Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Battlefield The West Wall|
Genres: Educational, Documentary
This is the story of the construction and defense of Hitler's three-mile deep web of fortifications, pillboxes, troop shelters, and anti-tank obstacles that ran along Germany's western frontier. "The Siegfried Line," as it... more »
An excellent presentation, but with a caveat
Eamon Von Pramba | Perkiomenville, PA, USA | 05/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, let me state that I've given this DVD a 5 star rating, even though it contains some seriously flawed assumptions and information. This item is as well done as others in the series that I've purchased and enjoyed. It is the first in the series in which I've found questionable and erroneous statements.
A good deal of the introduction deals with the Battle of Normandy and the Battle of France. This does well in informing the novice history buff of events leading up to the Battle of the Siegfried Line. The information about the West Wall (its' history, purpose, strengths and weaknesses)and the Rhein, Roer, and Kyll river operations is masterfully done. It ties the Huertgen Forest operation in beautifully with the overall Order of Battle Plan (OBP). Graphically, it shows the 22nd Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division as being a British unit; at times it refers to the 9th Infantry Division as the 9th Airboune Division; at times it shows the military map symbol for an armoured unit correctly, and later shows the same unit as an infantry unit. It critizes General Patton for his military OBP's, while laying laurels at the feet of General Montgomery for his military accomplishments. It critizes General Eisenhower for not backing General Montgomery's plans more. The facts are that had Montgomery's Arnheim exercise succeeded, the American breaching of the West Wall and the Rhein River crossing at Remagen Bridge probable would never had been so bloody. It was only after Montgomery's failed military adventures in the Low countries, that the upper Rhein River campaigns came to fruition. The film makes the statement that the capture of the Roer River Dams above Schmidt was the reason for the Huertgen Forest Campaign. The objective of capturing the dams was never written into the American OBP until the campaign was already over 8 weeks old, and with casualties mounting (over 2,000/week)a justification was needed by SHAEF HQ. During the 3 months of this campaign, no American division lasted in the Huertgen longer that 2 or 3 weeks due to their casualties; casualties which totaled over 24,000 before the campaign ended.
The narrator also comments on the fact that "had Eisenhower backed Montgomery with more support, Montgomery would had successfully crossed the North German Plain and captured Berlin before the Russians, consequently, less of postwar Europe would have come under Russian hegemony, and we would not have had to wait for 45 years for the collapse of the Soviet Union." This is rewriting history with typical schmaltz. The capture of Berlin was already decided on, and agreed to, by the "Big 3" before the Yalta Conference in Feb. 1945; and the danger of a Nazi redoubt in Bavaria continuing the war was not an acceptable alternative to Montgomery's "dash to Berlin OBP". All in all it is a good DVD, and contains a lot in information, as well as putting objectives and battles in perspective...I bought it and plan on keeping it...don't shortchange yourself...add it to your collection.
Excellent campaign review with new information
J. Brett | USA | 10/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wondered how the Battlefield people would present this. They did a superb package with the usual preparation, the battle itself and the aftermath. The explanations and maps and film are excellent presenting in detail a facet of the Western Front campaign sometimes forgotten due to the Battle of Bulge and crossing of the Rhine. Recommended."
Nothing short of terrific
Jerry Warriner | United States | 12/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This disc is so well produced, crammed full of information and fascinating to watch, that I viewed it three consecutive times to take it all in.
In my opinion, any World War II buff who's worth his salt will want to add this to his collection.
I've seen at least 200 WW II documentaries, and this one, despite the parochial nature of the subject, goes near the top of the list."