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 Lieutenant) April 18, 2015

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. The show covers the Western Front, Eastern Front, North African Campaign and the Pacific War. It was on syndication in America on the Military Channel (now American Heroes Channel). The series is in full colour, combining both original and colourised footage. It was made by World Media Rights in 2008/2009

All 13 episodes can be watched on here. Watch the full documentaries now:

  • World War II In HD Colour Episode 1 - The Gathering Storm.- The first of thirteen documentary episodes charting the entire Second World War The Gathering Storm looks at all the events that led to the largest conflict in history. Here the story is picked up after the First World War and how conditions in Germany, Japan, Spain and Italy were such that dictators could rise to power. It's a story of an inevitable war as Hitler rose to power in Germany his future allies were also looking to change the paths their respective countries found themselves on. When along with Hitler Franco, Mussolini and Hirohito all broke rules set in the Treaty of Versailles the League Of Nations failed to act. This display of weakness especially by Great Britain and France allowed what would become the Axis to form.
  • World War II In HD Colour Episode 2 - Lightning War.- In Lightning War the story picks up with Hitlerpreparing to invade Poland. The British and The French had tried with negotiations to halt Hitler after the Nazi's took over Austria and promises had been made that the Germans would not invade other nations. Behind the scenes though a deal had been struck by Germany with Russia meaning Poland was already doomed. In this series we also learn of new military tactics used by the Nazi's, tactics that would prove extremely effective in the coming years.

  • World War II In HD Colour Episode 3 - Britain At Bay.- In the third part of the World War II In HD Color series the story takes up as the Battle of Britain is about to commence. The German air force under the command of Hermann Göring battered targets across Britain bring the British Air Force (RAF) to it's knees. But in the documentary we see how the Luftwaffe mistakenly bombed London, the first time a non-military target had been hit which led to a chain of attack and counter attack that almost certainly saved the RAF. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill also turned his attention to decoding German messages and sending commando groups into occupied territories to help the growing resistance. 

  • World War II In HD Colour Episode 4 - Hitler Strikes East.- After what looked like defeat in The Battle Of Britain in this episode of World War II In HD Color Hitler makes what many believe to be his biggest blunder and looks East to Russia. Having signed a Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact in 1939 he was set to renege and in 1941 Nazi troops began the assault. In the documentary we see that the plan to invade Russia itself may not have been the blunder rather a series of errors of judgement and tactical decisions cost the Germans. Indeed Nazi troops got close enough to Moscow that they reported they could see the Kremlin. With the help of the harsh weather a defiant Red Army put the Nazi's in retreat for the first time culminating in the biggest armoured battle of World War Two.

  • World War II In HD Colour Episode 5 - Red Sun Rampant.- In December 1941 Japan attacked The United States in Pearl Harbor it was the act that finally brought America into World War II, the fifth episode of World War II In HD Color takes up the story. Britain had looked to America to join the war but despite meetings between Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt the American people had made it clear they didn't want to get involved in Europe's troubles again. Roosevelt had loaned weapons, warships and artillery to the Allies but it took the Pearl Harbor attack to turn public opinion and change the course of the war. In the documentary we see the reaction by theAmerican army to the attack then the fight for the Pacific begins. The Battle of Midway would be a historic naval encounter as the Japanese began to realize they had underestimated the might of the US Forces. 

  • World War II In HD Colour Episode 6 - The Mediterranean and North Africa.- As World War Two In Color reaches episode six the focus falls on Italy and and Benito Mussolini's role in the war. Mussolini believed he could bring back the glory days of the Roman Empire and with Hitler on his side he set out to do so. But failed attacks on Greece and North Africa inflicted massive losses on the Italian forces leaving Hitler with the tough decision on whether back his ally or let him fall, Hitlers final decision would be another turning point in the conflict. In the documentary we also see how the small Island of Malta performed heroics that are often forgotten in the final story.

  • World War II In HD Colour Episdode 7 - Turning The Tide.- By late 1941 into 1942 the war in Europe was at somewhat of a stalemate and in Part 7 of World War II In HD Color we see the different tactics taken by the Allies and the Axis. Ironically Britain decided to turn to a tactic that had failed for the Nazi's during the Battle Of Britain, strategic bombing. Britain had developed what they believed to be superior bomber planes and intended to use them to take out key German targets just like the Luftwaffe had across Britain during the previous year. The Germans on the other had decided their best plan of action was at sea, Hitler planned to cut the supply lines to Britain using the lethal Nazi U-boats. Earlier in Part 3 Britain At Bay we saw how the Luftwaffe had accidentally bombed London the first attack on civilians, the RAF and American Air Force attack on the city of Dresden which killed up to 25,000 civilians would be a point of contention long after the war was over.

  • World War II In HD Colour Episode 8 - The Soviet Steamroller.- Previously in episode 4 of World War II In Color Hitler broke the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact toinvade Russia. In that episode we saw how close Hitler's army came to Moscow only to succumb to extreme weather and a relentless Red Army. Now in The Soviet Steamroller the Russians have not only defended Moscow they have the Germans on the back foot. Hitlers gamble to invade Russia in 1941 had backfired with catastrophic results, now not only were Hitlers forces pushed out of Russia the Red Army continued pushing the Nazi's back through Ukraine, Poland, The Balkans and Hungary. Hitler was now losing on two of the three fronts and pockets of resistance were having success in the occupied territory's, the strain on Hitler was beginning to show.

  • World War II In HD Colour Episode 9 - Overlord.- In episode 9 of World War II In HD Color we have reached D-Day, Operation Overlord. The Allies knew they would eventually have to invade Europe via France and push the German forces all the way back to Berlin. The planning was extreme and it would be the largest sea based invasion in history. Knowing the attack would come sooner or later Hitler had built an Atlantic wall across the coast of Europe which was heavily guarded with the beaches strewn with landmines, barbed wire and other blockades.

    The allies wanted to keep the Hitler guessing as to just where the attack might take place and so organized dummy landing sites,Operation Bodyguard for instance passed information the Allies knew the Germans would intercept about a landing site in Pas de Calais. Amazingly the plan worked and moreover Hitler when he heard of the invasion at Normandy thought that to be the dummy invasion. On the 6th of June 1944 a staggering over two million troops, three thousand tanks and twelve thousand aircraft set out to reclaim Europe from the Nazi's.

  • World War II In HD Colour Episode 10 - Closing The Ring.- World War Two In Color has reached 1944, now in episode 9 Closing The Ring The American and British forces are advancing from the west while the Russians and moving in from the east. The outcome of the War seems inevitable but Hitler is not going to surrender, he has one last plan to re-take Antwerp and for a time it looked as if it may work. Amazingly with still no troops from the East or West reaching Germany already Stalin is planning for post war, indeed both Stalin and Churchill had began to divide the spoils of war. A Percentages Agreement (Churchill Called It The Naughty Letter) between the British and Russian leaders had been drawn up, something that would once they found out disgust the Americans.

    Furthermore Stalin's plan to install a communist leadership in Poland post war led to him sit by and allow 16,000 of The Polish Home Army to perish. In the documentary we also see how on July 23rd 1944 the Russians encountered the firstConcentration Camps as the crossed Poland something that would change how the the war would be seen forever. It did later emerge the Churchill and Roosevelt had been informed of the camps before this but decided for whatever reason not to share the information.

  • World War II In HD Colour Episode 11 - The Island War.- With the Allies closing in on Berlin back in Europe in Episode 11 of World War II In HD Color the focus moves to the fight in the Pacific. The Americans were involved in a massive marine war with the Japanese but had gained the upper hand at sea. Now they needed to close in on Japan itself and a number of plans had been put forward. Either way they would need to take a number of the Japanese controlled Islands in a bid to cut of supply lines to the mainlands. Huge resources were committed to taking targets such as the Gilbert Islands, The Marshall Islands, Saipan and eventually but controversially The Philippines.

    It was a series of savage battles with huge losses on both sides but the Japanese belief of  "Die Before Surrender" led to catastrophic losses on their side. On one Island; out of over 20,000 troops 17 prisoners were taken the rest had perished, a complete Japanese Garrison of 32,000 died on an Island in the Mariana. Even early in the Island Wars it had become apparent to Roosevelt and his Generals this Japanese mindset would mean an attack on the Japanese mainland would cost unthinkable American lives, one estimate revealed later was 250,000. In the documentary we see shocking footage of the kamikaze pilots who volunteered for suicide missions to fly their planes into American ships and shockingly on Saipan thousands civilians threw themselves from cliffs rather than be captured.

  • World War II In HD Color Episode 12 - Victory In Europe.- By 1945 the writing was on the wall for Hitler and his forces but battles still had to be fought and many lives would be lost as both The American and British on the west and Russians on the East headed into Germany. In the penultimate episode of World War Two In HD Color we see the savage fight for Belsen and the Russian advance into Berlin. As they advanced forces on the East and West were shocked to encounter more Concentration camps, the true savagery of Hitler and the Nazi's was coming to light. Stalin was already planing for Europe being divided post war and with Berlin agreed to be under Russian control he was determined his forces would reach it first. Many had dreamed of the day Hitler would be held accountable for his actions but on April 30th 1945 Hitler along with his mistress Eva Braun committed suicide in the Führerbunker. In the documentary we see those who were later charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Nuremberg trials including Hermann Göring, Martin Bormann and Albert Speer.

  • World War II In HD Colour Episode 13 - Victory in the Pacific.- In the final episode of World War Two In HD Color we take up the story of the fight in the Pacific. We had seen The Americans staging Island Wars in Episode 11 in a bid to Isolate Japan and cut off their supply lines. But as Roosevelt's forces closed in on the Japanese mainlands it had become blatantly apparent the Imperial Japanese Army and indeed Japanese civilians would not surrender to an invading force. The Kamikaze pilots faced during the battles at sea and mass "Die Before Surrender" suicide of 2,000 civilians at Saipan had shown the Americans an invasion would be a bloodbath with estimates it could cost up to 250,000 American lives. 

    Once the Island of Okinawa was taken in June 1945 the plans for how to deal with the home lands of Japan could no longer be delayed. Again strategic bombing was tried just as Hitler had done in the Battle of Britain and the Allies had later in Germany but even with the latest explosives and incendiary devices it would never be enough to force a Japanese surrender. Just when it seemed the only solution would be a full scale invasion the new American president Harry S. Truman heard about The Manhattan Project. Scientists had been working since 1942 on the development of an Atom Bomb and they believed the Atomic Bomb was now ready for use. After fierce testing and believing it to be the only way to force a surrender without an enormous loss of American troops on August 6 1945 in Hiroshima and three days later in Nagasaki for the first time in history and the only time since Atomic bombs were used in warfare.

    On August 15th Japan did surrender and World War Two was over or at least on paper was over. The events of the previous six years had divided the world, cities and countries lay in ruins, over 60 Million (3% of the then worlds population) died, the worlds largest war left behind history's largest wreckage. The Cold war, Korean war and many more would stem from WWII, conflicts right up to the current day can be traced back to the Second World War. 


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