This is the story of two wars fought at the same time on opposite ends of the globe, often mislabeled as a single war: The Second World War.
These conflicts remade our world in just a few decades.
This is the story of how the rise and fall of great powers, from Nazi Germany to Imperial Japan, recast nations into those who could afford, and those that could not afford ‘The Price of Empire’.
01 – The Gathering Storm
The second world war ended more than 70 years ago, but wars never end. For those who fought the memories are indestructible. To understand something so profound we must start before the beginning with what Churchill called, The Gathering Storm. How were nations all over the globe brought to the brink of conflict in 1939? Hear about the triggers that sparked World War II in the first of a major 13-part documentary series.
02 – The Phony War
Japan’s unprovoked invasion had plunged china into war and Europe had been brought to the brink of conflict. In Italy Mussolini introduced fascism to the political landscape and Hitler dismantled democracy. Their expansion threatened neighboring nations.
What were the noteworthy events at the beginning of World War II? See rare archive footage and hear remarkable testimony on the early advances made by Germany, Italy and the USSR.
03 – Blitzkrieg
Six months have passed with very little action in the Phony War. that is about to end and a new word is added to the vocabulary of warfare…Blitzkrieg.
‘Blitzkrieg’ was an innovative tactic devised by the German military. Hear how it became the new word in warfare following the Nazis’ swift invasions of Holland, Belgium and France.
04 – Alone
Six months after the fall of France, Vyacheslav Molotov visited Berlin to discuss how the world was to be divided after victory. He was told Britain was defeated. But Britain wasn’t beaten. Just alone.
Dogfights over the English Channel in 1940 led to the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. Meanwhile, Italian troops entered North Africa. This epic World War II retrospective expounds.
05 – Barbarossa
In 1941 Britain is holding its own, altho it is still threatened. Japan took action that made world war two truly global. but before that, the story of the second world war is to be transformed by a single word. Barbarossa.
The Battle of the Atlantic, fighting in North Africa and Greece and the invasion of the USSR: the pivotal events of 1941 are explored in the series that charts the course of WWII.
06 – A Day in Infamy
Before 1941 was half over the soviet union was locked in struggle with Germany. Before the year was out, humanity would be hanging on the fate of Roosevelt’s great union, compelled to join the struggle by what he termed “a date which will live in infamy.”
America’s entry into World War II in December 1941 would prove to be vital to Allied success. Discover how the United States’ involvement shaped the course of the conflict in 1942.
07 – The Turning Point
It took hitler half a war to gain an empire. But it would also take him half a war to lose one. Japan also wound up growing and growing only to start to fall about halfway through the war.
Discover how the political map of the world was remade by World War II. Recalling the spread of Japanese invasion in the Pacific and the bombing of German cities by British planes.
08 – The End of the Beginning
There was a plot that eventually Germany, headed east and Japan, heading west, would eventually join up in the Indian subcontinent to make a massive territory. But too many setbacks in 1942 marked the end of the beginning.
A truly global conflict, WWII in 1942 saw the Battle of Stalingrad commence, the fight for North Africa escalate and the Solomon Islands campaign begin. Hear how events unfolded.
09 – The Beginning of the End
The United Nations planned how best to secure victory and how to arrange the post war world at conference after conference. The Allies fought one war on two fronts. The Axis fought two wars. For both, 1943 would mark the beginning of the end.
Hear about the Allied invasion of Sicily, the battle for New Guinea and the ongoing Soviet fight to regain territory from the Germans, as the WWII retrospective focuses on 1943.
10 – Overlord
In 1943, the axis was on the defensive everywhere. In 1944, The Allies strength would grow in the East in, the Soviet Union, and with the opening of the second front.
The Normandy landings of June 1944 are perhaps the most well-known operations of WWII. With access to remarkable archive footage, discover how Operation Overlord started in earnest.
11 – Hell is on Us
After starting on the second front, the Allies broke out of Normandy and launch the Red Army. In the East, the invasion of the Philippines will bring the Allies one step closer to the home islands.
By 1944, the Russians were making inroads on the Eastern Front and America had managed to reclaim the Philippines. Impressive archive footage reveals the gathering Allied momentum.
12 – Unconditional Surrender
The war was started solely be Germany’s and Japan’s acts of aggression. But in 1944 they are being driven from the lands that they had conquered and are being pressured to an act of unconditional surrender.
The end of the deadliest conflict in history neared with Allied successes in Europe and the Far East. Through archive pictures and eyewitness testimony, hear how victory came about.
13 – A Thousand Suns
After years of war, the defeat of Hitler and the Third Reich is inevitable. Peace in Asia will follow peace in Europe after the detonation of the atomic bomb.
Reflections on the final days of World War II and the surrender of the Axis powers. Discover how empires fell and the political map of the world was remade as the guns quietened.