Undoubtedly, the Eastern Front was THE theatre of operations during the Second World War and it was there that the outcome of the War -- and the fate of the free world -- was determined. And yet, it is a campaign which has yielded only minimal amounts of first hand film coverage; at least in the West. This DVD is meant to narrow that gap by providing film coverage of the war in the East, as seen by the Germans.
FILM # 1: THE BATTLE FOR WOLCHOW - At the beginning of September 1941, Army group North fought their way through to Leningrad and cut off the city from all sides. Hitler wanted to besiege the city and starve its people. A mistake, because in autumn 1941, Army Group North is strong enough to conquer the city. Instead, Hitler orders his divisions to bypass Leningrad and to venture north-east towards Wolchow and join with the Finns. The 220 kilometer long Wolchow is of strategical importance: its source is to the north of the Ilmen lakes to Sjasstroi, where it flows into Lake Ladoga. With a width of up to 600 meters and its marshy shores, it forms an ideal natural defensive zone. Who controls the Wolchow, has the better military initial position. Stalin knows that as well: to prevent the Germans getting access to the Wolchow, his pioneers establish a deeply graded position system in the approaches to the river. The subsequent battles will prove decisive to the northern campaign. FILM QUALITY VARIABLE; A GOOD PART OF THE PRIVATE FILMS ARE SLIGHTLY JUMPY.
FILM # 2: THE BATTLE FOR DEMJANSK - The Demyansk Pocket (German: Festung Demjansk or Kessel von Demjansk) was the name given for the encirclement of German troops by the Red Army around Demjansk, south of Leningrad, during the Second World War on the Eastern Front. The pocket existed mainly from 8 February until 21 April 1942. A much smaller pocket was simultaneously surrounded inKholm, about 100 km to the southwest. These were the results of German retreat following their defeat during the Battle of Moscow. This film details the events as seen through German eyes;
FILM # 3: ON THE ROAD TO STALINGRAD - The final part of this DVD shows the summer campaign of 1942 as the Wehrmacht roared out of the Ukraine on the way to their eventual defeat at Stalingrad.
IN GERMAN WITH NO SUBTITLES.
197 minutes long.
FILM QUALITY: Variable, depending on the source of the films being shown; but mostly good to very good.