PBS: Nazi Mega Weapons series.

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Dave Saxton
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PBS: Nazi Mega Weapons series.

Post by Dave Saxton » Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:15 am

Saw the Bismarck and Tirpitz episode last night:


It was not too bad, but not too good either. Strictly entry level stuff. For a 14 years old it might be a primer. I realize that at this level they can not cover many details, particularly in a approximate one hour time limit, but such might be the only thing a young person or a casual observer ever sees on the topic. In that case the person would forever be rather badly informed. The presentation leaves out a lot of important information.

For example, from this work one might have the impression that the Battle of Denmark Strait was exclusively between the Hood and Bismarck. HMS Prince of Wales isn't really even mentioned. The X craft attack on Tirpitz is completely omitted, as is Convoy PQ17 and its fate. What things they include they got badly wrong in some cases.

One example is the impression that the Z-Plan envisioned H-44 from the beginning. Another glaring fallacy is that Hitler pitched his fit following the Battle of Barents Sea because the German Navy had attacked the convoy against his orders. Actually, he was angry because it had not successfully attacked the convoy, but had bungled the attack and had instead been humiliated by a inferior enemy force. And what really pushed him over the edge was that he heard about it from enemy news outlets before he heard it from Raeder or Krancke.

I suspect that these errors of the narrative are not rooted in the knowledge of the guest military historians they feature, but by the writers of the narrative and the producers of the work. For the sake of history they should at least read the basic literature on the subject. Could it really be too much to at least thumb through Bekker?

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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Re: PBS: Nazi Mega Weapons series.

Post by RF » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:17 pm

I have seen some of the programmes in this series, but not the one on Bismarck.

At least two of these programmes feature Japanese weapons including Yamato. UK, the Japs were Axis allies of the Nazis but the Japanese were not Nazi themselves like for example Antonescu in Romania. Japan operated totally independently of the Third Reich and fought its own war with minimal co-operation with the Germans. The title of the programmes applying to Japan is in my view totally wrong and a misrepresentation of WW2.
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Re: PBS: Nazi Mega Weapons series.

Post by paul.mercer » Sat May 06, 2017 4:42 pm

I watched most of them and I thought that the one on Yamoto/Mushashi very interesting, particularly the picture of the armour plate found and tested by the US after the war.

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