The Century of Warfare

A&E Premiered Jan 01, 1994 Unknown


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Episode Guide


  • Season 1
    • Gulf War and the Future
      Within just a month of the ending of the Cold War the new world order faced a dramatic challenge when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded a southern neighbour, oil-rich Kuwait. Five months later he faced a massive hi-tech assault by coalition forces in Saudi Arabia.This programme covers the Gulf War and its aftermath and the Balkans. It examines the threats, some new and others old, which make the world an uncertain place as it enters a new millennium.* Tomahawks over Baghdad * Carnage on the Basra Road* The Soviet Monolith Breaks Up* Bloodshed in The Balkans* Stealth Weaponry.moreless
    • War in the Middle East 1946 - 1989
      Since 1945 the Middle East has never been free of conflict. While that between the Arabs and Israelis has dominated, many other wars have taken place. Given the strategic and economic importance of the region, UN and other international forces have often been hard put to contain the violence.This episode describes the course of the conflict between Arab and Jew, the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism, and the long war of attrition between Iran and Iraq.* The Saga of the Exodus * Suez 1956* PLO Terrorism* The Yom Kippur War 1973 * Bloody Beirutmoreless
    • Vietnam 1955 - 1989
      Indo-China has witnessed conflict from the end of World War II until the present day. It was dominated by North Vietnam's twenty year struggle to impose its will on the non-communist South.This episode charts the American involvement in the Vietnam War, one that eventually ended in disillusionment and disaster, as well as Vietnam's subsequent overthrow of Pol Pot's brutal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.* The Tonkin Incident * US Bombing of North Vietnam* The Tet Offensive* Massacre at My Lai* The Killing Fieldsmoreless
    • Wars in Peace 1945 - 1989
      The threat of nuclear war kept the rival superpowers at peace for more than forty years after the Second World War, but this balance of terror did not prevent scores of other conflicts erupting all over the world.This programme looks at the amazing range of flashpoints in a supposedly peaceful world, which have caused such savagery and tragic loss of human life. * The Mau Mau* De Gaulle and the OAS * Operation Grand Slam * Retaking the Falklands * The Football War* Grenada and Panamamoreless
    • Oriental Communism 1946-1989
      China, Indo-China, & Korea 1949 - 1989 China's war with Japan had only temporarily overshadowed a much longer struggle for supremacy between Mao Tse-Tung's Communists and Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalists. By 1949 this had been settled, with the Communists taking over potentially the most powerful country in the world. This programme shows how this victory led to more than 30 years of struggle, as the last colonial powers were ejected from Asia, and then the Communists fought to become their successors in Korea and Indo-China.* Mao Tse-Tung Seizes Power* Surrender at Dien Bien Phu* North Korean Blitzkrieg * The Sacking of General MacArthur* Mao's Cultural Revolutionmoreless
    • The Iron Curtain - Cold War 1946 - 1989
      Despite the enormous devastation and tragic loss of life during the Second World War, in the aftermath Europe still found itself divided into two armed camps. The wartime Allies soon fell out and worsening relations between East and West cast long shadows. In the wake of Russia's lowering of 'The Iron Curtain' came the Cold War and an unprecedented arms race.This programme charts the almost suicidal growth of strategic forces and nuclear arsenals in both the East and West, and the challenges these ?deterrents' were to pose to the leaders of the world's superpowers.* Judgement at Nuremberg * The Berlin Airlift* Cuban Missile Crisis * The Berlin Wall* Star Warsmoreless
    • The Air War - 1939 - 1945
      Aerial warfare came of age in the Second World War with ever-more sophisticated single-engine fighters grappling to achieve supremacy over each battlefield; close-support aircraft proving a crucial element in every attack; and strategic bombers devastating an enemy's cities and terrorising its civilians.This episode charts the desperate race between the warring nations to develop ever faster and more deadly aircraft and the story behind the scientists who built them and the heroes who flew them.* The Blitzkrieg Campaigns* The Bouncing Bomb* Operation Pointblank * The Grand Slam* The Atomic Bomb* The London Blitzmoreless
    • The War at Sea 1939 - 1945
      With the launching of Bismarck and Tirpitz, the battleship still seemed to dominate the oceans of the world. But within months its supremacy was being challenged in the North Atlantic by the U-Boat and in the Mediterranean by aircraft. As the naval war climaxed in the Pacific, the US Navy shattered the Japanese fleet in a series of massive carrier battles and strangled her trade with an unrelenting submarine campaign.This programme describes the strategy employed by the opposing Navies as they wrestled for dominance over the seas, and how the aircraft carrier and submarine took over from the battleship as the principal Naval weapon.* The Sinking of the Bismarck* The Battle of the Philippine Sea* The U-Boat Wolf Packs * Amphibious Landingsmoreless
    • Jungle and Ocean - Pacific Theatre 1943 - 1945
      On 6 August 1945 an American B-29 called Enola Gay took off, its target the city of Hiroshima. Once above the city, a single atomic bomb nicknamed 'Little Boy' was dropped. The result was total destruction. Nagasaki soon suffered the same fate and within days Emperor Hirohito insisted that Japan must surrender. It was the climax to an unrelenting campaign in which Allied forces had driven back the Japanese from the islands of the Pacific and the jungles of Malaya and Burma in the face of suicidal resistance.This programme centres on the harrowing and bloody campaigns that led to final victory in the Second World War.* The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot* Japanese Suicide Missions* The Battle for Iwo Jima * The Allied Campaigns in Burma* The Manhattan Projectmoreless
    • Oriental Blitzkrieg - Pacific Theatre 1939 - 1942
      At 7:50 in the morning of Sunday, 7 December 1941, a wave of 214 aircraft appeared over the island of Hawaii. They were Japanese, and within two hours the heart had been torn out of the American Pacific Fleet. For the next six months Japanese forces were to rampage across the Far East and Pacific destroying the great colonial Empires of Britain, France, and the Netherlands which had dominated the area for centuries. This programme looks at the extraordinary speed with which the Japanese were able to humble the Western powers and the equally extraordinary swiftness with which the United States was able to recover and begin to fight back.* A Day of Infamy at Pearl Harbor* The Fall of Singapore * Clash of the Carrier Fleets* Showdown at Midway* The Marines on Guadalcanalmoreless
    • The End in Europe - Eastern and Western Fronts 1945
      As 1945 dawned, Hitler's Third Reich was reeling from repeated hammerblows; Allied bombers were devastating German cities; the Red Army was poised to strike at Berlin; and the British and American armies were preparing to thrust across the Rhine and into the heart of Germany.This programme describes the death throes of Hitler's empire, and the massive task of rebuilding a shattered continent which faced the victors.* V-Bomb Blitz on London * The Battle for Berlin * Liberating the Concentration Camps* The Death of Hitler * Germany in Defeatmoreless
    • Normandy to the Rhine - Western Front 1942 - 1945
      Even as Britain stood alone against Hitler in the summer of 1940, Winston Churchill knew that only by re-entering Continental Europe could the Axis powers ultimately be defeated. Once America had entered the war, the Allies could start to prepare for Operation Overlord, one of the most complex and risky military operations ever undertaken.This programme shows how D-Day was planned and executed and how the Allied forces were able to drive German forces back to their last major defence - the River Rhine.* Fortress Europe* D-Day* Breakout from Normandy * Paratroops at Arnhem * The Battle of the Bulgemoreless
    • The Long Road Back - Eastern Front 1943 - 1945
      In July 1943, more than 2 million men, 6,000 tanks and 4,000 aircraft clashed in one of history's largest battles at Kursk in the Ukraine, it was Hitler's last major offensive on the Eastern Front, and once his forces had been fought to a standstill, they faced two more years of bitter fighting before the growing might of the Soviet war machine.This programme describes how the Red Army was able to liberate German-occupied Russia and then grind forward to the gates of Berlin.* Kursk, the greatest Tank Battle of the Second World War* Discovering the secrets of the Concentration Camps* Tigers and Panthers versus T-34* Artillery - 'The God of War'moreless
    • Hitler Turns East - Eastern Front 1941 - 1943
      Just before dawn on the 22 June 1941 a massive artillery barrage heralded 'Operation Barbarossa' - Hitler's assault on the Soviet Union. Within hours the Panzers were thrusting deep into enemy territory at the start of a gargantuan struggle whose intensity was not equalled by any other Second World War theatre of war.This programme shows how, despite startling initial successes, the German war machine was fought to a standstill by the Red Army.* How Russia was invaded * The Panzer thrusts* The Red Army fights back* Disaster at Stalingradmoreless
    • Sand and Sea War - War in the Mediterranean 1941 - 1944
      When in June 1940 Mussolini finally joined Hitler in war against Britain and France, he was looking for quick easy victories and an end to British domination of the Mediterranean. In reality, the Axis was drawn into struggle in the Balkans and Western Desert which disrupted its long term strategy despite some early stunning victories.This programme shows how Britain's desperate struggle to keep open her lifeline to the East developed into direct assault against "the soft underbelly of the Axis".* Desert Rats versus the Afrika Korps* The Mediterranean Convoys* Breakthrough at El Alamein* The Torch Landings* The Race to Romemoreless
    • Britain Stands Alone 1940 - 1941
      At the end of June 1940, the world stood stunned. Hitler's dazzling victories of the past three months had brought Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, and France under his sway. German military might seemed invincible; only one state stood out against it. This was Europe's last hope - the offshore island, Britain.This programme tells of the desperate aerial battle in which British pilots dashed Nazi hoped of total victory, and how the long fight back began.* Operation Sealion* The Battle of Britain * Sinking the Bismarck * The First Commando Raidsmoreless
    • Blitzkrieg! 1939 - 1940
      The German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 finally dashed all hope that the conflict of 1914-18 had been the war to end all wars. Britain and France swiftly honoured their pledge to Poland and declared war on Germany, but then seemed as indecisive about how to defeat Hitler militarily as they had been to control him politically. This programme shows how the German Panzers and Stukas unleashed a new form of warfare which proved devastating, swiftly overrunning Norway, Denmark, France, and the Low Countries.* Cavalry versus Tanks * The Maginot Line* The Luftwaffe Triumphant* Panzers drive to the Channelmoreless
    • The War Clouds Gather 1935 - 1939
      By the mid-1930s new and strident forces were on the march, putting increasing pressure on attempts to ensure that the world would not again be devastated by war. Hitler's Germany was rearming swiftly and threatening its neighbours; Italy and Japan had embarked on new foreign adventures. This programme looks at the tidal wave of violence and aggression which carried the world into another major conflagration.* Mussolini invades Abyssinia* Massacre at Nanking * The Bombing of Guernica * Rise of the Luftwaffe * The Rape of Czechoslovakiamoreless
    • Enter the Dictators 1920 - 1935
      By the end of 1920, the world was beginning to settle down once more after the dreadful carnage of 1914-18 and its aftermath. The majority of states put their faith in the League of Nations, arms limitation agreements, and the redrawn map of Europe as the means of preventing any further conflict.This programme shows how early optimism was dashed by the economic collapse, and how new and sinister forces arose which would soon engulf the world again.* Stalin versus Trotsky * Mussolini and the March on Rome* The Nazis seize Power * Japan overruns Manchuriamoreless
    • War to End All War: 1918 and the Aftermath
      By the beginning of 1918 the guns on the Western Front had been thundering for more than three years, yet victory for either side seemed as far off as ever. But in reality, the German High Command knew that it must win the war swiftly or perish under the sheer weight of American power which was flooding across to Europe.This programme shows how once the German Stormtroops had failed to achieve a swift breakthrough, their country collapsed into turmoil, and the world was faced with the problems of ensuring lasting peace.* Stormtroop Tactics* Breaking the Hindenburg Line* The Campaigns in the Middle East and Africa* Civil War in Russia * The Treaty of Versaillesmoreless
    • Aces High - Air Warfare 1914 - 1918
      When Europe went to war in 1914 the heavier-than-air flying machine had been invented for little more than a decade. Within four years agile fighters were dogfighting for supremacy over the frontlines, ground attack aircraft were supporting every offensive, and long-range bombers were attacking enemy cities.This programme looks at the types of aircraft which brought about this revolution, the men who flew them, and the tactics they used.* Zeppelins over London * Von Richthofen and his Flying Circus* Long-Range Bombers* The Development of the Aircraft Carriermoreless
    • Battle Fleets and U-Boats - Naval Warfare 1914 - 1918
      As the First World War began, the battleship ruled the waves, and the British Grand Fleet and German High Seas Fleet prepared for a mighty confrontation in the North Sea which could decide the course of the war. But when this came it was inconclusive, and soon the supremacy of the battleship itself was to be threatened.This programme shows how the mighty battlefleets clashed and how naval warfare was revolutionised by the success of new weapons such as the submarine.* The Dreadnought Revolution* Battlefleets clash at Jutland* Scourge of the U-Boat aces* Q-Ships and Convoysmoreless
    • War of the Eagles - The Eastern Front 1914 - 1917
      While the armies on the West Front were locked in the stalemate of trench warfare, Eastern Europe in the First World War saw a clash between three mighty empires - Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary - which ranged across hundreds of miles and involved millions of men. Its numerous campaigns saw massive offensives and cataclysmic defeats.This programme describes this titanic struggle - the 'other side' of the First World War. It was a campaign which would eventually descend into the turmoil of the Russian revolution and the collapse of all three empires.* Disaster at Tannenberg * The Russian 'Steamroller'* The Bolsheviks seize Power* Mountain Warfare in Italymoreless
    • Blood and Mud - Trench Warfare in the West 1914 - 1918
      The long shadow of the struggle on the Western Front was to haunt succeeding generations. The horrors of the trench warfare and the slaughter of millions in futile attacks against barbed wire and machine-guns, came as a four-year nightmare to men who had marched cheerfully to war in 1914 confident that it would all be over by Christmas.The programme tells the story of bloody campaigns in northern France, the nature of trench warfare, and the weapons with which the stalemate was finally broken.* The Massacre of the Innocents* Stalemate at Verdun * Carnage on the Somme * The Development of the Tankmoreless
    • The World Goes to War 1900 - 1914
      As the Twentieth Century dawned, the world was enjoying a period of peace and prosperity that had seldom been experienced before. Yet just over a decade later this apparently stable era had collapsed into a massive war which involved all the major European powers.This programme describes the world of Monarchies and Empires with which our century opened, and the few swift weeks in which this descended into a conflict which affected every part of the world.* Imperial Rivalries* HMS Dreadnought and the Naval Race* Kaiser, Czar, King and Emperor* Assassination at Sarajevo* The Miracle of the Marnemoreless
    • The Violent Century 1900 - 1992
      The Twentieth Century has been the most violent in the history of our planet. In no other has war been so widespread or caused so much suffering and loss of life. While the human race has grown ever more sophisticated, the last one hundred years have reinforced the grim fact that war remains a prime human activity. This first programme in 'The Century of Warfare' looks at the background to the wars which have convulsed our planet, and the amazing technological advances which have transformed warfare in our time.* From the Boer War to the Gulf War* From Cavalry to the main Battle Tank* From Biplane Fighters to the Stealth Bomber* From the Battleship to the Trident Submarinemoreless