DVD103 - Through Enemy Eyes vol.12
A Newsreel History of the Third Reich at War:
Go behind enemy lines on a journey that traces the rise and fall of German military fortunes... the great battles, the desperate hours captured via authentic uncut newsreels, exactly as presented to German wartime cinema audiences.
Now see the Second World War as you've never seen it before: Through Enemy Eyes.
All newsreels have been transferred from original 35 millimeter and 16 millimeter German prints and have been accurately translated and electronically subtitled in English.
Through Enemy Eyes Vol. 12 (Two Disk DVD Set)
DISK 1: Nov 3, 1943 - Dec 22, 1943
NEWSREEL 687: Frick Inaugurated as Reich Protector of Bohemia-Moravia; Göring Inspects Air Defense Forces; Hitler Decorates U-Boat Commanders; German Invasion of Kos Island Routs Allied Forces.
NEWSREEL 688: Albert Speer Speaks at Berlin Plant; Cossack Brigade Attacks Bosnian Partisans; Kesselring Reviews German Troops in Italy; Soviet Advance in Krivoi Rog Repelled.
NEWSREEL 689: Home Front Activities in Germany; Viennese Greet Ace Pilot Nowotny; Hitler and Old Comrades in Löwenbräu Cellar; German-Soviet Clash on Eastern Front.
NEWSREEL 690: Soldiers see Hockey in Berlin; Supplies Delivered to Arctic Front; Tanks and Flak Repel Allies on Italian Front; Dönitz, Speer View Naval Exercises.
NEWSREEL 692: Himmler Inspects Muslim Volunteers; Response to Allied Bombing of Berlin; Germans Counterattack at Dnieper Bend; Occupation of Leros and Samos Islands.
NEWSREEL 694: Santa Claus in Channel Bunker; Axis Defenses on Danish Coast; JU-52 Supply Drop on Eastern Front; Paratroopers Blow Up Bridge in Italy.
DISK 2: Dec 29, 1943 - Mar 8, 1944
NEWSREEL 695: Submarine Nets in Finland Gulf; Rumanian Troops in the Crimea; Germans Reinforce Nikopol Bridgehead; Rocket Fire Reverberates on Eastern Front.
NEWSREEL 697: Anti-Bolshevist Rally in Paris; Bosnian Partisan Band Captured; Panther Tanks Support Infantry in Nevel Area; U-Boat Patrols Indian Ocean.
NEWSREEL 698: Sports and Leisure in Germany; German Troops Visit Greek Monks; Infantry, Assault Guns Oppose Soviet Tanks; Allied Bombers Over Germany.
NEWSREEL 702: Women Workers Pull Their Weight in Reich Labor Service; Artillery Duels at Nettuno Beachhead; American Prisoners March Into Rome; German Soldiers Rest and Relax on the Eastern Front.
NEWSREEL 703: Seyss-Inquart New President of German Academy; Allies Bombard Monte Cassino; Wounded in Ruins of Castel Gandolfo; Street Fighting in Port of Kerch.
NEWSREEL 705: Léon Degrelle Reviews the Battle at Cherkassy; German Withdrawal Through Narva; Naval Action off the Coast of Norway; Luftwaffe Duels USAAF Bombers.
NEWSREEL 707: French Waffen-SS Volunteers; Exchange Prisoners Return From the US; The Goliath Remote-Controlled Miniature Tank; Great Air Battle Over Berlin.
13 Original German Wartime Newsreels with English Subtitles.
249 Minutes - Nearly 4 Hours on Two DVD Disks.
November 3, 1943 - March 22, 1944
SPECIAL PRICE REDUCTION!
See and hear the entire war from the German perspective!
DVD103 - Through Enemy Eyes vol.12
Details: Germany, 1943-44, B&W, Total running time: 249 minutes, German with English subtitles.
$40.00 $30 +s/h
Volume 12 in the “Through Enemy Eyes” series contains the best aerial combat footage ever recorded. The cause is not difficult to understand, because the period covered by its newsreels bracketed the Anglo-American bomber offensive against Germany. Allied air force strategists were confident that their thousand-plane raids against German cities and towns would not only obliterate the enemy’s means of production, but punish the civilian population for accepting Nazism and force them to revolt against Hitler.
Aimed at killing factory workers and displacing the survivors by destroying their homes, the indiscriminate carpet-bombing of residential and industrial centers had been conceived by Frederick Alexander Lindemann, a Jewish physicist and high-ranking government advisor in London. British historians Wheeler-Bennett and Nicholls write that Lindemann had "an almost pathological hatred for Nazi Germany, and an almost medieval desire for revenge was a part of his character". He was able to vent his psychoses through men of like-mentality, such as Winston Churchill, who referred to Lindemann as "the frontal lobe of my brain," and RAF Marshall Arthur Harris, lionized in the press as "Bomber Harris", but cynically known to his flight crews as "Butcher Harris" for his casual indifference to their high losses in combat. Lindemann insisted that Germans would be begging for surrender before the Normandy Invasion scheduled for June 1944, thanks to his aerial terror campaign waged against the Reich’s urban centers. But the saturation bombing of Cologne in 1942 and Hamburg the following year failed to shake German resolve, despite mountains of dead civilians. Undeterred, Butcher Harris pushed ahead with a series of massive raids on Berlin, beginning in November, 1943, and continuing over the next five months into the following year. By then, 1,047 of his bombers had been shot down, with a further 1,682 badly holed, including the loss of more than 8,000 crewmembers.
The murderous air campaign ultimately fizzled out on 30 March 1944, when 94 bombers were destroyed and 71 severely damaged out of 795 aircraft attacking Nuremberg. Luftwaffe losses, while significant, were proportionately lower and within acceptable limits. More importantly, German industry not only escaped annihilation, but, under the air umbrella of interceptors, successfully relocated inside mountain facilities. Instead of breaking German civilian morale, Lindemann’s bombers galvinized its resistance. This is the historical background for the furious air battles featured throughout the Deutsche Wochenschau.
The action achieves a broader dimension by inter-cutting scenes from captured British newsreels of the same combat. Viewers will be interested to observe how very close the German fighters approached their well-defended targets before opening fire. One of their top-scoring pilots, Walter Nowotny is shown receiving special commendations from Hitler. Nowotny would go on to claim 258 kills. The young Major never failed to wear his lucky “victory trousers” while flying, save once, on 8 November 1944, when he died in his ME 262 jet fighter. Together with the famous Messerschmitt Gustav and Focke-Wulf 190, we see a less well-known “R” version of the Stuka dive-bomber rigged with extra wing-tanks for extended operations over the Aegean Sea. It is here that German forces complete the last conquests with the capture of Kos and other Eastern Mediterranean islands the Anglo-Americans intended as jumping-off locations against the Balkans.
But these success were not matched by the u-boats, which were being destroyed by the Allies’ lethal combination of increasingly effective anti-submarine methods and interception of Kriegsmarine codes. Wochenschau cameras follow the cruise of Korvettenkapitän Robert Gysae’s U-177 through the Indian Ocean, where he torpedoes the Efthalia Mar, a Greek freighter off East Africa, the last of twenty-eight ships he sank for a total of 146,815 tons. Unlike most of his fellow mariners, Gysae survived the war, passing away in 1989 in his 88th year. Scenes of his final success are among the most detailed, exciting coverage of any submarine action.
A fellow officer shares the reviewing stand in Prague with SS-Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler. Wolfgang August Eugen was the Kriegsmarine’s second highest-scoring u-boat ace, with forty-six merchant ships sunk, plus a French submarine, the Doris, amounting to 230,781 tons of enemy shipping. Having survived fifteen war patrols, He could not bear the defeat of his country, and committed suicide by refusing to identify himself to a sentry, who shot him to death. On 16 May 1945, Kapitän zur See Lüth received the last state funeral of the Third Reich.
Coverage of fighting on the Eastern Front shows its desperation, as furious Axis resistance takes a high toll of Russian men and machines. Outstanding are scenes of Corneliu Teodorini’s forces smashing an attempted Red beach-head near Kerch. The Romanian general received a Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves from Hitler himself. Volume 12’s emphasis on the expanding pan-European participation in the war makes for interesting coverage. We see Serbian SS-men in houuse-to-house fighting against Communist partisans, and Leon Degrelle, General of the Belgian-SS, speaking at a mass-rally in Brussels. Himmler inspects Bosnian SS-men leaving for the inexorably approaching Eastern Front, while General Dietl, the German hero of Narvik in 1940’s Norwegian Campaign, leads Estonian troops in trench warfare against advaning waves of Soviets.
In France, Joseph Darnand exhorts his fellow countrymen to put aside old, chauvinistic resentments in the defense of their far more important self-preservation as Europeans. Darnand was a much-decorated World War One soldier, who became a prominent statesman in his counry, before becoming a Sturmbannführer, or Battalion Commander in the French-SS, and high functionary of the Petain government. He is followed by Marcel Déat, founder the Légion des Volontaires Francais, a French unit of the Waffen-SS. The March 22nd newsreel feauturing Slovakia should be of special interest to students of military aviation, because it shows rare glimpses of the Avia, an important biplane fighter that, for all its obsolescence, was still rugged enough to serve well with various Eastern European air forces in several theaters of war and numerous campaigns.
Some of Die Deutsche Wochenschau’s most breath-taking scenes belong to the still-controversial fighting around Monte Cassino, where the ancient monastary and cultural treasure was reduced to rubble by U.S. Liberators and Flying Fortresses. The Germans respond with concentrated ground-fire to bring down some of the four-engine giants, and colossal bomb bursts go off very near by. Perhaps the single largest field artillery of the war is wheeled out on a railroad track to pound the Americans at Nettuno. There is more and varied action spread over the nearly four hours of German newsreels delivered in Volume 12 than space here allows. But they well-preserve the atmosphere and feel for a period of the war at its most ferocious.
Reviewer’s note: While purchasing all fourteen volumes of “Through Enemy Eyes” may be too sizeable an investment for most students of World War Two, they will find nowhere else --- in either the written or spoken word --- original source material that will provide them with a broader, more profound understanding of and appreciation for that seminal conflict. To watch it every day, from first to last newsreel, is a life-changing experience, comparable to seeing and hearing Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
Whatever viewers bring with them to this collection will be expanded a thousandfold. In short, the “Through Enemy Eyes” series is by far the most important, single document to have emerged from the Second World War, bar none.
- Marc Roland
Trouble with viewing all these Wochenschau newsreels, I get so excited, I always feel like looking for a recruitment office somewhere. - Marc Roland