The World Wars

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
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Dave Saxton
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The World Wars

Postby Dave Saxton » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:02 pm

Last week I was surfing through channels and came across the History Channel's: The World Wars. This series presents how WW-I and WW2 tie together through key personalities such as Churchill, Hitler, Patton...ect... At least the History Channel is doing something besides pawn shops and junk collectors. I think they are trying to have something real history that the average American just won't change the channel from. Americans are very history illiterate in general. I can appreciate the effort but this may actually do more harm than good.

I understand that to be accessable they can't get bogged down by too much detail. So they don't present much detail. It would be better if the facts they do present were at least correct, though. I was frankly appalled at the number of incorrect facts. Was the basic narrative written by high school students?

Some examples:

The viewer may well come away thinking that the Germans defeated the French in 1940 by a massive (and improvised) frontal assault on the Maginot Line, after finally being forced to act. No mention of Plan Gelb, von Mannstein, the drive to Muese river, Eben Emal, and the encirclement of the Allies in Belgium. Little to no mention of Dunkirk. No mention of the Allied adventure in Norway or the real rationales behind Wesserubung.

The Blitz is presented as Hitler's original plan to force Britain out of the war and not in sequence with the Battle of Britain. The Battle of Britain is presented after the Blitz chronologically!

Hitler is said to want to avoid a two front war at all costs. Okay... what about Barbarossa? When it comes to Barbarossa this is not explained.

The events leading up to the Pacific War, present Imperial Japan almost as the good guys and as the main result of decades of western imperialism in Asia. No mention of the Rape of Nanking but I might have tuned out by then.

This is in no way the caliber and quality of the BBC's old and outstanding: The World at War series.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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frontkampfer
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Re: The World Wars

Postby frontkampfer » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:23 am

Dave,

Could not agree with you more. The History Channel and the former Military Channel used to have some really good documentaries but I'm sure the empty suits at both channels thought they were too right wing so hence the change in format and of course the revisionist dumbing down of history. It truly makes me ill when I see this crap passed off as history. Sorry if I appear to be part of the clique but isn't the filtering of history what they used to do in the Soviet Union?
"I will not have my ship shot out from under my ass!"

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Dave Saxton
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Re: The World Wars

Postby Dave Saxton » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:25 pm

They do come down hard on Chamberlain, Munich, and the policies of appeasement. Our friends in the UK would probably find the overly simplified way this is presented a bit misleading, though. The focus is mostly on Chamberlain as a weak personality rather than on the policies themselves. Indeed one may walk away thinking that the policies of appeasement were basically correct but not executed well. And they down play the incompetency and culpability of the French in the appeasement policies. They do, rightly in my opinion, present that Versailles itself was partly responsible for the creation of Germany as revisionist (An IR/political science term of a nation seeking to change their status in this context) nation, and it was difficult to interfere with Hitler's early moves because Versailles was so severe and was widely perceived as unfair.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

Byron Angel
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Re: The World Wars

Postby Byron Angel » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:13 am

..... Marshal Foch's trenchant assessment of the Versailles "Treaty" is really all anyone need ever remember about that entire sordid exercise. Metternich must have rolled over in his grave when this promissory note for a second spasm of global death and devastation was signed.

As for the "History" Channel, the kindest thing to be said is that its producers never permit facts to get in the way of a good story. Some of its episodes deserve Emmy Awards in the best fictional drama category.

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