1940s 1970s WW2

The World at War

The World at War is probably, in my modest yet quite well informed opinion on the subject, the best documentary on WW2 ever made.
Produced by Jeremy Isaacs and narrated by Laurence Olivier; The World at War was commissioned by Thames Television first shown in the early 1970s on the UK TV station: ITV. Voted by industry professionals at the time and still thought of as one of the best ever documentaries on World War Two ever made.
‘The World at War’ – Thames Television 1973 Episode 21 – ‘Nemesis: Germany’ (February – May 1945) :-

Nemesis: Germany – February-May 1945. The closing weeks of the European war bring retribution for Germany in the form of carpet bombing cities like Dresden, the collapse of the Whermacht, atrocities by Soviet forces, and finally the fall of Berlin and suicide of Hitler. 

The World at War was commissioned by Thames Television in 1969. It took four years to produce at a cost of £900,000 (equivalent to £10,700,000 in 2018). At the time this was a record for a British television series. It was first shown in 1973 on ITV.

The series featured interviews with major members of the Allied and Axis campaigns, including eyewitness accounts from civilians, enlisted men, officers and politicians. Among these were Sir Max Aitken, Mark Clark, Jock Colville, Karl Dönitz, James “Jimmy” Doolittle, Lawrence Durrell, Lord Eden of Avon, Mitsuo Fuchida, Adolf Galland, Minoru Genda, W. Averell Harriman, Sir Arthur Harris, Alger Hiss, Brian Horrocks, Traudl Junge, Toshikazu Kase, Curtis LeMay, Hasso von Manteuffel, Bill Mauldin, John J. McCloy, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, J. B. Priestley, Albert Speer, James Stewart, Charles Sweeney, Paul Tibbets, Walter Warlimont, and historian Stephen Ambrose.

In a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes compiled by the British Film Institute during 2000, voted for by industry professionals, The World at War ranked 19th, the highest-placed documentary on the list.

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