An effort at slander
A Reader | 11/02/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Please see my other review concerning another DVD of this five disc series, "The Mystery of the Swastika..." (I don't really understand why Amazon.com shows all these DVDs separately, because they are part of a five disc series marketed in one pack).
As I have previously said, this is a cheaply produced, poorly researched effort, meant to mystify certain aspects of WWII which clearly bear no mystery at all to the proficient student of history. This is just probably to make it sell to naive people.
In this disc, for example, the historic Battle of Stalingrad has been made the focus of this "mystification". Now, the circumstances of that epic battle -- which turned the tide of war against the aggressing Nazis -- are clear and above board for all objective historians: the heroism, resolve and tremendous sacrifice of the Russian and other Soviet peoples people under Stalin's Soviet regime in this war tend to be belittled and slandered by this film; in fact, it clearly reflects the standard "cold war" western prejudice against anything Soviet/Russian, even though it was made seven years after the USSR went on into history. Even other quality western productions on WWII like "The World at War" are extremely objective about Stalingrad and its actual circumstances instead of insulting the memory of 20 million Soviet war casualties (the highest), and also the achievements of Stalin himself, which many can't come to terms with even today. These insulting insinuations about "secret armies" are made just to convey an aura of mystery where there is none, to belittle reality and in order to capitalise on it for the sake of commercial opportunity. It is sad to see this being done to history, but then in nowadays immoral world, anything is possible."
An informative look at two of Hitler's major blunders
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 03/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This video addresses the two blunders that eventually helped cost Hitler the war: the failure to destroy the British army at Dunkirk and the fateful obsession with capturing Stalingrad. The decision at Dunkirk has long been one of some mystery; Hitler's armies, having brilliantly outmaneuvered and overrun the French and allied armies on the western front, were somewhat inexplicably ordered to halt their advance twenty miles from Dunkirk, where for all intents and purposes the British army was trapped. As a result of this decision, some 300,000 British, French, and allied soldiers were rescued from the beach and lived to fight another day. Many pundits have speculated over the years that Hitler essentially let the British escape because he had no desire to fight the British. This view can be defended by pointing to several statements made by the Fuhrer over the years betokening his admiration for the island nation, and the peace proposals he made to Britain in the wake of Dunkirk seem to support the view that he but not the resilient Churchill wanted a peaceful understanding between the two major powers. This video does a very good job of presenting more practical explanations for Hitler's enigmatic halt order, as well: e.g., Hitler was unaccountably anxious about the southern advance that seemed to be going too well, he was receiving reports of needed repairs for a significant number of tanks and heavy equipment, Goering pledged that the Luftwaffe and SS forces on the ground would destroy the beleaguered forces. No positive solution to the mysterious decision at Dunkirk is forthcoming, but this video does an excellent job of presenting a number of informative theories.The other feature on this video concerns "Stalin's Secret Armies," the forces by which he defeated Germany's illustrious Sixth Army at Stalingrad. After providing an excellent overview of Hitler's strategy in the east, the video explains how Hitler changed his original plans to give the capture of Stalingrad highest priority. As the increasingly exhausted, war-weary German forces advanced on the city, untold numbers of fresh new Red Army soldiers made their way into Stalingrad and its outlying areas to the knowledge of virtually no one but Stalin himself. The counteroffensive of these unexpected masses of soldiers cut off the Sixth Army and trapped it inside the fortress Hitler was so eager to capture. Cut off from reinforcement and resupply, the Germans eventually surrendered, and the death knell of Hitler's war in the east was sounded, although few at the time realized the significance of the Russian triumph. Stalin, it is shown, kept his allies Roosevelt and Churchill completely in the dark about the size and power of his armed forces; indeed, even now history has little documentation of the forces that came to Stalingrad's rescue. The central question here concerns the subterfuge of Stalin's vows of military weakness. I do not believe Stalin's fervent desire for a western offensive by the Allies, one which would not come until much later than Stalingrad's drama was played out in 1942, is given enough consideration, nor is the parting note of speculation that Stalin was preparing for a new fight against the allies who would soon become his enemies after the fall of Berlin. This is an excellent video in an excellent series. These mysteries of World War II are treated in a serious, factual manner free from wild surmises. Video footage is excellent and illustrative of the war stories being examined. My only complaint in the case of this particular video is the problematic sound quality. At times, especially when the sounds of war are playing in the background, the narrator's somewhat muffled voice can be hard to understand. This is not a severe problem, however, and detracts very little from the overall quality of this video."