DVD105 - Through Enemy Eyes vol.14
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. 14 (Two Disk DVD Set)
DISK 1: Aug 24, 1944 - Nov 23, 1944
NEWSREEL 729: Warsaw Uprising Erupts Into Heavy Fighting; Tiger and Panther Tanks on the Eastern Front.
NEWSREEL 730: Total War Effects on the Population of Germany; German Troops Counterattack in Latvia; Allied Bombers Hit by Flak on Western Front.
NEWSREEL 731: German Women Working to Aid War Effort; Top Fighter-Pilot Ace Hartmann Decorated by Hitler; Heavy Cannon and Tanks Attack Houses in Warsaw.
NEWSREEL 732: General Guderian Speaks to Hitler Youth Members; German Combat Teams Retreat to Carpathians; Execution of One-Man-Torpedo Mission.
NEWSREEL 734: Germans Withdraw From Finland to New Positions; Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck Fight Soviet Tanks.
NEWSREEL 735: One-Man-Torpedo Demonstrated to Hitler Youth; British Air Landings at Arnhem; Destroyed British and American Transport Gliders.
NEWSREEL 736: Estonian Civilians Flee Homeland on German Steamers; Ground-Attack Aircraft Destroy Houses in Warsaw.
NEWSREEL 738: State Ceremony at Rommel's Funeral; Soviet Breaktrough Combatted in Hungary; Himmler Speaks to Volkssturm Members.
NEWSREEL 739: Students of Jülich NCO School Take Over Defense of Geilenkirchen; German Naval Guns Assist Land Battles Near Memel; Gruesome Scenes of Soviet Massacre in Nemmersdorf.
NEWSREEL 741: Hitler's Putsch of November 1923 is Commemorated in Munich; Swearing-in Ceremonies of Volkssturm Soldiers.
NEWSREEL 742: General Vlasov Speaks to Eastern Workers; German Troops Quell Uprising in Slovakia; Daily Life at Encircled German Bases on the Atlantic Coast.
DISK 2: Dec 7, 1944 - Mar 22, 1945
NEWSREEL 744: Inspection of Grossdeutschland Regiment in Berlin; German Light and Heavy Cruisers in Courland Lagoon; Germans Fight French Units in Vosges Mountains; Defensive Battles in the Balkans.
NEWSREEL 745: Hungary's Head of State Szâlasy Visits Hitler; Blown-up Waal River Dams Near Arnhem.
NEWSREEL 746: Himmler Decorates Waffen-SS Soldiers; Defensive Battles on the Western Front.
NEWSREEL 747: Hitler Youth Solstice Ceremony; SS General Sepp Dietrich Visits His Troops; Tiger II Tanks With New Turrets; Panorama of Destroyed Sherman Tanks.
NEWSREEL 748: Torpedo Boats in Action off Courland; German Offensive in the Ardennes.
NEWSREEL 749: House-to-House Fighting in a Saarland Town; Lift-off and Flight of a V-2 Rocket.
NEWSREEL 750: Training of the Volkssturm Volunteers; Allied Bombing Effects in Germany; Winter Battles in the Ardennes.
NEWSREEL 751: Fortifications are Built in Katowice; German Tanks and Infantry in Action at Budapest.
NEWSREEL 752: Defensive Battles Within Lower Rhine and Meuse; Volkssturm Units Man Barricades in Fortress Breslau; Heavy Battles Rage in East Prussia.
NEWSREEL 753: Civilian Population Construct Barricades in Berlin; Atrocities of the Soviets Depicted; Goebbels Inspects German Positions in Frankfurt on the Oder.
NEWSREEL 754: General Vlasov Takes the Command of Russian Volunteers; Lauban and Guben Recaptured by German Troops; Hitler Visits Divisional Command Post on Eastern Front.
NEWSREEL 755: Last Film of Hitler Decorating Members of the Hitler Youth in the Garden of His Bunker; Streetfighting in Breslau, Stettin, and Königsberg.
15 Original German Wartime Newsreels with English Subtitles.
267 Minutes - Nearly 4 Hours on Two DVD Disks.
August 24, 1944 - March 22, 1945
SPECIAL PRICE REDUCTION!
See and hear the entire war from the German perspective!
DVD105 - Through Enemy Eyes vol.14
Details: Germany, 1944-45, B&W, Total running time: 267 minutes, German with English subtitles.
$40.00 $30 +s/h
German newsreels covering the last seven months of World War Two have always been among the most sought-after by military historians, because the Wochenschaue of this period document the end of the Third Reich in some of the most compelling footage ever filmed. They also partially explain why the Germans went down fighting until their country was completely over-run by enemy forces. After the Allies’ success in establishing themselves at Normandy and subsequent breakout across France in August 1944, when Volume XIV begins, Hitler had no hope of recovering the initiative, so most students of that conflict have been led to conclude. In fact, the failed attempt on his life the previous month exposed the treason among some of his generals who had sabotaged Germany’s war effort for almost the previous five years, and put the military leadership in the hands of loyal, effective commanders.
The result was Britain’s blistering defeat at the Battle of Arnhem, the recapture of numerous towns on both the Western and Eastern Fronts, such as Lauban, in a series of small offensives, and stiffened resistance that stymied the Anglo-American advance before Germany’s western border. Contributing to German morale were the huge losses continuously inflicted on the Allies at places like the Seelow Heights and Reichswald. As the U.S. General George Patton observed at this time, “we could still lose the war.” Consequently, the Nazi newsreels’ up-beat narration was not artificial, but reflected a genuine mood in Germany during this difficult, but not hopeless period.
Such optimism appears in Volume XIV’s first Wochenschau with Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer receiving the Knight’s Cross with Oakleaves, Swords and Diamonds for his incomparable Luftwaffe victories. As the highest scoring night-fighter pilot in the history of aerial warfare, "The Night Ghost of St. Trond,” as RAF crews referred to him, was credited with 121 kills, most of them Anglo-American bombers. Schnaufer's greatest success was to come two months following his appearance in this December 7th newsreel on 21 February 1945, when he shot down nine British heavy bombers in a single day, seven of them in just nineteen minutes! He survived such encounters to lose his life in a 1950 automobile accident. Today, the rudder from one of his Messerschmitt-110s, tallying all his kills, may be seen at London’s Imperial War Museum.
The same newsreel showcases Schanufer’s Kriegmarine counterpart, Fregattenkapitän Albrecht Brandi, as he returns from a successful cruise in the North Atlantic, which was once again accessable to German submarines, thanks to their developing technology, such as the famous Schorkel, shown in operation here. Like Schnaufer, Brandi received the Knight’s Cross with Oakleaves, Swords and Diamonds, one of only two German submariners so awarded, because he destroyed fourteen enemy warships, more than any other u-boat commander. The u-boats’ priority targets were freighters, tankers, and merchant vessels.
The newsreel for 21 December features some particularly fierce confrontations with the Americans, whose Sherman tanks are blasted into smoldering hulks by point-bland flak fire. The action here is so realistic, in terms of editing and on-sight sound reproduction, viewers can almost smell the acrid perfume of spent cartridges. There are some awe-inspiring scenes of B-17 carpet-bombing, with a forest of towering explosions arising very near the cameraman’s position.
Luftwaffe interceptors tangle with USAAF escorts, resulting in some of the most exciting gun-camera action ever filmed, as P-51s are shreaded by thirty-mm cannon shells. The vaunted Mustang had more than met its match in Focke-Wulf’s 190D-9. A real hair-raising scene occurs when a flight of fighters attempts to take off from a badly rain-soaked airfield, and one of the D-9s almost lurches over forward on its propeller, until the pilot regains control at the last conceiveable moment. We are treated to thrilling close-ups of quad-37-mm anti-airaft guns hammering away at low flying P-47s, and see a Thunderbolt take a direct hit before “falling like a comet.”
Coverage of the epic Battle of the Bulge is a documentary in itself, bringing to life the power of a great offensive in all its details of equipment and legions of captured G.I.s, many of them black. While Operation Winter Storm did not achieve its primary objective of re-capturing the Allies’ only deep-water port at Amsterdam, it cost them enough in lost troops, equipment and self-confidence to prevent them from pursuing the Germans, who successfully re-grouped to defend the Fatherland.
1945’s final newsreels begin in January with Hans Urlich Rudel, the greatest bomber pilot of all time, blasting Soviet armor with the twin 37-mm cannons of his Stuka-G. He is later interviewed from a hospital bed after the amputation of a leg, a circumstance that failed to prevent him from completing his unparalleled service record of more than five-hundred enemy tanks and two battleships destroyed.
There is another “live” segment featuring the legendary “Commando Extraordinaire”, Otto Skorzeny, as he tells his men how “Ivan has learned to fear us!”
Although by then most German capital ships had been lost, the Kriegsmarine was making a startling comeback with its new midget submarines. Initially unsuccessful because of numerous technical problems that necessarily acrue from any innovative technology, the Seehund (“Sea Dog”) version shown in operation here --- submerging and launching its torpedo --- went on to sink some forty-thousand tons of enemy shipping before war’s end. "Fortunately for us, these damn things arrived too late in the war to do any damage," later admitted Admiral Sir Charles Little, the British Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth.
Contributing to the midget submarines’ success were Germany’s indefatigable s-boats, the finest torpedo-boats of their time, documented here, as they capably defend refugee convoys fleeing across the Baltic Sea, right up until the last hour of hostilities.
We see the futuristic V-2 ballistic missile in flight for the first time, as its numbers stream irrepressibly toward England to force yet a third mass-evacuation of London’s war-weary residents.
On the Eastern Front, the Battle of Breslau features ferocious anti-armor action, as hordes of the latest Stalin tanks resemble monster insects killed among the ruins. The Silesian city’s prolonged defense was led by Kampfkommandant Karl August Hanke. After its eventual fall, he escaped in a Fieseler Storch to Prague, where the Gauleiter took orders as an ordinary volunteer in the 18th SS-Freiwiligen Panzer Grenadier Division “Horst Wessel” in defense of the capital. Hanke was captured by Czech partisans, who beat him to death after the war, on 8 June.
The ultimate newsreel of Die Deutsche Wochenschau was dated 22 March 1945, and includes the last film footage ever taken of Adolf Hitler. The occasion was an award ceremony for several Hitler Youth who destroyed Soviet armor with Panzerfaust rockets, or ran messages on behalf of Berlin’s defenders through the capital. They tell of their deeds that won them personal recognition from the Fuehrer. The newsreel ends with close-ups of Wehrmacht soldiers who just smashed yet another Red Army assault, as the narrator, in his last words, tells us to “Stand and fight!” The German eagle-with-swastika appears once more to the sound of its familiar fanfare, then both fade away.
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