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11 Reviews
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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World War II As Seen From The Top
This is one of the most important television documentaries about the Second World War ever produced. Unlike other series, such as "The World at War", there are no interviews with either historians or participants and no descriptions of small-scale engagements, just the hard strategic facts of the engagement as seen by the top leaders. A considerable part of each film...
Published on 19 Oct 2005 by givbatam3

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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a real battle
This series is hard going. On the one hand we have 2 hrs on each battle, the first hr covering the personalities, the strategies, the men and the equipment, and the 2nd hr covering the battle and the outcome, both sections using much original footage (though after while it does repeat itself) broken up only by map diagrams. So a really in-depth look at the battle. On the...
Published on 26 Sep 2012 by A. Unsworth


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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World War II As Seen From The Top, 19 Oct 2005
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This review is from: Battlefield: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of the most important television documentaries about the Second World War ever produced. Unlike other series, such as "The World at War", there are no interviews with either historians or participants and no descriptions of small-scale engagements, just the hard strategic facts of the engagement as seen by the top leaders. A considerable part of each film describes the run-up to the actual battle, with considerable use of maps, descriptions of the leaders, the commanders, the armies and the weapons that decided the engagement. What is emphasized is the importance of the battle within the whole strategic picture of the war. After this, a detailed presentation of how the battle played itself out is given. Finally, the strategic results of the engagement is described,
showing how the entire course of the war was affected.
This series is designed for someone who has more than just a casual interest in the history of the war, and I highly recommend it for this audience.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Removes the fog of war., 16 July 2008
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This review is from: Battlefield: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
This excellent series provides a logical, clear, step by step guide to various major engagements of WWII.
Broken down into stages such as; prelude, planning, weapons, armies, battle etc, the engagement is explained in comprehensive and easily intelligible detail. It is never over technical or textbook like and I found it absorbing.
Tim Piggot Smith's professional narration enhances the overall experience.
Suitable for beginner or history buff. Highly recommended.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-class recording, 28 Feb 2011
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This review is from: Battlefield: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
`Battlefield 1' is a seriously good audio-visual review of six of WWII's most decisive campaigns and is complemented by a further collection of six 'battles' in Battlefield 2. Apart from the possible inclusion of Operation Bagration, the liberation of Western Russia in the summer of 1944 (at the expense of which of the 12 battles included?), I would not take issue with any of the battles chosen.

The battles for France, Britain, Stalingrad, Normandy and Berlin are covered for the war in Europe; the battle of Midway is covered for the Pacific War. So there is something of a Eurocentric bias.

All episodes, one for each battle, run to 110-115 minutes bar one, The Battle of Britain, which runs some 10 minutes shorter. The time for each battle allows for a surprisingly detailed treatment of each.

Each battle is treated for the most part within a similar template but each is reviewed under a varying number of `phases' of the battle itself, reasonable appropriately for each battle, for example the battle for France in 1940 has as Phase 1 the capture of Eben Emael, the lynchpin of the Belgian defences. Tactics are discussed in comparatively more detail in the Battle of Britain than for other battles.

The narrative, excellently provided by Tim Pigott Smith, is very well supported by coloured graphical maps and footage from each battle as appropriate. The background music is tediously repetitive but does not discourage me too much at all.

I recommend this recording unreservedly to all who are interested in WWII.

I have recorded for the most part similar comments for Battlefield 2, the second WWII collection of six battles, which I think is almost equally meritorious to this battle collection.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Battle field series, 21 May 2011
This review is from: Battlefield: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I have in my collection Box set 1 and 2 along with The battle for Kursk as a seperate disk.
What can i say about this series. It's simply the best battle series by a long mile, I remember seeing these as 2x 1 hour episodes spread over months of viewing time. So having them as a set is a dream come true.

The narration is brilliant by Tim Pigott-Smith, He brings the series alive with his concise tone that never strays into boredom.

Each episode is shown from the lead up to the battle, Why it was planned and what it was hoped to achieve.
It then goes into how the battle was fought from both sides, An explanation of the weapons used, How they were used, The men and terrain. The reasoning behind why the battle was fought there and the mistakes each side made with no punches pulled. Each piece of information builds into an over all picture of what it was like to have fought there and the ramifications for the looser and the victor at the end. So when you watch the other battles in the series, You know why and how the next one had to be fought.

The picture quality for the most part is brilliant, Concidering it's war time footage nearly 60-70 years old now, Some of the same footage is used through out the series for an explanation of the weaponry used, But they won't show you a picture of say an Me 109E when discussing a 109G, So nothing to complain about.

The maps used to illustrate the battle field are well thought out and easy to follow when discussing the build up to battle and showing divisional or entire army group possitions prior to and during battles fought. You do get a brilliant overall view of whats happening.

This series in my opinion is the perfect detailed examination of the major battles of World War 2. I intend to buy the other single disk releases to complete my collection.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Riveting, 15 April 2005
By 
J.S. McIntyre "Mc" (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Battlefield: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this entire series years ago on the American PBS network. Absolutely riveting. The novel approach of treating each battle as the climactic event of an extended series of events the preceded it was particularly effective in giving the battle a perspective you never get in most war documentaries. For example, the Battle of Midway is discussed as the climactic engagement of a battle the started months before in another region of the Pacific. This device allows the viewer to understand the varying influences at play; the strategic concerns, the manner in which weaponry affected engagements, and how chance, human error and material loss played a part in setting the stage for the final battle over the extended time frame.
Along with the "The World at War" this rates as one of the best World War II documentaries I have seen.
And I absolutely hate the fact that it isn't available in a format that works in the United States region.
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...........
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome WWII and watchable in USA with a little work, 8 April 2006
By 
Bryan Tyson (Greenville, SC, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Battlefield: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I have been hoping for years this would come out on DVD. It ran on PBS in the USA, and I call it one of the two best WWII documentaries ever made (the other is The World At War). It is not available in the USA. However, these region 2 PAL DVDs play great on a PC. If you don't want to be prompted about switching regions, view on a Linux computer with Xine. However, I am happy to report I can view these on my living room DVD player too. Maybe my experience can help other non-UK customers. What I did was run it through DVDshrink. It complained about the region, so I had to install AnyDVD too. I chose remaster and selected only the main title (so it would need less compression). The result is accepted by my USA DVD player without complaining about wrong region, and the video is fine too (NTSC vs. PAL). I don't know if DVDshrink somehow turned it into NTSC or perhaps my player converts it automatically or what? But the bottom line is, USA customers can play these if you don't mind a little work as described above.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic historical overview of World War II conflicts, 10 April 2012
By 
Tangerine "tangerineman" (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Battlefield: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Battlefields is an indepth documentary series that concentrates (in this first series) on 6 'battles/conflicts' of the second World War. Starting with the Battle of France then Britain, Midway, Stalingrad, D-Day and the Battle of Berlin it is a wonderfully crafted series that looks indepth at various specific issues that contributed to the outcome of each battle. It considers the commanders, units available for each action, weapons - a plethora of contributing factors and then gives an analysis of each for each side in an unbiased way. It is probably quite dry for some but in my view it is fascinating and a worthy series to watch for those wishing to know more about these brutal conflicts. Tim Pigott Smith provides a clear narration that adds to the experience. His contribution is fantastic. He merely delivers the facts and allows them to speak for themselves. This series of Battlefields is fantastic and I would recommend it without any hesitation to anyone else seeking a documentary series on the history of World War 2. I've seen plenty but would rank Battlefields as my own number 1.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Battlefields Series 1, 29 Jan 2012
This review is from: Battlefield: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
A must for all who are interested in the Second World War.
Good value for money, the item was quickly despatched with
reasonable postage cost.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a real battle, 26 Sep 2012
By 
A. Unsworth - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Battlefield: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
This series is hard going. On the one hand we have 2 hrs on each battle, the first hr covering the personalities, the strategies, the men and the equipment, and the 2nd hr covering the battle and the outcome, both sections using much original footage (though after while it does repeat itself) broken up only by map diagrams. So a really in-depth look at the battle. On the other hand we have seriously annoying music and cliched chapter graphics, a stopwatch here a pair of compasses floating across the screen there, that after a while become tedious and slow the pace down. But the thing that is realy conspicuous by its absence is the lack of any contemporary footage. Why no contemporary shots of the Normandy coast so that the audience can visualise just how it must have looked to the invasion forces? Why no shots of the Russian steppe so that we can see just how much of a task the German army really had? Why no shots of the pacific islands so that we can imagine the Japanese bombing raids? Why no contemporay shots of ther famous bocage country so that we can begin to understand the difficulties the liberators had? In short, its like reading an old black & white textbook when what i really wanted was a battlefield tour with a charismatic guide, and it leaves the whole thing looking rather old fashioned.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Switch the music off!, 14 April 2009
By 
A. Williams "Alun Williams" (Great Wyrley) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Battlefield: Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Lots of information within this set, but the narration is a little bland and the background music drives me nuts!
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Battlefield: Series 1 [DVD]
Battlefield: Series 1 [DVD] by Battlefield (DVD - 2005)
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