I had my first opportunity to watch the final installment of the six part Hitler series, entitled “The Fall”. In preparation for my analysis of this series, I re-read David Irving’s book, Hitler’s War, the 2002 updated version.
The final episode starts with the aftermath of the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6th 1944, on what is called D-Day, and ends with Hitler’s suicide in his Berlin Bunker at the end of April 1945.
This is a great deal of history to cover in a one-hour show with lots of commercials. Important topics include the aftermath of D-day landing, the July 20th, 1944 assassination attempt on Hitler, fall of France, the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler’s rapidly declining health, the Yalta Conference, the final Battle for Berlin, Hitlers marriage to Eva during the last days in the bunker, and their final suicide in the bunker after all was lost.
I would say, all in all, it was a pretty good summery of the final days of World War Two, which might be valuable for college students, who are ignorant in History, to learn about these important topics.
Most of the accounts on the final episode agree with the accounts written by David Irving, although the show seems to have, as it’s main thesis, that Hitler was the most evil man that ever lived, while Irving simply recounts the facts of history.
The show selects the same dividing line, the D-day invasion, as Irving does for section VII of his book entitled “The Worms Turn”. Irving concludes his book with the final section VIII Endkampf which covers the final collapse and Hitler’s suicide in his Berlin bunker.
Hitler’s doctor, Morrell, left us detailed records of Hitler’s declining health and his use of a large number of medications. Irving’s book does a great job of citing individual entries 0f Dr. Morrel’s records, but I think that the show also did a very good job in documenting Hitler’s declining health on film.
In addition to Hitlers War, Irving also dedicated an entire other book to Dr. Morrell, and both books do a good job of telling the story of Hitler’s rapidly declining health, near the end of the war.
A little background here might be appropriate, for some of my younger readers, about my next observation. One of Hitler’s best generals, General Rommel believed that the key to repelling an invasion was to strike quickly and not let the invading forces establish a beach head. Irving writes on page 681 about D-day, “the Allies had established a beachhead …some 15 miles wide and two miles deep inland.”
He continues “Thus by the time Hitler’s war conference began, the Battle of France was already lost – if Rommel’s dictum about defeating the enemy on the beaches had meant anything.”
The very ending of the episode before Hitler:The Fall, called Hitler:The Monster also claims that Hitler’s over sleeping on D-day had a significant effect. This comes in the final minute of Hitler:The Monster, but if you are watching a marathon, this bleeds right into the final episode.
I watched most of the entire six part marathon, and observed that the series never mentioned the word “typhus”, as far as I could tell, and spent no time documenting the mass rape of German women after the fall of Berlin. Although the series does mention the firebombing of Hamburg on July 27th 1943; there was very little talk about the attacks on German civilians by the firebombing of a different city in Germany every day and every night during that period.
But all in all, I would say that the last episode of the series provided a fairly good short one-hour history of the time from D-Day to the fall of Berlin.
I welcome comments by anyone else, who saw the show.