WWII: Battles for Europe

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War Documentary hosted by Charles Nove, published by ZDF in 2019 - English narration

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Image: WWII-Battles-for-Europe-Cover.jpg

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-- German title : "Der Zweite Weltkrieg – Schlacht um Europa" -- This compelling eight-part series tells the story of the war in the West's most iconic moments: the D-Day landings; the ill-fated airborne operation at Arnhem; the great German offensive in the Ardennes; and the dash to the last bridge over the River Rhine. WWII — Battles for Europe tells the grand narrative through eye-witness veteran testimony from men who served under fire on the front line — some many times over. Each programme conveys the fast-moving life or death nature of one of 8 key battles. In a conflict where boots and winter coats were as important as guns and ammunition, experts will profile the kit of the ordinary soldier, as well as the fearsome weaponry and iconic armoured vehicles. Renowned historians detail the plans and decisions of the generals, and animated strategic maps show us the big picture of each battlefield. Every step is personalised by the testimony of Allied and German veterans who give us a unique insight into the epic events in Western Europe in the final months of the war. Writer & Series Editor: Toby Groom ; An Impossible Factual Production in Association with ZDF Enterprises

[edit] D-Day: The Normandy Landings

June 6, 1944 - D-Day. British, American and Canadian troops stormed the beaches of Normandy in what would become known as The Longest Day.
June 1944 – The combined American, British and Canadian armies make up the most powerful invasion force ever assembled. They plan to establish a bridgehead in Normandy, storming beaches along a 50-mile front while airborne troops secure targets inland. They face determined German defenders protected by bunkers, obstacles and minefields. David Willey talks amphibious tanks, and Taff Gillingham demonstrates the heavy kit that weighed down the troops as they waded ashore.

[edit] The Battle of Caen

This episode examines the efforts of the British and Canadians who fought elite German divisions to capture the city of Caen, the key to breaking out of Normandy.
June 1944 - The Allies are bogged down in bitter fighting amid the hedgerows of Normandy. The British and Canadians are still short of the objective they planned to capture on D-Day: the city of Caen. This episode tells the story of the bloody fighting for the city. David Willey recounts the story of panzer ace Michael Wittman; Taff Gillingham demonstrates the MG42 machine gun; and Matthias Strohn describes the storm of the century that nearly wrecked Allied plans.

[edit] Normandy Breakout

While elite German forces were locked in a brutal slugging match with the British and Canadians around Caen, further west, American forces planned a major offensive codenamed Operation Cobra. This episode examines the work of the American forces who launched a huge offensive to blast a gap in the German lines and break through to liberate France.
July 1944 – American forces plan a major offensive codenamed Operation Cobra. They would attack near St. Lo, achieve a breakthrough, then unleash General Patton and US Third Army to exploit the opening. In this episode, veterans from all sides tell the story of the treacherous fighting amid the Normandy hedgerows, Patton's lightning advance into Brittany, the liberation of Paris and the devastating German defeat at Falaise. Expert historians discuss the bomb plot that nearly killed Hitler.

[edit] Operation Market Garden

Field Marshal Montgomery's daring airborne plan to end the war by Christmas, which went a bridge too far at Arnhem.
September 1944 – Montgomery proposes a bold plan to cross the Rhine and encircle Germany's industrial heartland. Operation Market Garden begins as thousands of Allied paratroopers seize key bridges, while British tanks advance up a single 100km road to link up with them. But major flaws quickly emerge in the Allied plan. Veterans of British 1st Airborne recall going 'a bridge too far' at Arnhem, and members of XXX Corps explain why 'Club Route' soon became 'Hell's Highway'.

[edit] Battle of the Scheldt

As the Allies' advance stalls, the Canadians had to seize Hitler's island fortress to open up the vital port of Antwerp and keep the war moving.
October 1944 – The Allies face a major supply crisis. Vital fuel and ammunition still has to be landed at the D-Day beaches 300 miles to the rear. When the Belgian port of Antwerp falls into Allied hands intact, it seems the crisis might be over. But first the Allies have to clear the Scheldt Estuary, connecting Antwerp to the sea. With limited manpower and resources, the Canadians must fight across a broken landscape of flooded fields and dykes, against experienced German soldiers.

[edit] Battle for the Siegfried Line

The Allies entered Germany and ran into the Siegfried Line. American troops fought to a gruelling, bloody standstill in the Huertgen Forest at a terrible cost.
November 1944 – As the Allies advance into Germany they run into formidable concrete bunkers, pillboxes, minefields, and tank traps. German soldiers fight tenaciously to defend their homeland. We hear from veterans on both sides fighting in the Huertgen Forest, so notorious it was nicknamed 'the Death Factory'. Tank expert David Willey shows us the King Tiger tank, and the cheap but lethal Panzerfaust. Historians David Silbey and Stephen Bull discuss the effects of combat fatigue and trauma.

[edit] The Battle of the Bulge

Hitler's launch of his great counter-offensive against the unsuspecting Allies in the Ardennes. This was the Nazis' last gamble in the West to turn the tide of the war.
December 1944 – Hitler has picked the Ardennes sector for a major offensive – a last gamble to turn the tide of the war. The surprise attack, spearheaded by elite divisions, initially sends American units reeling. The German onslaught leads to the bloodiest single battle fought by US forces in World War Two. We hear from survivors of SS atrocities against prisoners and civilians, and veterans of the US 101st Airborne's 'Band of Brothers' who held Bastogne during a bloody week-long siege.

[edit] Battle for the Rhine

The Allies reached the last great natural barrier between their forces and the German heartland. If they could get across the River Rhine, the war would be won.
March 1945 – The Allies have reached the River Rhine, which Hitler is counting on to stall their advance. Field Marshal Montgomery plans a giant operation to cross the river in the north, but luck hands the Americans an intact bridge over the Rhine at Remagen. We hear from the first US troops to cross it. Monty's great amphibious and airborne crossings are described by those who took part. As the fighting ends, we hear the emotional stories of those lucky enough to return home.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: H.264 CABAC High@L4.1
Video Bitrate: 3 710 Kbps
Video Resolution: 1920x1080
Display Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frames Per Second: 25.000 fps
Audio Codec: AC3
Audio Bitrate: 128 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 50 min 41 s - 53 min 9 s
Number Of Parts: 8
Part Size: 1.36 GB - 1.42 GB
Source: WEB DL
Capper: NDF@a.b.documentaries

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