World War II in HD Colour

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World War II In HD Colour
Also known as World War II in Color
Genre Educational
Based on World War II
Written by Jonathan Martin[1]
Narrated by Robert Powell[1]
Theme music composer De Wolfe[1]
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Production
Producer(s) Matthew Barrett[1]
Martin Hughes[1]
Phil Howard Jones[1]
Philip Nugus[1]
Antony Oliphant[1]
Production location(s) United Kingdom
Editor(s) Antony Oliphant[1]
Simon Astbury[1]
David Grewal[1]
Aneta Naszynska[1]
Running time Approximately 10 hours 33 minutes
Production company(s) NM Productions
Distributor IMG Media
Release
Original network American Heroes Channel
Original release 2008 – 2009
External links
Website

World War II In HD Colour is a 13-episode television documentary series recounting the major events of World War II narrated by Robert Powell.[1]

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.[2]

The series is in full colour, combining both original and colourised footage. It was made by World Media Rights in 2008/2009.

Research Issues[edit]

The narration includes some inaccuracies and facts open to dispute.

The first episode claims that the 1937 Japanese attack on the USS Panay resulted in the death of 50, rather than 3, members of the crew.

Episode 2 features a map of pre-war Finland that omits the parts of Karelia bordering Lake Ladoga and the Karelian Isthmus, and claims that independence was achieved in 1918 as opposed to 1917. Episode 2 also implies that Britain was alone during the bombing of London when in fact the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) number one squadron went into action and helped defend against the Germans. It claims that the Polish cavalry was equipped with swords and lances, in fact they were equipped with anti-tank weapons in the Charge at Krojanty and is German propaganda.

The narration In Episode 5 suggests that the Japanese march on Port Moresby was only halted when US troops arrived to reinforce the Australians, when in fact US forces did not assist until the Australians had pushed the Japanese completely off the Owen Stanley Range. [3][4]

Episode 5 also ignores the Japanese amphibious landing at Milne Bay on the southern tip of Papua in August-September 1942. That attack sought to capture Milne Bay airfield and was repulsed by the Australian Army and Air Force. It was World War II's first defeat of the Japanese on land, prior to the success at Guadalcanal. [5]

In Episode 6, a graphic of the Italian Republic flag is incorrectly and repeatedly displayed on maps instead of the Kingdom of Italy flag.

In Episode 5, the narrator claims that U.S Marines invaded Guadalcanal in July 1942. The Guadalcanal campaign began on August 7th, 1942. [6]

In Episode 5, the narrator claims that the U.S. Navy had only 2 aircraft carriers in service at the time of the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor. There were actually 5 carriers (USS Enterprise (CV-6), USS Yorktown (CV-5), USS Hornet (CV-8), USS Lexington (CV-2), and USS Saratoga (CV-3)) in service with the U.S. Navy at that time.

In Episode 3, the narrator claimed that Roosevelt's Republican opponent Wendell Willkie was an isolationist. Willkie was a strong supporter of American intervention and Lend-Lease aid to Britain.

In Episode 2, the narrator claimed that the Nazis had only 95 divisions available for the Battle of France. The Nazi Army used 136 divisions in the French campaign.

In Episode 1, the narrator implied that Hitler sent 12,000 German soldiers into the Spanish Civil War. There were no German ground forces fighting in Spain, only the Luftwaffe's Condor Legion took part.

In Episode 1, the narrator wrongly claims Slovakia was a protectorate and Czech lands were incorporated into Third Reich. In fact there was a Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia while Slovakia was a fascist state led by Josef Tiso loyal to Germany.

Some of the colourised footage is inaccurate: German tanks shown at the beginning are green rather than grey[7], the UK troops' brown khaki uniforms are wrongly colored green [8][better source needed], and a green- on-green camouflage pattern shown on Spitfires was never used by the RAF, but rather should be green-on-brown.[9]

The series also claims that the first Luftwaffe bombing of London was an accident, although some now believe that to be accurate.[10]

Throughout the series the authors disregard all the territorial changes in Central Europe during the war (Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, North-Transylvania, see e.g.: Vienna Award ) and focus only on the German army movements. While the creators use the pre 1939 borders on the map of Central Europe continuously, they change it, when they put the city of Vilnius in episode 8 into Lithuania, despite the fact it was a city in Poland between the two world wars.[11]

In episode 12, it is claimed that United States President Franklin Roosevelt died of a heart attack. In fact, it was a cerebral hemorrhage.

Episodes[edit]

# Title
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.
9"Overlord"
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.

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References[edit]

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