Apocalypse: The Second World War - Preview
Preview by Jack Foley
THREE years in the making and carefully crafted from more than 60 national and private archives Apocalypse: The Second World War is the most eagerly anticipated World War II documentary of 2010, featuring the lives of both victors and victims.
Recently aired on Channel 4, it is also being released on DVD with captivating additional bonus content from November 22, 2010.
With rights sold in over 150 countries and selling over 600k DVD units in France, the documentary is a one of a kind experience as it is made up of entirely of raw footage in full colour, much of which has never been seen before.
Narrated by Steven Cree, this insightful documentary will take you on a unique journey through the events of World War II from Hitler’s rise to power through to the Americans unleashing their atomic bomb.
Take home all six gripping one hour episodes and bonus featurettes based around individual key events of the time from November 22, 2010 – the perfect Christmas gift for all history and documentary fans alike.
Ep 1 – The Aggression
May 1945: In Berlin, which lies in ruins, the Red Army is fighting its last battles. Berlin, which was once one of the most open cities in the world, before Hitler and the Nazis rose to power and decided to take control of Europe. In 1939 the Fuhrer allies himself with Stalin before invading Poland. France and Great Britain are left without any choice but to declare war against Germany, which does not stop the Germans and Soviets from calmly carving up Poland.
Persecutions of Jews and Gypsies begin. To the West, the “phoney war” has started – a period of waiting, uncertainty, and also hope. Remembering the suffering they endured during WW1, the French and British still hope to avoid the war. Meanwhile, Hitler is preparing his invasion of France, which is risky but formidable. Will the Allies fall into the trap?
Ep 2 – Crushing Defeat
On May 10th, 1940, the “Blitzkrieg” – “Lightning war” is launched. The German army barrels across Belgium, Holland, and France. Following some violent fighting, the British troops panic in Dunkirk. A few days later, the Swastika is flying over Paris. Meanwhile, Hitler’s ally Mussolini, excited for his takings declares war against France – a knife in the back. Civilians are left fleeing in a veritable exodus.
The French are left with the choice between collaborating with Pertain or resisting in the spirit of Churchill. Despite the heavy bombing of British cities, Churchill and the British refuse to make peace with Hitler. Very worried about American rearmament, Hitler ponders a new gamble: to attack his Soviet ally so as to establish his European domination before Churchill can get America to side with him
Ep 3 – The Shock
Paris is occupied, like most European capitals, except London, which resists the German submarines and bombings. Churchill refuses to make peace. Very worried about American rearmament, Hitler decides to attack the USSR so as to complete his domination of Europe before the US can intervene on the European continent – it’s a new gamble for him. But drunk from his victories, the Fuhrer is convinced that he can overcome Stalin’s Russia within three months.
Passing through the Baltic States and the Ukraine, where the Germans are initially received as liberators, the Wehrmacht carries out a real war of extermination against the “Judaeo-Bolsheviks”. This reaches its apogee in the “Holocaust by Bullets”. Unexpectedly, and with the help of difficult weather conditions, the Soviets defend themselves heroically.
It’s the beginning of a long nightmare for the German soldiers. Having arrived near Moscow, the Wehrmacht becomes bogged down, just like in Africa where the General Rommel, who had come to help the Italians, is seriously challenged by the Allies. With the Japanese surprise attack at Pearl Harbor, the war becomes worldwide.
Ep 4 – The World Ablaze
Following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt declares war on Japan. The war becomes global. Despite their determined resistance, the Allied forces are unable to slow the furious progress of the Japanese army through South-East Asia. Even India and Australia are at risk. The Japanese defeat at Midway, followed by the American landing at Guadacanal, are the first signs of hope, but also the beginning of long and bloody battles in the “green hell” of the jungle.
Meanwhile, the resistance starts to organize itself in Europe and North Africa. Their attacks increase and the British bombers start to spread terror across Germany. Yet nothing seems to be able to stop Hitler’s troops. Rommel is at the border of Egypt and the Swastika flies over the city of Stalingrad. The “Final Solution” is instigated to exterminate the Jews.
Ep 5 – The Vice
End of 1942: The Russians still hold Stalingrad and the Eastern front is stagnating. In the north Atlantic, the Allies have managed to reduce the threat of German submarines. While in El-Alamein in the Egyptian desert, the British Empire has stopped the dangerous advance of Rommel’s troops towards the Suez Canal. British and Americans open a new front in North Africa.
Hitler invades France’s “Free Zone” to protect the Mediterranean coast, and the rounding up of Jews intensifies across Europe. But Hitler is powerless against General Zhukov’s counter-attack in Stalingrad and cannot outmanoeuvre the encircling of his forces. At Kursk, Hitler attempts a final attack against the Red Army, but it is in vain. At the same moment, the Allies are landing in Sicily. Italy changes sides. The vice is tightening in Europe around the Axis troops.
Ep 6 – Inferno
1944: The Allies have landed in Italy, but find their match blocked by the Wehermacht, which is well entrenched behind the Gustav Line (Monte Cassino). As a result of the America’s extraordinary industrial might, the Allies manage to simultaneously launch of the biggest landings in history in both Normandy and Saipan in the Pacific. Civilian losses are high on both sides of the planet during this terrible struggle between the Allies and the Axis. On July 20th, Hitler miraculously survived an attempt on his life.
The retaliation is ruthless and the SS take power in Germany. Still hoping to shift course, Hitler’s last counter-attack in the Ardennes is overcome by the GI’s heroism. On the Eastern Front, the Red Army continues its unstoppable march and reached Berlin. Nothing can save Germany not even its “secret weapons” – the V1 and V2. Hitler commits suicide.
In the Pacific, Kamikazes are raining on the American fleet and the Japanese army – more fanatical than ever – fights to the last man. To bring the Empire of the Rising Sun to its knees and to avoid a treacherous landing in Japan, the Americans unleash the atomic fire.