The War Years - Narrated by Michael Aspel [DVD]
The Phoney War 1938 - and the Munich Crisis. Germany invades Czechoslovakia and Britain introduces conscription. Trenches are dug and sandbags appear throughout London. Poland is invaded and Britain declares war, London evacuates its children and the British Expeditionary Force embarks for France. Although British shipping is being sunk, this is the Phoney War. Blackout is introduced and road accidents double, Churchill replaces Chamberlain. The BEF is routed in France and the miracle of Dunkirk occurs. DeGaulle flies to London as Paris falls. The Battle Of Britain June 1940 and Western Europe is under German domination. German bombers shell Channel convoys and the RAF is drawn into battle. The British public contribute saucepans and scrap metal to build aeroplanes. The Local Defence Volunteer Force (Home Guard) numbers 1.5m men but only 70,000 rifles. As Italy enters the War, Americans predict that British defeat is inevitable. Heavy losses are sustained as Germans bomb aircraft factories. Air raid shelters become part of everyday life as 1000-bomber raids over London become a nightly event. The Blitz The final phase of the Battle of Britain takes place as the Blitz continues. One Londoner in every six is made homeless, but Hitler fails to gain air supremacy and the invasion is cancelled. Despite the pounding of London, morale remains high among its people. The Luftwaffe broadens its targets with attacks on major ports and appallingly destructive raids on Coventry. Atlantic convoys suffer as U-Boat packs exact a heavy toll. Over 40,000 are killed in the Blitz and 200,000 made homeless. The Turning Tide & The Final Chapter The shared suffering has created a new comradeship and determination - London can take it the Americans are told. However, one military disaster follows another as Rommel triumphs in North Africa. Britain suffers acute shortages as three merchant ships are sunk in a day. Food rationing is introduced and America begins Lend-Lease. Women contribute as never before, working in Industry, Womens Services and civil defence. By 1943, some 7.5 million women are in paid employment, 50,000 in engineering and 20,000 on the land. Hitler suffers crushing defeat in Russia although costs to the Soviets are enormous. 3m fighting men are stationed in the UK poised for the invasion of Europe. D-Day is the 6th of June, and within days of the landing over 3m allied soldiers are fighting on French soil. The French Resistance fights street battles in Paris as the allies approach. V1 and V2 bombs pose a new threat to London, but by April Berlin is surrounded and Hitler commits suicide. Germany is defeated, but war against Japan will continue for a further 3 months.
Running Time: 254 minutes
Region: All Regions
Release Date: 23 Sept. 2013