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World War II: The Last Heroes

Series 1-Episode 1

Series 1-Episode 1

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Review

Filming elderly Second World War veterans in extreme close-up, the camera tight on their eyes, is a strange thing to do, almost unkind. But perhaps the makers of this documentary want to shock us into seeing and hearing the story of D-Day afresh. More effective is the mixture of archive clips and re-creations of what it must have been like amid exploding shells and grenades.

But most affecting of all are the recollections of the men themselves, some of which still visibly move them. One describes being under fire in the water and dragging a drowned comrade ahead of him. “That bothered the hell out of me for 25 years,” he says.

Summary

Testimonies from veterans of the conflict, offering an insight into Allied efforts to reclaim Europe from the Nazis, and reconstructions bring their stories to life. The programme begins with the optimistic anticipation and grim realities of the D-Day landings in 1944, as the former soldiers describe how they managed to take the beaches despite being outgunned by superior weapons - but reveal their victory came at a price.

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer Paul Wooding
Series Producer Jeremy Llewllyn-Jones

Documentary

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