The World at War


Series 1 - Episode 5 Barbarossa

Today 6pm - 7pm Yesterday
See Repeats
Tomorrow, 1pm - 2pm Yesterday
Sunday, 10am - 11am Yesterday
Sunday, 3pm - 4pm Yesterday


“Russia’s leaders seemed oblivious of the Nazi threat. Or if not oblivious, then complacent: as if by ignoring it, it might disappear.” Laurence Olivier’s magnificently delivered, if grammatically shaky, narration introduces an episode of the 1973 documentary classic (repeats have been running all week) dealing with Operation Barbarossa. General Walter Warlimont and Albert Speer are among the interviewees analysing those fateful moments in 1941 when Hitler decided a wholescale invasion of the Soviet Union was viable.


An account of Hitler's decision to invade the Soviet Union, which produced an initial series of dazzling victories until the harsh winter of 1941 took hold, with fatal consequences for the ill-equipped German army. Narrated by Laurence Olivier.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Laurence Olivier
Director Peter Batty
Producer Peter Batty
Writer Peter Batty