The Wehrmacht [DVD]
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Customers who bought this item also bought
Hitler's army thundered through Europe from 1939 to 1945 and brought needless death and destruction to the continent. What was it like to serve in this army? To conduct one of the bloodiest wars in history? To occupy half of Europe and yet to suffer total defeat? This five-part portrait provides long-awaited answers and sheds light on the Wehrmacht's complex bonds of loyalty, conscience and honor.
The thought-provoking story of an army's evolution from defense troops to military force to exterminating power.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
One small annoyance with the production is the preference of vocal English translation spoken over the original German voices. It's like two people talking at once and I found it a little distracting. I would have preferred subtitles. A somewhat bigger annoyance is that, although the picture is wide screen, the dvd is non-anamorphic 4:3... so to fill that big screen one has to "zoom" the picture, thereby losing quality of image. A small grievance in view of the subject matter on offer here, but there you have it. Nicely presented in a 3-disc foldout package that comes in a sturdy cardboard sleeve. Recommended.
From the middle of 1943, all German Generals/senior Staff officers captured in the West, were imprisoned in the luxurious surroundings of Trent Park country house, near London. This 'guilded cage' held a dark secret however; the entire building was electronically bugged, with every spoken word being constantly recorded by British Intelligence Officers, with a view to procuring evidence for the looming war trials.
Almost seventy years later, this historical 'treasure trove' of obviously unguarded conversions between Germany's senior military leaders on the politics, personalities, strategy and tactics of WWII, have been used by Guido Knopp and his team to produce the most fasinating insight into the mental/psychological effects of sustained battlefield combat(ending in defeat), that I have ever seen.
This three DVD 270min programme is made in five parts, listed below:-
1.Attack on Europe.
2.The Turning Point.
5.To the Bitter End.
The only problem I have with this documentary is the very obviously slanted editing. The basic premise of all the programmes are that the German Officer Corps should have firstly resisted Hitler's assumption of power and pre-war programme of military expansion, and following the outbreak of war; should have acted in such a fashion that 'the war would have ended sooner'. IE... withdrawn their men from combat wherever possible, encouraged them to surrender in order to prevent needless loss of life, and even shown the 'personal courage' to assassinate Hitler; with the re-inacted conversations being overwhelmingly used to illustrate this viewpoint.
Even with hindsight, I feel that this attitude is unrealistic. Similar programmes on British, American or Soviet military leadership would not even suggest Churchill/Stalin's assassination by their own officers as an acceptable end to the war! and I feel that some editing input from an American Vietnam veteran would have added balance to the series. It would also have made clear that Hitler's WWII German Army was/is not the only Western fighting force with the deep conviction that "surrender is not in our creed!".
That said, all those with a serious interest in 20'th Century history will benefit from the highly informed revelations made in this series.The Wehrmacht [DVD]
There is plenty of color footage, some I have never seen, and I thought I had seen it all. Even much of the black and white footage is new to me and very good. The back story of the series is that the English kept all their German General prisoners all together in lavish surroundings so they would be more likely to let their guard down.....as the place was bugged. Portions of their conversations are delivered by actors, and cherry picked to show that they were all careerists, anti Semitic , or just horrible people. In Knopps eyes the only good Germans of that time were the ones who actively resisted under the threat of death or deserted. Also former soldiers are interviewed. I am not here to defend them all......it just would have been a much better documentary if he would have been a little more even handed, as he clearly has an agenda.
There are 5 episodes, Attack on Europe, The Turning Point,The Crimes,Resistance, To the Bitter End. At 4.5 hours I do highly recommend this 5 part series.
From 1941, high ranking German officers captured by the British were imprisoned - in relatively luxurious conditions - in the stately home at Trent Park in north London – now in the London Borough of Enfield. Provided with all the comforts as afforded their rank, the officers were permitted walks in the countryside, good food and alcohol. But all their conversations were being secretly recorded and transcribed by British intelligence officers.
These papers have been made public relatively recently and provide historians with a fascinating insight into the workings of the Wehrmacht and the German nazi machine.
The series shows that the Wehrmacht was far from innocent in its involvement in the Holocaust and the war on the Eastern Front, for example. But it also gives a good insight into the lives of the common soldier.
A fine piece of documentary filmaking.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews