WW2 The True Cost Of War Final Days Of The Nazis Documentary 2019 part 3

[Music] Oh for 30 hours the Summer Sun rises over the English Channel revealing a fleet of Allied ships heading for the French coast the Allies have been quietly building up their strength for a while and it's time to show what they can do the Allies will land a large fighting force on a handful of French beaches the first wave 6,000 troops manages to land on the beach up above you've got the Royal Air Force who are managing to keep the riffraff at bay but what is meant to be a display of Allied strength becomes nothing more than a blood-stained slaughter on the beaches it's a disaster almost three and a half thousand Canadian and 275 British soldiers fall or a captured loss is total almost 60% it ends up demonstrating that a cross-channel attack is a very very dangerous thing a bit like picking up snake you might pick it up and you're bigger and you're stronger but it might turn around a bite because this isn't June 1944 it's August 1942 and this is the Allied raid on the fortified French fishing village of Dieppe it wasn't an invasion it was a raid it was a test to see how hard it would be to bring troops across the channel and what was very clear was it was going to be very hard indeed the absolute disaster of the Dieppe raid convinces Winston Churchill that landing in France would be absolutely suicidal but casualties are mounting in the east and Stalin's calls for a second front become more and more urgent the Allies must return to Europe whatever the cost [Music] autumn 1943 at the conference of Allied leaders in Tehran Russia's Joseph Stalin complains that while his forces have the Nazis on the run in the East Britain and America are dragging their feet in the West his argument really is that what we won quicker if the war was fought on two fronts that they shared the burden and in terms of manpower in terms of blood expenditure because just four months earlier Stalin had felt the full force of Hitler's obsession with the great Bolshevik bear [Music] 1943's utter humiliation and Stalingrad and the 800,000 have been lost does not dampen Hitler's a pathological enthusiasm for actually wanting to totally destroy the Soviet Union and to defeat Stalin Hitler's opportunity presented itself for the little-known southern Russian town of Kursk the beginning of 1943 was such a success for the Soviets that they moved so far in advance that they created a kind of bulge of troops around Kursk a salient that was actually sufficiently exposed it could be exploited by the Germans the Germans could simply cut it off German Field Marshal Erich von Manstein smells Soviet blood in the 120-mile Russian bulge protruding into german-held territory what man Stein tells Hitler what he wants to do is to encircle the Soviets at Kursk in this salient and cut them off now if he can do that he will isolate 600,000 Soviet troops Hitler wants to carry out Manstein's idea but unusually for Hitler he doesn't want to do it immediately and the reason for that is the Soviet t-34 [Music] if the Spitfire saved Britain then the t-34 saved Russia it has a v12 engine creating 500 horsepower but the most important thing is it runs on diesel and diesel freezes at a far lower temperature than petrol so what the Nazi forces were using in fact under the Panzers they had to light fires to stop them from freezing up at night what made the t-34 stand out from any other tank before it is this stuff sloped armor what you get is additional protection but no additional weight the consequence was that in early tank battles German tanks saw their shells literally bouncing off the hull of the Russian tanks by the time of Kursk the Soviets had over 4,500 t-34s in action with thousands more rolling out of their factories in response the Germans reverse engineer the t-34 and produce a close but much larger replica called the panther it has a gun capable of breaching t-34 armor at close range and despite having twice the armor of the t-34 it is faster across the ground the Germans bear the greatest tribute of all to the t-34 having treated the Soviets with such condescension because they were seen as racially inferior they were now copying their ideas so you know it was the ultimate irony but the panther is not the only t-34 killer Hitler will unleash at Kursk the other was the Panzer 6 but that's more famously known as the tiger tank now that has its really mighty 88 Nurmi to gun that can take out a t-34 at the range of 1 mile it was waiting for his new tanks to arrive these Hitler believed were weapons worth waiting for these would turn the time [Music] after 1940 ones invasion of Kursk the Germans executed 15,000 civilians and press-ganged 30,000 more into forced labor battalions to avoid another Nazi scourge terrified locals helped general GOG Zhukov's troops dig an incredible 3,000 miles of trenches containing nearly 5,000 mines per mile almost a million in total this will blunt the German attack Zhukov uses his idea of deep defense so this sort of 50-mile zone of anti-tank trenches anti-tank mines anti-tank obstacles extraordinary strengths in-depth bit like the Western Front in the First World War [Music] on the 5th of July 1943 Hitler launches Operation cytidine there's a huge amount of the rest on the coast battle there one way or the other it's going to be decisive by the numbers Russia has the upper hand over four hundred thousand more men almost twice as many heavy guns nine hundred more aircraft and at least 700 more tanks [Applause] what happens over the next few days is a battle that is as decisive to world history as the Battle of Waterloo this will be the last time the Germans would move forward in Russia the German assault is an awesome demonstration of modern military power but on the first day even the battle group spearheaded by new Tiger tanks and only advanced four miles 200 tigers and 270 Panthers are at Kursk but Hitler's much-anticipated heavy tanks performed badly they were seriously defective they were over engineered they were prone to electrical failure they were breaking down constantly so they were a total failure by day five Germany's northern assault Peters out and its southern spearhead is about to be severely tested on July the 12th on a field near the small town of prokhorovka Soviet tanks charged toward the Germans southern flank what follows is one of the biggest tank battles in military history 600 Russian tanks face 250 German Panzers what happens at Kursk is exactly what the Germans don't want what they wanted was attack battle fought over great distances but that's not the game the Russians were playing the t30 Falls charge as close as they can to the German tanks nullifying the eighty eight's advantage close-quarter attritional battle it's almost like dodgems or bumper cars they're smashing into each other it became a case of who could turn the turret most quickly who could get their gun onto the enemy more quickly at very short range it's a real scrap and it's turning into this utter carnage the battle of kursk grinds on for nearly two months the final tally is gruesome around 800,000 Red Army and 200,000 Germans are killed or wounded 1600 Soviet and 252 German tanks destroyed now at first glance these numbers actually may look bad for the Soviets but don't be fooled by the first glance because this was not an equal fight the Russians could replace those men they could replace those tanks German losses were completely irreplaceable no single battle condensed Russia's ability to out manufacture Germany the Soviets produce over 14,000 t-34s every year of the war Germany by contrast manages fewer than 6,000 Panthers in total unable to replenish their forces the Germans retreat from the Kursk bubble before Kursk there was still some Russian or German officers not just the Nazis who thought it might be possible to turn the tide in the East after Kursk I don't think for a moment any sensible German officer thought the war in East was winnable what we're gonna see is a retreat that's gonna take place over two years and it's gonna end with one of those iconic t-34 tanks parked right outside the Reichstag in the heart of Berlin before the dust has even settled on Kursk events unfolding in the Mediterranean will force Hitler to turn his attention and his heavy tanks south [Music] summer 1943 as the Soviets finally pushed the Germans back in the East the Allies hoped to put the axis on the back foot in the south by invading Mussolini's Italy Churchill sees it as the kind of soft underbelly from which he can approach from below carve it and attack Germany from there in 94 you seem to be the only thing the Allied forces could do but before they can invade Italy the Allies need to secure the vital stepping stone at the toe of the Italian peninsula Sicily they launch the invasion of Sicily on July the 10th 1943 Cicely falls in weeks but in the midst of their first success in Europe the allies make a fundamental error they leave the Straits of Messina open allowing the rump of the axis force to escape onto the mainland aboard civilian ferries they had of the German army right there in the palm of their hands but they failed to finish them off more than fifty thousand troops almost ten thousand vehicles and nearly twelve thousand tons of supplies could have been seized by the Allies instead they are available to defend the mainland despite this disappointment the Allies have scored a victory and the taking of Sicily has massive repercussions Benito Mussolini has taken out of power and the Italians capitulate literally a surrender of Italian forces as a belligerent force that provides hope that maybe we won't have to fight for every last square inch of Italy but German aid doesn't see it that way they're quite pleased to be rid of their the hapless Ally and they can now take control of the situation the Germans race in the Germans take over in Italy [Music] to replace Mussolini's turncoats Hitler urgently dispatches eight and a half divisions around 125,000 of his own troops to defend Italy from Allied invasion they are led by Field Marshal Albert smiling Kesselring from the 9th of September 1943 American forces land on the Italian mainland at Salerno south of Naples they find themselves up against some of the most hardened battle troops at Kesselring's disposal that's the 16th Panzer Division now these guys are veterans of Stalingrad these are the people who got out of Stalingrad these are people who'd experienced the toughest fighting of the war they are seriously hard many of their American foe a virgin soldiers a lot of these troops are no more experienced in battle than than your arm somebody simply panic u.s. generals plan to advance far enough to eliminate German artillery by the end of the first day but 24 hours later their force is still pinned down by the beaches so Kesselring has time to pour more troops into the area now the counter-attack very nearly throws the Americans back into the sea it's only when Eisenhower becomes personally involved that thousands of paratroopers are landed close to the water's edge and the forces rally the resulting carnage causes 15,000 allied but only 8,000 German casualties what the salerno land is really underlined is how difficult it is to make a successful seaborne invasion this was grueling terrible work for the Allies trying to move forward Italy will take more time for the Allies to conquer than expected one reason for this is the Apennine Mountains 840 miles long and 80 miles wide it stretches along the length of central and northern Italy the Italian countryside is very very beautiful but it's a land full of peaks and that makes it incredibly difficult to attack relatively easily to defend a combination of intense winter weather and this rather impressive terrain slows the advance down taking advantage of this terrain is the Gustav line a system of sophisticated interlocking German defenses beyond the Gustav line you had basically a direct road to Rome so it was enormous Lee heavily defended the Germans were not going to allow the Allies through in January in 1944 the Allied armies are knocking at the door of a Gustav line which the Germans nicknamed a string of pearls anchored by Monte Cassino crowned by its ancient Benedictine monastery Monte Cassino is an impenetrable Hill standing 1,700 three feet above sea level with a sheer 45-degree incline Allied attempts to take it prove disastrous the Americans and then the poles and and the British everybody gets in on the fight and cannot overcome the objective some 50,000 men are gonna dial that mountain and it's all for nothing the enemy possesses the dominating military terrain so for the Germans it's extraordinarily easy to put up a fight even with a small force so what can the Allies do if they can't go through the mountain to conquer over the mountain they can go around the mountain so they tried something new 20th of January in 1944 an allied force of 374 naval vessels lands 50,000 troops at the beaches at Anzio a mere 34 miles south of Rome which they hope to take in days trouble was their experience at Salerno had taught them that they shouldn't move too quickly because the Germans would counter-attack very strongly so they waited until they had enough force to move forward in some strength staying put proves the grave in this judgment they are my decision to stall and to wait at Anzio proves to be an absolute boon for the Germans who of course can then get men and materiel to the area by the end of the first week there are 70 1,500 German defenders in the Anzio area facing them a 68,000 Allied troops still clustered round the landing beaches the results was stalemate it was a trician the invasion force is held within a beachhead and that invasion force is still there four months later we were in almost a first world war Western Front situation on the 23rd of May the 3rd US Infantry Division loses 955 men the most of any u.s. division throughout the entire war Anzio is a bloodbath this was some of the most brutal some of the hardest fighting of the entire war 9200 3 british and commonwealth and 23,000 860 US troops are killed or wounded at Anzio to relieve the remainder the Allies have no choice but to capture Monte Cassino it takes them 123 days one massively destructive air bombardment and four deadly assaults to finally send the Germans into retreat leading the way open for the capture of Rome in June 1944 Allied forces move into the city of Rome and we can announce that the first axis capital has been liberated first European capital is breed of Nazi tyranny now in symbolic terms Rome is very important it's it's the it's the Eternal City but strategically it's of no importance really at all the government has already surrendered the Germans are just able to move back to another defensible point and the fight goes on Italy becomes a sideshow because the day after Allied tanks roll into Rome the largest amphibious force ever mustard leaves England's south coast destination may 1944 in Italy the Allied invasion is about to take Rome but America has its eye on a far greater prize at the beginning in the month of June a third front would be opened in Europe with a cross-channel attack that would deposit to fighting armies in Upper Normandy by necessity the Allied invasion will launch from Britain which means that American troops will be based there by the end of the war fully 3 million will arrive on her Shores the arrival of three million American soldiers on British soil had a huge impact on British society as you can imagine the British used to say the Americans oversexed overpaid over here the Americans used to say about the British undersexed underpaid and under Eisenhower American General Dwight D Eisenhower is the Supreme Commander of Allied forces in Europe he will lead Operation Overlord d-day Eisenhower has only been a commander for two years now but part of the reason that he was chosen was because he had demonstrated a diplomatic air and it was a quality that the chief of staff the United States Army George Marshall recognized as probably being the most important quality when it comes to planning d-day one Allied leader requires more diplomatic handling than the rest Churchill in particular had strong doubts throughout about the wisdom of fish invasion he's looked at the carnage at Dieppe he's looked at the carnage at Salerno and he just thinks that this landing on a massive scale is gonna meet exactly the same fate commander-in-chief of Allied ground forces will be the hero of the British North Africa campaign general Bernard Montgomery in the planning stages their first priority is a lack of vital equipment the way that amphibious landing operations succeeded was by putting angry young men with rifles and bayonets on a beach and the best way to do that was with a landing craft but so many landing craft have been lost in the Pacific and Italian campaigns there is a shortage so the Allies order over 30,000 new ones many will be built in a place more famous for its Mardi Gras than for producing war material the city of New Orleans Louisiana contributed significantly to Allied victory in the Second World War through the production of landing craft by a company called Higgins industries Higgins Industries has five industrial manufacturing facilities and he employs 30,000 people Higgins was making more of them than anyone else the timing of the invasion was being tuned to an additional month of output from Higgins industries that's how critical this need for landing craft became in May 44 Eisenhower and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery called an above top-secret meeting at st. Paul's School London this is the unveiling of the invasion plan this is where the people of matter are told named Operation Overlord the invasion will take place on five Normandy beaches there gonna be two beaches where the Americans attack Omaha and Utah will be one Beach where the Canadians attack Juno and then gold and sword are the two beaches where the British are going to attack an invasion date is also set the fifth of June to maximize the chances of success the Allies must keep these details completely secret the capacity of the Germans to original their lives was going to be very large indeed if they guess read the invasion we do know how to do we have enough forces there so to swing the numbers in their favor the Allies turned to Black Ops the Allies came up with an extraordinary possession operation named operation fortitude it is split into fortitude south tries to persuade the Germans that the main target of the invasion will be the pas-de-calais where Hitler has three hundred and fifty thousand troops garrison of course to the Germans it seems totally logical that the Allies would attack at the pas-de-calais it's just 21 miles across the channel from Kent so of course it makes total sense and to believe her what the deceivers did was absolutely brilliant they build up this kind of totally dummy army some of it's made out of nylon props from shepherds and studios that makes any German reconnaissance aircraft think then their enormous amount of men and materiel positioned all over Kent ready for an attack around Calais there were camps full of tents with inflatable tanks with inflatable trucks inflatable aircraft occupying airfields that we're not actually functioning airfields and in fact it's so successful the Germans actually tie up a huge number of divisions thinking that 30 divisions are going to come across the channel from Dover to Calais it's a complete Sharad fortitude north places another ghost army in Scotland this one's job is to persuade Hitler that the main invasion might happen in Norway [Music] between them the deception plans have the capacity to tie down more than 700 thousand troops in Calais and Norway it's an absolutely brilliant use of distracting tactics despite fortitude success Allied forces will still face five million minds and a significant German defense protected by a bespoke fortification that Hitler calls his Atlantic Wall the Atlantic Wall was a system of integrated German coastal defences stretching basically from Norway all the way down to the French border with Spain on the base game Hitler ordered the building of the Atlantic Wall in spring 1942 over two years slave laborers used over a million tons of steel and thirteen million cubic meters of concrete to build a three-tier fortification system stretching almost 2,000 miles the construction of 15,000 separate concrete artillery and machine gun emplacements will be manned by 300,000 soldiers they were armed with anti-tank anti-fog UNH's ranging in caliber from the German 50 millimeter gun to 75 millimeter guns to the 88 millimeter gun particularly the 88 millimeter anti-tank gun RAF reconnaissance planes have been busy above the Atlantic Wall it's believed that over a million photo reconnaissance images of the beaches and the inland areas near the beaches were taken in anticipation of the d-day landings the photographs revealed that each of the designated Allied landing beaches is defended getting off them will be a living hell the Germans have pre arranged and presided almost everything so that if anything landed in front of any of those resistance nests they could distribute either automatic weapons fire very effectively or they can drop mortar fire on top of those targets and in fact what we see on d-day is that despite what the movies would have you believe it's not really machine guns that are doing the most killing it's mortars that are doing the most killer in the two months before d-day the RAF and US Air Force engaged in a concerted campaign against strategic targets come d-day the Germans only have 815 serviceable aircraft that can be used against the Allies the Allies meanwhile have a ratio of fourteen to one superiority over them that's a huge mismatch they are aided by the French Resistance a total of 74 bridges and tunnels are destroyed in the month leading up to d-day by early June rail traffic is cut by two-thirds and as a result the Germans promised to - d-day was much less effective than it water beam everything is ready but the Allies are still not certain of success General Eisenhower is so unsure that he writes a letter taking the blame for the failure of the assault and keeps it in his pocket in case it all goes wrong 6th of June 1944 at 3:30 Eisenhower wakes up outside it wind it's rain this is far from ideal for an invasion but the weather man John Stagg says to him it's gonna clear it's gonna clear in about 30 minutes Eisenhower then has to make the biggest decision of his life ok let's go he says bad weather has already caused an abortive launch but today the first ships of the Allied Armada set sail for Normandy they have a 100-mile journey and will arrive later that morning Rommel who is the man responsible for the Atlantic Wall defenses isn't ready to go in fact he's not even there he's celebrating his wife's birthday in Germany while the bulk of German defenders sleep the Allies are preparing to clear a path off the beaches for their vast army of tanks and trucks six and a half hours before the land invasion starts you have three gliders containing 181 british paratroopers landing less than 50 yards from pegasus bridge elements of the 6th Airborne Division particularly the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire light infantry conduct a khuddam at aerial assault using gliders during which they capture the two bridges across the coal canal and the Orne River they capture them intact in a very very daring pre-dawn attack it's an incredibly successful attack but it's not without casualties a left-handed brotheridge is mortally wounded trying to get across the bridge and in fact he is the first man to die as a result of enemy fire on d-day the number of ships steaming toward France is by far the largest fleet ever put to sea the Allied Armada is big you've got almost 7,000 ships coming across in all different forms such as cruisers destroyers battleships landing vessels and you've got another 277 minesweepers that's a lot and they were all heading for these five beaches zero 5:45 hours June the 6th 1944 the gathered battleships of the d-day Armada begin a massive bombardment of the Atlantic pools big guns the first thing to do is eager to take out the big guns on the beaches meanwhile Troop landing craft and mine sweepers start heading for the beaches [Music] the Allied invasion has begun [Music] more than four thousand landing craft are about to deliver 156 thousand troops to the Normandy beaches to ensure as many of them as possible survive supporting naval artillery fire missed target shoreline anti-personnel defenses you have this uncovering fire whatever you want to from 5:45 to 6:30 and then stop at 6:30 then you'll start getting radio calls where you're delivering fire on Mac coordinates with great precision so that so as not to endanger your own troops the bombardments called in by naval for fire control parties on gold sword Utah and Juno beaches are relatively successful but for the Americans landing at Omaha Beach it's a very different story one of the main reasons was that troops stepped off of their landing craft into water that was this deep in some cases and so if you have the scr 300 rheya that they called the the walkie talkie of your back already is soaking wet it's not going to function when you reach the beach the lack of radio contact leave supporting naval vessels unable to locate their targets they can't fire a single shot because they might kill her on people the biggest fighting position on Omaha Beach was the wn-62 bunker complex that position was killing actively killing men of the 1st Infantry Division from 0 6:30 until about 10 o'clock the taking of Omaha Beach costs 2,000 American lives compared to just 197 labor in Utah fighting is fierce along the entire coastline [Music] but the Allied troops finally make it off their beaches it's cost nine thousand casualties but five days later three hundred and twenty six thousand men fifty four thousand vehicles and one hundred and four thousand tons of supplies have made it ashore but that's only a fraction of the entire invasion force to land the rest the Allies need a port the nearest is cheb three complete infantry divisions each one numbering almost 15,000 men are descending down from the heights and the outskirts of the city and then they bring up the three battleships USS Texas USS Arkansas USS Nevada and they bombard the waterfront simultaneous to three divisions maneuvering into an urban battle the Americans think they're gonna take it quite easily but the whole assault takes about eight days during which time the Germans just decide to completely trash it sure book is basically obliterated to allow the Americans time to build up a force large enough to break out and head south Montgomery launches a head-on attack on the town of Cole the Germans are so dug in that it's almost impossible to Winkle them out in the suburbs of Kong you've got a real war of attrition starting to develop it takes 1,800 heavy bombers carpet-bombing the German line with 4,200 tons of bombs to blast away through in operation Cobra by July the 24th losses are almost even 122,000 Allied troops have been killed wounded or captured compared to one hundred and fourteen thousand German but while the Allies are being heavily reinforced from England little more than ten thousand German replacements have been sent the Allies are also winning the numbers gained because Hitler is still under the spell of operation fortitude ghost army [Music] there are five armored divisions and nineteen infantry divisions in the vicinity of the pas-de-calais oh that's a force of 350,000 men who could have joined the Normandy battle but did not in typical fashion Hitler orders his depleted forces to launch a counter-attack centered on the town of Mortain it's a fatal error 17th of July 1944 German commander Irvin Rommel fractures his skull when his car is strafed on route back to headquarters so the desert fox is replaced by Field Marshal Gunther von Kluge who will preside over the defining moment in the battle for Normandy it happens when the morte our offensive grinds to a halt near the town of fillets the Morton counter-offensive was meant to relieve some of the pressure on the Germans and instead what it does is it creates circumstances where the Germans overexposed Montgomery seize an opportunity the German advance into what becomes known as the Falaise pocket creates the opportunity for the Allies to trap nigh on 200,000 German troops the idea is that you get the British and Canadians to pin them down at fillets and then you get the u.s. Third Army to encircle them and to stop them escaping Patton breaks around slides around their flanks comes up from the South with general Leclerc and the French 2nd armored division and that ever closing pocket begins to tighten but suddenly it's clear the Germans have got to get out otherwise they're going to be cool they gonna be encircled the encirclement is not quite complete so Field Marshal von Kluge orders a retreat through the gap he is immediately relieved of command by an enraged Hitler for the men left trapped inside the Falaise pocket a change of leadership cannot stave off the inevitable bloodbath 45,000 Germans are taken prisoner and about 10,000 live dead eisenhower went and saw it for himself and he said it's one of the worst killing fields that he had ever seen despite the numbers fillets feels like a missed opportunity the pocket could have been closed a fella said move faster and more firmly a lot Sphero about 40,000 German troops make it out of the pocket they're literally running for their lives and most of them don't even have any weapons they're rushing for the river saying and many of them manage to cross it but they're lashed together on cider barrels summer tries swim they're absolutely desperate to get to safety the Germans do not have the numbers to cope with the overwhelming Allied advance the battle for Normandy is over and on the Eastern Front Stalin's generals are about to deliver an even more devastating blow against the beleaguered Nazis 22nd of June 1944 three years to the day since Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa today a long line stretching over 900 miles from Odessa in the south to Leningrad in the north Starlin unleashes operation but gratia operation but gwacheon is quite possibly the most successful offensive that you've never heard of it's significant in its timing in in two respects it's time to coincide broadly speaking with the d-day landings and it's symbolic in another sense in that it's time to coincide with the date upon which the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union back in 1941 finally this is Stalin now going I'm going to get my own back in an equally devastating manner with named Bhagwati on after prince suit harried Napoleon's forces from Moscow in 1812 fifteen Soviet armies numbering 1 million six hundred and seventy thousand soldiers are secretly assembled they are supported by more than six thousand tanks and over thirty thousand guns and Katyusha rocket batteries they had so much artillery that the Red Army could stretch four hundred artillery pieces per mile for a front three hundred and fifty miles long that's a lot of firepower [Music] because the Luftwaffe has been withdrawn to Normandy and the defense of Berlin the Russians also enjoy total air superiority so they deploy more than 7500 aircrafts at will including their Sturmovik dipole the ways of Sturmovik dive-bombing the enemy then the infantry moving forward and simply and circling those who remained they were essentially reinventing blitzkrieg for their own purposes Hitler was not a man who liked his soldiers to retreat and so often they were just stuck defenseless and actually their worst enemy wasn't stolen it was Hitler himself operation Bagration is so devastating but by the time it stops outside Warsaw on the 7th of August 1944 the Red Army has advanced 450 miles retaken the key cities of attempts k-- Minsk and Vilnius cut off Riga in the north and pushed into Poland to seize the towns of Lublin and live off the Grattan captures or destroys over 2000 tanks more than 10,000 gums and 57,000 vehicles it happens in the same month as the Falaise gap assault by the Allies over in France and it actually captures ten times more troops than that this almost knocks out completely Hitler's Army Group centre it's an absolutely devastating blow by the end of 1944 Hitler had lost many more than a million men in Russia and France and he had no way of replacing the Americans and the Soviets on the other hand had no problem replacing them the numbers are completely against him but Hitler stubbornly refuses to give up Hitler's got one more kind of blitzkrieg shaped ace up his sleeve and if that doesn't work he's gonna take down the whole German people with him while on the other side of the world the Japanese High Command will do everything in their power to convince the Americans that invading Japan is not worth the cost in manpower and paid the ultimate price when they get what they wish them on the 19th of March 1945 Adolf Hitler issues one of the most chilling orders of his entire regime demolitions on right territory authorized all German units to destroy everything that could provide any assistance to the approaching enemy bridges roads all industrial and factory infrastructure thankfully most German commanders ignored that order or else it would have condemned Germany to total devastation and that appears to have been the point the day before the order Hitler told Albert Speer that if the war is lost that the German people are lost the idea of the folks torch was lost by being defeated the German Volk had shown itself to be the weaker nation it actually deserved to be destroyed you could say that Hitler was lost in his own personal dog Marion Opera he was plunging Germany into the twilight of the gods it's a total act of narcissism if Hitler fails then the nation the people they have failed him and they must fall with this was one last conflagration one last act that results in the destruction of everything and Hitler is not alone meanwhile on the other side of the world the Japanese High Command is absolutely intent on fighting to the bitter end no matter what the cost might be it would take an act of Valyrian proportions to get them to snap out of that line of thinking even in defeat the men who caused this war are preparing to sacrifice their own people in apocalyptic nuns between the twenty fourth of July and the third of August 1943 more than 2300 Allied bombers turned the German industrial city of Hamburg into an inferno in every way operation gomorrah brings the totality of modern strategic bombing to the city of hamburg mainly because the use of incisions in just four raids the airlines dropping like 9,000 tons of bombs 45,000 people were killed three quarters of the city was destroyed something like a million people were left homeless 45,000 people dead that's more than were killed during the entire Blitz [Music] after Operation Gomorrah Albert Speer turned to Adolf Hitler and told him if there are six more of these we're done fortunately for the Nazis the British didn't have the capacity to mount many more of these raids in 1943 what turned the tide was a new kind of plane introduced by the Allies in 1944 this wasn't a bomber it was a fighter the p-51 Mustang I think the most important contribution made by the allied bomber offensive was the long-range Mustang escort fighter which proved able to out fight any German fighter in the air over Germany it's powered by the rolls-royce Merlin engine which makes it a superior performer it's armed with six anm to 50 caliber machine guns which provides a lot of muscle for the aircraft for strafing missions and then also for aerial intercept but crucially it could be equipped with long-range fuel types it could be jettisoned when empty and these increased its range to something like 1,600 miles this meant that they could escort Allied bombers all the way to Germany and back more than 15,000 p-51 Mustangs were produced by the end of the war a light bomber losses fell from almost 10% to a mere 3.5% the Allied bombing campaign could now rain down hell on German cities in the last 12 months of the war the Allies dropped something like 30 to 40 times as many bombs on German targets as the total tonnage of bombs dropped by the Germans in the Blitz cities like Dresden Essen Cologne Bremen and Berlin are targeted again and again by up to a thousand bombers with a terrible toll on civilian life they realized what they had to find was it was a series of vulnerable targets and they chose communications they chose chemicals which other shows synthetic oil and they focused all their effort on those targets these are important strategic centers for bonding but at the same time they're also areas where enormous numbers of civilians live so by attacking these areas and in some cases obliterating these areas is it right to kill enormous numbers of civilians when you are also targeting Germany's ability to fight the war in 1945 an allied post-war study of the bombing campaign concludes that less than 17 percent of Germany's industrial capacity had been affected by the bombs Albert Speer would not have agreed he concludes that as a result of Allied bombing there are 35 percent fewer tanks 31 percent fewer airplanes and 42 percent fewer trucks available to the German military perhaps most importantly a third of all artillery production had to be given over to anti-aircraft guns three quarters of the flak 88 millimeter guns that Germany had have been pulled back into Germany to defend the airspace so they weren't able to participate in the fighting in the east they weren't able to oppose Allied forces in Normandy and that was the most effective general-purpose weapon that Germany had the critical thing came in 1944 with the switch in 8th Air Force American Intel for strategy where they focused all their effort to starve the German armed forces and to disrupt communications to such an extent that it is no longer possible for the German war economy to function effectively from that point on the bombing campaign had a profound effect on the German war effort as Albert Speer grimly confirmed to his Fuhrer this is a man who had increased production threefold between 1941 when he took over in 1943 and he has concluded that Germany has lost the war of industry as a result of Allied bombing they did so at a cost of over six hundred thousand civilian lives whether that terrible civilian death toll made it all worthwhile that's something everybody must judge for themselves this is the last thing Adolf Hitler wants to hear in January 1945 because just one month earlier it staked everything he had on one last throw of the dice which if it succeeded would turn the war on its head 16th of December 1944 Allied forces are racing across Europe towards the Rhine they're quite strung out but Allied High Command isn't particularly concerned because there isn't a great enemy presence in the area Allied intelligence is wrong hiding in the forest of the our den the 17 German divisions including 5 Panzer divisions something in the region of 240,000 men some of these contain the new tiger 2 heavy Panzer this is the tiger 2 the so-called king tiger or royal tiger it's got frontal armor of a hundred and eighty five millimeters that's 7 inches and that done it's the long 88 and it means that if that tank can see you on the battlefield there was nothing the Allies have that can resist one of those rounds Hitler wants these in large numbers but they're difficult and slow to manufacture on the morning of the 16th of December this scratch force launches a surprise attack on six weak American divisions containing 83,000 men recuperating in the Ardenne gap the initial German advance creates a bulge the Allied line 40 miles deep which gives the battle its name the Battle of the Bulge at the outset of the battle the Germans appear well on their way to ant women but then things begin changing right around Christmas the crucial weakness in the German plan is fuel this tank is a gas guzzler fully fueled up it could travel about 75 miles but to refuel took 860 liters of fuel that's 190 gallons at the time most German tanks were rationed to about 15 liters per day per tank so if these tanks didn't get through to their objective they would simply grind to a halt that objective is the town of Spa on the Belgian border spa was where quantities of fuel were stored literally on the sides of the road and one element of the German recon forces was dangerously close to finding this massive fuel depot when a US Army captain with some Belgian soldiers make the decision to dig a trench in the middle of the road pour fuel into it and set it on fire and this German recon element sees that turns around and withdraws they were painfully close to finding enough fuel that would have got by now the Germans are running out of time as well as fuel as the skies clear about the Bulge Allied fighter bombers begin hurrying the Panzer columns and General Patton launches a counter-attack by the end of the campaign Hitler has lost ninety eight thousand and twenty four men around 700 armored vehicles and sixteen hundred combat aircraft for absolutely no gain at all it is a disaster for the Germans in more ways than one there are German generals that don't want this attack because the troops could have been put to really good use trying to hold off the Soviets approaching Berlin they're screaming for those troops but they don't get them because Hitler has this grand ambition of this sudden attack through the Ardennes that will recapture Antwerp the only concrete thing that was achieved was to slow the Allies down so the ultimate result of the Battle of the Bulge well you could say it was to expose enormous swaths of Germany to conquest by the Red Army on the 30th of January in 1945 the spearhead of the Soviet Red Army commanded by marshal perogies Zhukov reaches the river oder just 44 miles from Berlin it is the culmination of a victorious charge into German territory yet still the Germans fight on from lurking 43 onwards German propaganda hammered out the same seems all the time and the Allies will take revenge the Jews will take the boss Red Menace is coming this will be the end of Germany now some Germans did believe that of course and they carried on fighting for attitude to the end where the Red Army is concerned the propaganda wasn't entirely exaggerating the Soviet inflicted enormous violence against the German population the evidence is pretty overwhelming it's pure and simply revenge the Germans had treated the Russians with such brutality but there's also a sense that the Russians are arriving in Germany and they're seeing a standard of living that they don't recognize the average German peasant lives so much better than his Russian equivalent and they're staggered by this why are they even invading us when they have all this already and so that fuels a kind of anger that snowballs into a brutal mode of behavior those who paid most were women millions of German women were raped by the waves of Russians that were coming through many killed themselves rather than falling into the hands of the Russians or having been mistreated by the Russians it was a very real revenge across all fronts at least 400,000 German soldiers died in the last five months of the war but some Nazis had darker reasons to fight on than their compatriots some terrible secrets to hide on the 27th of January 1945 a unit of the Red Army's 107 thrival division came upon a camp hidden in a forest about 30 miles west of Krakov [Music] his cabinet abandoned some of the buildings were destroyed but 8,000 emaciated people remained in it who were able to tell this unit what they had stumbled upon a schvitz ouch Fitz Birkenau has become a symbol of the terrible crimes perpetrated by the Nazis in the Holocaust and a byword for horror but it wasn't the only camp uncovered by the Russian advance the Soviets were the first to encounter death camps seeing my dunnock already in the summer of 44 and this was the first really an only occasion on which a Nazi crematorium unit including the gas chambers had been discovered pretty much functioning the Nazis had been pushed back so fast they simply hadn't had time to destroy the evidence before they fled at Auschwitz they tried to cover their tracks they're taken people off on these horrific marches through the snowy countryside going westwards and they just left the sick and dying who weren't fit to walk of the seven hundred and fourteen thousand concentration camp prisoners held by the Reich in January 1945 almost half were dead by the end of May as the Nazis indulged in one last great orgy of killing when the Soviets have discovered outfits it shot them in the scale and an industrial design of this kind of killing the British and Americans were very very skeptical they thought that the Soviets were lying about this and so when the British and Americans discovered bergen-belsen Dachau book about and so forth one of the sentiments expressed was I turns out the Russians were telling the truth about all of this now the reckoning was coming on Monday the 16th of April 1945 the masked batteries of marshal Zhukov's first Belarusian front Unleashed 1 million 236,000 shells against the dug in positions of the German 9th army defending Berlin it took two thousand four hundred and fifty freight cars to carry the shells that were expended in the first day a single day of attacking Berlin the Soviets followed this up with an assault by 2.5 million troops 6250 tanks 41 thousand artillery and 7,500 aircraft on two main fronts against them were ranged around seven hundred and sixty thousand Germans with one and a half thousand armored vehicles and nine thousand artillery in fact only about 85,000 soldiers are protecting the city itself half of them are old men young boys half of them are diehard Nazis some of them foreign SS troops the rest of the German army was actually trying to pull back from Berlin and the head west to surrender to the Western Allies but it's no wonder then that Zhukov's assault only takes a week until he's parked right outside the Reichstag right in the heart of Berlin on the 30th of April 1945 two days after Benito Mussolini had been shot and hung in Italy Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide in the Fuehrer bunker that same day zoo cops forces stormed the Reichstag just four hundred yards from Hitler's hiding place and raised the Soviet flag over it the German army officially surrendered nine days later the Battle for Berlin cost the Soviets three hundred and fifty two thousand four hundred and twenty five casualties of which 78209 t-one were killed but that was a drop in the ocean compared to their total losses throughout the Second World War the Soviet Union mobilized about thirty four and a half million people in World War two almost eleven and a half million soldiers died by comparison as Germans lost half that many soldiers the British the Americans combined lost less than a tenth of what the Soviets had to endure but it's really when you add that in civilian casualties into the mix of the true cost of the war to the Russian strikes home it's virtually impossible to put a figure on the number of civilians who were starved and shortened if if you've worked to death by the Nazis after Operation Barbarossa but the generally accepted estimate is around 16 million which means of something like 27 million Russians died in what Stalin dubbed the Great Patriotic War when you compare that with the 50 to 60 million people who are estimated to have died overall during the war you realize that the Russians alone lost half the total number of people who died during the Second World War but for the Russians as well as for the Americans Chinese and Japanese the war isn't over yet the war in Europe may be won but the fight back in the Pacific is only just begun in April 1944 the Imperial Japanese Army mounts the largest operation it will ever undertake during the Second World War it's not targeted at the Americans it's targeted at China we tend to forget that the Second World War actually started in China in 1937 and it continued unabated ever since 500 and 10,000 troops on the Chinese mainland launched Operation Ichigo and ambitious thrusts into the heart of Chinese nationalists territory operation Ichigo was a Japanese plan to strike at American airfields that were beginning to bomb the Japanese home islands the Japanese push forward finally conquering with large sways of central China that simply hadn't formed to the Japanese in the previous six or seven years as the Kuomintang of Chiang kai-shek collapses the Japanese victory looks overwhelming the success of Ichigo ends up being a bit of a mirage because this inadvertently sets the stage for bombing operations against the Japanese home islands American bombers are now within striking range of the jacket mainland and they exploit this with a vengeance the US 21st Bomber Command is led by a man called general Curtis LeMay now he draws up his big list of Japanese urban and industrial targets and he starts doing so in February 1945 a series of punishing aerial attacks start off small and then begin getting larger and larger and larger and out of the last month his planes conduct 2700 sorties against Tokyo and Yokohama alone the infamous great raid on Tokyo it actually kills 83,000 people and renders a further 1 and a half million people homeless this campaign is going to flatten 40% of buildings in 66 Japanese cities and displace 8 million people as unfortunate as that is that is exactly the type of success that LeMay is looking for yet despite the pounding their citizens are taking the die-hard militarists in control of the Japanese government are determined to fight on having won the remember they don't want to give it up there's a cold hard character was associated with what compels the Japanese to continue fighting on in the in the face of these bombing raids and that is the belief that if they demonstrate to the United States that a potential invasion is going to be so costly the United States will have to back down the idea of unconditional surrender faced with the obdurate refusal of Japan to admit that it's beaten the American High Command adopts the strategy known as Island poppy all that matters is grabbing every Japanese held island enroute to the Japanese mainland at one island that has to be taken is the ash covered volcanic at all of yogena Iwo Jima is only about a third the size of Manhattan but it's an important Island because it is exactly halfway between the three air bases in the Mariana Islands in Tokyo this puts it right under the flight path of American bombers on their way to bomb Japan it provides airfields from which Japanese aircraft can intercept the b-29 700 miles before Tokyo they got to take out the airfields on Iwo Jima easier said than done Iwo Jima was just one big beehive warren of fighting positions they were so well dug in that even a 79 day aerial and naval bombardment hardly does any damage at this island imposes unspeakable casualties American GIs have to Winkle out the defenders with flamethrowers and grenades at murderously close quarters the fighting era Jima was so hellish that the Marines start to call every Valley every Ridge names like meat grinder death rich blood valley and then once it looks like maybe the enemy has been suppressed the army sets up the fighter base only then to have 300 Japanese appear out of caves and conduct a Banzai charge into an area where ground crewmen are living the taking of iwo jima takes 45 days and cost the US marines 6821 dead and over 18,000 wounded this is the only time an American fighting force sustains more casualties than there are defenders the Japanese lose over 21,000 people on that pilot the island-hopping campaign is going to be nothing but a nasty street fight from start to finish but AO Jima is merely the warm-up to the desperate struggle for the island of Okinawa which begins five days later it's important to the Americans because it is basically a gateway to the home islands if they can take Okinawa they then have got a post that's just 350 miles from the Japanese mainland on Sunday the 1st of April 1945 more than 1,200 us vessels has caught 60,000 Marines on to the landing beaches is the prelude to an invasion of over 170,000 men they expected a rain of steel and instead the landing craft hit the beach Marines and soldiers exit them and it's silence that completely unopposed and it's not until they start going into the center of the island that they start to realize what's lying in store form it takes the Marines 82 days to fight their way across the ferociously defended ridges of Okinawa by the time that was over some 7,000 Marines had been killed and around 32 to 37 thousand had been wounded and off the coast of Okinawa and macabre death ritual is being carried out it will drive home just how costly the invasion of Japan will be to the Americans one of the most unnerving experiences that American sailors had to face was a suicidal mission carried out by Japanese kamikaze pilots against American shipping camicazi refers to the divine wind which sank the fleet of the great Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan in the 13th century it's imbued with Japanese heroism and folklore and myth given to these young pilots but behind all the ritual and self-sacrifice l'école our numerical reality attrition rate for the japanese pilots by this time in the war was approaching 96% what they are left with are inexperienced pilots and a dramatic fuel shortage so they can't even train the pilots that they have over the kamikaze pilot has to do is get his plane up in the air pointed to the conning tower and crash into it it was very effective during the three months of the okinawa campaign 1465 camicazi attacks sink 29 ships and damaged 120 others killing and wounding nine thousand and eighty three US naval personnel add the losses offshore to the losses among the army and marine divisions fighting onshore you have over 10,000 killed when you consider the killed wounded and missing the number increases to 53,000 add 36,000 cases of combat fatigue the number pushes toward 90,000 and all of that for an island that's 90 miles long from top to bottom and 8 miles wide there's been the Joint Chiefs of Staff commissioned a kind of casualty estimate for what it's going to cost them to invade the Japanese homeland you only have to look at what the Japanese were doing with their unit 731 that was developing biological weapons Japanese school students are being trained for suicide tactics then you add to that a large number of one-ways suicide posts were discovered the Joint Chiefs of Staff had to confront one basic question and it was is it worth it there's got to be another way in August they find one on the morning of August 6 1945 people in Hiroshima look up to see three b-29s of the city the inhabitants of Hiroshima actually thought they were immune from bombing because Hiroshima had been spared the onslaught of the b-29 bombing campaign the awful truth is that general Curtis LeMay was ordered to set aside three Japanese cities for special treatment but now the time has come for the people of Hiroshima to experience one the one single atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima by the Enola Gay flattens half the city and immediately incinerates more than 40,000 people and more civilians will die in the months that follow people begin to die of this new thing radiation poisoning and as time goes by it elevates the total loss of life at Hiroshima and brings that number all the way up to about 140,000 but the Japanese failed to surrender so three days later the u.s. drops Fatman on Nagasaki killing almost 30,000 instantly and condemning more than 73,000 - a lingering death in the early hours of the same day almost 2 million Soviet troops supported by 5,500 tanks surge into Manchuria and overwhelmed the Japanese garrison their emperor hirohito insisted then that his civilian representatives opened up communications with the government of the United States toward a negotiated settlement her haters inclination when he comes to the throne of emerging trend of course is to be a pacifist and internationalist and Democrat and so and he finds himself hostage increasing you to a minister eyes society which is engaging in an environment imperial conquest and in everybody managed to square that circle until finally at the very end of the war than a set of Russian invasion and starvation the atomic bomb puts in the position we can say to the military where you were going along with all of us right you know it's time to end the war now he's gonna make a radio broadcast on the 14th of August that's going to announce Japan's surrender even now the die-hard militarists refused to accept defeat he still got this hardcore clique of militaristic officers who try to get into Imperial Palace locate the recording that's going to announce the surrender and destroy it their belief is that the Emperor's wisdom has been tarnished by defeatists people who did not believe that victory was still possible because to them it still was the Emperor's Chamberlain actually have to hide from these rebels there wasn't even gunplay on the grounds of the Imperial Palace as the mutineers sought to find the disks upon which the Imperial rescript was recorded and it's not until troops loyal to emperor actually manage to fight off the rebels and the rebels end up committing suicide that actually the broadcast is finally safe whether the emperor could have prevailed over these fanatical Hawks without the impetus of the atom bomb is something historians still argue over today if I'd been in the shoes of the American leadership in 1945 would I have dropped the atom bombs and I'm afraid my answer to that is probably yes the Japanese were still fighting the idea that they were ready to surrender I don't buy that at all this hardcore clique in the Japanese High Command still want to fight on it was not a sake that really is what got through to the Emperor and made him intervene for the American perspective the atomic bomb was dropped first they really did you think they might be in the water then quickly to save lost American lives but I think they were also in the peril of a much buying a kind of technological imperative that they were desperate to see if it worked very few people in 1945 understood the unspeakable shocking horror of atomic weapons they hadn't been demonstrated and for Roosevelt's successor President Truman the atom bomb must have seemed like a perfect solution the Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor they have been repaid many-fold do remember the fire bombing by conventional bombs the chill far more Japanese than did Hiroshima and Nagasaki I'm afraid it is true war wars that people will do things when they're sick of the killing and sick of the die and they want it to be over and the Japanese refused to quit to me it doesn't look like an issue of atomic weapons versus conventional weapons it looks to me like an issue of whether or not it's right to bomb civilians at all at the start of September 1945 General Douglas MacArthur accepts the Japanese surrender on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay the Second World War is officially over even before the dust begins to settle the Western Allies are faced with two problems to solve one is how they're going to deal with the Russians the other is what to do about the Nazis in July 1945 two months before the Japanese surrender the Allied leaders Churchill Truman and Stalin meet at Potsdam Germany to hammer out the post-war settlement of Europe Germany is divided into four occupation zones in November the Allies agreed to try the Nazis for crimes against humanity at a military tribunal in Nuremberg but the number they can put on trial is severely limited the International Military Tribunal only puts in the dock the number that can sit on the bench and they figured out that there was room for 24 even before the trials begin one of the 24 was deemed mentally unfit and another committed suicide the classic defense trotted out by many of the senior Nazis at Nuremberg was one of only following orders but Allied intelligence had proof that the atrocities were widely known in Nazi military circles trend Park is a stately home in North London and during the Second World War British intelligence held Hitler's captured generals and they lived a life of relative luxury but of course what they didn't realize was that everything in the house was bugged from the transcripts we can see that the ver marks that German army was complicit in war crimes that it was involved in the killing machine and in the Holocaust other criminals of course such as Goering were utterly unapologetic about what they had done they knew had people like Albert Speer who decided the best way to save his life was to apologize for it he distanced himself very much from Hitler of the 22 Nazis who stood trial at Nuremberg three were acquitted seven were imprisoned and the other 12 was sentenced to death though Nuremberg was not the only trial of Nancy perpetrators only a handful actually paid for their crimes historians recommend between 200,000 and 800,000 people were involved in murdering Jews of those 99 percent of people who actually killed Jews were never brought to court in West Germany somewhere between a hundred and six thousand and one hundred and forty thousand people were investigated and only a hundred and sixty fold people in West Germany were actually found guilty of murder 164 people for six million plus murders that is a quite extraordinary figure if you look at overall numbers including the trials carried out by the East Germans and the Austrians again the outcome is absolutely pathetic in terms of sheer numbers the reason for such leniency was political the biggest reason was the switch from the war to the cold war so at that point chasing communists became a higher priority because as the Second World War came to an end the biggest danger to democracy appear to be the Western powers erstwhile Ally Joseph Stalin Stalin's a big winner from the second world war he's got a lot more territory in 1945 than he ever did in 1939 one of the tragic dimensions of equality is the fact that it seems to vindicate Stalin personally yes it's cost him millions of lives but he's now also got a kind of narrative attached to his personality he presents it afterwards as his own personal victory but the Soviet command economy was not geared to sustain the empire that Stalin and his successors created of the back of the Second World War you could say the Soviet bloc became on the face of it very strong but actually it got far too big far too unwieldy and within really quite a short time but often collapsed again as the Cold War heated up the Soviets found it increasingly expensive to compete with the other great winner of World War two the United States was overwhelmingly the biggest winner it came out of the war in comparably richer as well as more powerful than it had been at the arts set the United States then navigates into the post-war time period as really a beacon of economic strength and security whereas almost every other belligerents was both physically ruined and also financially bankrupt the Second World War cost the nations of Europe an estimated 958 billion u.s. dollars and brought France Britain and Germany to their knees as the iron curtain of communism began to sweep over Eastern Europe general Marshall ex-us chief of staff from World War two realized that something had to be done it wasn't enough for America to be strong Europe had to be stable as well and the best way for Europe to be stable was Surratt's economies to thrive Marshall advocates a generous program that shares economic wealth with the countries that were affected by the Second World War to include the former Nazi Germany he was smart enough to recognize that restricting Germany's economy would probably mean that we would repeat the cycle that was created by the Versailles Treaty at the end of the First World War under the Marshall Plan 16 European nations received a total of 13 billion u.s. dollars in financial aid between 1948 and 1951 West Germany received 1.4 billion dollars France almost 2.3 billion but by far the biggest recipient of US aid was Great Britain there's also a vital strategic reason for the Marshall Plan to make sure that Europe is prosperous enough in order to be able to arm herself as a bulwark against any form of encroaching Soviet Union but Marshall aid wasn't the only legacy of the Second World War some admirable institutions admirers certainly the United Nations later NATO and of course the EU because of the determination to bind together France and Germany in such a fashion that they would never think of going to war again in 1950 you had the European Coal and Steel community coming into play now that's a block of six nations there to trade in those essential materials you have France Germany Italy Belgium Holland Luxembourg the six European nations most physically affected by the war and you can see by incremental steps these countries are deliberately coming closer together so the kind of disaster that took place with the First World War then a second one what couldn't happen again if you can create this kind of trading bloc or almost his idea of a single state you can't therefore have a war because you no longer see each other as separate countries you see each other as kind of brothers and sisters and that makes a lot of sense to the French to the Germans to the Dutch these nations experience what it was to have foreign soldiers boots marching up and down and their lanes to have their people subject to to control by foreign nations Britain never experienced that so perhaps it's not surprising that Britain feels it's never lost its sovereignty it's damn well not going to lose its sovereignty now the economic boon that followed the post-war slump created a new prosperity that particularly benefited at the walls biggest losers Germany would not count itself as a big winner in 1945 but it certainly looks like it came out of it in the best possible way one of the huge on is the Second World War was that if Germany had not gone to war nothing could have prevented Germany from dominating Europe within 20 years my entirely peaceful economic and industrial means look at Germany today Germany is a thriving representative democracy with a strong economy Japan also benefited from the post-war settlement but there was another winner from the Second World War and that was China's mount se dong it says that when the Japanese Prime Minister visited Mao in Beijing in 1972 and apologized for the Japanese invasion of China back in the 30s Mao supposedly said to him well actually don't you to apologize because if you hadn't done that the Chinese Communist Party would never have come to power betrayed the Japanese open the way for Mao and the Chinese communist movement to confront Chiang kai-shek International effectively and to win civil war four years later in 2019 as we commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War the forces that drove it into being seem to be raising their ugly heads once again one of the reasons for fighting the Second World War was to free the world of tyranny from suppression and order to foster liberalism democracy in all these big ideas today there's an almost near collapse of trust in the liberal elites and once fear that all sorts of very ill liberal elites may once again be assembling to something I think we should be very findable it's always easy to look at the past and make distinction say no no it was different then we've moved on well believe me the world really hasn't changed all that much we need to be wearing a 21st century with the shadow with these oars hangs over us and that we don't want to repeat them but that's something you have to educate people all the time into understanding what happened in the Second World War and making sure it never happens again because if the world does go to war again then the numbers are going to be much bigger than the world war two numbers tomorrow afternoon the silver-screen take on the attempt to assassinate Hitler's hated right-hand man operation daybreak is at 4:15 next slave who built the railway that so nearly took him to his death Hitler's Holocaust railways with Chris Tarrant in just a moment