The Complete History of the Second World War

The Complete History of the Second World War

2017, Military and War  -    -  Playlist 27 Comments
Ratings: 7.51/10 from 68 users.

With staggering ambition and an epic storytelling sense, The Complete History of World War II transports viewers back to the war to end all wars. Spread across two tightly presented segments, the film is a feast for viewers who are anxious for fresh insight and perspective on this defining moment in world history.

Part 1 begins where it all ended. The United States drops two nuclear bombs atop Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing over 130,000 civilians and effectively drawing a close to the war. This was as an unspeakably tragic conclusion to a long and ugly conflict, but the events leading up to it were no less dramatic.

Most historians trace the opening curtain of the war to the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party, and their infiltration of Poland in 1939. This aggressive action was met with an immediate and dire response from Britain and France, who threatened full-fledged war if German soldiers failed to withdraw. Their warning went unheeded.

What follows is a complex tale of rapidly spreading tyranny, innovative combat strategy, the strengths and insecurities of the world's most powerful leaders, and a series of military milestones including the fall of France, Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain and Hitler's first overture to war with the Soviet Union.

The second segment submerges us in the growing tensions between Japan and the United States, and the surprise air attack on Pearl Harbor. The date that would forever live in infamy demanded a swift and powerful retaliation from the U.S. as they officially began their foray into the war.

From the unimaginable horrors of tens of millions of dead soldiers and civilians to the tremendous acts of valor in the face of insurmountable odds, the documentary pays tribute to the grand canvas of the Second World War with profound and solemn respect.

The film is steeped in an impressive collage of imagery from the period, and its constant barrage of information is delivered deftly and with a great attention for detail.

The Complete History of World War II is a finely researched treatment of one of history's costliest and most consequential conflicts.

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1 month ago

There is some excellent footage for people who like to see genuine war scenes.

But, oh, the narration. He pronounces the word, 'but," as 'buht.' That's almost as irritating as hosers who say, ''aboot" instead of "about." And he calls the enemy, "the Jehmehns" like Jason Statham calls them in "Sn2tch." I don't know what's wrong with the British but they need to rediscover the letter, 'r" and learn to pronounce it.

Frankly, between the weird pronunciations and the vocal fry, the narrator was enough to put me to sleep.

Nevertheless, just to make sure viewers could drift off quickly, the producers spent ones of dollars on a repetitive synth soundtrack that sounded like something Patti Schmidt would play on the CBC's Brave New Waves in the 1990s.

And it's all in the service of a story that jumps all over the place. There doesn't seem to be any particular theme or timeline. It's all chaos, all the time.

2 years ago

All these documentaries on WW2 only serve to ensure the real reasons for the war are never understood, because, let's be honest, we are spoiled snowflakes in the west and much prefer to believe fairy tales than the awful truth.

The reasons given for going to war by our leaders in defending freedom and democracy are just rubbish. All wars are fought out over the control of the world's resources by the world's major industrialized nations, as none of them have the resources within their own borders to feed their industries. The British had their colonial possessions and were already up to their necks in blood and fighting to hold on to them, against the heavily industrialized Germany that was desperate to get their share. America's star was rising and so was the need for huge amounts of material resources that the US would need. While the British used colonial occupation, the US has used imperialist regime change overthrowing well over 50 elected governments since WW2 alone, and waging imperialist war for resources in the Middle East and Northern Africa today. Our life styles are contingent upon the continued misery of millions in the third world that was created by the west

The very idea of brave war heroes are just more fairy tales....they are terrified cannon fodder hoping to God they will survive .

Democracy has never existed anywhere. Freedom does not come at the end of a barrel. It will only come when we throw away our guns, stop voting for psychopaths and learn to share know, like we tell our children

“The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, and said "this is mine," and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, “Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”

Jean Jacques Rousseau, The origins of inequality 1754

2 years ago

Funny how our American friends seem to have a problem understanding the narrator, I think he speaks very clearly. I am from Australia, and we have the worst accent in the entire Galaxy and are in no position to complain about anything when it comes to speech.

If you have problems with this guy, you will have no hope of understanding Welsh, I don't think they really understand it themselves. They do have a nice flag with a dragon on it, that must count for something?????????

tom pugh
3 years ago

Poor pronunciation, poof spelling, and some outright wrong information seriously detract from this item: it was interesting and viewable because it did have some previously unseen pics and elaborated on some heretofore minor incidents in the war that actually are given little or no coverage by most war historians and writers. It's overall rating is mediocre in light of other treatments and better narrators, and I would hate to cite it as an authoritative (re)source in any scholarly paper..

Blah Blah crap story
3 years ago

WOW...British forces capture Sidi Barani? Nope Australian forces did..British forces took Tobruk? Nope more Australians, the Australians were the majority force and it was them who held out at Tobruk for 242 days....Tobruk fell after the Australians withdrew even though more "British" forces replaced the Australians.

4 years ago

Where is Part 2 ?

Laurence Hickey
4 years ago

The narrator cannot speak English. Every word is a mystery to him. Pathetic.

5 years ago

Wow looking at the comments I see that Americans can't take NORMAL english. greetz from the Netherlands.

Malcolm Jackson
5 years ago

The narrator is Welsh, hence the awful mispronunciation.

Robert Canaan
5 years ago

Readers Digest version of "The World At War", which, combined with "Victory At Sea", remain the two definitive, encyclopedic, historical film documents of WWII.

5 years ago

The narrator is British and it's a proper English accent. If you Americans can't understand it, turn on the subtitles... but be warned, it's using some kind of speech detection, so it's not perfect.

5 years ago

Well narated and put together, we fail to learn from the past and continue to beat the drums of war.

5 years ago

The pacing of this parade of facts is much too fast for my liking.
Coupled with the boring narration and mispronunciation this documentary is just ehh.
The archival footage is nice though.

5 years ago

History is written by the victors ...unless you are able to find an observer with less motive to cover or edit out very important elements. Recommend seeing "The Greatest Story Never Told". Don't agree with 100 percent but much of it.

One way or another, the final reason for going to war boils down to money, despite claims to the contrary. Sadly all those young soldiers were injured or killed to put money into a few less than human pockets. Read Major General Smedley Butler's "War Is A Racket". Its not that long but telling.

5 years ago

Legion of nations?
I could go on.... .

If you want your documentary to be taken seriously please have someone check your work beforehand. Unfortunate, because I was enjoying the footage.

Last Viewer
5 years ago

There are more facts, details not mentioned in other previous docs but since this doc isn't split into 3, 5 or even 6 episodes; it make it close to impossible for the viewer to swallow and digest the whole.
Too bad because of this.

5 years ago

Quite a good short version of WW2 but sadly spoilt by a drab voiced narration. The guys pronunciation of well accepted words is so odd that it leaves one guessing half the time what he is referring to. Shame!

5 years ago

The narrator sounds like some kid trying to come across with a posh accent and failing miserably! That just put me right off in the first 10 seconds.

J Hueb
5 years ago

The Reasons for the War are CLEARLY spelled out in"Tell The Truth and Shame The Devil"
by Gerard Menuhin the son of the famous Jewish violinist Yehudi Menuhin! Read it and WEEP!-JVH They were not what We(Americans) have been told or this Movie depicts!!-JVH

5 years ago

Considering all the shooting going on I have to conclude that humans are the worst shots imaginable. It might have been more interesting if every shot had found a mark.