One's immediate response on picking up this DVD is one of incredulity. How is it possible to have WW2 movies in 3D? The first response is remastering as is currently being practiced. Within the first few minutes of watching, one is disabused of all of these notions. This is original extant 3D footage of WW2 albeit sparse & albeit mainly of German origin. So the claim is valid; to a point though!
Cynics could claim that this is merely a motley collection of random photographs but it does showcase the nascent 3D technology of this period. Whether 3D films prove to be a fad or of passing interest, this DVD is of interest not only to the History lover but also to the technology enthusiast.
The DVD commences with the pre WW2 period when one of Hitler's acolytes, Heinrich Hoffman, decides to use 3D photos to showcase his unbridled pride in the Nazis. Together with a 3D publisher, Otto Schönstein, they publish these photos in exquisite books known as Raumbild or "space pictures". Whether this was due his misguided belief in Nazi hegemony or a misguided sense of duty, one will never know. However Heinrich Hoffman, a dedicated Nazi, will forever have the doubtful distinction of being remembered as the 3D Nazi Photographer, at least in my mind.
Most of the surviving footage either relates to this period or to the period prior to the zenith of their military supremacy. It also includes limited other footage as follows:
* Examples of the work of a French photographer, now 97 years old, on the Liberation of Paris in August 1944
* British stereoscopic film taken on reconnaissance missions over Germany
* Footage of a German anti-aircraft gun in training & shooting down an Allied Bomber
This selection is all that remains of a far larger & impressive collection, the rest being destroyed in April 1945 during an Allied bombing attack on Dresden. This will remain another of history's "what ifs" or "if onlys" much like the Library of Alexandria which was claimed to possess 400,000 books during Cleopatra's reign.
It is disingenuous, foolhardy or due to marketing spin for the DVD to unabashed claim that it represents WW2 in 3D. Despite overstating the case, it must garnish plaudits & kudos for gathering all the available material in existence & presenting in one documentary.
In spite of this limited selection of footage, it is engaging & provides one with the first truly new footage to be seen about WW2 in 20 years. For all history connoisseurs, this is heaven sent & we owe a debt of gratitude to History Channel for producing this DVD.