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Old 05-27-2014, 11:02 PM   #1
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Is anyone watching The World Wars on History?

I'm amazed by the things I've learned so far. Especially about Patton, Hitler and Churchill.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:53 AM   #2
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I watched the first episode. I wish they made this a weekly series instead of nightly. I have to rearrange my tivo's to-do list in order to remove conflicts and try to have one tuner open. I tend to watch these documentaries later at night so I always doze off once or twice. These two hour episodes take a while for me to get through.

I didn't know that a British soldier had Hitler in his sights during WWI but decided to not kill him. Untold millions of lives were lost because of that decision. Then again, I may not have been born if history had been altered that much.

I also didn't know that Patton was the first guy to mount a machine gun on a jeep.

Was that truly the origins of the Hitler 'stache? He almost died because his full mustache prevented his gas mask from sealing properly?

My head will explode if anybody starts yelling about spoilers.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:29 AM   #3
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I recorded the series (or whatever has aired so far) and will watch at some point during the summer.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:35 AM   #4
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I recorded the series (or whatever has aired so far) and will watch at some point during the summer.
There will be 3 episodes. Last one is tonight.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:44 AM   #5
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I would take anything I "learned" from this program with a huge portion of Sodium Chloride or Potassium Nitrate or whatever your chosen salt is. It's chock full of technical and factual errors.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:16 AM   #6
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Was that truly the origins of the Hitler 'stache? He almost died because his full mustache prevented his gas mask from sealing properly?
I've heard it was because he was a huge Charlie Chaplin fan...
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:21 AM   #7
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I would take anything I "learned" from this program with a huge portion of Sodium Chloride or Potassium Nitrate or whatever your chosen salt is. It's chock full of technical and factual errors.
Can you provide a link to the list of errors?
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:55 AM   #8
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I had to record the later showing/s because of conflicts- we'll probably watch it over the weekend.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:32 AM   #9
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Can you provide a link to the list of errors?
I have no idea if such a list exists, but some of them are pointed out in this thread.

Two technical errors:

All planes are fighters.

George Marshall is shown wearing 5-stars in 1941.

Two factual errors:

The statement that the British introduced Mustard gas to the battlefield.

That the German bombing campaign began with the London blitz.

They did get one big thing right, and it is something that is rarely even acknowledged:

That Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to partition Poland and the USSR invaded Poland shortly (16 days) after Germany did so.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:45 AM   #10
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I have no idea if such a list exists, but some of them are pointed out in this thread.
Although they should have been accurate, things like the type of rifles used and Hitler's steel helmet seem like minor budgetary nitpicks to a non-historian like me.
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:48 AM   #11
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Although they should have been accurate, things like the type of rifles used and Hitler's steel helmet seem like minor budgetary nitpicks to a non-historian like me.
I'm no historian either and to tell the truth, I didn't personally notice those 2 particular errors. I did notice the ones I mentioned.

I might be more willing to overlook the technical errors (even though they do interfere with my immersion in the show) if it weren't for the obvious factual errors. After all, this is the History channel. Shouldn't I expect a bit closer adherence to actual history? At least on a program in this format. I do not expect it on "Vikings".

One other thing. They completely left out the Spanish Civil War. The only reason for this that I can see is that it does not fit into their narrative that the extent of Germany's rearmament and the capabilities of their equipment was a complete secret until the invasion of Poland.
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:52 PM   #12
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The dramatizations are just that for me, drama. (Patton really stood next to the targets during target practice?!) They're not reenactments so I can overlook inaccuracies. It'd have to be extreme for me to walk away and say no thanks. Not WWI-soldier-using-an-iPad-to-look-at-a-map extreme, but close.

What does bother me with this and any other movie, TV show, play, etc is having non-English speakers speak to each other in English with a foreign accent instead of their native language. Is this a budget issue too? i.e. They can't afford to hire translators so they just have them speak English and fake the accent? If they had budget constraints I'd think they can look specifically for a German actor, for example, and have it be their responsibility to speak in German the lines that were written in English.

As for content I haven't come across anything yet that I wasn't already aware of. Not because I'm a huge history buff. More like it seems what they're interested in is how these huge historical figures' characters developed rather than facts and events. Which is fine since you can find tons of other books, documentaries, etc for that. I suppose it is noteworthy they have major political and military figures providing commentary in addition to the usual scholars and authors.

Nothing groundbreaking here but I'm always interested in new treatments of something so heavily studied and analyzed.
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:22 PM   #13
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The dramatizations are just that for me, drama. (Patton really stood next to the targets during target practice?!) They're not reenactments so I can overlook inaccuracies. It'd have to be extreme for me to walk away and say no thanks. Not WWI-soldier-using-an-iPad-to-look-at-a-map extreme, but close.

What does bother me with this and any other movie, TV show, play, etc is having non-English speakers speak to each other in English with a foreign accent instead of their native language. Is this a budget issue too? i.e. They can't afford to hire translators so they just have them speak English and fake the accent? If they had budget constraints I'd think they can look specifically for a German actor, for example, and have it be their responsibility to speak in German the lines that were written in English.
Let me get this straight. You have no problem with the glaring technical and factual errors but it irks you that the characters are all speaking English in a production intended for English speakers? You want them to speak in whatever language the person being represented would have spoken in with the concomitant open English captions?

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As for content I haven't come across anything yet that I wasn't already aware of. Not because I'm a huge history buff. More like it seems what they're interested in is how these huge historical figures' characters developed rather than facts and events. Which is fine since you can find tons of other books, documentaries, etc for that. I suppose it is noteworthy they have major political and military figures providing commentary in addition to the usual scholars and authors.

Nothing groundbreaking here but I'm always interested in new treatments of something so heavily studied and analyzed.
They went to all the trouble and expense(?) to get real people to contribute to this, presumably to add some gravitas, and then, IMHO, threw it all away with these stupid errors. I wonder what John McCain, Colin Powell, Stanley McChrystal, et al. think of the finished product.

As I intimated in my initial post in this thread, do not take anything you "learn" from this program to heart until you have independently verified it using a source you trust.
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:48 PM   #14
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Let me get this straight. You have no problem with the glaring technical and factual errors but it irks you that the characters are all speaking English in a production intended for English speakers? You want them to speak in whatever language the person being represented would have spoken in with the concomitant open English captions?
As I said, to me it's a dramatization. So no, I don't have any problems with the glaring factual errors. The dramatizations in this show are no better than other cheesy docudramas that have preceded it. I took these segments as nothing more than artistic flourishes to what may or may not have occurred in real life. My big problem with any dramatization is to see non-English speakers speaking English to each other instead of their native language. That's what takes me out of what's being dramatized.

Quote:
They went to all the trouble and expense(?) to get real people to contribute to this, presumably to add some gravitas, and then, IMHO, threw it all away with these stupid errors. I wonder what John McCain, Colin Powell, Stanley McChrystal, et al. think of the finished product.

As I intimated in my initial post in this thread, do not take anything you "learn" from this program to heart until you have independently verified it using a source you trust.
No argument here.
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:37 PM   #15
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Having seen both the dubbed and subtitled versions of the theatrical release cut of "Das Boot", I preferred the dubbed version - but not for the reason you might think.

The subtitled version was bowdlerized.
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:32 PM   #16
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Here's a laundry list of their errors:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/pj-glad...torical-errors

My problem is less with the errors and more with the overall strategy of the producers. It feels like History Lite. More taste, less filling. Just one of many examples: we get 20 or 30 seconds of Patton supposedly being shot at during target practice (useless info even if true) while a scene with Churchill talks about him gaining his reputation back "after Gallipoli". Except that Gallipoli was never covered. How can you discuss WWI without talking about Gallipoli? It's even made for tv drama with the charge of the Light Brigade. We get a ton of coverage of MacArthur in WWI but I never heard Black Jack Pershing mentioned even once. He led the US forces and is the highest ranking military officer in our history (even ahead of George Washington and US Grant).

I gave up after the first episode so I can't comment on the remaining ones.
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Old 05-29-2014, 05:38 PM   #17
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Gallipoli was covered in part 1.

The Charge of the Light Brigade? You actually think that was in WWI?
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:20 PM   #18
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Gallipoli was covered in part 1.

The Charge of the Light Brigade? You actually think that was in WWI?
Historical brain fart on the Light Brigade. At least Gallipoli is not far from the Crimea. :-)
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:32 PM   #19
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I'm amazed by the things I've learned so far. Especially about Patton, Hitler and Churchill.
The single most amazing thing, is Japan's never before (this turd of a production) revealed mastery of time travel in bringing a 1990's era Kongo Class destroyer back in time.....


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Old 05-30-2014, 06:55 PM   #20
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I think this belongs here.


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Old 05-31-2014, 07:03 PM   #21
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Been impressed with the bits and pieces I've watched.

If I had a better way to get them to my ipad, they'd get watched faster.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:28 PM   #22
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I understand why programs that show once a week would have a "previously on" segment. But it drives me nuts how History Channel always has to reprise the end of every segment at the beginning of the next one.

As for the history part of it, the Hitler mustache event and the dramatic scene of him being in the cross hairs, and the gun not fired, are probably both nonsense. It is obviously true that anyone who participated in WW1 might have been killed but it is a leap to the dramatic thing that was shown here.

Someone above mentioned that the Hitler/Stalin pact, which included the invasion and partition of Poland was somehow a bold statement "rarely even acknowledged." Only if one is reading grammar school history books, perhaps.
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:24 PM   #23
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As for the history part of it, the Hitler mustache event and the dramatic scene of him being in the cross hairs, and the gun not fired, are probably both nonsense. It is obviously true that anyone who participated in WW1 might have been killed but it is a leap to the dramatic thing that was shown here.
It was an open sight, no crosshairs. And while it probably didn't happen, there is some supporting evidence that it might have.

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Someone above mentioned that the Hitler/Stalin pact, which included the invasion and partition of Poland was somehow a bold statement "rarely even acknowledged." Only if one is reading grammar school history books, perhaps.
Talk about revisionism. Nobody called it a "bold statement". I said that it was one of the few things they got right and that it is rarely even acknowledged. Both true statements. It is in fact not all that well known. Most people would probably think that "Mission to Moscow" has an accurate portrayal of "Uncle Joe", if they even knew who he was. Of course, I must be wrong as you are obviously intimately familiar with high school and college history courses.
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:46 PM   #24
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Overall I enjoyed the show, but when they got to D-Day and did not even mention Eisenhower's name, I became distracted by that and began to think about all the other stuff they left out. The end seemed very rushed.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:04 AM   #25
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It was better than Pawn Stars.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:45 AM   #26
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I'm no historian either and to tell the truth, I didn't personally notice those 2 particular errors. I did notice the ones I mentioned.

I might be more willing to overlook the technical errors (even though they do interfere with my immersion in the show) if it weren't for the obvious factual errors. After all, this is the History channel. Shouldn't I expect a bit closer adherence to actual history? At least on a program in this format. I do not expect it on "Vikings".

One other thing. They completely left out the Spanish Civil War. The only reason for this that I can see is that it does not fit into their narrative that the extent of Germany's rearmament and the capabilities of their equipment was a complete secret until the invasion of Poland.
To me, that's the one glaring omission, because it was important as a testing ground for some technology, but also in building alliances and spy networks (and adding another Fascist state).

Did they mention ALL planes were fighters? I missed where they said that. I did notice a General wearing 5 starts in Ep 2. I thought it was McArthur though, who I don't believe was a 5 star at that point either.

Also, no mention of Lend Lease, which was important in helping the UK stay alive until we sent troops and equipment after Dec. 7th, 1941
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:57 AM   #27
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Let me get this straight. You have no problem with the glaring technical and factual errors but it irks you that the characters are all speaking English in a production intended for English speakers? You want them to speak in whatever language the person being represented would have spoken in with the concomitant open English captions?

They went to all the trouble and expense(?) to get real people to contribute to this, presumably to add some gravitas, and then, IMHO, threw it all away with these stupid errors. I wonder what John McCain, Colin Powell, Stanley McChrystal, et al. think of the finished product.

As I intimated in my initial post in this thread, do not take anything you "learn" from this program to heart until you have independently verified it using a source you trust.
The things is, this show is not meant for anyone with any type of factual understanding of the two World Wars. To me it's meant for the casual viewer to give them some understanding of the hows and whys. From the first two episodes I've seen, I think they do a pretty good job at that. I don't think it matters to the casual observer if Marshall wore 1 or 5 stars, if there were other bombing campaigns (since the Battle of Britain was the key campaign along with the sea battles that kept the UK alive until the US could join the war). Or if they called all the planes fighters, or whatever. They got the gist of what happened and laid it out so that a novice could understand. The History Channel and it's sister channels have had MANY more detailed programs about these wars, including the excellent series "The First World War", and "World at War".
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:00 AM   #28
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As I said, to me it's a dramatization. So no, I don't have any problems with the glaring factual errors. The dramatizations in this show are no better than other cheesy docudramas that have preceded it. I took these segments as nothing more than artistic flourishes to what may or may not have occurred in real life. My big problem with any dramatization is to see non-English speakers speaking English to each other instead of their native language. That's what takes me out of what's being dramatized.


No argument here.
I don't mind the English speak...most people don't want to spend hours reading subtitle and listen to people speaking 3 or 4 different foreign languages. I know people who won't watch ANYTHING with subtitles.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:10 AM   #29
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Here's a laundry list of their errors:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/pj-glad...torical-errors

My problem is less with the errors and more with the overall strategy of the producers. It feels like History Lite. More taste, less filling. Just one of many examples: we get 20 or 30 seconds of Patton supposedly being shot at during target practice (useless info even if true) while a scene with Churchill talks about him gaining his reputation back "after Gallipoli". Except that Gallipoli was never covered. How can you discuss WWI without talking about Gallipoli? It's even made for tv drama with the charge of the Light Brigade. We get a ton of coverage of MacArthur in WWI but I never heard Black Jack Pershing mentioned even once. He led the US forces and is the highest ranking military officer in our history (even ahead of George Washington and US Grant).

I gave up after the first episode so I can't comment on the remaining ones.
It was meant to be history lite. Nobody with a REAL knowledge of the time this covered is going to learn much new.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:35 AM   #30
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The things is, this show is not meant for anyone with any type of factual understanding of the two World Wars. To me it's meant for the casual viewer to give them some understanding of the hows and whys. From the first two episodes I've seen, I think they do a pretty good job at that. I don't think it matters to the casual observer if Marshall wore 1 or 5 stars, if there were other bombing campaigns (since the Battle of Britain was the key campaign along with the sea battles that kept the UK alive until the US could join the war). Or if they called all the planes fighters, or whatever. They got the gist of what happened and laid it out so that a novice could understand. The History Channel and it's sister channels have had MANY more detailed programs about these wars, including the excellent series "The First World War", and "World at War".
They could have accomplished that w/o all of the misrepresentation and out and out falsehoods. All they actually accomplished was presenting a completely distorted version of events. The fact that you think they covered the Battle of Britain proves that. It did not begin with the London blitz. Point of fact, it pretty much ended it.
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