Battlefield - Series One (1994) Universal Studios

The Battle of France

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Video Description

In World War II, the Battle of France, also known as the Fall of France, was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, executed from 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and surround the Allied units that had advanced into Belgium. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and many French soldiers were however evacuated from Dunkirk in Operation Dynamo. In the second operation, Fall Rot (Case Red), executed from 5 June, German forces outflanked the Maginot Line to attack the larger territory of France. Italy declared war on France on 10 June. The French government fled to Bordeaux, and Paris was occupied on 14 June. The 17th of June, Pétain publicly announced France would ask for an armistice. On 22 June, an armistice was signed between France and Germany, going into effect on 25 June. For the Axis, the campaign was a spectacular victory.

France was divided into a German occupation zone in the north and west, a small Italian occupation zone in the southeast and a collaborationist rump state in the south, Vichy France. Southern France was occupied on 10 November 1942 and France remained under German occupation until after the Allied landings in 1944; the Low Countries were liberated in 1944 and 1945.

Source:  Wikipedia

Documentary Description



Documentary which explores the some of the most significant battles of the Second World War, including: The Battle Of France, The Battle Of Britain, Midway, Stalingrad and The Battle Of Normandy and Berlin.

1) The Battle of France Blitzkrieg's most astonishing triumph, establishing Hitler as unassailable within continental Europe.

2) The Battle of Britain The two mightiest air fleets in the world clashed in tumultuous mortal combat. At issue was Britain’s very survival.

3) The Battle of Midway The stakes were no less dramatic when Americans met Japanese in this enthralling carrier-to-carrier battle of Midway. Both sides knew that the victor would rule the Pacific for years to come.

4) The Battle of Stalingrad The annihilation of an entire army amidst the charred and frozen ruins of Stalingrad was catastrophe for Nazi arms. Thereafter, the colossus of the Red Army was never to lose the initiative in the East.

5) The Battle of Normandy D-Day was the biggest amphibious operation in history. But even after the Allied troops had successfully forced a landing in strength, they still had to face a foe whose tenacity and resilience in defence was legendary.

6) The Battle of Berlin The furious, climatic last battle of Hitler’s war. Over half a million lives were lost as the Red Army finally crushed the last Nazi citadel.

Viewers Reviews, from

givbatam3 "givbatam3" (REHOVOT Israel) - See all my reviews

This is one of the most important television documentaries about the Second World War ever produced. Unlike other series, such as "The World at War", there are no interviews with either historians or participants and no descriptions of small-scale engagements, just the hard strategic facts of the engagement as seen by the top leaders. A considerable part of each film describes the run-up to the actual battle, with considerable use of maps, descriptions of the leaders, the commanders, the armies and the weapons that decided the engagement. What is emphasized is the importance of the battle within the whole strategic picture of the war. After this, a detailed presentation of how the battle played itself out is given. Finally, the strategic results of the engagement is described, showing how the entire course of the war was affected. This series is designed for someone who has more than just a casual interest in the history of the war, and I highly recommend it for this audience.

J.S. McIntyre "Mc" (San Francisco, CA USA)

I watched this entire series years ago on the American PBS network. Absolutely riveting. The novel approach of treating each battle as the climactic event of an extended series of events the preceded it was particularly effective in giving the battle a perspective you never get in most war documentaries. For example, the Battle of Midway is discussed as the climactic engagement of a battle the started months before in another region of the Pacific. This device allows the viewer to understand the varying influences at play; the strategic concerns, the manner in which weaponry affected engagements, and how chance, human error and material loss played a part in setting the stage for the final battle over the extended time frame.

Along with the "The World at War" this rates as one of the best World War II documentaries I have seen. And I absolutely hate the fact that it isn't available in a format that works in the United States region.

Shorrock (Cheshire)

This excellent series provides a logical, clear, step by step guide to various major engagements of WWII. Broken down into stages such as; prelude, planning, weapons, armies, battle etc, the engagement is explained in comprehensive and easily intelligible detail. It is never over technical or textbook like and I found it absorbing. Tim Piggot Smith's totally professional narration enhances the overall experience. This is one of the best documentaries of its' kind (and I've seen a lot) and is suitable for beginner or history buff. Thoroughly recommended.



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