ANZAC Battlefields: The Western Front

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War Documentary hosted by Neil Pigot and Peter Pedersen, published by History Channel in 2014 - English narration

[edit] Cover

Image: ANZAC-Battlefields-The-Western-Front-Cover.jpg

[edit] Information

In the First World War more than 80 per cent of Australian fatalities occurred on the main battlefield, facing the main force of the enemy. That battlefield was the Western Front. Australians and New Zealanders were continuously engaged in that theatre from early 1916 until the Armistice, late in 1918. After the horrors of Gallipoli, ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) forces found themselves thrown into World War I's Western Front, where over the next two years they lost five times as many men as they had in Gallipoli. From the Somme to Passchendaele in France to the final victory in 1918, viewers learn the details of the ANZAC contribution to this theater of the war. The series employs maps, photos, and interviews with participants as they provide a meticulous chronological account of events. ANZAC Battlefields explores in a new and powerfully dynamic way what happened on the battlefields that have taken the heaviest toll on Australian and New Zealand life – the World War One battlefields of the Western Front. The places have changed very little – the grass has grown back, trees have been planted, perhaps a road lies where before there was none – but no cities have been built on these landscapes. It is still possible to stand and imagine what the Diggers went through. The tactics, the deployment, the plans of battle but also what actually happened, moment by moment, as the battle unfolded, to individuals we can name and get to know. The combination of computer-generated effects, and explanation and illustration at the actual locations creates a compelling program. "Anzac Battlefields" tells the story of the ANZACs on the Western Front, from their first engagement in a small trench raid until their final triumph as an integral part of the "100 Day" advance that led to victory. Through graphics, archive, oral history and travels across the scenes of past battles, Neil Pigot (For Valour, Breaker Morant: The Retrial) and eminent military historian Dr. Peter Pedersen explain where, why and how the ANZACs fought in France and Belgium almost 100 years ago. Directed by Serge Ou ; A Wildbear Entertainment and Screen Australia Production for Foxtel History Channel

[edit] Baptism

In 1914, the continent of Europe is being swept up with nationalism, socialism, anarchism, liberalism and great global empires are governed from its capital cities but it's also a dangerous time, a time of increasing political instability. In August, a war broke out between two great competing power blocks, the Central and Allied Entente Powers. The Western Front became one of the main theatres of war.
Where is the Western Front? Why did two vast armies dig in, extending lines of trenches from the Channel ports almost to the Alps? All of this happened in the first weeks of the war so that by mid-September the German attack had faltered on the Marne and the situation became stalemated. This is the battlefield that the ANZACS, withdrawn from Gallipoli, entered at the beginning of 1916.

[edit] Sacrifice

In this episode, the focus for the ANZACs is on a place forever associated with the Western Front, the Somme.
Industrial warfare at its most terrifying, gas, tanks, machine guns, barbed wire, the Anzacs find themselves fully acquainted with the texture of war on the Western Front in a series of murderous battles at Pozieres where the Australians lose 12,000 men. At Flers in the battle of the Somme the New Zealanders experience great success advancing 2.5 kilometres but the price was high the loss of 2000 casualties.

[edit] Resolve

In this episode, we follow the ANZACs through one of the most momentous years of the twentieth century. The battles of 1917, including Bullecourt, Ypres, Messines, and Menin.
It is 1917 and the Anzacs are involved in the seminal battles of Bullecourt, Ypres, Messines and Menin Road. The year starts for the Australians with success but when the Germans counter-attack the Australians are overwhelmed at a place called Bullecourt, a significant German breakthrough seems imminent. But, as we will see as we walk the battlefield, 4000 Australians rally and hold the line against 16,000 Germans, VCs are awarded (Captain Percy Cherry's story is particularly inspiring). And then disaster - a renewed offensive at Bullecourt is a textbook example of things that can go wrong, including the failure of the early tanks. The Australians withstand counter-attacks and hold the line but the cost is 7000 men.

[edit] Cataclysm

In this episode, we continue the story of what made 1917 the costliest year in terms of human life in our military history.
One of the most notorious killing fields of WWI – Passchendaele. We walk where the battalions fought and where the artillery sank in liquid mud. In the midst of the battle one of Australia's greatest soldiers, then Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Morshead, wrote "things are bloody, very bloody". The losses were enormous – on October 12th the New Zealand Division lost 2,800 men, the bloodiest day in that country's military history.

[edit] Spirit

After the successes of 1917 the Allies should have been going on the offensive but the Allied Commander in Chief, Field Marshall Haig, simply lacked the manpower.
Spirit launched the massive Operation Michael on an 80 kilometre front on March 21st 1918, the greatest offensive of the war. We hear stories of desperate defence and the crumbling of the Allied line, we meet great characters like New Zealand's most famous soldier Richard Travis, the unorthodox "king of no-man's land". And we reach what is, for many, the defining moment in Australia's war: Villers-Bretonneux. Here, where Australia has built its memorial, the Australians stood their ground and turned back the relentless German advance.

[edit] Victory

In this episode, we follow the ANZACs as they join the offensive that would lead to victory.
As the Germans retreated towards the fortified Hindenburg Line they attempted a "scorched earth" policy, cratering roads and destroying bridges. Vigorous pursuit was necessary to prevent this. We follow the exploits of the Australians as Monash takes up the challenge and, as part of the rolling offensive, follow the New Zealand 3rd Army. Launched at the town of Bapaume, the fighting is intense, the enemy cannot be dislodged. Then the firing stops and the New Zealanders find that the Germans have abandoned the town. They press on - in one day advancing 10 kilometres and taking two and a half thousand prisoners. One week to the day later the guns fall silent. The war is over.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4
Video Bitrate: 2 367 Kbps
Video Resolution: 1280x720
Display Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frames Per Second: 23.976 fps
Audio Codec: AAC (LC)
Audio Bitrate: 126 kb/s VBR 44.1 kHz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 28 min
Number Of Parts: 6
Part Size: 481 MB - 520 MB
Source: WEB DL
Encoded by: DocFreak08

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