Courtesy: History Channel/A&E Home Video/Lionsgate
The world stopped this year to mark two of the most important dates in not only military history but in the history of the world. Those two dates are June 28th, 1914 and September 1st, 1939. On June 28th, 1914, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo, Bosnia, leading to the start of what is today known as WWI. This past June marked the one hundredth anniversary of that fateful event. And seventy-five years ago on September 1st, 1939, Hitler and the Nazi forces invaded Poland. That invasion was the beginning of what would eventually become World War II. As a way to recognize those anniversaries, History Channel released a new pair of documentaries this year in the forms of 100 Years of WWI and 75 Years of WWII. These two documentaries are the latest in a long series of WWI and WWII-centered features that History Channel started releasing five years ago in 2009. Five years ago, History Channel released Patton 360 to the masses. That presentation was followed up with a number of documentaries that ultimately culminated this week with the release of The Definitive WWI & WWII Collection. This brand new twenty-disc collection culls together Patton 360 with six previously released WWI and WWII-centered documentaries for a collection that more than deserves its title. That collection of documentaries is the center of the set’s success and enjoyment. The breadth of information shared throughout the course of those programs makes the collection even more worth the watch by any history buff and specifically military history buff. Completing the box set is its packaging. Considering that the set is spread across a total of twenty-discs, one might think the box would be rather bulky. The reality is that History Channel has done quite the impressive job of packing the set without making it too bulky. That will be discussed later. But together with the collection of documentaries and their collective information, it helps make The Definitive WWI & WWII Collection a *ahem* definite must have for any history buff and military history buff.
History Channel’s new multi-disc collection of WWI and WWII documentaries that is The Definitive WWI & WWII Collection is a must have for any true history buff and military history buff specifically. The main reason for this is the mass of material that makes up the box set. No fewer than seven different programs centered on WWI and WWII (mainly on WWII) make up the total of the collection. Those programs are: WWII in HD, WWII From Space, 100 Years of WWI, 75 Years of WWII, The Color of War, Patton 360, and History’s most recent mini-series/documentary The World Wars. Each program is presented in its entirety. The catch is that the discs have been scattered through the two boxes for some reason. It’s possible that the reason for that is an attempt to correlate the topics covered in each disc. That would be the most feasible explanation. So audiences should expect that ahead of time. It doesn’t mean that audiences can’t re-arrange the discs together. But each series and program is presented in its entirety regardless. And that in itself is itself a huge bonus for any lover of history and military history. It offers a total of nearly forty-five hours of content that is just as useful in the classroom as the living room. That’s about a whole year’s worth of military history, just putting it into perspective. That mass of material is in itself another reason that lovers of history and military history specifically will appreciate this brand new box set.
History Channel offers in The Definitive WWI & WWII Collection nearly forty-five hours of content. That is a lot of content. The content specifically covers so many different angles of World War I and II. Audiences learn in 100 Years of WWI how simple farm machinery was the basis for the very first tanks. They also learn about the dangers and effects of chemical warfare on both sides as said warfare was developed. It definitely was anything but perfect at that point. The WWII-centered programs and documentaries are just as enjoyable. WWII in HD is one of the most in-depth programs centered on WWII that has been released in at least the last ten years. It covers WWII from every possible angle, including first-hand accounts from documents written by those that were swept up in the war. The Color of War is a good complimentary piece to WWII in HD as it focuses mainly on the color footage that was available from WWII. Patton 360 is just one part of History’s WWII 360. It offers audiences a look not just at Patton but at his adversaries and what made them such tough opponents. And then for those that want something a little different, The World Wars mixes elements of actual history with something akin to a movie for a piece that is in itself one of this year’s best new documentaries. There is so much more that could be noted in terms of what is made available content-wise. But that would take far too long. Needless to say, the amount of content made available across these twenty discs is roughly the equivalent of a small library of books on WWI and WWII. It is likely more than enough for an entire academic year or even a single collegiate semester. For those watching at home, it is material that can be visited and re-visited at any point any time one has to turn it off. There is just so much to take in. And every bit of it is well worth taking in, too. It’s one more reason that any lover of history, and more specifically military history, will appreciate and enjoy this brand new box set.
The inclusion of seven full-length programs to make up The Definitive WWI & WWII Collection is by itself good reason for audiences to check out this box set. The sheer breadth of material and its depth makes the set in whole even more worth the watch. Making The Definitive WWI & WWII Collection a home run is its packaging. One would think that twenty discs in one box set would make said box set pretty bulky. However, History Channel has pleasantly surprised with this box set. The set is broken up into two separate cases with ten discs each inside. Both boxes see one disc placed on a spindle on the inside front of the case, another on the rear inside, and eight discs spread across four separate “leaves.” The discs in question are placed on either side of each “leaf.” This method of packaging both saves space and it protects the discs from one another. Protecting the discs from one another means increasing the life of the discs, and in turn the enjoyment of each disc. The packaging in whole will save space on any viewer’s DVD rack. By comparison to the bulky box sets released by other companies this year and in previous years, audiences will see a positive difference between said box sets and this one. Together with the previously noted content and the number of programs offered through this box set, this packaging makes The Definitive WWI & WWII Collection complete. It makes one hundred percent clear just why any lover of history or military history specifically will enjoy and appreciate it. It makes clear why it is a valid contender for a spot on any critic’s list of this year’s best new box sets overall.
The Definitive WWI & WWII Collection is available now on DVD. It can be ordered direct from History Channel’s online store at The Definitive WWI & WWII Collection. More information on this and other titles from History Channel is available online at:
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