They are the jobs that make legends of men and corpses of soldiers. They are the assignments that contribute to victory and create casualties. They are the SUICIDE MISSIONS. This four-volume set goes into the heat of battle for an extraordinary, up-close look at some of the most dangerous assignments in the history of warfare.
Suicide Missions: Dangerous Tours of Duty, which collects four compelling episodes from the History Channel’s popular series, offers historical insight into four heroic, yet unappreciated, military posts: the medic, sniper, ball turret gunner, and famous “Wild Weasel” of the Vietnam War. Each of the four volumes explores the distinct contributions and inherent dangers of the jobs.
Two episodes, “Combat Medics” and “Snipers,” focus on land-based combat roles and will delight viewers with thorough historical background on how their roles developed and gained prestige over time. Both have only been formally added to the military arsenal in the 20th century (the term “medic,” for example, dates from WWI), yet the History Channel skillfully traces their evolution from the Revolutionary War era right up through the action of the Gulf War.
The two other episodes, which focus on air combat, take a slightly different approach by focusing on roles within specific conflicts in history. “Ball Turret Gunners” documents the harrowing experiences of the men who fought the enemy from the exposed underbelly of the B-17 bomber during WWII. “Wild Weasels” hones in on the seemingly impossible missions undertaken by an elite group of Air Force fighter pilots during the Vietnam War.
Each volume features combat footage, expert commentary and captivating testimony from the lucky survivors of these dangerous duties to clearly demonstrate why these roles have been dubbed “suicide missions.”
SUICIDE MISSIONS shows what it is like to tackle the assignments no one wants–but that must be done. This set is a must-see for all enthusiasts of military history.
A Creative Production Group Production for The History Channel
Part 1: Ball Turret Gunners
Fly over Nazi Germany with BALL TURRET GUNNERS, perilously suspended beneath the fuselage of B-17 bombers, exposed to the fire of enemy fighters.
In war, certain missions demand the most and constitute much of the legends of bravery. Journey back to the Second World War when fearless airmen manned the B-17’s belly guns–glass bubbles that at any moment could become their coffin. The ball turret gunners called their work “flying the ball”, others called it crazy!
Part 2: Snipers
Take aim at a vital target hundreds of yards away in SNIPERS. They are the most feared and hated men on the battlefield, silent assassins who can kill with a single shot from miles away. Creep along undetected as these brave men surgically deliver swift death without warning, and learn why snipers are hunted mercilessly by the enemy in every conflict.
Part 3: Wild Weasels
Come in low and hot with the WILD WEASELS of Vietnam as they try to take out enemy radar installations.
During the Vietnam War, the most dangerous flying missions belonged to the Wild Weasels–a group of fighter pilots assigned the task of destroying enemy radar and missile sites. Ride in the cockpit with these brave flyers, the first in and last out, as they decide in a split second to fire their missiles before the enemy can fire back.
Part 4: Combat Medics
Duck and cover along with COMBAT MEDICS as they valiantly try to save the fallen while the battle rages around them.
They have one of the most dangerous jobs in war – going into harm’s way when others need help. “They” are the battlefield’s soldiers of mercy: combat medics. Here is the complete history behind the dangerous trade of helping wounded soldiers in the midst of battle, from the Civil War through the Gulf War.