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on 9 April 2013
thank you Harry Harris and the Discovery channel for doing this, there is a lot to learn from this collection / tv series, especially about the royal british legion & how close we came to becoming another conquered country during the ww2
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on 21 June 2012
After watching one or two programmes on tv i thought i might see if there was a dvd available. There was and it is worth getting.It is full of little known facts that are interesting and intriguing.Its well worth the money just for some of these.
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on 19 August 2013
First impressions can not only be deceptive, they can be wildly inaccurate.

When I saw the start of the first episode, in which the presenter introduces himself with "I'm 'arry 'arris, London cab driver an' 'istory guide", I thought "cocky, irritating little Cockney", and expected the worst.

Very quickly I had to eat copious helpings of humble pie. Harris turns out to be a marvellous presenter for this series. Like many of us born after the war in a (fairly) free country, Harry is in awe of "the greatest generation" who made it possible for us to live without the yoke of tyranny.

Harris' reverence towards these now-elderly people pervades the series, leading to many memorable moments. There is the genuine shock shown by Harris when he interviews the lady who was prepared to carry out a suicide pact with her husband if the Germans had succeeded with "Operation Sea lion", the Nazi plan to invade Britain.

Then there is Harris' disarmingly spontaneous gesture of gratitude when he embraces a pair of Battle of Britain fighter pilots, kissing them on the cheek. "What men!" declares Harris, "You're heroes!" Typically, the former Hurricane pilot and former Spitfire pilot deny that they are any such thing. Harris is having none of it - and rightly so. "You saved our country" he insists.

And most memorable of all is the episode in which Harris follows the journey of a single US soldier, an ordinary infantryman, from his billet in Devon, through the D-day landings, to the corporal's final resting place. As Harris reads the inscription on the tombstone, his voice falters and he bursts into tears.

Harry Harris not only takes the viewer into some intriguing byways of WW2 history, he has personified the awe, respect, gratitude and affection that postwar Britons feel (or should feel) towards an earlier generation whose courage and resilience gave us the freedoms we enjoy today.

"The debt remains, and will increase."
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on 5 April 2012
The previous reviewer who gave this series a meagre one star gives the impression that he has not seen the full series. If so, he has missed a real treat. His short comments are so far off the mark, here's a more in-depth review.

'Amateur'? Yes, Cockney cab driver Harry Harris doesn't pretend to be an expert WW2 historian but approaches the subject armed merely with enthusiasm, respect and an open mind. Good for him.

This is a QUALITY series, the likes of which I have been wanting to see on TV for years. I have studied Britain in WW2 for 30 years now and although some of the subjects are familiar, Harry's fresh, down to earth, engaging approach and use of the latest research and modern historians was interesting and refreshing.

The series was first broadcast on the Discovery Channel over the last couple of years. There are all 7 episodes included in this boxset, running to 6 hours and at £4.99, is a real bargain. The series is absolutely chock full of interesting investigations. A brief resume:

Episode 1: Flirting With Hitler: Harry meets the young Press Officer of the Royal British Legion (a young injured ex-Army officer) and travels in the footsteps of a forgotten pre-war trip by WW1 RBL veterans who went to Germany on a peace/unity mission, which was hijacked by the Nazis, resulting in embarrassment and humiliation for the well-intentioned mission. Harry also investigates wartime full honour Luftwaffe burials in Britain.

Episode 2: Nazi Invasion: Harry explores the WW2 defences against invasion, from death-trap pillboxes on the coast (easily over-run in an invasion); explodes a Home Guard flame fougasse IED/bomb; goes to the Imperial War Museum to see the sole surviving copy of Hitler's 'Black Book' of Britons the Gestapo wanted to arrest if they invaded; explores whether there was a German invasion at Shingle Street, Suffolk and discovers about the secret Auxiliary Units/British resistance force.

Episode 3:Battle of Britain Mystery: 93-year-old former Air Transport Auxiliary Mary Ellis takes to the skies again in a Spitfire, for the first time in 60+ years; a daughter of RAF ace goes on an archaeological dig to find her father's fighter; Harry also meets other RAF fighter veterans.

Episode 4: Outwitting Hitler: Harry helps trace the locations in some newly discovered rare colour film of war damage in the London Blitz; explores the final flight of US President JFK's brother in a flying bomb bomber that tragically exploded over Suffolk; the PLUTO oil pipeline that helped fuel D-Day and the various decoy techniques used to fool the Germans.

Episode 5: D-Day Disasters: How 946 US troops were killed in a Devon exercise just before D-Day and visits a surviving German E-boat actually involved; Harry travels to Normandy to explore a recently uncovered German gun battery; meets Allied veterans who stormed the beaches and lay marker bouys for the invasion fleet. The programme ends with perhaps the most poignant and moving moment in all the series: Harry finds original pencilled writing on the walls of an attic billet in Devon, occupied by US soldiers before D-Day. He finds the name Corporal Bekeleski and finds that he was killed on the first day of D-Day. Harry visits Bekeleski's grave in Normandy to pay his respects, fighting back genuine emotion.

Bonus Episodes: (Pilot episodes from the first series - these are possibly cut down in length?):
Nazi London: Harry explores Nazi architecture at the former German embassy in London and the Nazi funeral of the ambassador; he also goes to the Tower of London to see where Rudolf Hess was imprisoned after his flight to Britain; he also travels to North London to see where Hitler's-in-laws lived.

Blitz: Secrets and Lies: Harry meets a survivor of the 1943 Bethnal Green Tube shelter disaster; discovers about another disaster where dozens were killed when their underground shelter in a London park was hit; finds out where a secret underground factory was in Essex and visits 'Paddock', Churchill's emergency bunker in Dollis Hill.

There are one or two eye-brow raisers: the local historian whose crackpot theory that the Allies deliberately sacrificed 946 US troops to make Allied double-agents more believable, is frankly, insulting to the war dead, relatives and other troops involved. The aged veteran who claims (without proof) that 7,000 Germans landed at Shingle Street is baseless supposition. But in both cases, Harry has a university professional explore the National Archives to debunk both theories.

This is a great, enjoyable and interesting series which was and is a real pleasure to watch. Harry gets the tempo just right and is genuinely interested, respectful and moved during his travels. I really hope there is another series. Enjoy.
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on 9 October 2013
This was a gift for 89 year old uncle who was involved in the laying of the Pluto pipeline. He loved it and he enjoyed the way that Harry told the stories.
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on 21 March 2014
This is a fantastic set of dvd's about a lot of lesser known facts and happenings from WW2 England. Harry Harris's style is 'easy going' but informative.A great series & must have for those like myself who are WW2 buffs.
Brian
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on 29 January 2016
A very good DVD series.
Although it does at some points delve into conspiracy theories, the presenter Harry Harris presents in an honest and straight forward way, and one is able to tell he is enthusiastic and genuine about his interest in history.
Especially good are the two short documentaries that form part of the extras on the third DVD.
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on 21 October 2015
Harry Harris should stick to being a taxi driver. After calling Ken Wilkinson by the wrong name of Ken Wilson and calling the memorial Capel-le-Ferne by the name of Chapel-le-Ferne clearly shows that he is either clueless of what he's talking about or clearly doesn't care.
There's something about him that makes me dislike him. Stick to being a taxi driver Harry, then people can enjoy watching programs where people actually know what they're talking about!

I'd like to give this series 0 stars but unfortunately I have to get be it 1 just to post this comment.
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on 12 June 2015
excellent product quick delivery
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on 26 July 2014
Fascinating boxed set
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