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Battlefield: Air War Over Germany
Battlefield Air War Over Germany
Genres: Educational, Documentary
NR     2008     1hr 44min

The Allies were determined to take the war to Germany both to disrupt German war production and weaken civilian morale, and in retaliation for the Nazi terror bombing of England. The "Strategic Bombing Campaign" by the RAF...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Genres: Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Educational, History, Military & War
Studio: Cromwell Productions
Format: DVD
DVD Release Date: 03/11/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Good documentary but not perfect.
JAG 2.0 | IN United States | 04/16/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This video is a decent overview of the topic of the RAF & USAAF offensive against Germany during WWII.

The video does not put enough emphasis on the prewar ideology of the strategic bombing cult and the influence of untried theories espoused by men such as Douhet postulating that bombing from the air could win wars without the need to engage in the kind of ground war of WWI that horrified so many in the West. Faith in strategic bombing, like any ideology, caused its adherents to continue the same policies despite overwhelming evidence they were counterproductive.

RAF Bomber Command simply decided to murder (there's no way to sugar-coat it) as many German civilians as possible in an attempt to destroy "morale" of the German people. They continued to do so long after their own intelligence had proven that the Germans were producing more weapons and munitions even as bombing became more severe.

The RAF deliberately chose target cities that were older, hence had more wood buildings, so the civilian death toll would be higher. Attacks continued even after Germany was clearly collapsing and no longer had any capacity to fight back. Dresden was a city that had absolutely no military value, yet was subject of several days of bombing that killed 135,000 civilians in the last few weeks of the war.

The USAAF's own ideology that self-defending, heavily-armed, heavy bombers could enter enemy airspace, deliver pinpoint bombing attacks and return with low losses was shattered by not one, but two disasterous raids on Schweinfurt. Then, they realized that the long-range escort fighters they disparaged as "unnecessary" during the interwar years were indeed necessary.

The video itself claims that strategic bombing was an important weapon in the defeat of Germany in WWII. Considering the 115,000 KIA's incurred (not including the POW's and WIA's invalided out) by Bomber Command, the 8th and 15th Air Forces, the massive amount of resources used to build and supply the massive fleets of heavy bombers, and the manpower (the cream of the crop of the pool) required to crew, maintain, and supply them, any intelligent observer must question this.

The video does a lot of things fairly well such as the tactics used by Bomber Command, the USAAF and the Luftwaffe, technology used in attack and defense, the weapons used by the opposing forces. It spends entirely too much time on bios of the commanders - including Churchill, Roosevelt and Hitler - that were simply irrelevant to the subject of the video.

Another reviewer has stated that this video is "political" and "revisionist". I would remind said reviewer that the most-bombed country in history is Vietnam. That bombing campaign contributed nothing to the successful accomplishment of the war aims of the U.S. in that conflict."
Incoherent and Incomplete Chronology
A. N. Tofanelli | Napa, CA | 09/27/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)

""Airwar Over Germany" begins with a disproportionate emphasis on the Battle of Britain. I had hoped that this doc would provide a chronology of Allied strategic raids over Germany with requisite film footage. I was disappointed in this. I had also hoped for some detailed analysis of particular raids with the German defensive response but also found the doc to be mostly lacking in this regard. I often found the same film footage being used more than once or footage that was not illustrative of the topic being addressed. In comparing this doc with the original "BATTLEFIELD" series I found it truly inferior."
Another Excellent Addition to the Battlefield Series
J. Monty | Colorado, USA | 04/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm not really sure where the previous two negative reviews are coming from... This episode/DVD is exactly like the others in the series and it does a great job of telling the story of the air over Germany during World War II. Sure it provides some detail on the Battle of Britain, but it also gives some background on historical air combat tactics as they were first pioneered in World War I. I also completely disagree with the previous reviewer who stated that this episode gives an unfair or "revisionist" view of history ... Any book or DVD which is going to really tell this story, is going to have to mention how absolutely terrifying it was for the civilian population of Germany (the DVD is after all titled "Air War over Germany" not Air War Over Europe or Allied Air Missions of WWII ). So given the particular subject matter if they had only talked about the Allied actions and didn't mention the effect they had on the civilian population, they really wouldn't be telling the whole story. I now own about 6 DVD's from the Battlefield series and I have another 4 episodes recorded on my DVR from the Military channel. Therefore I strongly believe that if you enjoyed the other episodes in this series, you will absolutely enjoy this DVD as well."
Political Bias
Jeffrey Noah | 10/22/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)

"
"Battlefield: Air War Over Germany" offers the revisionist view that the Allied bombing campaign against German industry and cities was ineffective and immoral. Current historiography on the bombing campaign is ignored. No comparison is made to German attacks on Warsaw, Rotterdam, London, Coventry, Stalingrad, or German devastation of USSR cities and population; or any mention of Japanese devastation of China.

Not recommended."