We meet some charismatic characters in the stories from the DVDs. My favorite was the eccentric Charles Onde Wingate from Episode 3, "Wingate and the Chindits." Wingate belonged to a religious group that was seen as somewhat odd, so that made him the object of bullying during his school days. Nevertheless, he became a much admired and respected leader in the British army. He trained his troops to fight and survive in the jungle. Their mission was to sabotage the railway in Burma to keep the Japanese from being able to use it to transport troops and supplies. The men and their mules managed to complete the mission, which included crossing a dangerous river, but were then faced with attempting to evacuate back to friendly territory. While everything didn't go as planned, Wingate's methods and tactics influenced special operations training for many generations.
This set includes 13 gripping episodes covering a wide range of locations and individuals who made lucky escapes during the war. There is also a 16 page viewer's guide with information about the war as it was fought in Europe and Asia, as well as an overview of the "ways of warfare," highlighting newfangled tactics used in WWII such as the blitzkrieg, aircraft carriers and commandos. Something that really surprised me from the series was how often soldiers were deployed for daring and involved missions, with little or no thought put into how they were going to be returned to safety after completing the missions. I hope that today's military commanders put a little more thought into completing missions safely than their predecessors did!
Anyone with an interest in history or even fans of suspense will enjoy this exciting look at how some colorful characters managed to make their escapes from behind enemy lines during WWII. The stories really come alive with archival footage, modern re-enactments, and commentary by some of the men who participated in the events.