The Second World War claimed the lives of 50 million people - on battlefields between Normandy and the Caucasus, in the submarine warfare that raged in the Atlantic, and in bombing raids on the cities. This was a war that showed all too clearly the depths to which mankind could sink, and the atrocities that people were capable of inflicting on one another. All the essential features of the 20th century are reflected in this war: the power struggle between two totalitarian ideologies; the victory of democracy over dictatorship; the triumph of technology in warfare and its misuse for mechanized slaughter; and finally, in Hiroshima, proof that mankind now possessed the ability to exterminate itself. A war, in short, that is the focus of, and an icon for, the last 100 years: "The War of the Century."
In all documentaries up to the present, this war has usually been presented with a national bias. Today, as there are fewer and fewer direct survivors of the war, the time is ripe for erstwhile enemies to join hands and show us what this war was all about. Using authentic film footage, much of it in color, and the testimonies of eyewitnesses from "both sides," ZDF has co-produced a one-of-a-kind series with the U.S. History Channel, Britain's Channel 4, RTR (Russian Television) and French television. Eminent international historians have taken part in this project. In a historic gesture of rapprochement, nations that were once the bitterest of enemies now present their views on the most painful chapter of the 20th century.
These unforgettable events are described – before it's too late – by those who experienced them at first hand: Germans and Americans, Britons and Russians, Poles and Frenchmen.
The War of the Century I
- Sink the Bismarck!
- Death Trap – The Battle in the Atlantic
- The Iron Grave
- The Battle of Britain
- The Air War over Germany – The Bomber War
- Fire Storm
- Turning Point Before Moscow 1941
- The Battle of El Alamein 1942
- The Road to Stalingrad 1943
- The Secret of U 166
The War of the Century II
- The Longest Day (D-Day)
- The Battle of Monte Cassino
- The Liberation of Paris
- The Last Battle – The Ardennes
- From Remagen to Dachau
The War of the Century III / The Storm
- Assault on Hitler's Reich
- The Russians are Coming
- Hitler's Last Army
- The End of Berlin