THE LAST DAYS OF WORLD WAR II
Review by Chastity Campbell
Video: 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Features: See Review
Release Date: May 25, 2004
World War II will always be in peoples’ minds and
memories for one major reason: it
was very well documented. Now,
A&E has put together a two disc box set that will give you even more in
depth information than was
The Last Days of World War II would seem to most
people to have been quite peaceful. Peace
treaties were being negotiated and signed.
Armies were laying down their weapons, walking away from their tanks, and
accepting that a new era had arrived. However,
the truth of the matter was that peace was still a hesitant idea in the hearts
and minds of those who were surrendering.
Disc one contains the featurette, “The Last Days Of World
War II”. This disc details the
last six months of the war. During
this time the British and American armies were hard at work liberating France.
All the while Russia continued its advance on Europe from the East.
The Nazis were frantically trying to maintain their
faltering grip on a nation of people too long oppressed.
They began hiding all the treasures they had plundered during the course
of the war, while their Furor hid below ground with his new bride, enjoying a
delusional honeymoon and belief that victory was still at hand.
I guess it was depending on whose table you were sitting down to dinner
From the Battle of the Bulge to the climax of the pacific,
reporters and photographers were there. The
images used in this DVD were as always beautiful.
The black and white photographs were crisp, clean, and vivid.
The video footage of the Nuremberg trials was some of the best I’ve
ever viewed. To actually read about
history is one thing, but to put the actions, with the faces of the people was
Disc two breaks off into two separate featurettes, “USS
Eagles 56: Accident or Target, and “Last Secrets Of The Axis.”
In, “USS Eagles 56: Accident or Target,” we take a CSI
like tour of history and try to determine if the USS Eagle 56 exploded, and sank
because of a boiler incident, or if a German torpedo was responsible.
I hadn’t realized until viewing this DVD that German submarines got
very close to the U.S. coast and were able to sink more than one merchant ship
taking supplies to allied forces in Europe.
The second featurette, “Last Secrets Of The Axis”,
creates a map of Doctor Karl Haushofer’s connections to many major World War
II events. Haushofer was a
distinguished German geography professor who was fascinated with Japan and its
ritualistic society. He is
also credited with coining the phrase “Geopolitics”, which is used quite
liberally today to explain geographical designation and its effect on politics
across government lines.
All in all this two disc set contains more information
about World War II than I learned during my entire education.
I highly suggest giving these discs a spin because so many things about
our countries history, as well as world history will become more clear for
everyone who takes the time to view them.
This two disc DVD box set was presented in a 1.33:1
Standard Fullscreen format. The
video quality on both discs was crisp and clean, with little to no dirty or
The colors were great, but as always, it was the quality of
the black and white video footage and photo’s that impressed me.
A&E definitely knows what they are doing when it comes to taking
something old and making it look new again.
The audio quality on these DVD’s wasn’t on the same
level I’m used to from A&E. Typically
they have a very high standard of audio presentation on all of the discs they
put out there. However, this boxed
set seemed to be lacking the normal oomph behind all of the other A&E's
productions, I have had the pleasure of viewing.
The quality of the audio was okay, but there was nothing
extremely spectacular about it. There
was a little bit of variance in levels from one section of the disc to another.
The levels didn’t jumped in the extreme, but it was obvious that they
did not remain constant.
The only extras these DVDs had to offer were scene
selection and interactive menus.