One trend on Netflix is the recently added colour World War II title: The Road to Victory, a ten-part documentary series devoted to 50-minute episodes of significant turning points that are in the war. Beyond all the observations and descriptions of historians and other experts, the selling point here is the colouring process that adds flair and nuance to the archiving part of the road to victory.
May 10, 1940 – Britain’s darkest hour.
The stacked wire of concert wires marks the royal scene of the Palace of Westminster, and the narrator tells us about the Allied military failure in Norway that overthrew Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and put Winston Churchill into the role.
Just as Churchill became Prime Minister, German troops invaded Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and attacked France. In response, British expeditionary forces continued to gather at the Franco-Belgian border, pushing against the French army. But as Path to Victory explains, a game of wait and see takes place as Adolf Hitler. Who argues with his generals over a particular battle plan for an attack.
The wait ended when the Blitzkrieg broke through the Ardennes, a “war of light” was fought with fast armoured units and mechanized infantry, as well as close air support, and within five days, the French government fell. The BEF retreated to the bank and watched as the Germans surrounded them.
Dunkirk is only around 40 miles across the whole Channel from British soil.
But for the hundreds and thousands of soldiers gathered there with no means of retreating, security could also be very far away. Halted attempts to stop the German offensive at Aras and Calais. And what was left of the BEF has pushed ashore, lined up in scattered rows, hoping to be rescued. Domestically, Churchill immediately appealed to the sophisticated French leadership to stay in the battle.
While refraining from his government’s attempts to negotiate with the Nazis. (Joseph Kennedy, America’s ambassador to England and father of John F. Kennedy, was also involved in this effort.) Churchill, the bulldog, saw Hitler as a mortal enemy and one who would turn defeated England into slavery. But if his military had a chance to fight again, he would have to get his men off these shores. Operation Dynamo begins, and Dunkirk becomes the largest beach evacuation in history. Almost impossible, fraught with peril, but necessary in the face of certain death or capture.
World War II in Color: The Road to Victory seems to share DNA with the 2009 documentary series:
World War II in Color, which aired multiple times on the Discovery Military Channel. And also continues to be available on Netflix. Victory replaces the story of British actor Derek Jacoby with vocal artist Trish Bertram. And is backed by insights from historians, writers, and other era experts.
The nine episodes follow Dunkirk and cover the events of World War II. From the great Battle of the Atlantic and also the Allied invasion of the North Africa to the liberation of Paris, the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June 1944, Ivo Jima and the penultimate race to Berlin.
“The British saw themselves chained to a corpse”. Professor of the Military History at the University of North Texas Jeffrey Vauro is just one of the academics featured in Color: Road to Victory on the 2nd Range of Interpretation familiar to anyone given a history class in college. And this story is the strongest in Road to Victory. Even beyond the colour techniques used, though it brings the process to life.
Lime, turquoise grey fades through old photographs of advancing Wehrmacht troops, gun metallic grey depicts a climbing tank. And dark brown tones represent the formidable Tommy coat and helmet from the BEF. None of the archives on Victory will be new to frequent military documentaries viewers. But the burst of colour offers a dynamic fold.
World War II in Color: The Road to Victory provides an excellent overview of many of the essential highlights of World War II. With archival footage accompanying the circle of expert speeches. Those are commonly created through the colouring process that forms war remains.