Scott Anderson | Shepherdstown, WV | 05/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thsi 5 Cd collection is quite captivating as well as thought provoking. It goes into the past of Nazi Germany and answers many questions while leaving just a few unanswered, possibly in the hopes of spurring on new research. I found myself stopping and rewinding each cd several times to go over the material presented. The footage is excellent and the background material is top notch. There are a few glitches here and there in the filming but that can be attested to the age of the original footage and not the CD.These cd's will make a great gift for the World War II buff or someone with a keen interest into the the secrets of Nazi Germany. I myself would like to know what was in Himmler's safe in his SS castle, as well as what happened to those who opened the vault. Somethings, only time will tell!"
A fascinating set of documentaries on the Third Reich
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 09/20/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"By and large, the Unsolved Mysteries of World War II box set is quite good, filled with important facts and oftentimes fascinating speculation. The running time of four and a half hours is broken up into 12 separate documentaries, all of which deal specifically with the Third Reich. The title is a little misleading because you will find almost nothing here dealing with the imperial Japanese army, and the American war effort is really only presented in light of its effects on German strategy and eventual defeat. Volume 1 features The Riddle of Rudolph Hess, The Strange Death of Geli Raubal, and Drugs and the Fuhrer. I find much of the information on Raubal's death highly speculative, but the information on the medical facts of Hitler's case is quite interesting. As for the Rudolf Hess story, I think more attention should have been given to claims that the man imprisoned in Spandau was not truly Rudolf Hess, and the mysterious death of the Spandau prisoner also deserved more attention. Volume 2 features Decision at Dunkirk and Stalin's Secret Armies. This look at what essentially constitute two of Hitler's biggest blunders is excellent. The Russian campaign, and the secrecy Stalin maintained over the state and number of his soldiers to both enemies and allies alike, is a war story too often neglected, and the speculation concerning Hitler's decision to essentially let the British live to fight another day is quite interesting.Volume 3 features Hitler's Secret Weapon, Enigma of the Swastika, and Himmler's Castle. The term "Hitler's Secret Weapon" is rather lurid and overblown, but the fact that Hitler devoted a disproportionate amount of funds and essential supplies to his rocket program definitely contributed to his ultimate downfall. There is some speculation that the V-2 was to serve as the delivery mechanism for weapons of mass destruction, but this issue is not pursued as there is little evidence to support it. The other two documentaries on this tape delve into the occult nature of the National Socialist Party and, in particular, Himmler's feared S.S.; these are subjects I find darkly fascinating.Volume 4 features Hitler's Secret War and Kill Hitler. This may be the best video in the series. "Hitler's Secret War" is something of a misnomer, as this documentary covers in great detail the allied breaking of the German military codes early in the war. Most interesting is the evidence that the Allies ignored significant portions of the information they intercepted for a number of reasons. The citizens of Coventry were apparently sacrificed because to remove the population before the bombs dropped would have clued Hitler in to the fact that the British knew his codes, and the surprise German counteroffensive at Ardennes in 1944 should have come as no surprise at all ? but it did. Equally surprising is the fact that the Germans never seemed to figure out that the Allies knew of many of their military plans in advance and thus staged some rather remarkable victories. Kill Hitler covers a number of plots to arrest or kill Hitler, and the analysis of Hitler's fluid relationship with the Wehrmacht is nothing short of riveting.The final volume features The Eagle and the Swastika and The Last Days of Hitler. The first documentary covers Hitler's decision to declare war on the United States in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent American declaration of war on Japan. The analysis of the inexplicability of this decision is quite valuable to students of World War II. The look at Hitler's final days is rather disappointing to some degree, as facts that have been pretty well established by now are treated with skepticism or dismissed out of hand. All in all, I found this an excellent series on the Third Reich's rise and fall. It must be said that the audio and video quality leave something to be desired, but the information and footage to be found in this set of documentaries is well worth the attention of those interested in the rise of a dictator and the eventual ruin of a conquered German state."
Horrible film quality mars an otherwise decent film
Richard Reyes | Seattle, WA USA | 07/07/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I could not believe the bad quality of the footage. No, it has nothing to do with the original footage. Even the credits were very blurry and blocky. I have had the misfortune of buying another video set, on VHS, by this same company. Same dismal results. I would recommend looking elsewhere. The company that makes this video has released lots of video sets with flashy pictures, but when you actually view them, you realize how shoddy their workmanship is. It looks like a bad propaganda film from the 1950s. My other video set actually was: War in the Pacific."