The fiercest battles of WWII come to life as never seen before in this collection of one of the most powerful epics of history. This documentary series takes you behind enemy lines and to the front lines of the tumultuous campaigns of the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific theaters where the soldiers, sailors and airmen fought in the most defining time in the history of the modern world.
To keep France free, 400,000 English soldiers have manned the battlefields. Germany's strength is too great and pushes the British to the coast town of Dunkirk.
German tanks roll into Poland in September 1939.
Early in the war, the Germans decide they need to guarantee access to the Norwegian port of Narvik to ensure their supplies of Swedish iron ore. The British, however, send destroyers to up-end the German plan.
After invading France, Hitler is planning to cross the Channel. His only obstacle is the Royal Air Force. Throughout the summer of 1940, both sides lose an incredible number of daring flyers.
German field marshal Erwin Rommel scores a major victory at the Libyan seaport of Tobruk.
After British forces withdrew in defeat from Greece to the island of Crete in early 1941, they were soon fighting German invasion armies again. This time, 5,000 of Hitler's elite paratroopers landed to complete their conquest in the Mediterranean.
In 1941, Mussolini desperately wants to wrest the tiny island of Malta from the British for control of the Mediterranean. When his inadequate air force fails to bomb the Maltese into submission, Hitler's Luftwaffe joins the campaign.
Before the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese initiate the Pacific War by firing on the British in Malaya. Their route to the rubber-rich nation takes them into Singapore, the World's most armed fortress.
During a two-hour surprise attack on the American Pacific fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor, Japanese navy pilots score a near-complete victory.
Examining the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in December 1941.
Only one isolated atoll prevents an enemy invasion of Hawaii. Midway Island is where the Japanese fleet converges on a tiny American base with a massive strafing and bombing attack.
For the first time since Americans entered the war, Marines face Japanese infantrymen at Guadal Canal. In the jungles, two powerful armies clash in a six month battle that claims nearly 30,000 lives.
The Allies launch an ill-fated attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe, France.
German forces encounter Russian resistance.
Erwin Rommel battles Allied forces in North Africa in 1942.
In the North African desert in 1942, American fighting forces encounter the dreaded Rommel for the first time to stop the German war machine.
The Japanese meet resistance from British forces as they advance through Burma to take India in 1944.
Fresh from victory in North Africa, the Allies successfully invade the island of Sicily, staging an eventual Italian withdrawal from the war.
American bombers target a Romanian oil refinery in a daring 1943 mission.
As the allies make their way into Italy, they encounter tremendous resistance at German defensive positions along the Gustav line. One of these locations is an ancient monastery called Monte Cassino.
Bloody fighting erupts on a group of tiny Pacific islands in November 1943.
Allied armies encounter German resistance in the Italian fishing town of Anzio.
Examining the battle at the Kwajelein Atoll in the South Pacific during 1944. Included: operations by the Seabees.
As the United States prepared for the invasion of the Philippines, scheduled for late 1944, the tiny Palau Islands had to be taken first.
D-Day, the 6th of June--one of the most pivotal moments in world history. In a massive armada of thousands of ships, 3,000,000 allied troops land at Three Beaches in Normandy, France.
Six weeks after the D-Day invasion of the Beaches of Normandy, the allied forces are pushing the Germans back through the French countryside. Town by town is won back as Panzer divisions retreat back to the Meuse River.
The Allies break into France and push the Germans back to their own border.
Both political and military expediency were factors in the return of the French capital to its people.
The Allies launch an attack designed to push the Germans back to the Rhine River.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur's return to the Philippines, and the final push to retake the islands after two years of Japanese occupation.
American B-29 high-altitude bomber attacks Japan near the end of World War II.
The Battle of the Gothic Line in 1944.
The December 1944 battle pitting American forces against German Panzer divisions in the Ardennes Forest.
American forces landing on the shores of Iwo Jima encounter Japanese combatants willing to fight to the death.
German forces retreat across the Rhine on the Remagen bridge near the close of the war.
Kamikaze pilots guard the island of Okinawa from American forces.
In 1945, Soviet and American troops press Hitler's armies from the west and the east, culminating in the fall of Berlin.
Heavily armed vessels disguised as ordinary cargo ships patrolled allied waters, sinking supply boats and stealing their content.
The development of the B-17 bomber, which allowed American planes to reach inside Germany and bomb its cities.
U-boats posed the deadliest threat to Allied convoys traveling the Atlantic.