Hitlers Warriors (SBS)

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War Documentary hosted by David Ritchie, published by SBS in 1998 - English narration

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Image: Hitlers-Warriors-SBS-Cover.jpg

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-- Original German title "Hitlers Krieger" -- Since the early 1980s popular German TV journalist and presenter Guido Knopp has unearthed a wealth of new material about the leading figures of the Third Reich. Subsequent to the successful series "Hitler - A Profile" and "Hitler's Henchmen", Guido Knopp and his team continue this significant television analysis of the Nazi period with a series of the six most important German generals. He has spoken to countless contemporaries and eyewitnesses, relatives and friends of these men, and has been given access to documents that until now have been kept under lock and key. In this series, Guido Knopp's reassessment of Germany's guilty past, turns to the careers of six key military leaders of the Third Reich, and their relationships with Hitler. Profiling these men, the series continues to pose the question as to why it all happened. Rommel, Canaris, Keitel, Paulus, Udet and Manstein. Six careers caught in the tangle of Nazi political intrigue and ultimate disaster. What led all these officers to put their military talents at the service of a murderous dictator? To what depth was their involvement in Hitler's crimes? To what limits did their obedience lead them? ZDF Production in Association with ZDF Enterprises and SBS TV ; English version by SBS TV Australia

[edit] Manstein: The Strategist

He was considered Hitler's most capable strategist, to the allies the most dangerous opponent. His career is typical for most of the conservative Prussian generals who took a reserved view of National Socialism and, nevertheless, as willing tools, executed Hitler's merciless war. Erich von Manstein developed the plan of operations for the French campaign in 1940 and thus established his reputation as an operations genius.
Field-Marshal Erich von Manstein was the architect of the defeat of France in 1940, the greatest triumph in German military history. On military questions Manstein vigorously contradicted the Fuhrer, who suspected his politics and finally dismissed him.

[edit] Udet: The Flyer

Ernst Udet, the most successful German fighter pilot to survive the First World War, was personally selected by Hitler to build up and equip the Luftwaffe, but all he had ever wanted was to fly. As the model for Carl Zuckmayer's character Harras in the famous novel "The Devil's General", the fate of Ernst Udet lingered on in Germany's postwar memory. But the writer's license also obstructed the view of the "real" Udet. His fame as a fighter pilot ace during World War I served the regime well as welcome propaganda material for the build-up of the National Socialist Air Force. He himself was promoted by Goring from the cockpit to the desk of "Chief Air Inspector General" where he coordinated the build-up of Hitler's plans of aggression. The successes of the German Air Force in the "Blitzkrieg" would lead Udet to believe in the invincibility of German bombers and fighter planes. The nimbus of the "flying ace" gave him access to the "higher" society in Berlin. At lavish parties and receptions of the party he fully savored his fame. Only with the defeat of the Air Force against the British Royal Air Force and the setbacks of German pilots on the Eastern front did his illusion of invincibility shatter. Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force Goring branded Udet the scapegoat. Offended and disillusioned in view of the hopelessness of the Russian campaign he took his own life on November 17, 1941. The regime covered up the suicide, announced the cause of Udet's death in a crash during a test flight and staged a pompous State funeral.

[edit] Keitel: The Lackey

Like many of those who surrounded Hitler, Wehrmacht chief of staff Field-Marshal Wilhelm Keitel was simply too weak to accept where his actions were leading. Instead, he took refuge in obedience without limit.
With archival footage never previously shown, the film draws the psychological profile of aman whose moral failings had fatal consequences. Former officers of the general staff and fellow travellers describe his path from joining the imperial army to the gallows of Nuremberg. Keitel's key role in the secret rearmament of the Reichswehr to the apocalyptic plans for massive use of nerve gas during the last weeks of the war are presented as stages in a military career caught under the spell of the dictator.

[edit] Rommel: The Hero

The Nazi-propaganda fashioned a legend out of him which was longer lasting than the Reich to whose service he intended to devote his entire life. The legend of the "Desert Fox", of the brilliant commander of the Afrika Korps, to this day finds admirers among friend and foe. As a reward, the dictator promoted him to the rank of field marshal, the youngest of the Wehrmacht. Only a very few perceived that Rommel with open eyes favor rextended his lines of supply and, as a result, he himself set the stage for the fall of the "Afrika Korps".
Field-Marshal Erwin Rommel, the hero of North Africa, fitted perfectly with the cliches of Nazi propaganda. In October 1944, however, Rommel was forced to take his own life, as Hitler was convinced that the 'Desert Fox' was implicated in the July Bomb Plot.

[edit] Paulus: The Defector

Friedrich Paulus - a general fighting a losing battle. His name is inextricably linked to the devastating defeat at Stalingrad. As commander of the Sixth Army he had no chance in the encircled Volga city area against the superior strength of the Red Army. The situation of his more than 250,000 soldiers was hopeless. But all attempts failed to wring out from Hitler the order finally to evacuate the encircled area and break out with his troops westward. The dictator was firmly convinced to sacrifice rather the Sixth Army than to willingly surrender Stalingrad. To the entrapped he radioed a cynical thanks for their "contribution to save the Western World". Paulus knew that his appointment to field marshal shortly before the encirclement was the order for suicide. But he did not fulfill the wish of his commander-in-chief. Paulus went into captivity. Only in the hour of defeat did he refuse to obey.
In January 1943 Friedrich Paulus became the first German field-marshal ever to surrender on the battlefield. Having held Stalingrad for five months against all odds, he defied Hitler and led the remnants of Sixth Army into Russian captivity. He then worked for the Soviets, calling on Germany to surrender.

[edit] Canaris: The Master Spy

Finally, no leading figure in Hitler's dictatorship has been surrounded by more mystery than Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of the Abwehr, the Third Reich's foreign intelligence service. His spy apparatus was considered Hitler's miracle weapon at the invisible front of the Secret Services. Wilhelm Canaris, Head of the office Ausland - Abwehr, the counterintelligence department of the High Command of the armed forces, was a master of camouflage and double-dealing. His spies and agents discretely and efficiently prepared the way for Hitler's offensive war campaigns while he himself had long since been striving for the elimination of his highest superior. He facilitated the way for the escape of victims of political persecution and at the same time urged his subordinates to cooperate closely with the Gestapo. In view of his contacts with the July 20th conspirators close to von Stauffenberg and his subsequent murder in a concentration camp he personified the myth of military resistance against the dictator. Hanged by the SS only days before the war ended, Canaris' last words were: 'I did my duty as a German.'

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4
Video Bitrate: 2 182 Kbps
Video Resolution: 720x552
Display Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Frames Per Second: 25.000 fps
Audio Codec: AC3
Audio Bitrate: 192 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 43 min
Number Of Parts: 6
Part Size: 740 MB
Source: DVD
Encoded by: DocFreak08

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