War in the Air

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[edit] General Information

History, War Documentary hosted by Philip Joubert and published by BBC in 2005 - English narration

[edit] Cover

Image: War-in-the-Air-Cover.jpg

[edit] Information

In 1954, the BBC produced an outstanding documentary series on aerial warfare from 1935 to 1950, comprising fifteen half hour shows that was aired on the first Monday after Remembrance Sunday.

Taking two years to make, and compiled from nearly 12 million feet of Allied and enemy film footage, there had been little to compare with it in terms of scale, depth and content.

This landmark series represents an important piece of television history and will give every viewer an honest telling of the development of airpower.

Some of the highlights include; amazing footage taken from the nose of a Mosquito during low level attacks, camera's placed on the wings of various aircraft and a dozen other earth grazing operations.

This series will make your hair stand up on end!

[edit] The Fated Sky

As the 1930's progressed and the prospect of war became inevitable. Equally, it became obvious that air power would have a significant role to play in the forthcoming war. This episode looks at the preparations for war from the mid-30's to the fall of France in 1940, including the 'official' foundation of the German Luftwaffe in 1935 and looks at how the RAF prepared for the coming onslaught.

[edit] Battle for Britain Sky

With France occupied, Britain found herself next in Hitler's sights. If the Luftwaffe could gain aerial superiority over the Channel, the the Wehrmacht could launch an invasion against Southern England. This eisode covers the Battle of Britain and the bitter months that followed, and the terrible suffering inflicted on British cities by Nazi bombers.

[edit] Fifty North

If German submarines and surface raiders could destroy the Allied convoys bringing vital supplies across the Atlantic to Britain, then the nation would eventually be unable to fight. It was the Germans who first raelised that air power had a signifivant role to play in the Battle of the Atlantic, from 1940 to 1942, but the British soon caught on.

[edit] Maximum Effort

The Luftwaffe bombed London initially by mistake. Churchill retaliated by sending bombers against Germany. Now cities were legitimate targets. This episode looks at early strikes by RAF Bomber Command and the start of Britain's strategic air bombardment of Germany from Spring 1941 to Spring 1942.

[edit] Desert Air Force

This episode covers the conflict from Italy's entry into the war in Summer 1940 to the establishment of an advanced wing of the Desert Air Force in Tripoli in 1942. It covers the invasion of Crete, celebrates the heroic defence of Malta, while in the Western desert, Allied air power played an important role in the defeat of the Afrika Corps.

[edit] Combined Ops

Between 1942 and early 1943, American bomber squadrons arrived in force in Britain and the Allies wee able to mount powerful strikes against Nazi targets. But the bomber formations would be met by swartms of German interceptors, and caught in merciless aerial battles stretching across hundreds of miles of sky.

[edit] The Rising Sun

The attack on Pearl Harbour by the Japanese in December 1941 was proof that the aircraft was now a potentially war-winning weapon. Battleships were now exposed as terrifyingly vulnerable to the bomb-load from a single plane. This episode covers the air war in the Pacific from Pearl Harbour to Ceylon and reveals hoe the Allies were almost completely unprepared to defend India and Burma from the air.

[edit] Round the Clock

From the Spring of 1943 to early 1944, the Allies were pounding Nazi Germany by day and by night. By day, formations of B-17 Flying Fortresses would battle their way through heavily defended skies to deliver their deadly bomb-loads. At night the Lancasters of RAF Bomber Command took the war to Germany where German civilians
paid a terrible price for their leader's ambitions.

[edit] Wings Over Italy

This episode covers the rarely mentioned air campaign fought in the skies over Italy from July 1943 to July 1944. As the Allies pressed ever northward, air power would play a significant role in the Anzio landings, at Cassino and in the liberation of Rome.

[edit] Overlord

As the Allies planned for D-Day, it was obvious that air power would have a number of significant roles to play in support of the forthcoming invasion.On D_Day itself, transports would deliver paratroop forces and deliver elite glider-borne troops, while the combined air forces provided tactical air support in establishing the bridgehead on the beaches.

[edit] Facing New Weapons

In the aftermath of D-Day, the Allies used their air superiority to help crush enemy concentrations holding up the land advance at Caen and Falaise, and to support the advance on Paris and through into Belgium. The Germans retaliated with their new 'Vengeance Weapons'. V-1 flying bombs fell upon Southern England and the RAF had to resort to desperate measures to intercept them.

[edit] The Cold Dawn

Allied air power seemed to be tipping the scales everywhere. The converging Allied air forces could be found in Norway, beating off the powerful German counter-offensive in the Ardennes, in Italy, in the Balkans and on the Russian Front.The Luftwaffe collapsed almost completely under the strain of trying to defend the Fatherland and vicory was assured.

[edit] Eastern Victory

This episode covers the air war in Burma, where the ability to deliver troops and supplies by air helped to convincingly defeat the Japanese ground forces. Japan fought on - until aircraft delivered the knockout blow. Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There was no defence. Imperial Japan had no choice but to capitulate.

[edit] The Unquiet Peace

World War II was over. The UN tried to impose air controls but very quickly found itself embroiled in a new war, this time in Korea. Now new generations of jets clashed as MiGs met Sabres in ever faster dogfights. The Cold War was heating up, and Britain needed to develop a new approach in the skies.

[edit] The Past and Future

At the start of World War II, biplanes were still thought of as viable. By its end, new generations of jets like the Gloster Meteor and Me262 dominated the skies. One bomb - one aircraft - could destroy an entire city. Air power had changed the very world we lived in. This last programme looks at the development of air power and speculates on its future potential from the vantage point of 1954.

[edit] Screenshots

Image: War-in-the-Air-Screen0.jpg

[edit] Technical Specs

(sample specs for part 1 only)

  • Format : AVI
  • Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
  • File size : 354 MiB
  • Duration : 30mn 21s
  • Overall bit rate : 1 631 Kbps
  • Video
  • ID : 0
  • Format : MPEG-4 Visual
  • Format settings, BVOP : Yes
  • Format settings, QPel : No
  • Format settings, GMC : No warppoints
  • Format settings, Matrix : Default (H.263)
  • Muxing mode : Packed bitstream
  • Codec ID : DX50
  • Codec ID/Hint : DivX 5
  • Duration : 30mn 21s
  • Bit rate : 1 429 Kbps
  • Width : 720 pixels
  • Height : 536 pixels
  • Display aspect ratio : 4:3
  • Frame rate : 25.000 fps
  • Resolution : 24 bits
  • Colorimetry : 4:2:0
  • Scan type : Progressive
  • Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.148
  • Stream size : 310 MiB (88%)
  • Writing library : DivX 6.8.5 (UTC 2009-08-20)
  • Audio
  • ID : 1
  • Format : MPEG Audio
  • Format version : Version 1
  • Format profile : Layer 3
  • Codec ID : 55
  • Codec ID/Hint : MP3
  • Duration : 30mn 21s
  • Bit rate mode : Constant
  • Bit rate : 192 Kbps
  • Channel(s) : 2 channels
  • Sampling rate : 44.1 KHz
  • Resolution : 16 bits
  • Stream size : 41.7 MiB (12%)
  • Alignment : Split accross interleaves
  • Interleave, duration : 40 ms (1.00 video frame)

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