This week marks the start of the second part of the History channel’s WWII Lost Films season which features rarely seen and never seen before footage of World War II and the stories of 12 Americans who “fought in or contributed to the war effort”.
As we reported previously, the footage is the result of a two year search by the channel which has digitally preserved the resulting finds.
As the war becomes an ever distant event we have generations growing up today who lack access to relatives who fought in or suffered the consequences of the war. While many involved may understandably want to move on from the events they saw, humanity probably can’t afford for the sheer horror of the war to become too dulled by the passage of time.
The sight of crowds of real-life Germans cheering Hitler or Nazi troops goose-stepping through Europe are a chilling sight, more so because these are real events, captured by every day people.
The sight of poorly-equipped soldiers training with horses and World War One helmets is a far from Hollywood’s often pseudo-glamourous portrayal of the war. The issue of troop training and equipment is one which has great relevance today.
The series is refreshingly honest, remarking at one stage that the US sat “on the sidelines” while many of her citizens saw the war “as Europe’s problem”, this is a candidness not often seen in US fictional or factual explorations of the war.
Even if you’ve missed the first batch of episodes be sure to set your boxes to series-link and catch the remainder.
History Channel, weeknights at 10pm