World War Two: 1942 and Hitler's Soft Underbelly

World War Two: 1942 and Hitler's Soft Underbelly


Am-dram historian David Reynolds presents the latest act in his Second World War cycle, acting the roles of the main players in the little vignettes that punctuate his accomplished storytelling. Here, he’s exploring why the Americans and British spent so much of the war “paddling around the Mediterranean”.

Mixing strategic overviews with a neat line in pop psychology, he advances a convincing argument that not only did the Mediterranean represent the Nazis’ “soft underbelly”, but also that of Churchill, who he portrays here as less the British Bulldog and more the doubtful poodle.


David Reynolds explores the reasoning behind the Second World War battles that took place in North Africa and Italy - an area labelled Hitler's `soft underbelly' by Winston Churchill. Through his investigation, Reynolds discovers a prime minister who was politically vulnerable at home, desperate to shore up a crumbling British empire abroad and even ready to deceive his American allies. The programme marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein in 1942.

Cast & Crew

Presenter David Reynolds
Director Russell Barnes