Stunning! COLOR makes this footage more realistic than any other documentary of "The War to End All Wars". Today's technology makes a huge difference, but the narration (Kenneth Branagh) and personal accounts from men who were in the war make even more impact. This series is a great overview-not a complete history, but certainly covers the important segments. More than that, it offers the emotion, the feel of that war, the hardships. I personally learned a great deal about the war that my American grandfather lived through. Most who will watch this amazing footage will have never talked to a living soldier that survived, there are few left, and most of today's population is too young. This is an important piece of DVD saved history, necessary in every library and historical department of school.
As important as the technologically added film color, is the educational focus on war machinery and weaponry that WWI inspired. I learned carriers, folding winged planes, tanks, flame throwers, and so much more was first used in WWI, not WWII. WWI was not all horse drawn equipment. The civilian footage (now in color) is dramatic as well. Literally seeing those early 20th century lifestyles & people on footage that is typically only found in still B/W photos is powerful.
ALL 6 episodes as well as 2 excellent Bonus segments (one longer than an episode) provide SUBTITLES. The bonus material is as interesting and well done as the episodes. 20 bios, facts bonus, a time line, plus a booklet pack even more of the war into this set. Topics reachable in scene selections: classroom friendly.
1___"Catastrophe" The cause: assassination in Sarajevo-1914, trenches, death, fighting, letters, wounded, survivors, diaries, air fighting, subs, steam and horse power--all there--now in color.
2___"Slaughter in the Trenches" 700+ miles of trench warfare proved a stalemate 1915-17, going 'over the top' meant almost certain death, new weaponry-more death.
3___"Blood in the Air" Dog fights, bi-planes lifting off a rigged battleship, ace hero's, bombing raids seen in color. Aerial reconnaissance, bi-planes with machine guns (fighters), Red Baron (in red), Flying circuses, sea planes, astonishing footage of air force action only 11 yrs after Kitty Hawk.
4___"Killers of the Sea" U-boats or submarines replaced battleship warfare, Lusitania-1915, Dardanelles, Jutland sea battle, ships going down, Hydrophone, depth charge, all covered with period film, now in color.
5___"Mayhem on the Eastern Front" German, Austrian & Russian western front trenches were horrific and as much a stalemate of the eastern trenches. The Russian Tzar falls leading to revolution and Lenin. Russian defeat adds to the eastern front difficulty.
6___"Victory and Despair" 1918 scenes of the bloody final year, victory, the cost, the aftermath, all of the pageantry and destruction colorized. A suspenseful final year for both sides. Then: 11th hour, 11th day, 11th month.
A quality DVD documentation of WWI with more education narration than entertainment, astonishing old footage, personal interviews, realistic action scenes, and a must see for history and/or war interests. This set's presentation you WILL NOT be able to forget.