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06 OCTOBER 2013

The enduring legacy of The World At War

"The World at War had many strengths but the key to its success as compelling history television was the formidable array of interviewees. Top military leaders, including German naval commander Karl Doenitz and the head of RAF Bomber Command, Arthur Harris, had their say alongside humble soldiers, sailors and airmen. Key politicians like wartime foreign secretary Sir Anthony Eden shed light on the war's wider arc, while ordinary citizens told of events from their perspective. Several members of Hitler's inner circle were also tracked down and interviewed, including his valet, secretary and adjutant. Death camp survivors told their terrible tales, as did a few of their shamefaced captors. More years have now passed since the making of The World at War than elapsed between 1945 and the programme's first showing in 1973. So, sadly, a programme like this can never be made again: the number of living witnesses to World War II is dwindling every day. We are fortunate that Isaacs and his team had the vision and talent to make The World at War when they did."

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TAGS

19451973Adolf Hitler • Anthony Eden • archive footage • Arthur Harris • British television • Carl Davis • Charles de Gaulle • Charles Douglas-Home • David Elstein • death camp • definitive account • documentary evidence • foreign secretary • Franklin D. RooseveltHarry Truman • Hideki Tojo • historical chronicleshistory • history television • inner circle • interviews • Jeremy Isaacs • Joseph Stalin • Karl Doenitz • Laurence Olivier • military campaign • military historymilitary leader • naval commander • Nazi • Neville Chamberlain • Noble Frankland • politician • RAF Bomber Command • sailor • social historysoldiersurvivor • Ted Childs • television documentarytelevision programmetelevision seriesThames Television • The World at War • UKTV • warwartimeWinston ChurchillwitnessWorld War II

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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