Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Short on historical content, but the quality of the video is
Charles Ashbacher | Marion, Iowa United States(email@example.com) | 01/02/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The most impressive feature of this DVD is the quality of the video. Despite being in black and white and mostly being shot under combat conditions, it is very easy to view. The historical aspects recapitulated are all too familiar, starting with the rise of totalitarianism in Italy, Germany and Japan. In the first section, brief descriptions of the Japanese incursion into Manchuria, the Italian invasion of Ethiopia and the great power involvement in the Spanish Civil War are given. While some of the historical backdrop is given, it is too brief to give the novice any real information concerning the contextual conditions.
The next steps are the ones that are most chilling, the German reoccupation of the Rhineland, the German annexation of Austria, the terrible Munich agreements that ended the last real hope to prevent a major war and the final destruction of Czechoslovakia. Given the relative weakness of the German military and the strength of the Czech defenses, if Britain and France had shown even the slightest amount of backbone in 1938, the Germans would not have gained control of Czechoslovakia and the massive arms factory known as the Skoda works. Most of the tanks that the Germans used in the first years of the war were manufactured at Skoda.
The second section describes the development of a new kind of warfare, the striking combination of the air force and the tank division. Properly coordinated, this new way of fighting was unstoppable when the opponents had no corresponding air power. Poland was the first nation to fall victim to this mighty power, after an interlude where Germany conquered Denmark and Norway, Holland, Belgium and France became the next set of victims. Even though I have studied the Second World War for decades, it is still amazing to watch the incredible blunders made by the British and French forces in 1940 as they succumbed to the might of this new way of fighting. They had known for seven months that an attack was going to be made and what it would be like, and yet their response was so weak that it was as if it were a surprise.
While the length of the presentation renders the coverage largely superficial, the quality of the images gives you a real-time vision of what the start of the Second World War was like.