Author Topic: Documentaries on the Eastern Front of WWII  (Read 466 times)

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Offline al_infierno

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Documentaries on the Eastern Front of WWII
« on: April 10, 2021, 01:52:53 AM »
Hey y'all - I was wondering if any of you have recommendations for documentaries covering the eastern front of WWII?  My preference in documentaries tends toward the Ken Burns style of narrated legitimate historical photos/footage rather than reenacted footage. 

That all said, the only documentary I know if that checks these boxes is the rather dated World at War from 1973 -- which is fantastic, mind you, but I'm hoping for something a bit more up to date and hopefully focusing on the war between Germany and USSR.

Any recs are much appreciated.   O0
It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge.  War endures.  As well ask men what they think of stone.  War was always here.  Before man was, war waited for him.  The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.  That is the way it was and will be.  That way and not some other way.
- Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian


If they made nothing but WWII games, I'd be perfectly content.  Hypothetical matchups from alternate history 1980s, asymmetrical US-bashes-some-3rd world guerillas, or minor wars between Upper Bumblescum and outer Kaboomistan hold no appeal for me.
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Offline GDS_Starfury

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Re: Documentaries on the Eastern Front of WWII
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2021, 08:41:52 AM »
theres the Scorched Earth series on Prime. 
theres also an excellent series that was made for Russian tv that I cant find atm.
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Offline GDS_Starfury

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Re: Documentaries on the Eastern Front of WWII
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2021, 08:46:10 AM »
ah here we go,  Soviet Storm: World War 2 in the East
2 seasons on Prime and very very well done.
Toonces - Don't ask me, I just close my eyes and take it.

Gus - I use sweatpants with flannel shorts to soak up my crotch sweat.

Banzai Cat - There is no "partial credit" in grammar. Like anal sex. It's either in, or it's not.

Mirth - We learned long ago that they key isn't to outrun Star, it's to outrun Gus.

Martok - I don't know if it's possible to have an "anti-boner"...but I now have one.

Gus - Celery is vile and has no reason to exist. Like underwear on Star.


Offline solops

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Re: Documentaries on the Eastern Front of WWII
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2021, 10:06:50 AM »
I have never seen anything on the Eastern front that was not hilariously myopic or a grossly slanted view based on the nation of origin of the producer.
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Offline GDS_Starfury

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Re: Documentaries on the Eastern Front of WWII
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2021, 02:53:20 PM »
Scorched Earth is pretty balanced or its topic.
Toonces - Don't ask me, I just close my eyes and take it.

Gus - I use sweatpants with flannel shorts to soak up my crotch sweat.

Banzai Cat - There is no "partial credit" in grammar. Like anal sex. It's either in, or it's not.

Mirth - We learned long ago that they key isn't to outrun Star, it's to outrun Gus.

Martok - I don't know if it's possible to have an "anti-boner"...but I now have one.

Gus - Celery is vile and has no reason to exist. Like underwear on Star.


Offline al_infierno

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Re: Documentaries on the Eastern Front of WWII
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2021, 06:43:06 PM »
I started on Soviet Storm but the reenactments put me off.  If it's that good I'll have to give it another go though!  And thanks for the reminder about Scorched Earth - I forgot all about that one!

I have never seen anything on the Eastern front that was not hilariously myopic or a grossly slanted view based on the nation of origin of the producer.

Yeah, this is true.  Most docs are either "clean wehrmacht versus Asiatic hordes" or "heroic patriotic Red Army did nothing wrong."
It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge.  War endures.  As well ask men what they think of stone.  War was always here.  Before man was, war waited for him.  The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.  That is the way it was and will be.  That way and not some other way.
- Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian


If they made nothing but WWII games, I'd be perfectly content.  Hypothetical matchups from alternate history 1980s, asymmetrical US-bashes-some-3rd world guerillas, or minor wars between Upper Bumblescum and outer Kaboomistan hold no appeal for me.
- Silent Disapproval Robot


I guess it's sort of nice that the word "tactical" seems to refer to some kind of seriousness during your moments of mental clarity.
- MengJiao

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Documentaries on the Eastern Front of WWII
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2021, 12:31:33 PM »
Russia's War: Blood upon the Snow (sometimes titled with "Blood Upon the Snow" first) was made in Russia just after the fall of the Soviet Union, and is chocked full of archival footage. No re-enactments that I recall. I'm sure there's a certain amount of propaganda going on, but it's definitely not pro-Nazi, and DEFINITELY not pro-Soviet (as far as the government goes). If anything it's pro-peasant (so to speak): the Russian people are caught up in this epic super-villain war and trying to survive it, but can't come out of it clean themselves which is part of the tragedy. The series covers more than WW2, with a prologue and epilogue ep about Stalin's overlordship before and after.

The edition available in western nations has episode intros by Kissinger, but they're completely skippable, so any Kissinger fans will be disappointed and anyone else will be glad they don't need to listen to him really. ;)

Good luck trying to find it, though. I owned it originally on VHS, and managed to pick up a DVD set when I started seriously converting off tape, but the only thing available at Amazon right now seems to be Region 2. Used copies of Region 1 DVD sets start at $45+ and go up fast! Maybe ebay?

https://smile.amazon.com/Russias-War-Blood-Upon-Snow/dp/B002LFPBJW

https://smile.amazon.com/Blood-Upon-Snow-Russias-War/dp/B07XJD5B9X  the region 2 set.


Note: in case anyone is curious, since I've compiled a lot on the topic, I don't recall this having anything to do with Suvorov's "Icebreaker" thesis. On the contrary, low-star reviews tend to complain that this series stumbles a lot trying to explain how Stalin could accomplish so much while being so wildly incompetent (and thus complain about the series being anti-Stalin propaganda).
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

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Offline endfire79

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Re: Documentaries on the Eastern Front of WWII
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2021, 07:48:17 PM »
I'd second everything recommended in the previous comments - all worth watching.  Coincidentally, I had just started re-watching Russia's War last night (the music always brings me back).

Don't forget  some of the old Battlefield episodes about any of the Eastern Front Campaigns.  I really like that series as it was more toned down, less flashy than more recent documentaries.
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