Fortress Europe: Behind Enemy Lines On D-Day DVD
What was it like to be a German soldier on D-Day? Original German World War II newsreels spanning three years have been drawn upon to highlight the design and construction of the Atlantic Wall coastal batteries and bunkers, and the Germans' realistic combat exercises to prepare for Allied invasion.The first six weeks of the Normandy battle, beginning with German counterattacks against Allied airborne landings on the night of June 5th, 1944, are graphically portrayed in this feature. The German Army, Navy, Luftwaffe, and elite paratroop and Waffen SS divisions are shown, together with their famous commanders, waging a desperate struggle to drive the Allied landing troops back into the sea. Here is the battle for Fortress Europe as seen through the eyes of its defenders: the D-Day you've never seen before. Transferred to DVD from original 35-millimeter negatives for superb audio and visual quality.
German Newsreel: August 1st through 7th, 1942 German artillery, anti-aircraft guns, and armor go into position in the French coastal region. German aircraft patrol the area. German batteries fire during a gunnery exercise. The battleship Tirpitz and other warships on patrol in Norwegian waters.
German Newsreel: August 8th through 14th, 1942 German armored divisions are transferred to France. Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt and Generals Paul Hausser and Sepp Dietrich review a parade of the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler in Paris on July 29th.
German Newsreel: April 24th through 30th, 1943 Albert Speer inspects Atlantic Wall building sites. Supplies are unloaded as the construction of heavy-gun emplacements is continued. Giant cannons, including a railroad gun of the Dora class, are mounted in concrete and steel turrets.
German Newsreel: February 1944 German soldiers on guard along the French coast. Marshal Erwin Rommel inspects the Atlantic Wall.
German Newsreel: April 18th through 24th, 1944 The Germans open dykes in Flanders and Holland and flood the countryside. Marshal von Rundstedt and Generals Kurt Meyer and Sepp Dietrich inspect panzer grenadiers of the SS division Hitler Youth. Marshal Rommel on an inspection tour. A German anti-aircraft bunker during an exercise. Germans borrow footage from an American newsreel to show a landing rehearsal. Waffen SS troops train to meet possible airborne landings. Coastal artillery during a gunnery exercise.
German Newsreel: May 23rd through 29th, 1944 During an inspection tour of the Atlantic Wall, Marshal Rommel addresses officers (original synchronous sound). The interior of a heavy-gun turret during a firing exercise (original synchronous sound).
German Newsreel: June 13th through 20th, 1944 The complete German newsreel providing the first coverage of the Allied landings in Normandy. German torpedo boats harass the invasion fleet, infantrymen oppose landed Allied glider crews and paratroops. Coastal artillery fires on transport vessels. Landed gliders are overrun and their crews made prisoners. Allied bombers raid Caan, France. The Waffen SS armored division Hitler Youth duels American Sherman tanks trying to break out from the beachhead. Fighting in the Bayeaux area.
German Newsreel: June 21st through 28th, 1944 Naval officers decorate members of a German torpedo-boat flotilla. Heavy guns along the coast fire on landing ships. French refugees abandon their destroyed city after an Allied air raid. French homeless living in caves. An Allied breakout attempt is halted by German tanks and infantry. Wilhelm Mohnke decorates members of the SS division Hitler Youth. A counter-attack is carried out by Waffen SS troops. German 88-millimeter guns and rocket launchers fire on Allied tanks.
German Newsreel: June 29th through July 5th 1944 Colonel Lent at a Luftwaffe situation conference for night fighters. The crew of a shot-down B-17 are led away as prisoners. French civilians at Le Havre recover from an air raid. SS troops in the front line receive news communiqués. General Meindl of the Second Paratroop Corps confers with Major von der Heydte. Soldiers of Paratroop Regiment 6 prepare for a scout mission. Damaged Allied tanks near Saint Lo. German soldiers of Paratroop Regiment 6 and the Götz von Berlichingen panzer grenadier division in close combat in dense underbrush. A destroyed Allied armored column near Saint Lo. Prisoners from the 29th US Division are assembled. German bombers and patrol boats engage the Allied transport fleet during nighttime sorties.
German Newsreel: July 6th through 12th, 1944 German batteries in surrounded Cherbourg duel Allied warships. A transport vessel catches fire. Wrecked landing craft along the beach. Destroyed vehicles of the 22nd British Armored Brigade are shown near Villers-Bocage. Damaged British Cromwell and German Tiger I and Panzer IV tanks in the streets of Villers-Bocage. American prisoners in an assembly area. SS General Sepp Dietrich at his command post. Waffen SS troops in action in jungle-like terrain. German panzers, including flame thrower vehicles, launch a counterattack.
German Newsreel: July 13th through 20th, 1944 German motorized columns bring up reserves. German troops patrol a destroyed coastal town. Major Frey and officers of the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler at a situation conference. Motorized units advance. German soldiers relax during a lull in the fighting. A scout troop of Panzer Grenadier Regiment 38, Götz von Berlichingen division, reconnoiters the Prairies Marecagueses area. German armor and infantry counter-attack. Lieutenant Franz Ludwig and members of his assault-gun unit are decorated. German infantry fight in a coastal town.
Running time: 88 minutes, German Dialogue with English Subtitles. (Germany, 1942-1944)
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)
Libraries and Institutions Please Note: Educational Editions with PUBLIC PERFORMANCE RIGHTS and DIGITAL SITE LICENSES are available.
» DVD Review of this product by Blaine Taylor