The Aircraft and the Aces
The Junkers Ju87, known as Stuka from the German Sturzkampfflugzeug ('dive bomber'), is one of the legendary planes of the Second World War, a symbol of the Third Reich's blitzkrieg. This DVD from Pen & Sword's World War II from Primary Sources series is a newsreel history of Luftwaffe operations throughout the war, with additional footage of veteran pilots' accounts and extracts from the original propaganda publications of the Luftwaffe. 1 DVD 60min
Defensive Battles on the Western Front
From the Channel to the Ardennes 1942-1945
This DVD covers three battles involving panzer and heavy artillery in the West: Operation Cerberus, a spectacular operation by the German Kriegsmarine in the English Channel; the Dieppe Raid; and the last major German attack - the Ardennes offensive. One DVD, running time approx 58 min.
German Main Battle Lines
Focusing on the home front, this documentary includes extraordinary colour footage of pre-war Nazi Germany, then examines the impact of the war on German civilian life, including public information film on rationing and blackout precautions, and ends with the catastrophic results of the Allied bombing raids of 1943/4. Running time: 55 minutes. This DVD is from a series that uses original German film footage, with English voice-overs, offering the opportunity to see elements of the Second World War from a contemporary German perspective.
German Fighter Squadrons
After a brief survey of the development of the Luftwaffe after 1918, this film examines Luftwaffe strategy, the attack on Poland in 1939, and the role of the German fighter squadrons as defence against the Allied strategic bombing offensive. Running time: 55 minutes. This DVD is from a series that uses original German film footage, with English voice-overs, offering the opportunity to see elements of the Second World War from a contemporary German perspective.
12th Hitlerjugend Panzer Division
German Army in Normandy
Formed of volunteers from the Hitler Youth, with officers and NCOs from the Leibstandarte, the Hitlerjugend SS Division quickly emerged as an elite formation. It moved to Normandy in the spring of 1944, was declared operational on 1 June, and a few days later was fighting to frustrate Montgomery's invasion plans. Running time approx 100 min. DVD.
The First World War
The Battle of Mons was the first engagement for the British Expeditionary Force, meeting the German Army on the Belgian-French border in August 1914. Despite performing well they were forced into a withdrawal through the sprawling industrial area around Mons, in the face of superior German numbers. This feature-length documentary visits key locations in France and Belgium to tell the story of the BEF from arrival in France to the perilous retreat from the battle. 1 DVD 90min
The first in a series of Special Operations programmes, this DVD uses archive film and revisits the exact locations to tell the story of the 1941 joint operation to seize the German Würzburg radar system sited on the cliffs of Northern France at Bruneval. One DVD; running time approx 105 min.
The Glider Pilot Regiment
Using archive footage, interviews with veterans and expert commentary, this film describes the development of the glider from the First to the Second World War and charts the history of the famous Glider Pilot Regiment and their role in actions such as the capture of Pegasus Bridge, Arnhem and the Rhine Crossing. Running time approx 120 min. DVD.
Retreat to Victory
Julian Thompson, himself a commander in the Falklands War, recreates the experiences of the ill-equipped, under-trained soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force in May 1940, when they endured weeks of a desperate fighting withdrawal inland and were then trapped on the beaches at Dunkirk, awaiting evacuation.
Double Cross in Cairo
The True Story of the Spy Who Turned the Tide of War in the Middle East
With a talent for invention and a taste for adventure, Italian Jew Renato Levi operated as a double agent in the Middle East and North Africa during the Second World War. This book uncovers the story of the remarkable spy, which has only come to light in recent years, and his CHEESE network, an entirely fictitious ring of intelligence sources providing misdirection that helped to defeat Rommel in North Africa and diverted German defences from the D-Day landing sites.
The Debs of Bletchley Park
and Other Stories
Bletchley Park may be famous for the exploits of Alan Turing and the team operating his first 'computer', but at the peak of its operations Station X employed as many as 12,000 people, two-thirds of whom were women. From language students to society debutantes and even a former ballerina, this book explores the extraordinary secret life of these women during the Second World War and the significant contribution they made to the Allied victory.
Britain's Wartime Evacuees
The People, Places and Stories of the Evacuations Told Through the Accounts of Those Who Were There
The mass evacuations during the Second World War had a seismic impact on many hundreds of thousands of people – both those (mostly school-aged children) who were sent far away from their homes and families – and those who had to accommodate and care for them. This illustrated study is based on interviews with evacuees from across the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar as well as contemporary newspaper coverage and official documents.
1 Group Bomber Command
An Operational Record
Formed in 1936, 1 Group was initially equipped with Fairey Battles, and by 1939 was flying from five stations: Abingdon, Harwell, Bicester, Boscombe Down and Benson, which became Advanced Air Striking Force HQ. In another of his meticulously detailed Group histories, Chris Ward presents a complete account of 1 Group's wartime activities, including individual squadron statistics and details of commanding officers, stations and aircraft losses.
The Lengthening War
The Great War Diary of Mabel Goode
Having lived in Germany for a time before the outbreak of the First World War, middle-aged, middle-class diarist Mabel Goode knew 'the enemy nation' as many Britons did not, which adds an extra dimension to her contemporary account of the years 1914–1916. She records enrolment, rationing, the collapse of domestic service and the growth of war work, the Zeppelin attacks over Yorkshire, the ever-mounting casualty lists and a growing disillusionment with a lengthening conflict.