The Last Days of World War II is a 26 part war documentary covering the final six months of combat in weekly segments, hosted by Greg Stebner, and published by History Channel in 2005.
Here is the ultimate synchronisation of details and events which signalled the last six months of the greatest conflict the world has ever known. It involved over 100 countries, it killed 50 million people and absorbed six years of struggle and bloodshed for the peoples of half the globe.
It started with the thirst for revenge by a Germany humiliated by the Treaty of Versailles. Humiliation which turned into a need for national reconstruction and respect, urged on by the nationalistic rantings of the most evil dictator world history has ever produced. The fact that Britain stood alone in 1940, with its empire and commonwealth, was not by itself sufficient to defeat the tyrant and his Allies and it was only when America joined the struggle that its factories, raw materials and shipyards, eventually produced a numerical superiority of aircraft, ships and tanks that the Third Reich’s days were numbered.
The great war leaders, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin committed the largest forces ever assembled in order to defeat the combined might of Germany, Italy and Japan. Forcing Hitler to die by his own hand, was the only way to rid the world of his particular brand of genocidal fascism. The series commences in mid-February 1945 with the Allies already victorious on D-Day and pursuing the Germans back from whence they came, through France, through Belgium, through the Netherlands, through the Ruhr to Berlin, to the very heart of Hitler’s evil empire. The Russians expended the lives of millions of men in their last desperate attempt to reach Berlin first and Germany was split into two by an Iron Curtain.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific, the Allies, mainly with American air and seapower, captured the islands which gave them the springboard into the very home islands of Japan itself. Each bloody island encounter demonstrated the fanatical tenacity of the Japanese defenders and the Allies were left with no alternative but to develop an ultimate weapon system, so terrible that it would render major wars obsolete for another 60 years. Even when America freed the Philippines in barbaric hand to hand fighting, the Japanese would still not surrender and rather than lose over 1 million Allied soldiers in landing on Japan itself, the Allies gave warning to the Japanese war leaders that they were prepared to use the ultimate weapon. In fact, the Atomic bomb had to be used twice in order to secure eventual Japanese surrender.
Each week is minutely examined with high technology maps, rare archive film, the recollections of servicemen and state of the art 3D computer graphics which bring alive for today’s viewer, the tactics and strategy employed to free the world by August 1945 from those who sought to destroy it. Week by week the series builds to the inevitable and exciting climax which culminates in the final Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay in August 1945.
The Last Days of World War II Series
- Episode 01: February 18-24: The Battle for Iwo Jima.
- Episode 02: February 25-March 03: The Allies Advance.
- Episode 03: March 04-10: Firestorm Over Tokyo.
- Episode 04: March 11-17: Hitler’s Last Offensive.
- Episode 05: March 18-24: The Race for Berlin.
- Episode 06: March 25-31: War in the Pacific.
- Episode 07: April 01-07: The Invasion of Okinawa.
- Episode 08: April 08-14: Nazi Death Camps.
- Episode 09: April 15-21: Assault on Berlin.
- Episode 10: April 22-28: Bloody Stalemate on Okinawa.
- Episode 11: April 29-May 05: The Fall of Berlin.
- Episode 12: May 06-12: Germany Surrenders.
- Episode 13: May 13-19: The Bloodshed Continues.
- Episode 14: May 20-26: Victory in Europe.
- Episode 15: May 27-June 02: Japan Fights to the Death.
- Episode 16: June 03-09: No Surrender.
- Episode 17: June 10-16: Closer to Victory.
- Episode 18: June 17-23: Victory on Okinawa.
- Episode 19: June 24-30: The End in Sight.
- Episode 20: July 01-07: Victory in the Philippines.
- Episode 21: July 08-14.
- Episode 22: July 15-21.
- Episode 23: July 22-28: The Final Ultimatum.
- Episode 24: July 29-August 04.
- Episode 25: August 05-11.
- Episode 26: August 12-18: V-J Day.
Production & Filming Details
- Greg Stebner.
- Jeff Mandell … associate producer (26 episodes, 2005).
- Ellen Cirona … producer (20 episodes, 2005).
- Phil Howard Jones … line producer: Nugus/Martin Productions (20 episodes, 2005).
- Tom Kaniewski … managing producer (20 episodes, 2005).
- Jonathan Martin … series producer (20 episodes, 2005).
- Mary Beth McGovern … supervising producer (20 episodes, 2005).
- Philip Nugus … executive producer (20 episodes, 2005).
- Shasa Rogers … producer (20 episodes, 2005).
- Doug Gordon … (writer) (7 episodes, 2005).
- Doug Hertz … (19 episodes, 2005).
- David Marcus … (16 episodes, 2005).
- Tonya Dreher … (4 episodes, 2005).
- Elsa Lai … (2 episodes, 2005).
- Next Millennium Productions.
- Nugus/Martin Productions Ltd.
- History Channel (2005) (World-wide) (all media).
- Nugus/Martin Productions Ltd. (2005) (UK) (all media).
- Release Date: 18 February 2005 to 12 August 2005.
- Rating: Unknown.
- Running Time: 60 minutes (per episode).
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.