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World War II - Battlefront Volume 3
World War II - Battlefront Volume 3
Genres: Educational, Documentary, Military & War
NR     2001

This first installment of Archives of War, a collection focusing on 20th-century warfare, uses as its centerpiece a British silent film shot in the 1920s--The Battle of Ypres, which was produced to resemble a World War I d...  more »


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Movie Reviews

The Best WWII DVD Pack
Marcos Berenstein | Recife, Pernambuco Brazil | 03/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I do love WWII's books and videos,but when I bought this pack,I
couldn't believe my eyes...It's a wonderful collection of WWII's stories,all of them in color!
Besides,there are plenty of original B&W newsreels,all of them
very interesting.I strongly recommend for everyone who enjoys
History,including teachers.Buy it now,I assure you that you won't regret!So far,this pack is the best one I've bought.DVD 1(Not listed in order):* The Gilbert Islands (November,1943)
* Burma: The Forgotten Front(Spring,1943)
* Battle in Palau (Summer,1944)
* Liberation of the PhilippinesDVD 2* Dunkirk (September 1,1939)
* The Battle of Norway (early 1940)
* The Bombing of England (Fall,1940)
* The Battle of Malta (June,1941)DVD 3* The Fall of Singapore (October,1941)
* Pearl Harbor(December 7,1941)
* The Battle of Midway (June 2,1942)
* The Solomon Islands ( July,1942)DVD 4* North Africa (November,1942)
* Monte Cassino (September 3,1943)
* D-Day (June 6,1944)
* Retaking France (6 weeks after D-Day)DVD 5* Operation Dragoon (August,1944)
* Battle of the Bulge (December,1944)
* The Last Stronghold (November,1944)
* Mount Hot Rocks (February 19,1945)
(3 out of 5 stars)

"First, the good news. You get about 3 hours for about fifteen bucks. Some of the combat footage is incredible. And, the documentaries are enjoyable.Now, the bad news. Video and sound quality are poor. This is not DVD quality. Video of studio shots (the announcer, maps, etc.) are blurry and appear to be a dub of a VHS tape onto a DVD. Sound on the first disc is gated to reduce hiss; unfortunately, this leaves the sound rather choppy and unnatural-sounding, and lacking in upper frequencies (which reduces the intelligibility of the voice-over). Sound on the second disc is thankfully not mangled, but instead there is noticeable tape hiss. Since it's almost all combat footage (sometimes jerky, sometimes not focused, often poor contrast) the poor video quality is not as much an issue, especially since the footage is edited in sections barely longer than a few seconds each -- you barely have time to focus on it before it cuts away to something else. As far as the sound, I would not be surprised if it was manufactured later with sound effects. And by the time you reach the last documentary, you begin to recognize some of the footage which they had already used for another battle.Also, this is not a comprehensive history of the Pacific War, but a collection of 20-min. documentaries from the mid-'80's each covering a key battle or some other subject. At least they do generally have them arranged in chronological order.The verdict? It's a chance to get a lot of combat footage for cheap (although it's almost all American footage, and told from the American point of view). I'm generally happy with it, but the DVD quality sure could have been better."
Do not buy this DVD or any of the other volumes....
edouard pinaud | USA | 03/12/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"The so-called Archives of War, at least as represented in this edition released by MPI, is nothing more than a cash cow. It is essentially a sporadic, sprawling compilation of assorted footage presented without commentary, continuity, or subtitles. It was, evidently, converted straight from VHS, without regard for the DVD advantages, such as division into Chapters, etc.

What purpose does it serve to watch various speeches made by Hitler in the 1930s, without any contextualization, without the knowledge of where and how these images were chosen and or spliced. (Some footage looks like it was lifted from "Triumph of the Will," though it has been some time since I've seen Riefenstahl's work, so I cannot be sure.) A knowledge of German is essential, otherwise you will not know if Hitler is talking about policies concerning "Anschluss," the Sudatenland, the Final Solution, or simply cracking a joke amongst fellow Nazis.

More disturbing is the editing (Done by MPI? Or dating from the period itself? one cannot know) of Nazi's marching to ironically whimsical and lighthearted marches. Loop effects are applied (again, by whom?) so that several images of the same "Sieg Heil" (forgive orthographical mistakes) are repeated in counterpoint to the buffoonish music.

I possess a Ph.D. in Modern European History, but, like a fool, blindly bought the complete 3 volumes, hoping to find something worthwhile to show from time to time in a university classroom. These "Archives of War" are a complete swindle, and should be marked down as rather belated war profiteering wrought on unsuspecting consumers."
Great footage, historically accurate but . . .
Marcos Berenstein | 02/01/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I purchased this set after buying the companion "WWII: War In Europe." On "War in Europe" I enjoyed the footage, and the scripting for that set was historically accurate and well conceived. The same is true for footage and scripting on "War in the Pacific." The vintage (remember the original footage is over fifty years old) video was good. I do have complaints about "War In the Pacific," and that is the muddy sound track. There is no excuse for such a shoddy job; it sounded better on broadcast TV. It is most noticeable if you play the sound through your stereo/home theater system. The distorted sound is a little less noticeable through standard television speakers. The sound track on the companion volume, "War in Europe" was less distorted than "War in the Pacific." Another reviewer mentioned that the video quality on the narrator shots (with Patrick O'Neal) was also poor. I reviewed it recently, and have to concur. The video deficit is especially easy to see if you have a TV with a Super VHS or Component Video input. I gave "War in the Pacific" 3 stars due to poor sound and slipshod video work on the introduction/narration studio shots. If the soundtrack was not muddy and the intro shots were reproduced better I would have given it a 5 star rating. The good news is that, even with the deficits, the scripting and the vintage video are worth the modest price."