This week sees the premiere of a brand new series on The History Channel. Entitled WWII Lost Films, it promises unseen footage from the Second World War, digitally restored and in colour.
So how does it fare? Having seen the first episode in advance, I found it very interesting viewing. There is indeed a lot of footage that I have never seen before, including some fantastic image of kamikaze strikes on US Carriers in the pacific, and also of the fighting on Guadalcanal. We also get a very interesting insight from a Jewish immigrant from Austria, who escaped to America from the Anschluss in 1938.
The series has been produced for the American market, and it shows. It does have a very patriotic ‘God-bless-America’ feel to it, and you are given a slight impression that everything prior to Pearl Harbour was pre-amble. But that is by no means a problem limited to this one documentary. Also, it does illustrate the issues around isolationism and the American entry into the war.
It is a very interesting series none the less, and unseen footage is never a bad thing. I just wonder how much unseen films there are of the British aspect of the war, waiting to be discovered and shown to the world?
WWII Lost Films continues every night at 10pm on the History Channel.