Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Russia's War Blood Upon the Snow|
?There has never been as vivid or terrifying an account of the Soviet people?s ordeal.? -NewsdayRussia?s War is an important and in-depth account of the nation?s history throughout the period of Joseph Stalin?s rule (1924-... more »
Astounding documentary-- the best I've seen
Frank Poulin | Washington D.C. | 11/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an astounding 5-volume set of video that made me wonder why this history is not more well known in the U.S. as it appears the soviets lost up to 40 people for every single American loss in WWII. Volume 3 has an hour-long documentary on the total German obliteration of Stalingrad and the wintry turn of events that led to the destruction of the entire German army that found itself eventually surrounded within Stalingrad. This segment left me wondering why a single battle that appears to have had more casualties than the total casualty loss among the U.S. and British during the entire war gets so little attention in American schools. Also extraordinarily notable are the sections on the siege and starvation of millions in Leningrad, the arrest, trial and execution of many (most?) soviet military officers before the war by Stalin, the mass exterminations at Babi Yar, the virtual civil war between the nationalist, anti-Stalinist partisans and soviet partisans in the Ukraine (all the while both groups were fighting Germans), and the interviews with soviet soldiers whose job it was to shoot fleeing soviet soldiers at the front.This film is an outstanding choice for anyone interested in history."
Spell-Binding Series Depicting the Colossal War Effort!
Barron Laycock | Temple, New Hampshire United States | 07/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a massive and extremely well integrated series of documentaries that exhaustively depicts, explains, and examines the nature of the Soviet society at the time of the great patriotic struggle (as they called it) against the Nazi forces that invaded Russia during World War Two. It finds its beginnings in the post-revolutionary struggles of the Russian civil war, and the Russian resolve to be better prepared for the next inevitable invasion from the west which communist doctrine taught them to always expect. As a consequence the Russians painstakingly and consistently rebuilt their forces and manufactured arms and armaments to prepare for that terrible prospect. Of course, they also sabotaged their own interests along the way, in a story that one has to know the Russian mindset well to fully appreciate. Yet the series does much more than give us a skeletal overview of the nature of Russian preparedness and the eventual invasion by the Wehrmacht in operation Barbarossa in June of 1941; it puts all of it in an excellent historical context by showing the nature of Soviet internal repression under the brutal and brazenly paranoid policies of Joseph Stalin, who systematically purged anyone of consequence from the upper echelons of the military during the years just preceding the onset of the Second World War. Of course, much of the film used in this depiction was produced for use as either German or Russian propaganda, but this unfortunate limitation of the documentary material is scrupulously balanced and buttressed by both the narrative as well as other materials provided in the series. There is a companion text written by noted historian Richard Overy (see my review) which threads through the same material and provides a lot of interesting information that aids one in maximizing the benefit of the film series itself. I plan to use this informally for a high school class in European history as a way of engaging lethargic teens into some interest in modern history. This series isn't intended as an instant graduate course in Operation Barbarossa, but can be quite informative if used in conjunction with the text and some other materials (such as the recent excellent book on the subject, "When Titans Clashed"). Enjoy!"
Fills in Many Blanks
Carl Brennan | Denver, CO | 09/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this series (10-parts) back in 2002 on History International. It is, without a doubt, the best series on World War II's "Front of Decision." Not only does it cover all of the major battles that punctuated this struggle, it delves into issues that are ignored in more cursory treatments. For example, the NKVD's "blocking forces" are discussed at some length--we're even treated to interviews with NKVD veterans who shot recalcitrant officers; it covers Germany's administration of the occupied territories and the privations visited upon the civilian population--the Holocaust among these "difficulties;" and we learn about the partisan war--not just fighting by pro-Soviet partisans, but Ukrainian and Polish freedom fighters--some of these conflicts persisted until 1947.
If you're interested in history and want an excellent treatment of humanity's most destructive undertaking (to date), I highly recommend this DVD."
Russia's two wars.
Kevin M Quigg | Carol Stream, Illinois United States | 02/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This very fine PBS broadcast details Stalin's War against the Russian People and the German War against the Soviet Union. It seeks to detail these two wars and how it combined cost the Soviet Union 45 million people. Why does it matter? Because in today's world, the Germans are scorned for what they did to the world, but very little is said about what Stalin did to the peoples of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. That is why it matters and why this film series shows Stalin and his henchman for what they really were. This film is not for the weak of heart, as it shows some very disturbing scenes and talks about some very revolting subjects. I watched in amazement as people gloated over a person being hanged.
This is a true horror film starring Stalin and Hitler. It shows mans inhumanity to man. This is very much worth watching."