The Complete History of the Second World War

The Complete History of the Second World War

2017, Military and War  -   22 Comments
Ratings: 7.45/10 from 56 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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22 Comments / User Reviews

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  1. tom pugh

    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..

  2. Blah Blah crap story

    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.

    1. Derek

      During WW2 all Commonwealth soldiers were considered part of the "British Army" and under overall command of British generals. But they did serve in separate units like the Australians, Anzacs, Canadians, Indians, Gurkhas etc. And these Commonwealth soldiers served with great distinction. So when historians say British forces during WW2 they include Commonwealth soldiers like the Australians.

  3. Chad

    Where is Part 2 ?

  4. Laurence Hickey

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

  5. Pie

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

  6. Malcolm Jackson

    The narrator is Welsh, hence the awful mispronunciation.

    1. Glen Gettie

      you've obviously never heard a Welsh accent, if you listen to the likes of Richard Burton & Anthony Hopkins you will hear amongst the best spoken English from Welsh people. you sir are an idiot, the narrator is probably picked because he doesn't speak with a harsh accent to suit the awful subject and with what us Brits would call an almost BBC accent.

  7. Robert Canaan

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

  8. Joe

    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.

  9. Glenn

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

  10. Ian

    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.

  11. DustUp

    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.

    1. Derek

      Are you seriously saying that Hitler & Nazi Germany didn't start WW2 in Europe in 1939 by invading Poland? Or that Japan didn't invade China in 1937 or attack Pearl Harbor in 1941?

  12. Mike

    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.

  13. Last Viewer

    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.

  14. stu

    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!

  15. Immi

    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.

  16. J Hueb

    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

    1. DS

      So you don't believe Nazi Germany started the war in Europe and Japan started the war in Asia? You don't think Hitler tried to exterminate the Jews of Europe? You somehow believe England, France, USA & USSR wanted war w/ Germany? What's your evidence if that's what you believe?

    2. Derek

      So what were the reasons for WW2 if it wasn't Nazi Germany invading Poland & Japan invading China & later attacking the USA? Are you saying those events didn't happen? What evidence is there that contradicts anything said in this documentary? Be specific.

  17. John

    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.