Secrets of World War II: Set 2

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War Documentary hosted by Robert Powell, published by BBC in 1998 - English narration

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You probably know the History, now discover the incredible SECRETS OF WORLD WAR II. Rarely has a war produced such clear cut reasons to fight as World War II. On the one hand were the totalitarian Dictators - Tojo, Hitler and Mussolini. On the other were the great democracies of the Western World which were gradually regaining their feet after the Great War of 1914-18 and the Wall Street Crash. Suddenly, ordinary men and women from all walks of life found themselves thrown into fearsome, nerve-tingling situations worthy of any Hollywood movie. The only difference in this series is that every story is true. Real people emerge as the Heroes of Telemark. Ordinary GIs and US Airforce and Navy personnel suddenly find themselves flying against the Japanese in China, jungle fighting in Burma and being dropped by submarine on enemy coasts at midnight. These untold stories can now be examined in great detail with the benefit of hindsight, newly-discovered archive film, maps and computer graphics which can complete the picture for today's viewer. Each fifty-two minute story gives the viewer a clear view of the historical context, the strategic objective, and the tactical effort made by flyers, sailors and foot-soldiers - often in the most oppressive and life threatening situations - to win victory from the enemy. Through this exciting series, you have top-level clearance to previously unseen military footage-both in black and white and color with newly declassified information, vivid re-creations and revealing firsthand accounts. Uncover the daring deeds, ingenious plots and amazing escapes that helped shape the outcome of the 20th-Century's greatest conflict. Produced by Nugus/Martin Productions for BBC Worldwide Ltd

[edit] How Germany was Bombed to Defeat

In 1945, Germany lay in ruins. The heart of being torn out of her big cities. This was the result of a secret revolution in the technology of air warfare.
In July 1940,with its forces gathered in the English Channel,the triumphant Nazi High Command prepared to deliver a death blow to its one remaining opponent - Britain. Soon,full scale attacks on London began. But by the end it was Germany's mighty Luftwaffe that lay in ruins.
For almost two years, Germany was pounded by one thousand bomber raids flown by the US airforce by day and the same by Britain's RAF by night. The result was a firestorm which destroyed German cities, industry and communications; raids which involved much personal bravery and the use of secret technology. Discover how Britain,with the eventual help of the U.S. was able to outfight the most powerful airforce in the world.

[edit] The End of the Scharnhorst

She was faster than any British battleship, but in what was to become known as 'The Battle of the North Cape', the Scharnhorst was about to meet her destiny at the hands of Admiral Fraser in one of the most exciting naval engagements ever.
In November 1939, a British merchant ship was attacked and sunk by a deadly surface threat. Fast, manoeuvrable and heavily armed, the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst preyed on Allied shipping convoys for the next four years -- from the North Atlantic to the African coast to the fjords of Norway. Now discover the remarkable story of top-secret technology, desperate suicide missions and the ingenious trap that finally brought about "The End of the Scharnhorst."
Witness the Scharnhorst's ferocious attack on a British carrier during the Invasion of Norway. Uncover the astonishing secret that helped the Allies track the battle cruiser on her final mission. Follow the ship's daring daylight run through the English Channel and see the last-ditch attempt of British torpedo bombers to sink her. Then climb aboard the battleship Duke of York for the relentless pursuit and climactic battle that ended the cruiser's long reign of destruction.

[edit] The RAF versus the V-Weapons

Hitler's ultimate goal was to produce a rocket capable of carrying an atomic weapon weighing five tons. Fortunately, the Royal Air Force discovered his plan and set about destroying his dream.
On a September evening in 1944, a thunderous explosion ripped apart homes and streets in a quiet district of London. The destruction was officially blamed on a gas leak -- but the real culprit was a terrifying, virtually unstoppable new German rocket. Now join British Intelligence and the Royal Air Force in a desperate undercover campaign to destroy "what Hitler called the decisive weapon of the war," in "The RAF versus the V-Weapons."
Meet the brilliant German scientist who developed the Nazis' most powerful weapon of revenge--and take part in a daring British bomber raid to destroy his secret base on the Baltic Sea. See how RAF fighter pilots risked their planes, and lives, to track and destroy the V-1 flying bombs and V-2 rockets. Visit the amazing Nazi rocket factory buried in the side of a German mountain. Then discover the chilling secrets of Hitler's ultimate long-range weapon -- capable of launching a deadly payload into the heart of New York City.

[edit] Japan's Last Secret Weapons

Had it not been winter, North America's vast western forests, farms and cities might have been decimated by a secret weapon sent in thousands across the Pacific by the Japanese in 1944.
In October 1944, Japan launched its first batch of 9,000 parchment-paper balloons toward the United States. Loaded with incendiary and antipersonnel bombs, they were designed to float across the Pacific, then descend to spread destruction and terror through the farms, forests and factories along American's west coast. Now, from the first transoceanic balloon attack in history to human-guided missiles to submarines uncover the bizarre stories of "Japan's Last Secret Weapons."
Find out how the U.S. Navy discovered the secret Japanese balloon attack and why scientists feared it could devastate the entire United States. Stand onboard an American battleship as a dynamite-filled kamikaze plane comes screaming in toward the deck. Watch the fatal flight of a rocket-powered "cherry blossom" flying bomb and climb into the cramped belly of a one-man kaiten torpedo submarine. Then discover what deadly secrets the Third Reich was sending a desperate Japan at the end of the war and why they could have turned the western United States into a wasteland.

[edit] The Minehunters

One of the most feared weapons of World War II was the mine. Some were laid by ship and submarine, others by aircraft. Of all of these the most lethal was the magnetic mine, and the race to counter it was one of the most crucial of the war.
On the night of November 22, 1939, two mysterious German mines went off-course over the coast of England and parachuted into the mud flats of an artillery range. The mines were of a powerful new type that posed a dire threat to vital British shipping--unless they could be safely dismantled to reveal their secret detonation system. Now relive one of the most hazardous classified missions of World War II "The Minehunters."
Find out why German mines almost blew Great Britain's chances for survival out of the water. Join Royal Navy demolition experts for their tension-filled assignment, and uncover the secret mechanism that armed and detonated the mystery mines. See why British mine experts were suddenly ordered to start sinking Allied ships during the Normandy invasion. Then travel to the war in the Pacific to discover how ingenious U.S. mine helped sink Japan's crucial supply ships -- and any hope for victory.

[edit] The Nazi Plundering of Europe

Throughout occupied Europe the Nazis systematically plundered the continent’s museums, galleries, and private collections. At the war's end, a massive effort was mounted by the Allies to locate the missing art treasures and return them to their rightful owners. But even today many great objects are still unlocated.
In 1945, Allied invading forces made an astonishing discovery in an abandoned German mine. Hidden deep inside was a storehouse containing over 400 tons of art objects -- plus rooms filled with gold and currency. The vast treasury, and many others like it, contained the spoils from a secret, carefully planned looting campaign conducted by the Nazis during the course of the war. Discover how Germany stole Europe's greatest treasures--and how Allied agents recovered them--in "The Nazi Plundering of Europe."
Follow the trail of incredible Nazi plunder through the conquered nations of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and France. Meet one of Hitler's henchmen with an insatiable appetite for fabulous art at bargain prices, and a brave museum curator who risked her life to keep French masterpieces from vanishing without a trace. Then join the Allied "monuments men" and the OSS on a relentless hunt to uncover and return priceless treasures from the greatest art theft of the century.

[edit] Confusion was their Business

The exciting story of the emergence of special forces such as the British SAS and the US Rangers.
In July 1940, as German armies occupied much of continental Europe, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill reacted by ordering a small, secret group to "set Europe ablaze." For the next four years, the agents of the Special Operations Executive would risk their lives in a clandestine war of espionage, sabotage and subversion throughout the Nazi empire. Join the brave men and women of SOE on the perilous battlefield deep within enemy territoy... where knives, Sten guns and explosives were their weapons and CONFUSION WAS THEIR BUSINESS.
Follow the SOE operatives through their unique training in sabotage, hand-to-hand combat and techniques of deceit. Unmask the cunning German counterintelligence officer who almost destroyed the entire organization and the shadowy double-agent who brought down one of the SOE's largest espionage networks in France. Discover how agents and Greek guerrillas combined forces to blow up a vital Nazi-held bridge. And experience the fierce Battle of the Rails, as resistance fighters destroyed trains, tanks and supply lines...and trapped a German Army on its way to battle the Allied invasion at Normandy beach.

[edit] Merrill's Marauders

America's answer to fighting behind Japanese lines in the jungle was to deploy a highly trained unit called Merrill's Marauders. In August of 1943, a call went out for American soldiers willing to embark on a "hazardous and dangerous mission" behind enemy lines in Burma. The war department wanted 3,000 volunteers, and it didn’t care who they were; they would be expendable, with an expected casualty rate of 85 percent.
In late February 1944, a top-secret regiment of the US Army crossed the Indian border and plunged into the hostile jungles of Japanese-occupied Burma. Under the command of Brigadier General Frank Merrill, the soldiers spent 6 grueling months pushing through nearly impenetrable terrain to cut enemy supply lines, attack the superior forces of Japan's 18th Army and capture a vital military airfield. Now experience the remarkable story and heroic exploits of MERRILL'S MARAUDERS.
Walawbum, Shaduzup, Inkangahtawng, Nhpum Ga, Ritpong, Myitkyina. Although the names of these battles are not as familiar to the public as Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima, the name of the legendary American volunteer regiment that fought in them echoes throughout modern military history. Experience the Marauders operating successfully in hostile territory, pioneering long-range military activities in jungle and mountainous regions, and completing one of the most productive -- and perilous -- military campaigns in American history.

[edit] The Amazing Colonel Doolittle

The citizens of Japan could not believe their eyes when the Americans dared to fly an audacious bombing mission against Tokyo only a few months after Pearl Harbor.
THE AMAZING COLONEL DOOLITTLE: On the morning of April 18, 1942, Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle led a squadron of twin-engine B-25 Mitchell bombers from the U.S. carrier Hornet on a top-secret mission to bomb Tokyo. The daring raid, lauched four months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, won him a Congressional Medal of Honor and made him a national hero. But just two years later, his serious lapse in judgment put the Allied invasion of Europe in jeopardy and nearly ruined his military career. Now, from World War I flying fearless test maverick air force commander, follow the remarkable life of The Amazing Colonel Doolittle.
Witness Doolittle's early world speed record attempt in a "flying barrel." See why German Officials showed him the Luftwaffe's most advanced planes and fighting techniques on the eve of World War II. Find out how the sudden appearance of two Japanese ships drastically altered the plans for the raid over Tokyo. Then discover why Doolittle, as commander of the U.S. 8th Air Force, dropped the secret of D-Day into the hands of the Nazis...just days before the Normandy Invasion.

[edit] Destroying Hitler's Oil

Amazing new footage has become available which shows the raid by the US Air Force against the Ploesti oil fields in Rumania which supplied 60 percent of Hitler's oil in 1943.
In 1943, the Ploesti oilfields in Romania were Germany's single most important fuel source, and a key strategic air power target. This episode studies of one of the most famous, costly, and strategically vital air operations of World War II, the United States' great airstrike against Nazi Germany's oil refineries. Operation Tidal Wave was one of the boldest and most controversial air raids by the United States Army Air Forces. In the summer of 1943, the USAAF decided to stage a major raid on Ploesti from air bases in Libya. The resulting Operation Tidal Wave raid on 1 August 1943 was one of the costliest to date, losing 53 aircraft, about a third of the starting force.
See how hundreds of U.S. airmen volunteered for the mission despite warnings that half might not return. In thirty minutes, more firepower was exchanged than in two Gettysburgs, and five men earned the Medal of Honor. The sacrifice and dedication of these men rivals other famous events in history, such as the calvary charges of the Crimea, Pickett's assault at Gettysburg, or Xenephon's March.

[edit] Home Run from Colditz

The Germans said it was impregnable but the confines of Colditz were to inspire some of the most legendary escapes of all time.
In 1940, the Third Reich began moving its most escape-prone Allied prisoners to an ancient fortress deep in the German countryside. Built on rocks high above the surrounding terrain, with massive stone walls and a deep moat, Colditz Castle was considered escape-proof. But, during the course of the war, resourceful POWs made numerous attempts to break out of the prison, and surprisingly, many succeeded. Relive their most daring, ingenious and outrageous flights to freedom in "Home Run from Colditz."
Uncover the top-secret British organization that smuggled concealed maps, identity papers and tools to Allied prisoners. Then travel to Colditz for a pulse-pounding escape attempt by climbing down its sheer walls. See how two nervy escapees posed as German officers and began giving orders to the guards. And discover the astonishing contraption designed to fly over the castle walls...and to freedom. Finally, find out how an eagle-eyed American sergeant helped the prisoners of Colditz make their greatest escape, just seconds before invading U.S. artillery planned to pound the castle into a pile of rubble.

[edit] Cruises of the Secret Raiders

The fascinating story of the secret heavily armed cargo ships deployed by the Germans which were in reality designed to sink allied merchant ships as well as refuelling German U-Boats and warships.
In December 1940, a British merchant ship cruising toward Singapore was suddenly attacked and blown nearly to pieces - by what appeared to be a harmless, unarmed freighter. The innocent looking vessel was actually a top secret, heavily armed Nazi ocean raider, one of 10 assigned to prey on Allied shipping from the South Atlantic to the Indian Ocean to the waters of Antarctica. Discover the amazing exploits of these uncoventional camouflaged war ships in "Cruise of the Secret Raiders."
See how Germany's deadly pocket battleships, U-boats and ocean raiders terrorized the British merchant fleet early in the war. Join the crew of the "Penguin" on a destructive voyage to the bottom of the world, and witness the raider's fierce final battle off the Horn of Africa. Then relive the dramatic attack on a British merchant ship by the ocean raider "Atlantis." And find out what the German boarding party discovered below deck -- and how it led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor just one year later.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4
Video Bitrate: 1 935 Kbps
Video Resolution: 720x544
Display Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Frames Per Second: 29.970 fps
Audio Codec: AC3
Audio Bitrate: 192 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 52 min
Number Of Parts: 12
Part Size: 792 MB
Source: DVD (Thanks to Gegenees@a.b.dvd9)
Encoded by: DocFreak08

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