It would be an understatement say that Battle 360: Season 1
has substantial appeal for World War II and naval history "enthusiasts." Considering the depth and thoroughness of the program and the sheer volume of data and information on hand, it’s likely that experts, fanatics, and obsessives will be well satisfied too. Using a combination of extensive computer-generated imagery (CGI), charts, graphics, statistics, file footage, photos, interviews with military men both past and present, and more, the program focuses on the Pacific Theater, where the United States and its allies battled Japan for the three and half years between Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and the end of the war in August 1945. At the center of virtually every battle during that span was the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. Launched in 1936, this Yorktown class vessel, also known as "a fighting city of steel" and "the Lucky E" (for its ability to avoid major catastrophe, at least for the most part), carried 96 planes, a huge amount of weaponry, and a crew whose average was an astonishing 19 years old. Proceeding chronologically, the series details such major conflicts as Midway (when the U.S. disabled no less than four Japanese carriers), Guadalcanal (when the Enterprise suffered serious damage while helping to thwart the enemy’s plans to invade Australia), and Leyte Gulf ("the largest naval battle in the history of mankind"), finishing with the Japanese’s last-gasp use of kamikaze pilots to attack the U.S. fleet. Much of this is genuinely gripping, as the episodes provide literally minute-by-minute accounts of every encounter and the size, speed, function, and firepower of every vessel and aircraft on both sides. But there are notable drawbacks as well, starting with the fact that for all of its detail, we see almost nothing of the Enterprise’s interior or descriptions of daily life on board the enormous vessel. There’s also the issue of how much CGI you can take; although there is some film footage (which may or may not be from the specific skirmish being described), the computer work, while generally pretty convincing, is pervasive and rather like a video game without a controller. What’s more, each episode is kinetic almost to distraction, with a ceaseless flow of pounding music and sound effects, flashing graphics, and macho voice-over detailing the action. On the other hand, the reminiscences of those who were actually there are often very moving, not to mention a welcome surcease from the high-tech assault of the rest of the show.--Sam Graham
A thrilling 360° view of the WWII battles.
For nearly a decade, the legendary World War II aircraft carrier USS Enterprise held a pivotal place on the turbulent seas of war, engaging in some of the fiercest multi-front battles ever witnessed in modern combat. The only carrier to be front and centre in every major sea conflict in the Pacific, the Enterprise and her crew’s battles were marked by intense firepower, instinct and a 360-coordination between the ship, the destroyers, the aircraft above and the submarines below. In each of ten episodes, and using incredible CGI visualisations, Battle 360°
follows the Enterprise and its men through the conflicts of WWII as they fight off the enemy from the air, the sea and underwater.
Episodes:Call to Duty -
For Aircraft Carrier USS Enterprise, destined to become the most decorated ship of World War II, the Pacific War begins on 7 December, 1941. Returning from a Top Secret Mission, her air groups fly right into the attack on Pearl Harbour. During the early weeks of World War II, as America suffers one defeat after another, Enterprise is one of the few shining lights as she sinks enemy submarines, hits the Japanese Navy in the Marshall Islands and supports the famous Doolittle Raid.Vengeance at Midway -
Destined to become the most decorated ship of World War II, USS Enterprise and sister carriers Yorktown and Hornet turn the tide of the Pacific War. In just a few violent days in the waters off Midway Island, the American carrier fleet pulverizes the Imperial Japanese Navy. Enterprise helps secure one of America's first victories in World War II.
Jaws of the Enemy -
In the summer of 1942, the American Navy is on the offensive and the first strike is in the Solomon Islands, north of Australia. USS Enterprise supports the first American invasion of World War II as U.S. Marines storm ashore at Guadalcanal. The Japanese strike back with a vengeance and in a hellish slugfest the Enterprise suffers her worst battle damage yet.
Bloody Santa Cruz
- Part two of the deadly saga of the Solomons plays out at the Santa Cruz Islands. In one terrible day of vicious combat, Enterprise loses her sister ship USS Hornet and suffers dozens of casualties as bombs nail her flight deck. When the smoke clears, Enterprise is the only American carrier left in the Pacific. For the U.S. Navy at Santa Cruz, survival becomes the ultimate battle.
Enterprise Vs. Japan - November 1942. For the crew aboard USS Enterprise, the war has never been more personal. Enterprise is the only battle-ready American carrier left in the Pacific, and she and her crew are all that stand in the way of the Japanese. When the Imperial Navy tries to retake Guadalcanal, it's Enterprise that sends their transports and destroyers to a watery grave in Iron Bottom Sound.The Grey Ghost
- The Aircraft Carrier USS Enterprise was the most decorated ship of World War II. Enterprise was the first ship to receive the Presidential Unit Citation, the highest award any American vessel can achieve. Watch as she is refitted with new technology and returns to taunt the enemy. The first night air operations ever launched from a carrier are flown from the decks of Enterprise during the bloody Gilbert invasion.Hammer of Hell -
In 1944 the USS Enterprise and the Carrier Task Forces push on through the Pacific and hammer the enemy bases at Kwajalien and Truk Lagoon. The Japanese make a desperate stand in the Marshall Islands. From the Marshalls, Enterprise sets a course for New Guinea and supports the invasion of Hollandia during Operation Persecution.D-Day in the Pacific
- While the Allies storm France, American forces hit Saipan in the Marianas Island. The Enterprise supports one of the largest and most deadly battles of the Pacific War. Enterprise and her sister carriers nearly wipe out Japanese Naval Airpower in the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot" and devastate enemy surface forces in the Philippine Sea. It is one of the greatest carrier battles of the war and contributed to the Aircraft Carrier becoming one of the most decorated ships of World War II.Battle of Leyte Gulf -
USS Enterprise and her escort ships and submarines engage in the largest sea battle ever. In a series of ferocious surface and air firefights, the Japanese Navy is totally eviscerated in the last great naval engagement in world history. With the enemy fleet in chaos, Enterprise and the American carrier force clear the way for an American invasion of the Philippines and set the course for the road to Tokyo.The Empire’s Last Stand
- In the winter of 1945, Enterprise hits Luzon, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, and Iwo Jima. The Big E also unleashes a brand new night air-group from her flight deck. But as the US Navy closes in on Okinawa and the Japanese homeland, the Empire unleashes a hellish weapon - the Kamikaze. Sailors and Marines on Enterprise now face the horror of deadly suicide attackers as the Allies tighten the grip on Japan and secure victory in the Pacific.
• Viewers experience intense fire from the land, air and sea through ground-breaking production techniques, including state-of-the-art video game graphics mixed with archival footage to reanimate the heart-pounding WWII battles – a must have on Blu-ray.
• Superbly suited as a Blu-ray release, the technology brings the battles to life. Through a mix of state-of-the-art CGI technology and real footage of the war, relive of some of the most deadly battles of World War II.