa and Greece, Allies push Benito Mussolini's forces all the way back to Italy. Italy is then knocked out of the war, Mussolini is deposed, and the Allies start to put real pressure on Nazi Germany.
7"Turning the Tide"
The Allies and the Axis are searching for a final blow to each other to end the war. While the Allies try out strategic fire bombing, Hitler tries cutting off American supply lines with submarines. Right now this is a stalemate.
8"The Soviet Steamroller"
After Hitler's gamble in the East fails, failing to defeat Stalingrad and Moscow, the Soviet Union, with its vast resources and armies, starts to slowly push back and grow. Hitler is now on the defence on ⅔ of his fronts.
After careful planning and tremendous secrecy but more importantly the lack of Hitler's attention, the Allies successfully breach mainland Western Europe through the Normandy landings. After thousands of lives are lost to the operation, the Allies are able to start the liberation of Western Europe.
10"Closing the Ring"
The Allies are now on the offensive on all three fronts. As their forces push through Europe soldiers start uncovering Hitler's death camps. This was the Allies' first concrete knowledge of the Holocaust.
11"The Island War"
An aggressive war is being waged against the Japanese. The United States is now starting to use a new tactic of island-hopping, resulting in the slow crumbling of the Japanese air force and navy.
12"Victory in Europe"
From three sides, the British, Canadians, Americans, and Soviets are starting to shred through what is left of the Third Reich. As the Nazi forces see their final days, Hitler commits suicide, and the Allies begin dividing up Europe.
13"Victory in the Pacific"
The Americans wipe out Japan's air force through a strategy of island-hopping. As the Americans face the decision of what to do with mainland Japan, President Truman calls to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear weapons. Japan had no choice but to surrender, and the Cold War begins.

Thirties in Colour: Countdown to War[edit]

In 2021, Channel 5 broadcast a sister series on their 5Select channel called Thirties in Colour: Countdown to War,[2] which would be replaced in the schedules by the 2009 series in September 2021, once the new programme had got to the point of war in its timeline.[3] Not to be confused with the 2008 BBC Four programme The Thirties in Colour which looked at the work of documentarians Rosie Newman and Harry Wright,[4][5][6] this series featured colourised footage of politicians, newsmakers and other important people from the 1930s (like Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia, and Ellen Wilkinson MP, who was involved with the Jarrow unemployment march),[7] which was interspersed with modern-day comments and insights from historians, plus an onscreen counter ticking down to the declaration of war.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "World my War II In HD Colour". Daily Motion. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  2. ^ "Thirties in Colour: Countdown to War".
  3. ^ "World War II in Colour Season 1".
  4. ^ "BBC Four - the Thirties in Colour - Episode guide".
  5. ^ "BBC Four - the Thirties in Colour, A World Away".
  6. ^ "BBC Four - the Thirties in Colour, Adventures in the Americas".
  7. ^ "Thirties in Colour: Countdown to War Season 1".

External links[edit]