Howie and I recently watched the excellent documentary series WWII in HD on the History Channel. Aside from a few war movies, novels, and what little we covered in high school, I was quite ignorant of many battles and events of the war.
The majority of the footage the filmmakers used was original full color film. They told the story through the eyes of a dozen people who were there, so the viewer saw the unfolding events from the individuals’ points of view.
In addition to soldiers, they featured a journalist and an Army nurse. Using narratives from the peoples’ journals, letters, and other writing, the stories unfold. Some surviving participants were filmed as they recollected their experiences; the old footage was narrated by actors playing the young versions of the people. As a result, it was very easy to be drawn into the stories.
There is graphic footage of wounded and dead soldiers and civilians, so exercise caution if you’re squeamish. As sobering as it is to view such footage, it is an unvarnished, un-Hollywood opportunity to learn about World War II. It also made me incredibly thankful that we have not had war on home soil since. I can’t imagine living through that and my heart goes out to people who live in countries where war and terrorism is an everyday occurrence.
I ran across the following photo gallery from Life Magazine’s website, their sole means of publishing since they ceased print publication. These photos of the American homefront during the war are fascinating to me.
You can view the gallery at Life’s website, too, along with hundreds of other photos from the era. I would like to hear from others who watched the WWII in HD documentary, especially those who lived through those war years. What was your everyday life like? What got you through?