The World at War (30th Anniversary Edition)

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Rating: 8.8/10 (16 votes cast)
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The second World War had a profound effect on the course of the 20th century, and unfortunately, its horrors, including “ethnic cleansing,” terrorism, despotism, invasions, the curtailment of civil rights, and rampant nationalism, are still concerns of the modern day. The documentary series The World at War is outstanding in its ability to unfold the complex issues of WWII in a clear, objective, and gripping manner.

Each of the 26 episodes of this five-DVD set, narrated by Laurence Olivier, focuses on a particular, specific aspect of the war, starting at the beginning with Hitler’s rise to power in Germany and progressing through the end of the war. Because of this focus, each episode examines its subject in detail, going beyond the names-and-dates style of history that I remember being subjected to in high school, to delve into the much more interesting and important issues of “how and why.”

I learned something new from every single episode, starting with the very first one. The episodes proceed overall on a regular timeline from the beginning to the end of the war, but since a great deal often happened over a short period of time, the series backtracks at several points to fill in what was happening in different places. For instance, after we are taken through the events from Hitler’s rise to power in Germany in the late 1930s to the Battle of Britain and Hitler’s attacks on Russia.

The World at War (30th Anniversary Edition), 8.8 out of 10 based on 16 ratings

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  • turgidson

    This is excellent and should be required viewing for all the morons today equating socialism with Nazism.

  • Shalome

    Seen this before rather than on here. It is a superb documentary.

  • learn and love

    I was given this series years ago and have watched it multiple times.  It remains the best (in total) documentary experience on World War II that I know of.  Highest possible recommendation.

  • learn and love

    I was given this series years ago and have watched it multiple times.  It remains the best (in total) documentary experience on World War II that I know of.  Highest possible recommendation.

  • jc

    Blocked here ‘On copyright grounds’. If ever there was a documentary that should be freely avaiable it’s this one. Please try to watch it somewhere else.

  • jc

    Blocked here ‘On copyright grounds’. If ever there was a documentary that should be freely avaiable it’s this one. Please try to watch it somewhere else.

  • jc

    Blocked here ‘On copyright grounds’. If ever there was a documentary that should be freely avaiable it’s this one. Please try to watch it somewhere else.

  • Randall

    Hey…if we can’t see it because it’s been removed for some damn reason…take it off the list!!!!