Just facts and figures on your TV screen (Road To Berlin, 2004 ; Company of Heroes, 2006)

I’ve always enjoyed a nice documentary about WWII and obviously seen plenty. One rarely differs from an another, though. The other day, I started watching Al Murray’s Road To Berlin and it’s really fine by me. Contrarily to what the title suggests, it’s not an exhaustive chronological description of the war on the European Theater of Operation, which definitely would not fit on ten episodes of 22 minutes each. It just highlights specifically decisives operations and weapons.

As often, plenty of images are not exactly in the right place: when a Tiger tank is mentioned, you see one on the screen but it’s very unlikely the exact one it was really about. But it does not matter, it’s not what Road To Berlin is about. This Road is about a lad going around europe driving a Willys Jeep, talking to veterans in the very place where they fought decades ago and testing weapons like a Flak 88, a Sherman armor, etc. That’s quite unusual and really worth it!

After watching this, if you’re familiar with the real time strategy video game Company of Heroes, you’ll find very hard not to play even just a small part of its campaign. If you don’t know the game, note that aside from the quite usual gameplay for a RTS, the overall ambiance, inspired by movies about WWII, is über-catchy, taking advantage of a tremendous accuracy in regard of history (both weapons and events). If you know the game, you’ll surely be glad to learn that a sequel, about the Eastern Front, should be released next year – with the short term drawback of being probably as much CPU time/RAM consuming that the original one in its time.

Alternatively, re-watching Band of Brothers could do the trick. No one seems to worry?


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