Battlefields of the World War II (4 parts)

   Battlefields of the Second World War is what every Richard Holmes fan has been waiting for. In this fascinating and brilliantly articulated study of the Second World War, he clarifies the complexities of four of its campaigns: El Alamein, Monte Cassino, Operation Market Garden (of which Arnhem formed a crucial part) and the RAF's bomber offensive against Germany. The series originates in his firm conviction that the sacrifices made by British services personal are not properly understood. It uses eyewitness accounts to illuminate the horror, confusion and sheer enormity of war, and puts this in the context of the conflict's broader strategy. As the twentieth century, so deeply marked by war, slips away, this is the time to recognize the price so many of its men and women paid for freedom.


Montgomery's victory over Rommel, Germany's commander in North Africa, in October 1942 was a brilliant success but was not without great human cost.


The battle for Cassino in 1944 saw the Allies' attempting to breakthrough a German fortified mountain pass without damaging the world-famous Benedictine monastery that dominated the landscape. The men suffered terribly, as a combination of hostile terrain, atrocious winter weather and poor leadership frustrated every attack.


Archive film footage, dramatised reconstructions and the accounts of aircrew veterans are used in this examination of the terrifying missions undertaken by the men of Bomber Command. Although enemy targets were heavily defended, the bombers became an awesome force, capable of destroying an entire city in a single night.


Professor Richard Holmes revisits the bridges over the Rhine which the Western Allies seized in September 1944 in their daring airborne bid to shorten the Second World War. Featuring archive film footage, eyewitness accounts from veterans of the battle, and dramatised reconstruction.

Battlefields of the World War II (4 parts)
Battlefields of the World War II (4 parts)