The War File-5 DVD Box Set (Collection)

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Released 11-Jul-2005
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This box set consists of the following DVDs;
War File, The-The Great War: The Story of WWI 1914-1918 (1997) , The War File-The History of World War Two: German Invasion/Allied Response , War File, The-Assault on Fortress Europe: D-Day (1990) , The War File-Great Sea Battles of World War Two , The War File-Battle of Britain: The Fight for the Sky

War Files, The-The Great War: The Story of WWI 1914-1918
These new and updated visual accounts of the first world war combine a riveting story line with much newly gathered information and truly devastating pictures of the eerie landscape of war on the grandest scale. It is a compelling exploration of warfare at its most horrific.

War Files, The-The History of World War Two, The
Britain's response to Germany's Blitzkrieg invasion of Poland, in 1939, was the British Expeditionary Force, sent to Europe to prevent the Germans following their succeessful airborne invasion of the Low Countries, with an armpoured assault against France. The BEF's enforced, heroic withdrawal at Dunkirk left the RAF, under Sir Hugh Dowding, to win the Battle of Britian and postpone invasion plans indefinitely. As World War Two entered its second, decisive phase, the British Army showed its teeth at El Alamein where Montgomery's victory halted Rommel's armoured sweep through North Africa. Further East, Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union proved suicidal: German surrender at Stalingrad left Russia poised to punch into the heart of the Reich.

In the Far East, Japan followed their pre-emptive strike at Pearl Harbour with rapid territorial gains before being pushed back from Midway by American might. In Europe, RAF Bomber Command blitzed German cities as the D-Day invasion of Normandy was taking shape. By April 19445, American and Russian forces had Berlin surrounded - the liberation of Europe was complete.

These momentous events are portrayed through front-line film footage and carefully researched contemporary accounts.

War Files, The-D-Day: Assault on Fortress Europe
Early in the morning of 6th June 1944, a vast and bizarre armada ploughed steadily against stiff head-winds through the rough waters of the English Channel, heading for the Normandy coast. Amongst the 5,000 vessels were many of the best British and American warships, of stupendous collective firepower, also ancient battleships and tankers on their last voyage, destined to be sunk to provide breakwaters. Thousands of the craft had been built to make one journey only and that a short one; to ferry the invading allied forces together with their immense diversity of equipment on the last difficult, dangerous stretch from the transports to the shore of enemy-occupied France.

It was D-Day. Conceived almost on the shores of Dunkirk, four years in the planning, two in the organising and one day in the execution, the landing in Normandy was easily the largest and most extraordinary combined military operation ever attempted. It was also a crucial one. By 1944 it was becoming clear that Germany would lose the war in Europe, who would win it was another matter. Had D-Day failed and at times it came close to it, the western allies would have found it impossible to launch another operation for at least a year, perhaps more and todays map of Europe might have been very different.

One of the millions taking part in the landings, Admiral Ramsay, was famous for his dislike of even the mildest exaggeration, as Overlord got under way, he told his officers "Gentlemen, I am sorry about all the superlatives, today they happen to be true." This is that story.

War Files, The-Great Sea Battles of World War Two
After the horrors of the Great War, an uneasy peace prevailed. Britannia ruled the waves - but for how long?

The mid 1930's saw Germany rebuilding her fleets, defying the Versailles Treaty as Hitler planned to encircle Britain with his Kriegsmarine. Within hours of war's declaration, a U-boat had claimed its first victim in an underwater reign of terror that struck merchantman and warship alike. By April 1940, Germany had sunk one million tons of Allied shipping.

The entrance of Mussolini's Italy shifted the balance of power in the Mediterranean. However the course of Naval warfare was changed in 1941 when torpedo bombers from HMS Illustrious decimated the Italian fleet at anchor in Taranto, crippling three of their battleships in the first Allied victory since the fall of France.

Japan soon learned the lesson - to America's cost. The surprise attack on Pearl Harbour on 7th December 1941 dwarfed Taranto, with 19 warships and 190 aircraft lost and 22,500 dead.

Sea power proved crucial in the Pacific. The battle of the Coral Sea was decisive in denying Japan a gateway to Australia and was a naval first - opposing forces, launching air attacks 120 miles apart, were never in sight of each other. After the US strike on Midway, there was no doubting the tide had turned. Leyte Gulf was the last and greatest sea battle of World War II, leaving the Imperial Fleet all but destroyed. The era of the battleship had long gone: the aircraft carrier was now the undisputed master of naval warfare.

War Files, The-Battle Of Britain: The Fight For The Sky
With the surrender of France on 22nd of June 1940, Britain and her Commonwealth stood alone against the might of the German armed forces. In that dark summer of 1940, the threat of invasion hung heavily over Britain and children were once more evacuated to the countryside.

The army was still recovering from it's defeat in France and could offer no real defence against invasion. Britain had a strategy to meet the German threat, which was due to one man, Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding. Against enormous internal pressure, Dowding had resisted committing the majority of his Spitfire and Hurricane squadrons to the battle on the Continent, knowing that the major battle was yet to come - the Battle for Britain itself.

Having preserved his squadrons, Dowding could now concentrate on his four-point master plan of defence: a fighter strike force of Spitfires and Hurricanes, a superbly flexible radar fighter direction system, a defence shield of anti-aircraft cover and a brilliantly simple defence strategy, disrupting the bomber attacks before they could reach their targets, but ensuring enough air cover for the bases of the squadrons involved in the battle.

This documentary, using newly discovered footage, gives full justice to the exceptional Commander, Hugh Dowding, to Keith Park, his second-in-command, and to all the men and women who, during that dark summer of 1940, inflicted the first defeat on German arms.

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Patrick Allen
Directed by
Andrew Aitken
Edward Elgar
Genre Year Running Time Format Region Coding Multi
Disc (5)
Documentary ? ? 576i (PAL) 4
Pan & Scan
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
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