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Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

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Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by Stox 16 on Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:23 am

Originally broadcast in 1973 and narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier, The World of War has been seen as the most definitive history documentary of all time. Do you believe with all the new historical fact now available from the fall of the old U.S.S.R and the freedom of information that it would be fair to up date the documentary?

Also do you still believe that this documentary was fair to all the sides who took part? if you could add new series what part of the war do you believe that should be added? and why?
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by ROB on Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:43 am

Stox 16 wrote:
Do you believe with all the new historical fact now available from the fall of the old U.S.S.R and the freedom of information that it would be fair to up date the documentary?

I wouldn’t use the term “fair”, as I hold thios series to be perhpas the finest ever to air on the subject of World War II, certainly the most overarching world event of the 2nd and 3rd Millennia. I believe I would a valuable exercise to not so much “update” but expand and  enhance this fine historical document. While doing it that, it would be a service to mankind to come to update the media, preserving it in digital form on discs, flash drives, “in the cloud”, and replicating the preservation in such a way that, a long as there is humanity, there is also The World at War.

Stox 16 wrote:
Also do you still believe that this documentary was fair to all the sides who took part?

Absolutely. The World at War exemplifies journalistic integrity and impeccable scholarship.

Stox 16 wrote:
if you could add new series what part of the war do you believe that should be added? and why?

No other events come close to the impact of World War II. A series on the Cold War would be of value. I can’t think of anything else that come close.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by Shirina on Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:44 pm

I have the entire series on DVD (recorded them all from the Military Channel).

The first thing I would update is the damned sound quality, LOL! I hate how muffled it is. I think it's still in mono, in fact.

Truth be told, though, I would probably leave it as it is (other than digitally remastering it). Some of the interviews during that show are invaluable as a first-hand (albeit anecdotal) accounts of the war, and most of those people are long in the grave. They can't be interviewed again for an updated version. I do think it was fair for the most part, and it would be great if we could add newly discovered information, especially about the Third Reich (did you know they found Hitler's sequel to Mein Kampf?) Some of the episodes, I think, tried to span too large a time frame. They tried to squeeze Japan (1941-1945) into one 45 minute show. It should have been broken up into two or three episodes and given more exposure to the Japanese perspective ... but they may not have had enough information or footage back then to do it with.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:36 pm

"... they may not have had enough information or footage back then to do it with."

Quite! We've all noticed how our "Television News" reportage is selected by whether or not pictures are available.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by Stox 16 on Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:34 am

RockOnBrother wrote:
Stox 16 wrote:
Do you believe with all the new historical fact now available from the fall of the old U.S.S.R and the freedom of information that it would be fair to up date the documentary?

I wouldn’t use the term “fair”, as I hold thios series to be perhpas the finest ever to air on the subject of World War II, certainly the most overarching world event of the 2nd and 3rd Millennia. I believe I would a valuable exercise to not so much “update” but expand and enhance this fine historical document. While doing it that, it would be a service to mankind to come to update the media, preserving it in digital form on discs, flash drives, “in the cloud”, and replicating the preservation in such a way that, a long as there is humanity, there is also The World at War.

Stox 16 wrote:
Also do you still believe that this documentary was fair to all the sides who took part?

I agree, I would however like to add the resistance inside Europe in world war two. an area that was very much overlooked bar from the look at Holland.

Absolutely. The World at War exemplifies journalistic integrity and impeccable scholarship.

Stox 16 wrote:
if you could add new series what part of the war do you believe that should be added? and why?

No other events come close to the impact of World War II. A series on the Cold War would be of value. I can’t think of anything else that come close.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:14 pm

[quote="Stox 16"]
RockOnBrother wrote:
Stox 16 wrote:
Do you believe with all the new historical fact now available from the fall of the old U.S.S.R and the freedom of information that it would be fair to up date the documentary?

No other events come close to the impact of World War II....

"No other events"? Though the greatest impact on modern history prior to WWII was undoubtedly the strength and ubiquity of The Royal Navy, which enforced British interests throughout the entire World for about 300 years.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by Shirina on Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:28 pm

Though the greatest impact on modern history prior to WWII was undoubtedly the strength and ubiquity of The Royal Navy, which enforced British interests throughout the entire World for about 300 years.
Including the illegal impressment of US sailors from the decks of US ships to feed Britain's wars in the Napoleonic era.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by astra on Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:32 pm

illegal impressment of US sailors from the decks of US ships to feed Britain's wars in the Napoleonic era.



Yeah because those English had killed off or started to transport the Scots they usually depended on for cannon fodder!


Officers in Scottish Regiments had to be English
Scottish Ships and Crewmen were not allowed to work for the Hudson Bay Company and were hired mercenaries in the Peninsular and Orient Company.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by Stox 16 on Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:03 am

Shirina wrote:
Though the greatest impact on modern history prior to WWII was undoubtedly the strength and ubiquity of The Royal Navy, which enforced British interests throughout the entire World for about 300 years.
Including the illegal impressment of US sailors from the decks of US ships to feed Britain's wars in the Napoleonic era.


Mind you some US sailors did i believe join the Royal Navy of their own good will. but you are also right in pointing out many did not.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by Stox 16 on Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:25 am

astra wrote:
illegal impressment of US sailors from the decks of US ships to feed Britain's wars in the Napoleonic era.



Yeah because those English had killed off or started to transport the Scots they usually depended on for cannon fodder!


Officers in Scottish Regiments had to be English
Scottish Ships and Crewmen were not allowed to work for the Hudson Bay Company and were hired mercenaries in the Peninsular and Orient Company.

its hard not to agree with you after the actions of The British Army after the battle of Culloden when they embarked upon the so-called 'pacification' of Jacobite areas of the highlands: all those the troops believed to be rebels were killed, as were some non-combatants, 'rebellious' settlements were burned and livestock was confiscated on a large scale. Some in the highland Jacobite regions survived the redcoats' ravaging of the countryside only to starve the following winter. This collective punishment was not meted out to those areas of the lowlands (principally in the north east) where Jacobitism had also been strong.

What's even more sicking is that Bloody Bill was voted an income of £25,000 per annum over and above his money from the civil list. and given A thanksgiving service was held at St Paul's Cathedral which saw the first performance of George Frideric Handel's "The Conquering Hero", composed especially for Cumberland. Today he would of been seen as a War criminal and rightly so in my view too. not that I am Scottish at all. but it was clearly a criminal act all said and done
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by ROB on Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:29 am

RockOnBrother wrote:
No other events come close to the impact of World War II.
oftenwrong wrote:
"No other events"?

Nope.

oftenwrong wrote:
Though the greatest impact on modern history prior to WWII was undoubtedly the strength and ubiquity of The Royal Navy, which enforced British interests throughout the entire World for about 300 years.

The overarching presence and influence of the Royal Navy, from perhaps 1588, when “Drake and the boyz” whipped up on the Spanish bullies until the conclusion of World War II, when successive UK governments reneged on their implicit duties and defaulted to the US Navy rather than allowing the Royal navy to assume its rightful place as co-rulers of the world’s “Blue Waters” (Alfred T. Mahan), is indeed an excellent choice for 2nd most influential event in World history, even though a three hundred sixty year time frame might stretch the definition of “event.”

On another thread, I mentioned William Wilberforce as a political hero. This Giant of an MP, Minister, and Man (uppercase intentional) spent his life opposing slavery, finally realizing victory in 1833. The Royal Navy in effect spread this British law worldwide, thus hastening slavery’s departure from common practice for the first time in world history. Yes. There is still a slave trade in the 21st Century, but it’s not part of the dominant culture.

So in this case I agree. God bless “The Andrew.”
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:19 pm

... and some fell on stoney ground.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by Curious Cdn on Sun May 06, 2012 6:42 pm

The series almost completely ignored the role that my country (Canada) played in the war. We were a third of the size of what we are now ... 11 million .. and we fielded an (almost all) volunteer force of 1.1 million (That was a higher participation rate than that of our conscripted neighbours to the South). Although we ran the western half of the North Atlantic convoy system that kept Britain fed and armed, ... trained most of the Commonwealth's pilots, ... supplied the UK with 900,000 military vehicles, hundreds of escort and liberty ships ... had our own landing beach on D-day (the Canadians penetrated further than any of the other allies ... and up against the SS and Panzer Lahr). The Canadians liberated Holland and the Dutch still thank us profusely every year even though our allies don''t remember that we were there. It's as if they didn't exist at all in that series.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun May 06, 2012 11:07 pm

Curious Cdn wrote:The series almost completely ignored the role that my country (Canada) played in the war.

As you will have seen from my posting above dated 30 December, television is obviously dependant upon the availability of pictures. I recall Canadian involvement in a commando raid on Nazi submarine pens at St. Nazaire, and that thousands of Canadian troops were accommodated in the South of England during the run-up to D-day in 1944. They have a War Memorial in an isolated spot in Hampshire's New Forest.

Film-makers are constrained by the availability or otherwise of archived material. Overuse of newspaper headlines sends the audience to sleep.

America lost the will to continue fighting the Vietnam war because almost every shot fired was recorded and shown nightly on US television. How much of that has survived until now?
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by Shirina on Mon May 07, 2012 2:06 am

Many new series documenting WWII are done with computer animation, which I think is absolutely brilliant. When documentaries were once limited by the availability of still and video images of the war, now it can be recreated in exacting detail. Often, the events are emphasized by the stories of veterans ... and the computer animation follows their stories to the letter. The Canadians feature prominently in a particular series called "Greatest Tank Battles." There are a number of shows that follow the Canadians in their advance to Berlin.

With the ability to recreate the battlefield using CGI, the stories of other nations and their heroism are finally being told.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by ROB on Mon May 07, 2012 3:01 am

oftenwrong wrote:
America lost the will to continue fighting the Vietnam war because almost every shot fired was recorded and shown nightly on US television.  How much of that has survived until now?

That’s part of the story.

A hippie gave me a one thousand plus pages paperback history of Vietnam around April 1966. Maybe within three months, my view of US involvement in Vietnam changed. Forty-six years later, my view remains unchanged from 1966.

The book traced Vietnam’s history from something BC through 1960 something. Turns out that, in “modern” times, i.e., European Imperialism times, Vietnam was subjugated by French colonizers. Certain Vietnamese rose to power under their French masters. These Vietnamese were by and large Roman Catholics. Other ethnic Vietnamese, primarily Buddhists, were kept out of the loop.

WWII “arrives” in SE Asia in January 1942, and troops of the Empire of Japan replaced the French. France, of course, by this time had capitulated to Nazi Germany, and Vichy France was a “vassal” of Hitler.

Ho Chi Minh, who had been opposing the French, mounted stiff guerrilla opposition to the Japanese occupiers. US officials were in contact with Ho, and promised that the US would support Vietnamese independence when the Japanese were defeated in exchange for the Viet Minh’s contribution to Japan’s defeat.

After the war, the US reneged on its promise. Vietnam was divided into a North zone, administered by China, and South, administered by the United Kingdom. Subsequently, China, with its own civil war occupying its attention, backed out, and the UK gave its zone “back” to France.

Dien Bien Phu (check my spelling, please) chased France out of Vietnam, the North zone became North Vietnam, governed by the former Viet Minh, and the south zone became South Vietnam, governed by Catholics.. There were elections scheduled designed to re-unify the country, but that never happened.

Sounds like a mess, and it seems that it was a mess. As more Americans USV became aware of the mess, support for sending more of “our boys” faded.

The average age of the US foot soldier in Vietnam was 19. Most were conscripts; all they wanted to do was get back to “the world.” There was general disrespect or ARVN, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. One soldier tells of capturing the same hill every day for two plus weeks, After US troops took the hill, they turned it over to ARVN. By the next morning, ARVN had scattered in the night before the NVA and the Viet Cong, and US troops were ordered to do it again. American lives were lost in vain for that hill.

Australia sent brave young Aussies to Vietnam who never returned. Ironically, an Aussie song captures the Vietnam tragedy.

I Was Only 19 - Redgum
Five hundred Aussies were brought home in wooden boxes.

Bring the Boys Home
Fifty-eight thousand two hundred seventy-two Americans were brought home in wooden boxes.


Last edited by RockOnBrother on Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:54 am; edited 3 times in total
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by witchfinder on Fri May 11, 2012 2:51 pm

The World at War as a documentary and TV series was ground breaking and recognised as a masterpiece which takes its place in the history of television.

My grievance with the series, and with all the popular versions of the Second World War is how the role of some nations are played down, over-looked and even worse, completely forgotten and virtualy omitted from the TRUE story of what realy happened.

In particular, take the case of the largest volunteer army of the Second World War, the army of India, which numbered 2.5 million men in 1945.
The men of the Indian army served in Italy, Greece, North Africa, the Middle East, East Africa, Iraq, Burma, Hong Kong, Singapore and of course in India itself.

During the war there were over 4000 awards for gallantry issued to Indian soldiers including 31 Victoria Crosses, the highest decoration for bravery, self sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the Commonwealth and former Empire.

In fictional and semi-fictional portrayals of the war in the far east, there is often no mention of the Indian Army, or of Indian prisoners or forced labourers on the Burma railway for example.



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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri May 11, 2012 7:32 pm

More than 35,000 books have been published about various aspects of WW2 - and that's only the ones in English. Anyone over-concerned about the treatment in just one History does not have to look far to find supplementary material if they can be bothered.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by ROB on Wed May 16, 2012 7:37 am


Royal Canadian Navy in WW2 - Armed Forces - CKA

For six long years the Canadian navy was one of the principal contenders in what was to be known as the Battle of the Atlantic. Beginning the war with a mere 13 vessels and 3,000 men, the Royal Canadian Navy ended it with 373 fighting ships and over 90,000 men. In the crisis of 1940, when German armies were marching into France, four destroyers of the RCN, were sent to the English Channel where they provided aid in the evacuation of forces, landed military troops, and carried out demolitions. After the fall of France the Canadian destroyers joined the Royal Navy in the struggle to protect the southwestern approaches to Britain where German submarines vigorously pressed their attacks.

More: http://www.canadaka.net/content/page/72-royal-canadian-navy-in-ww2
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by ROB on Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:10 pm


Returning to the thread title’s question…


Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

… I did not know about the multiple Japanese attacks on Australia itself.

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Bombing of Darwin
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942 was both the first and the largest single attack mounted by a foreign power against Australia. On this day, 242 Japanese aircraft attacked ships in Darwin's harbour and the town's two airfields in an attempt to prevent the Allies from using them as bases to contest the invasions of Timor and Java. The town was only lightly defended, and the Japanese inflicted heavy losses upon the Allied forces at little cost to themselves. The urban areas of Darwin also suffered some damage from the raids, and there were a number of civilian casualties.

This event is often called the "Pearl Harbor of Australia".[2] Although it was a less significant military target, a greater number of bombs were dropped on Darwin than were used in the attack on Pearl Harbor.[3][4] The Australian government downplayed the damage from the bombing raids on Darwin believing its publication would represent a psychological blow to the Australian population.[5] The raids were the first and largest of almost 100 air raids against Australia during 1942–43.



The explosion of an oil storage tank and clouds of smoke from other tanks, hit during the first Japanese air raid on Australia's mainland, at Darwin on 19 February 1942. In the foreground is HMAS Deloraine, which escaped damage.


Notes



Retrieved 4 June 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Darwin

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Raid on Darwin (2 May 1943)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Japanese raid on Darwin of 2 May 1943 was a significant battle in the North Western Area Campaign of World War II.

Retrieved 4 June 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raid_on_Darwin_(2_May_1943)

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Air raids on Australia, 1942–43
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Between February 1942 and November 1943, during the Pacific War, the Australian mainland, domestic airspace, offshore islands and coastal shipping were attacked at least 97 times by aircraft from the Imperial Japanese Navy and Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. These attacks came in various forms; from large-scale raids by medium bombers, to torpedo attacks on ships, and to strafing runs by fighters.

In the first and deadliest attacks, 242 aircraft hit Darwin on the morning of 19 February 1942. Killing at least 243 people and causing immense damage, the attacks made hundreds of people homeless and resulted in the abandonment of Darwin as a major naval base. (See the main article: Bombing of Darwin.)

These attacks were opposed by, and often aimed at, units and personnel from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy, United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, British Royal Air Force and Royal Netherlands East Indies Air Force. Japanese aircrews also targeted civil infrastructure, including harbours, civil airfields, railways and fuel tanks. Some civilians were also killed.

Retrieved 4 June 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_raids_on_Australia,_1942%E2%80%9343

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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:54 pm

Presumably a truly representative account of WW2 would take longer to produce than the war itself took.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by betty.noire on Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:04 pm

witchfinder wrote:The World at War as a documentary and TV series was ground breaking and recognised as a masterpiece which takes its place in the history of television.

My grievance with the series, and with all the popular versions of the Second World War is how the role of some nations are played down, over-looked and even worse, completely forgotten and virtualy omitted from the TRUE story of what realy happened.

In particular, take the case of the largest volunteer army of the Second World War, the army of India, which numbered 2.5 million men in 1945.
The men of the Indian army served in Italy, Greece, North Africa, the Middle East, East Africa, Iraq, Burma, Hong Kong, Singapore and of course in India itself.

During the war there were over 4000 awards for gallantry issued to Indian soldiers including 31 Victoria Crosses, the highest decoration for bravery, self sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the Commonwealth and former Empire.

In fictional and semi-fictional portrayals of the war in the far east, there is often no mention of the Indian Army, or of Indian prisoners or forced labourers on the Burma railway for example.


The Indian involvement was mentioned in the "World at War", but only in one sentence about the Far East. There are certain nations contributions that are understated, Poland, Canada, India are prime examples. I think an update is needed since many facts have come to life since then, ENIGMA for example

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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by Mel on Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:58 pm

Often Wrong wrote Quote-
"Presumably a truly representative account of WW2 would take longer to produce than the war itself took."

I think you are correct in what you have said OW. However, for reasons of national security much of the input of the British Intelegence Officers great work during WW11 had to be shredded.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by Phil Hornby on Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:12 pm

A read of the six 'volumes' of Terence 'Spike' Milligan's experiences in WWII as a gunner provides one perspective of the whole messy business - but it may not be one for the true scholars amongst you... Very Happy
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by Mel on Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:34 pm

Major General Sir Kenneth Strong, IKE's Chief Of Intelligence ( British Officer)

I had the good fortune to have made the aquantance of this great man before he died in 1982.
World at War failed to bring this soldiers fantastic achievements to the programe.

This book is a must IMO.

Ike's Spies: Eisenhower and the Espionage Establishment - Google Books Resultbooks.google.co.uk/books?isbn=1578062071...
Stephen E. Ambrose, Richard H. Immerman - 1981 - Biography & Autobiography - 368 pages
The 9th and 10th Panzer Divisions are missing from the SHAEF order of battle ... the art of gathering intelligence, Major General Sir Kenneth Strong was a blunt, ...
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by Stox 16 on Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:23 am

betty.noire wrote:
witchfinder wrote:The World at War as a documentary and TV series was ground breaking and recognised as a masterpiece which takes its place in the history of television.

My grievance with the series, and with all the popular versions of the Second World War is how the role of some nations are played down, over-looked and even worse, completely forgotten and virtualy omitted from the TRUE story of what realy happened.

In particular, take the case of the largest volunteer army of the Second World War, the army of India, which numbered 2.5 million men in 1945.
The men of the Indian army served in Italy, Greece, North Africa, the Middle East, East Africa, Iraq, Burma, Hong Kong, Singapore and of course in India itself.

During the war there were over 4000 awards for gallantry issued to Indian soldiers including 31 Victoria Crosses, the highest decoration for bravery, self sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the Commonwealth and former Empire.

In fictional and semi-fictional portrayals of the war in the far east, there is often no mention of the Indian Army, or of Indian prisoners or forced labourers on the Burma railway for example.


The Indian involvement was mentioned in the "World at War", but only in one sentence about the Far East. There are certain nations contributions that are understated, Poland, Canada, India are prime examples. I think an update is needed since many facts have come to life since then, ENIGMA for example



I think a up-date would indeed be very interesting now with a deeper look at all the nations you have stated and the role of resistance groups with places like Russia and Poland. as this was almost a 2nd front from 1940. So it would help to get a better understanding of how this effected the out come of WW2
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by Jsmythe on Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:19 pm

I think a up-date would indeed be very interesting now with a deeper look at all the nations you have stated and the role of resistance groups with places like Russia and Poland. as this was almost a 2nd front from 1940. So it would help to get a better understanding of how this effected the out come of WW2

I agree, If we remember that wartime footage also had hints of propaganda perspectives from each of the respected governments from each country at war.

It may not be surprising that some revelations may reveal surprisingly- Villains turned into heroes and heroes turned into villains.

Can't wait.
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Australia declaring war on Germany on 3 September 1939

Post by ROB on Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:57 am


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Military history of Australia during World War II
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Australia entered World War II shortly after the invasion of Poland, declaring war on Germany on 3 September 1939. By the end of the war, almost a million Australians had served in the armed forces, whose military units fought primarily in the European theatre, North African campaign, and the South West Pacific theatre. In addition, Australia came under direct attack for the first time in its history; its casualties from enemy action during the war were 27,073 killed and 23,477 wounded.[1]

In effect, Australia fought two wars between 1939 and 1945[2] – one against Germany and Italy as part of the British Commonwealth's war effort and the other against Japan in alliance with the United States and Britain. While most Australian forces were withdrawn from the Mediterranean following the outbreak of war in the Pacific, they continued to take part in large numbers in the air offensive against Germany. From 1942 until early 1944, Australian forces played a key role in the Pacific War, making up the majority of Allied strength throughout much of the fighting there. The military was largely relegated to subsidiary fronts from mid-1944, but continued offensive operations against the Japanese until the war ended.

World War II contributed to major changes in the nation's economy, military and foreign policy. The war accelerated the process of industrialisation, led to the development of a larger peacetime military and began the process with which Australia shifted the focus of its foreign policy from Britain to the United States. The effects of the war also fostered the development of a more diverse and cosmopolitan Australian society.

Between World War I and World War II, Australia suffered greatly from the Great Depression. This limited Australian defence expenditure and led to a decline in the size and effectiveness of the armed forces during the late 1920s and early 1930s. In the years leading up to the war, Australia followed Britain's policy towards Nazi Germany, supporting… its guarantee of Polish independence.[3]

Australia entered the war against Germany on 3 September 1939, shortly after Britain declared war when its ultimatum for Germany to withdraw from Poland expired.[4] Unlike Canada and South Africa there was no legislative debate. The government of Australia believed that, as Prime Minister Robert Menzies said, "Britain is at war therefore Australia is at war", and asked London to notify Germany that Australia was an associate of the United Kingdom.[5] Australia's support of war was primarily made on the grounds that its interests were inextricably linked to those of Britain, and that a British defeat would destroy the system of imperial defence which Australia relied upon for security against Japan. This position received almost universal public support, though there was little enthusiasm for war.[6]

At the time war was declared, the Australian armed forces were less prepared than at the outbreak of World War I in August 1914. The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) was the best prepared of the three services, but was small and equipped with only two heavy cruisers, four light cruisers, two sloops, five obsolete destroyers and a number of small and auxiliary warships.[7] The Australian Army comprised a small permanent cadre of 3,000 men and 80,000 part-time militiamen who had volunteered for training with the Citizen Military Forces (CMF). The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was the weakest of the services, and few of its 246 aircraft were modern.[8] While the Government began a large military expansion and transferred some RAAF aircrew and units to British control upon the outbreak of war, it was unwilling to immediately dispatch an expeditionary force overseas due to the threat posed by Japanese intervention.[9]

On 10 October 1939, a Short Sunderland of No. 10 Squadron, based in England for re-equipment, became the first Australian and the first Commonwealth air force unit to go into action when it undertook a mission to Tunisia.[11]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Australia_during_World_War_II

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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by ROB on Thu May 09, 2013 7:21 am


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Operation Teardrop
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Operation Teardrop was a United States Navy operation of World War II conducted during April and May 1945 to sink German U-boats approaching the United States East Coast that were believed to be armed with V-1 flying bombs. Germany had threatened in propaganda to attack New York with V-1 and V-2 missiles. After the war the Allies determined that the submarines had not been carrying such missiles.

Operation Teardrop was planned during late 1944 in response to intelligence reports which indicated that Germany was preparing a force of missile-armed submarines. Two large U.S. Navy anti-submarine warfare task forces were set up. The plan was executed in April 1945 after several Type IX submarines put to sea from Norway bound for North America. While severe weather conditions in the North Atlantic Ocean greatly reduced the effectiveness of the four U.S. Navy escort carriers involved, long patrol lines of destroyer escorts detected and engaged most of the German submarines. Aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force supported this effort. Five of the nine boats were destroyed. Most of the crew of one submarine were captured, and prisoners who might have known of missile plans were abusively interrogated. One destroyer escort was sunk, with the loss of most of her crew. The surviving U-boats surrendered as the war ended shortly afterwards

Allied perception of the threat

In late 1944, the Allies received intelligence reports which suggested that the German Navy was planning to use V-1 flying bombs launched from submarines to attack cities on the east coast of the United States. In September of that year, Oscar Mantel, a spy captured by the U.S. Navy when the submarine transporting him to Maine was sunk, told his Federal Bureau of Investigation interrogators that several missile-equipped U-boats were being readied. Further rumors of missile-armed submarines emerged later that year, including one from Sweden passed on by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. The British Admiralty discounted these reports, and assessed that while V-1s could be potentially mounted on Type IX submarines, the Germans were unlikely to devote scarce resources to such a project.[2]

In early December 1944, the spies William Curtis Colepaugh and Erich Gimpel, who had been captured in New York City after being landed by U-1230 in Maine, told their interrogators that Germany was preparing a group of rocket-equipped submarines. Despite this, the Department of War, which was dominated by the Army, advised President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 11 December that the threat of missile attack was so low that it did not justify the diversion of resources from other tasks. This assessment was not supported by the U.S. Navy.[3]

In response to the perceived threat, the U.S. Atlantic Fleet prepared a plan to defend the east coast from attacks by aerial raiders and missiles. This plan was originally code-named 'Operation Bumblebee', and later renamed 'Operation Teardrop'. Completed on 6 January 1945, the plan involved U.S. Navy anti-submarine forces as well as United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) and Army units, which were responsible for shooting down attacking aircraft and missiles. The centerpiece of the plan was the formation of two large naval task forces to operate in the mid-Atlantic as a barrier against submarines approaching the east coast. These task forces were formed from several existing escort carrier groups, and used Naval Station Argentia, Newfoundland, as their forward operating base. As well as guarding against missile attacks, these large forces were tasked with countering the new and high-performance Type XXI submarines if they began operating in the central Atlantic. The Atlantic Fleet's commander, Vice Admiral Jonas H. Ingram, gave a press conference on 8 January in which he warned there was a threat of missile attack and announced that a large force had been assembled to counter seaborne missile launchers.[5]

German capabilities

In January 1945, German Minister of Armaments and War Production Albert Speer made a propaganda broadcast in which he claimed that V-1 and V-2s "would fall on New York by February 1, 1945", increasing the U.S. Government's concern over the threat of attack.[6] However, the Germans had no ability to fire missiles from their submarines, as both attempts to develop submarine-launched rockets ended in failure. In June 1942, U-511 was used to trial small and short-ranged artillery rockets which could be fired while submerged. Development of this system ended in early 1943, as it was found to decrease the U-boats' seaworthiness.[7] The German military also began the development of a U-boat-towed launch canister for the V-2 ballistic missile in November 1944. Once complete, these canisters were to be towed to a position off the U.S. east coast and be used to attack New York. Vulkan Docks in Stettin was contracted to build a prototype in March or April 1945 but little work took place before Germany's final collapse. It is unlikely that the system would have been successful if it had been completed.[8]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Teardrop

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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:55 pm

Stox 16 wrote:Originally broadcast in 1973 and narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier, The World of War has been seen as the most definitive history documentary of all time. Do you believe with all the new historical fact now available from the fall of the old U.S.S.R and the freedom of information that it would be fair to up date the documentary?

Also do you still believe that this documentary was fair to all the sides who took part? if you could add new series what part of the war do you believe that should be added? and why?

Interesting one this, as I have been a massive fan of this series. I think the question "was it fair to all sides" is slightly incongruous with the general thrust of your post which is based on contemporary evidence. That's to say it was certainly fairer when it when it was made than it now appears. Hardly surprising given the subsequent revelations in the immediate aftermath of the truly evil atrocities of the Nazis and the Japanese militarists during the conflict.

What specifically do you think in the series requires revision? Off the top of my head the ruthless way Churchill used military force to eliminate the democratic process in Greece might be one example. I suppose how you view this action hinges on an individual's perception of how much of a threat a democratically elected but communist government in Greece would have been? It's clear how Churchill viewed it.

Perhaps some examples of what you would like to see revised in the documentary? The RAF bombings of German targets that had no military significance beyond terrorising the German population, or even revenge for what they had done to Warsaw, to Holland, to many UK cities?
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:26 pm

History is only written (or re-written) by the victors.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

Post by Dr Sheldon Cooper PhD on Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:56 pm

oftenwrong wrote:History is only written (or re-written) by the victors.

I wouldn't say only, but certainly predominantly. I am far more offended by Hollywood making fictitious films where the US navy capture the Enigma decoder, when it was captured by British naval personnel months before the US even entered the war, than I am by documentaries that ignore one or two excesses against Nazism. Besides I think series like The World At War are about as objective as you could hope for. We can easily contemplate the kind of films and documentaries Herr Goebbels would have been making had they won.
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Re: Would you update 'The World At War' documentary?

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