'WWI - The War to End All Wars' (+ Digital)
(2-Disc DVD+Digital / NR / 2018 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: 'WWI: The War To End All Wars' is a unique, 10-part, comprehensive look at the war that shaped the 20th Century.
DVD Verdict: Through rare, actual battle footage and rare veteran interviews, 'WWI - The War To End All Wars' takes you from the assassination of the Austrian Arch Duke in 1914, to the final desperate battles of 1918.
Unique and stunning, you go-over-the-top on the Western Front and witness the carnage in Russia. You'll take to the skies in the world's first air war and ride with the legendary Lawrence of Arabia.
This is more than a historical or military account of WWI, it is a riveting and personal account of a defining moment in world history.
Never before in the history of the world had so many countries fought on so many far-flung battlefields.
Never had so many soldiers lost their lives. Never had there been such an unending hell-on-earth. Never has there been such a remarkable look at 'WWI - The War to End All Wars' than here in this incredible new release from Mill Creek Entertainment.
1. With Flags Waving
2. The Battle of the Frontiers
3. The Taxis of the Marne
4. A War of Chemicals and Engineering
7. Distant Fronts
9. Changing Tide
10. End Game
The first thing we learn is that the term "The war to end all wars" was actually first coined as "The war to end war" and was a term for the First World War of 1914–1918. Originally idealistic, it is now used mainly sardonically, of course (as history has informed us).
During these 10 enthralling chapters on WWI, we learn also that it was a war without parallel - all previous wars were eclipsed by its scale of destruction.
It was a struggle between Europe's great powers, which were grouped into two hostile alliances.
The number of men mobilized by both sides: the central powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey), and the allied powers (Britain and Empire, France, Belgium, Russia, Italy, USA), totaled over 65 million.
When the fighting was finally over, no-one could tell exactly how many had been killed but historians estimate that up to 10 million men lost their lives on the battlefield - and another 20 million were wounded.
As well as all the great powers of Europe being involved, the war also extended into Asia and Africa. Troops throughout the Commonwealth rallied to support Britain.Over three million came from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India.
Sea battles took place in the South Atlantic and the Pacific. The USA also intervened in European affairs for the first time, with more than 100,000 American troops killed helping to guarantee an allied victory.
World War I is also regarded as the first "total war" in which the combatants mobilized all their resources, military, industrial and human, on a scale never before thought possible.
And then the war began! The catalyst for the war was the death of Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who was assassinated while he was visiting Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.
He was assassinated in protest because many Bosnians wanted to be free from the empire to unite with neighboring Serbia. In retaliation and urged on by Germany, Austria invaded Serbia.
Serbia called for help from Russia, which was suspicious of Austria's ambitions. Each country in turn was drawn into the conflict.
Germany, keen to expand its empire, soon declared war on Russia and France and invaded Belgium and Luxembourg. Both Russia and France mobilized to protect their national territory.
Britain declared war on Germany for its violation of the independence and neutrality of Belgium. None of the states that went to war realized how long it would last or how terrible the cost might be. Most thought it would be over in a few short months and that peace would return in 1915.
Once the war had begun, the initial reasons for being involved seemed to become less important. The great powers battled it out to see who would be left standing at the end. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.