The World Wars (2014– )

TV Series   |    |  Documentary, History, War


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The World Wars tells the story of three decades of war told through the eyes of various men who were its key players: Roosevelt, Hitler, Patton, Mussolini, Churchill, Tojo, DeGaulle and ... See full summary »

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29 May 2014 | ldg-accounts
1
| Simply Appalling
This series is one of the worst "histories" of either World War I have ever seen. The inaccuracies abound, the omissions are rampant, and the anachronisms are too numerous to mention. I was actually surprised that Ancient Aliens weren't brought up, as this seems to be the History Channel's strength. History is not.

Apparently, this was a MacArthur and Churchill love fest, as these two were presented in a very positive light, with their very real historical inadequacies glossed over or completely omitted. While Churchill's World War I failure at Gallipoli is noted, it is shown as something that resulted in Churchill becoming a more capable grand strategist, rather than the reality - haunted by Gallipoli, and trying to prove that he was right all along, he attempted several times during World War II to make the same mistake again - in Italy, in Greece, and in the Balkans. If not for Roosevelt and Eisenhower, Churchill could have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory had he gotten his way.

MacArthur, over time, has been shown to be a petty despot, who had very little regard for his fellow officers or his troops - his treatment of General Wainwright is a prime example; Dugout Doug is awarded the Medal of Honor for political reasons, yet fights against Wainwright's nomination for petty personal reasons - even though Wainwright was ushered into captivity because of MacArthur's strategic mistakes in the Philippines, endured the Bataan Death March, and suffered as a POW for years.

North Africa is completely ignored, as is most of the Pacific campaign. The Naval war everywhere is simply left out, with the exception of a minor tip of the hat to Midway, where the documentary notes that Roosevelt ordered the carriers to Midway - when in reality Roosevelt and the Washington bureaucracy wanted the carriers to remain in Hawaiian waters, to defend Hawaii or the west coast; Nimitz took the initiative, and the chance, of waiting for the Japanese at Midway.

No Market-Garden, no Dragoon, No Husky. They jump, in 1 minute, from the Battle of the Bulge to the Russian siege of Berlin - nothing on the Rhine crossings. Yet they spend 5 minutes on Patton's slapping of a combat-fatigued soldier.

The anachronisms also detract. It may come as a surprise to the producers that the Germans did not attack London with B-17's, although these are shown. Nor did they use B-17's at Stalingrad - again, this is shown. And I was surprised to see the Imperial Japanese Navy being equipped with Aegis guided missile frigates. And neither MacArthur nor Marshall (who is NEVER mentioned by name, nor is Nimitz) were 5-star rank in December 1941, though both are shown with this rank at that time. Neither was promoted to that rank until December 1944.

If you are looking for an accurate history of the World Wars, this is NOT it. Avoid this debacle like the plague. It is simply bad.

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Documentary | History | War

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