Top 5 Documentaries About World War II You need Watch

World War II was certainly one of the topical events of the last century; the event, in fact, that has definitely broken the 20th century, between a first half dominated by war and by tensions (apart from totalitarianism), and a second, characterized by a long, tiring but inexorable journey toward peace.

It is no coincidence, then, that that conflict lasted six years has been studied, remembered and analyzed in various sizes and in various ways. and because it had a meaning so profound in Europe and the world from that point onward, but also because he lived on their skin from half the world's population, which saw the soldiers fighting on the outskirts of the city or had relatives and friends that in that conflict lost a part of themselves.

Now that the flow of us away more and more from that reality now far away, trying to keep alive the memory of those events in a variety of ways; and one of the most effective is the documentary, they reconstruct the events with the historian's look but trying to make them appealing to the general public through television.

Various jobs of this type that were broadcast on tv or released on DVD over the past years, especially (but not only) English and American school; but which ones are the best? What's the most exciting ones, held far from the boredom that can easily run with format of this kind and at the same time to give a full and interesting overview of the conflict? Here are the five that we seem to be the best.

The World at War
English masterpiece narrated by Laurence Olivier
Perhaps the most beautiful documentary about the second world war ever made is neither recent, nor easily retrievable in . We are talking about The World at War, a series produced by the British ITV channel between 1973 and 1974 and narrated in the original language by the voice of the Shakespearean actor (and film) Laurence Olivier.

Composed of 26 episodes (totaling more than 22 hours of transmission), departed on October 31, 1973 series with an episode devoted to the rise of Hitler in Germany, then in the second installment in the invasion of Poland, to move then, over the weeks, at the front of the Pacific Ocean and Africa. Finally, in the last episodes, space was left to the analysis of the so-called home front, living conditions in Britain, Germany and the occupied countries, to tackle the thorny issues of final solution and of the atomic bomb on Japan.

Created by Jeremy Isaacs, then a young producer of fine hopes and now a baronet, the series is still considered a cornerstone of British television, and because it created with large expenditure of means (the total cost you wandered around £ 1 million, a record at the time), both for the quality of the narrative, which dwell on military maneuvers but also about the effect the war had on the lives of both soldiers and civilians.

In Italy, as we said, the series is hard to find. As we know, has never been dubbed in Italian, but through web stores you can – if you know English – buy the set in their original language, or at least seeing some episode on YouTube

All the battles narrated by the Americans
Much more recent is the Battlefieldseries, reached 42 episodes between 1994 and 2002 and produced and broadcast by PBS, the channel in the United States, most resembles the one that for us Europeans is a public tv: PBS, in fact, is a not-for-profit company owned by a network that includes more than 300 public broadcasters, and whose intention – in principle – was now purely educational. In this context, the network mainly takes care of culture, science, technology, history, medicine, and other themes that otherwise would find little room in which broadcasters have to compare with the market.

From this philosophy is born precisely Batterfield, a series intended to tell some (but then, over time, have become many) of the major battles of World War II. The first series began immediately with a bang, starting with the invasion of France and the battle of Berlin, passing in the Middle for the battle of Britain, for that of Midway, for that of Stalingrad and the battle of Normandy.

From the second season onwards, we focused on the Italian front and the African campaign of Russia and even the forgotten fronts such as Scandinavian. Of 42 episodes cited, though, not everyone is dedicated to World War II: the third season, in fact, convinced that you had mentioned that there was to say, was dedicated by the producers to the Viet Nam war, only to return to basics the following year because strong demand was still for fans to learn about the battles of the years ' 40.

Counting that each episode lasts almost two hours, you can still easily make how Herculean the effort have been Americans. The main proponent of the whole project was Dave Flitton, often helped, though, both in writing and in directed by Andy Aitken and James S/s. Even in this case, in the absence of an Italian dubbing, we must settle for DVDs in their original language.

Auschwitz: the Nazis and the ' Final Solution '
Inside the concentration camp
Surely, he had only one Anglo-American fundamental role in conducting and concluding World War II, but in telling it: as we shall see, apart from a few recent cases, all the best documentaries on the conflict are British or American array, because in these countries, the documentary has long since become a moment of rediscovery of the national identity, of Union, historical accuracy and disclosure. Thing in Italy and partly in Europe would be difficult to make compromises, as we are with pages that we would at least partly forgotten.

Auschwitz: the Nazis and the ' Final Solution ' is another production coming from the United Kingdom, although created this time by the BBC and by a number of historians led by Laurence Rees (with narration by actor Samuel West, also seen in Howards end, Notting Hill and other British films). Structured in six episodes lasting 60 minutes, focuses on the history of Auschwitz using interviews with prisoners and some guards.

Launched in January 2005, the documentary uses archival footage is in black and white colour that rarely had been transmitted before then, interviews with survivors and Veterans Nazis, reconstruction carried out in 3D buildings demolished to the computer (which was only possible after the opening of the old archives of the Soviet Union, which took place in the years ' 90) and especially the tale – more accurate and precise than ever before – some important meetings and meetings that made the story of the notorious concentration camp more famous of the Third Reich.

Created with great attention to historical accuracy, the long tale devotes considerable space to the Wannsee Conference, where it was decided the fate of European Jews, and more generally the Holocaust even beyond Auschwitz, configuring itself as the most suggestive reconstruction of final solution perpetrated by Hitler and his subordinates. Even in this case there is no Italian dubbing.

The War
Great actors to tell Americans war
Once again broadcast by PBS, which has imported into America the documentary about Auschwitz that we just talked about – is also The War, long series was created in 2007 by Geoffrey Ward, a leading American authority in the field of historical documentary: his works are often rewarded with the Emmy, have ranged over the course of his career from the clan Kennedy to the American civil war, baseball history at Roosevelt.

With the Emmy was awarded also The War, series divided into 7 episodes lasting two hours each about World War II from the perspective of exclusively American, following in particular the stories of a number of people who were sent to Europe, the Pacific and in Africa, in the various theaters of war, with the help of some actors, including Tom Hanks, Samuel l. Jackson and Eli Wallach – they read articles, telegrams and letters from the front.

The first episode aired September 23, 2007 on television, Americans had the United States ' entry into the war and the first year of the conflict; by the second episode it came then in more detail, with the various military operations on the faces, until you get to the last episode that focused on recent weeks of conflict and the new world that was opening for peace.

Exported to various countries, both Anglophones and different language (good success they had, in particular, also broadcasts in France, Germany and Austria), this documentary is unreleased in Italy, but it is easy to retrieve it, depending on your needs, both English and French or German.

Apocalypse: The Second World War
The French documentary, also broadcast in English
Is French for once – and for once also found in Italian – the last of our documentaries, the recent Apocalypse, aired for the first time in 2009 by broadcasters France 2 in France, RTBF in Belgium and TSR in Switzerland, to then be translated and exported to various countries (in our was broadcast from 4 Network and National Geographic Channel).

Divided into six episodes for a total of more than 5 hours of footage, the documentary was made by Daniel Costelle and Isabelle Clarke, Jean-Louis Guillaud, Henri de Turenne (who had already won an Emmy in 1982 for a documentary about Viet Nam war), and has taken advantage of the narrative by Mathieu Kassovitz, French film director and actor famous from our parts especially for the part of Nino Quincampoix in the fabulous world of Amelie.

The six episodes, as in other series, are starting from the premises of the war, beginning with the rise of Nazism up aggression to Poland; We then move on to the fall of France and the battle of Britain, the desert war and the campaign of Russia, until the expansion of the war and to the last and decisive battles. The whole thing, giving wide space to the portraits of the protagonists of the war (including the Italians, Mussolini and Ciano).

The films presented are all original made in his day by war correspondents, soldiers and resistance fighters (and, in some cases, even by private individuals), largely colorizzati in order to make the whole colour transmission; the only exceptions, some movies about the Holocaust, in which for a precise choice has decided to leave the images in the original black and white.
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