Great Raids of World War II

GreatRaidsWWIISuggested by Brad Nelson • Showcases a series of daring raids made by various sections of the British military during WWII. The raids highlighted are “Stopping Hitler’s A-Bomb,” “Prison Busters,” “Radar Beam Raiders,” “Storm at St. Nazaire,” “Cockleshell Raiders,” and “Arctic Commando Assaults.”
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5 Responses to Great Raids of World War II

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    For WWII buffs, this is a can’t-miss documentary series. Season 1 is currently streaming on Netflix and I’m not sure if there is a season 2. The three episodes I’ve watched so far have been outstanding. A couple of these (“Radar Beam Raiders” and “Storm at S. Nazaire”) I had never heard of before. The third one, “Stopping Hitler’s A-Bomb” is featured in the movie, The Heroes of Telemark which features Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      The Heroes of Telemark

      By chance, this was on TV last night. Not a bad movie.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Yes, not a bad movie at all, although the comments I’ve seen (no surprise here regarding any kind of war movie) is that a few liberties were taken in the plot.

        It’s perhaps worth noting that Jesus Christ (Robert Powell) narrates this series, and a very fine job he does. Great voice.

        I also recently streamed on Netflix “Battle of Britain: The Real Story.” It had a revisionist feel to it. You know the type. They glorify in telling you that all the conventional truths are not true.

        And no doubt, in this case, it might be true that the RAF, due to the Blitz, was not as threadbare as once believed. The argument that holes on a runaway are easily filled does make some sense. Still, there was this revisionist vibe. The presenter just seemed to assume that he, and he alone, knew the truth of things.

        Granted, I do think this documentary is well worth watching. But caveat emptor. For instance, in “Battle of Britain: The Real Story,” the presenter asserts that Germany had no integrated air defense system as England did. And yet perhaps one of the best episodes of Great Raids of World War II (“Radar Beam Riders”) highlights a raid on a German radar station in France wherein they stole some parts and then were able to jam these radars. But this documentary explains the quite multi-layered air defense system that Germany had. Maybe not as advanced as Britain later developed. But apparently it was quite nasty for its time.

        The lesson? Well, honestly, don’t believe anyone under the age of 30.

        And although the Germans might have been the master race. And no doubt their ruthlessness, arrogance, and aggression were useful in their wars of aggression. They were as prone as anyone — perhaps more so — to just sheer laziness and stupidity. After the first British glider attempt on the heavy water facility at Telemark failed, the Germans were alerted that the British were interested in the facility. And they did increase security. But when the second attempt (a commando unit of British-trained Norwegians) made an assault, they found little between them and the heavy water facility than a locked gate that only required bolt cutters. The guard dogs were not even out. And to get into the actual building, one team used a wire or pipe conduit. The other simply broke a window and got in.

        Interestingly, when the bombs went off the sound was so muffled that the Germans didn’t hear it.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    I have heard of some of these from past reading (especially the raid on the deuterium oxide plant in Vemork). But I’m disappointed there’s no mention of the Dam Busters raid, which I think qualifies.

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