Episode Seven — No Surrender

Episode Seven—No Surrender The series continues with more riveting footage of the Pacific war, some rare and never seen.  The allies are closing in on Japan.  Behind-the-scenes film and the voices of combat veterans leave the viewer feeling the fight. The Philippines are liberated, but the islands are in tatters.  Rarely-seen home movies vividly demonstrate

Pacific War in Color: Episode 4 — The Enemy Underground

Episode Four-The Enemy Underground As Episode Four begins, it’s 1944 and the allies’ war effort is at full throttle.  Better training, increased troop numbers and secure supply lines give the allies the upper hand over the Japanese.  Historic color naval combat films are enhanced by the voices of the men that fought these battles. Departing

Pacific War in Color: Episode 3 — Island Hopping

Episode Three-Island Hopping A bold new strategy, island hopping, unfolds in the Central Pacific theater.  Tarawa is chosen as the first large-scale amphibious assault with this untried strategy.  All participants have been trained, but few have been bloodied.  Rare color film footage takes the viewer behind the scenes as the strategy is developed and implemented,

Pacific War in Color: Episode 2 — Shockwaves

Episode Two-Shockwaves The entire Pacific region is beginning to feel the effects of war.  While significant battles lie ahead, the color footage shot by amateur and military photographers in this episode focuses primarily on activities taking place behind the battle lines and paints a portrait of military life to show there is more to war

Pacific War in Color: Episode 1 — An Ocean Apart

The Smithsonian Channel has produced another outstanding historical presentation.  The Pacific War in Color is a “must see” for those of us who are interested and involved in the naval history of World War ll in the Pacific Ocean theater.  Consisting of never seen before rare color movies of both the home and professional variety,

HELL BELOW (PART VI) Review: Fatal Voyage

Reviewed by Stephen Phillips Read PART I review HERE Read PART II review HERE Read PART III review HERE Read PART IV review HERE Read PART V review HERE The Smithsonian Channel ‘s Hell Below series provides an important look at World War II submarine warfare in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters with emphasis on actions

HELL BELOW (PART V) Review: Destroyer Killer

Reviewed by Dr. Chuck Steele Read PART I review HERE Read PART II review HERE Read PART III review HERE Read PART IV review HERE Episode five of the Smithsonian Channel’s World War II submarine saga, Hell Below, is the series’ second installment showcasing American efforts during the war in the Pacific. Titled the “Destroyer Killer,” this

Godzilla: The “Lucky Dragon” of Bikini Atoll

EDITORS NOTE: Bikini Atoll remained a nuclear test site long after shot Able and Baker devastated USS Independence. Eight years after the Able and Baker detonations, the United States tested a dry fuel hydrogen bomb, code-named Castle Bravo, on 1 March 1954. Far more powerful than the MARK III bombs use din 1946, Castle Bravo

HELL BELOW (PART IV) Review: Atlantic Showdown

Reviewed by Steven Dieter Read PART I review HERE Read PART II review HERE Read PART III review HERE Episode four of the Smithsonian Channel’s series Hell Below, entitled “Atlantic Showdown,” suggests a great scene of conflict in the Second World War. Yes, what is presented is symbolic of the efforts on the seas – but yet

HELL BELOW (PART III) Review: America Strikes Back

Reviewed by Hal Friedman Read PART I review HERE Read PART II review HERE Episode Three of the Smithsonian Channel’s new documentary series Hell Below, “America Strikes Back,” is a good rendition of the U.S. submarine service’s role in the Pacific War.  Like all documentaries and other works of history, however, it has both strengths

HELL BELOW (PART II) REVIEW: Hitler’s Revenge

Reviewed by Dr. David Winkler Read our PART I review here. The second episode of the new Smithsonian series on undersea warfare during World War II continued with the devastating efforts of the Kriegsmarine U-boat fleet as the United States entered the war following the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. Growing up in Northern New

Hell Below (PART I) REVIEW: The Wolfpack

Reviewed by Matthew T. Eng If war is hell, then undersea warfare during the Second World War must be at its centermost point. Smithsonian Channel’s new series Hell Below bring viewers an up-close look at the grit, stale air, and darkness characteristic of undersea warfare during the Second World War. Submariners on both sides of

A Story of Two Commanders: Ballard Debuts WWII Documentary in D.C.

In 1942, Nazi Germany attacked the United States. There was no grand event to set off the conflict like Pearl Harbor. There was only blood, oil, and sunken metal. The fate of the world did not rest in the hands of intrepid commanders with stars on their uniform. For a time, that responsibility was given