WORLD WAR II IN NUMBERS provides no new insights. It looks at how numbers influenced the decision making of the main protagonists, whether it be politicians, diplomats or generals, before and during the second world war
These numbers in the first episode look at mainly the economic and military, such as Germany’s hyperinflation after the first world war and the number of soldiers, tanks, ships and planes each country had at certain key events.
I have watched many second world war documentaries and was expecting some new insights about the war as it revealed these numbers.
The first episode starts with the end of the first world war and its aftermath for Germany. It includes the humiliation of the Versailles treaty by the allies and the ruinous economic collapse during the 1930s which led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the inevitability of war, and finishes with the fall of France.
The series uses pictographs with the numbers to explain specific events and was quite effective. These transition clips come between actual film footage of the time and interviews with modern historians.
The historians present their knowledge in an engaging way, but do not provide any information I did not already know.
If the first episode is anything to go by, then this series will not provide new insights about the second world war and this includes the actual film footage and the narration that accompanies it.
You must always compare such documentaries against the iconic World at War, like you would all rockumentaries with Spinal Tap. This documentary disappoints because it lacks the gravity and emotional appeal that you find in the World at War.
That is not to say I did not find it enjoyable, but it was not enjoyable enough.
If you want to learn about the second world war or like your war history wrapped up in statistics then this series may be for you.
You can catch up with this episode online at My5