Tanks at War - Tiger Tank:
The Tiger tank was the most formidable armoured fighting vehicle of the Second World War, earning a reputation as a nearly indestructible killing machine. From the first moment it appeared on the battlefield in 1942, nothing in the Allied arsenal could stand up to it. Weighing 56 tons, heavily armoured and built around an awesome 88mm cannon, the Tiger enjoyed a kill ratio of 10:1 on the Western Front and a staggering 18:1 against the Soviets. The only chance Allied tanks had was get almost suicidally close to fire or to overwhelm it with sheer numbers. This title tells the story of the Tiger at war, from its development as a ‘Breakthrough Tank' in 1937 to the fall of the Third Reich. Packed with original footage of the Tiger in action and rare factory film and stills, it examines the combat deployment and fighting tactics used and includes dramatic accounts of Tiger engagements. Also covered are unit markings, schematics, camouflage patterns and crew uniforms. Each Tiger cost 1 million Marks and took 3.5 million man hours to build. Only 1,500 were ever made. Had the Third Reich been able to mass produce this awesome weapon, the outcome of the war might have been very different.
Tanks at War - Sherman Tank:
The M4 Sherman tank was the workhorse of Allied Armour during the Second World War. Its supreme versatility meant that it served in almost every theatre of the war and was adapted to suit numerous roles. However it was also often out-gunned, under-armoured and its engine easily caught fire when hit. The Germans nicknamed it the Tommy Cooker. Despite its vulnerabilities, the Sherman won through, often because of sheer weight of numbers. From 1940 to 1945, some 50,000 M4s were built. At the height of production, one Sherman rolled off the production line every 30 minutes. This DVD tells the story of the Sherman at war, using dramatic frontline combat film including American M4s in France, Italy and the Pacific, British Shermans in North Africa and even Soviet versions in Russia, This in-depth profile also covers camouflage, duels with Tigers, and takes you inside a rare, preserved Sherman for a look at the controls and crew positions. Virtually every significant variant is featured, including British Fireflies with 17lb guns, American adaptations with 76mm cannons and 105mm howitzers, minesweepers, flame throwers, troop carriers and bridge-carriers. The Sherman may not have been the most lethal of fighting vehicles, or the most heavily armoured, but its flexibility and suitability for so many roles in so many theatres made it the perfect tank for Total War.
Battle of the Bulge:
December 1944 witnessed the last major German offensive of the Second World War. The Battle for the Bulge, as this campaign in the Ardennes forests of Belgium and Luxembourg is now more familiarly known, was the biggest single pitched battle of the Western - more than a million troops took part. It was Hitler’s most desperate gamble of the War: he in fact planned its every move. It was the climax, too, of the Allied invasion of Western Europe. But it was also a time of American humiliation, for it saw the largest mass surrender of U.S forces of the whole European War - and a surrender second in size only to that at Bataan in the Pacific in 1942. Because Hitler was banking on a quick victory, which he hoped would split the Allies and provide a respite in the West while he held off the Russian threat from the East, he ordered Germany’s remaining film-stock and surviving cameramen to be lavished on covering the campaign. But when the plan failed, much of their efforts lingered unseen in library vaults, and even unprocessed in laboratory cellars, until brought to light of this documentary.