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World War II: The Last Heroes

  • Season 1
  • 6 episodes
  • Documentary

Summary

The personal stories of the soldiers who fought in World War II, brought back to life in reconstructions with real bombs and ammunition.

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Episode 3: World War II: The Last Heroes

Summary

The experts recreate a battle in Normandy, where British and Canadian troops fought German forces for control of Hill 112, an area of raised ground that stood between the Allies and their goal in Falaise. A former US soldier also recalls his experiences with the American Mechanised Army, and the emotions he felt after killing an enemy in a close-hand encounter.

Review

Watching these old men struggle with guilt and remembered fears, so many decades later, is heart-wrenching. Like the British soldier who shot dead a young German as they fought the Battle of Normandy. There’s slow-motion library footage of a gun firing, which is completely fatuous and redundant because the man’s horror at his actions still resonates in his words: “I went and sat on the ground and cried and was sick. I had killed another human being. Some mother’s son.”

There are other stories of casual heroism and of an uncomplaining acceptance of fear and danger by soldiers who were little more than kids when they took part in a dreadful battle.

How to watch

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Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Crew

rolename
Executive producerPaul Wooding
Series producerJeremy Llewllyn-Jones

All episodes

  • Episode 3

    World War II: The Last Heroes

    Summary

    The experts recreate a battle in Normandy, where British and Canadian troops fought German forces for control of Hill 112, an area of raised ground that stood between the Allies and their goal in Falaise. A former US soldier also recalls his experiences with the American Mechanised Army, and the emotions he felt after killing an enemy in a close-hand encounter.

    Review

    Watching these old men struggle with guilt and remembered fears, so many decades later, is heart-wrenching. Like the British soldier who shot dead a young German as they fought the Battle of Normandy. There’s slow-motion library footage of a gun firing, which is completely fatuous and redundant because the man’s horror at his actions still resonates in his words: “I went and sat on the ground and cried and was sick. I had killed another human being. Some mother’s son.”

    There are other stories of casual heroism and of an uncomplaining acceptance of fear and danger by soldiers who were little more than kids when they took part in a dreadful battle.

    How to watch

    Loading

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Crew

    rolename
    Executive producerPaul Wooding
    Series producerJeremy Llewllyn-Jones
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