History on Youtube

“WWI American Legacy documentary series, pts.1-6” http://www.youtube.com?v=Qw-d-HsSsVM

“Wilson and the Treaty of Versailles” (brief documentary entitled, “World War I: The War to End All Wars,” about Wilson’s perception of the Treaty that ended WWI; produced by Britannica.com) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGE53NnSwO8&feature=related

“Paris Peace Conference 1919” (brief, informative documentary detailing views of Britain, French and American representatives at Versailles, stipulations of the Treaty and repercussions) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShRA8HRMR4Q&feature=related

“Kristallnacht: A Documentary” (5 parts, featuring historians and survivors intermixed with actual footage) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVVD3C2apVs

“BBC documentary on Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution” (5 parts) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6jnawYwm3E

“How Hitler Lost theWar” (7 parts) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuQKtLstbZc

“Japanese Relocation”– a newsreel produced in 1943 by the
War Relocation Authority (WRA) and the Motion Pictures Division of the Dept. of War to provide the Government’s explanation for the need to incarcerate Japanese-Americans during WWII http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9hG8gmnmNM; an excellent response to this is the PBS documentary, Conscience and the Constitution, which unfortunately is not available on Youtube; according to PBS this documentary “may be recorded off-air and used for a period of one year following broadcast” or purchased through http://www.resisters.com or by calling 1-800-343-5540; PBS makes a classroom guide available via its site http://www.pbs.org/itvs/conscience

“Women in Defense (1941)”, narrated by Katherine Hepburn http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qu1CPUrRM1O

“Rosie the Riveter” (narrated by Eric Sevareid), Pts1 & 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo5KOCMDe68


“Japan: Memoirs of a Secret Empire” (Edo period until the Meiji Restoration; 6 parts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQlxcz9U2x0)

“The First Emperor: The Man Who Made China (9 parts)

“BBC documentary: The Story of India” (7 parts, narrated by historian Michael Wood) http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=The+story+of+India+-+amazing+BBC+documentary+series+part+%281+of+7%29&search_type=&aq=f

Mahatma Gandhi” (5 part documentary with original footage) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-_hnwjK_dg


“Simon Schama’s A History of Britain” excellent multi-part BBC series exploring Britain since ancient times (there are many segments of this on youtube; no one has recorded the series as a whole, unfortunately)

“BBC–An Islamic History of Europe” (12 parts, covers 8th through 15th century, primarily Spain) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRSEFMCqK7I

“Oliver Cromwell and the English Civil War” (4 parts, narrated by historian David Starkey) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG37jN7wcZE

“The French Revolution” (9 parts, with French revolution specialists commenting) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EvakM9Waus

“Conquerers — Napoleon Bonaparte” (7 parts) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfiVhnyzSEI&feature=related

“PBS Napoleon (Summit of Greatness)” (5 parts) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBqaf8orsP0

“The World’s Most Photographed — Queen Victoria” (a BBC documentary in 3 parts; the Queen and historic events through the camera lens) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFx3t6fIipo&feature=related

“Queen Victoria’s Empire: The Moral Crusade” (six part documentary on the rise and fall of Britain’s expansive empire) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY0Fkv5VbT8

“The Russian Revolution: Fear and Paranoia” (5 parts with Russian revolution specialists commenting) “The French Revolution” (9 parts, with French revolution specialists commenting) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EvakM9Waus

“The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939” (a Grenada TV documentary) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7aEG__LZ3g

“Mussolini in Power” (5 part documentary with historians, actual footage and re-creations) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lICQ1fZTM4o&feature=related

“The Nazis: A Warning from History” (BBC documentary in 30 parts) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTw1lPeamfY

“Heinrich Himmler and the SS” (6 part documentary with original footage and interviews) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9-HhpUECYg&feature=related

“Hermann Goering,” (15 part documentary with original footage and commentary by historian Richard Overy) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUW-0TxQ0YM&feature=related

“Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech (1946) in Fulton, Missouri” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvax5VUvjWQ&feature=related

“The Windsors: A Family” (25 part documentary originally broadcast in 1994 with occasional commentary by historian David Cannadine) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDM61coL8lU

“Fall of Berlin Wall, 1989) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnYxbj_bcLc (Peter Jennings on ABC World News Tonight)

U.S. History:
“Liberty! The American Revolution” (5 part PBS documentary) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFUEEaMtcog

“Gettysburg and Stories of Valor: Bravery at Gettysburg” (2 parts, narrated by Keith Carradine) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih9o40nYzgg

“The Indomitable Teddy Roosevelt” (documentary narrated by George C. Scott in 3 parts) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8zkksbJQzI

“Immigration Through Ellis Island: Island of Hope, Island of Tears” (award winning documentary using original footage) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4wzVuXPznk

“Taylorism, the Assembly Line and Ford Motor Company,” (2 parts) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvbG9Sjp97o

“Chicano — Quest for a Homeland” (two part documentary narrated by Henry Cisneros) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uia5mrXBGUg

“The Cold War: After Stalin, 1953-1956” (5 parts) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cU1CRPiZt0

“President John F. Kennedy’s Address on the Cuban Missile Crisis” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OOGA-xrLyg

“Defcon 2 — The Cuban Missile Crisis” (documentary by the Discovery Channel in 6 parts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwz7YAQj-r0

World History:

“War and Civilization: Empire and Armies (6 part series covering ancient civilization and narrated by Walter Cronkite) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op7GNvC1oQ4&feature=related

“War and Civilization: War Machines” (6 part series covering Custer, Boer War, Russo-Japanese War, WWI and WWII; narrated by Walter Cronkite) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cdNgdE975Y

“The Suez Crisis: The Other Side of Suez” (BBC documentary in 9 parts on British Prime Minister Anthony Eden’s decisions on Egypt, Nasser and the Suez Canal) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnsBHL7PDv0

“War and Civilization: The Price of War” (6 part series; a continuation of War and Civ: War Machines that begins with 1945 and ends with the demise of the Eastern Bloc in 1990; narrated by Walter Cronkite) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X6tigWbis4

“The Color of Money: A History of Racism” (BBC 6 part series) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0nOQUji-WU&feature=related


Retired Air Force Captain John Corry, who served as a combat cameramen from 1986 to 1990, has created a new historical military films site worth checking out: http://realmilitaryflix.com; film subjects range from World War I to Iraq and Afghanistan

Susan King offers her choices for the best and worst films for historical accuracy: http://archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/02-00/02-12-00/b03li072.htm

Paul Halsall takes a critical look at the historical film in his article, “ Thinking about Historical Film — Is it Worth the Trouble?” http://www.crusades-encyclopedia.com/thinkingabouthistoricalfilm.html

Interested in films about England and the “homefront”? check out http://www.movinghistory.ac.uk/homefront/films/index.html

For those interested, there is a fine journal called Film & History (http://www.uwosh.edu/filmandhistory), published twice annually, that studies “how history is being shaped by the media as well as how media are being shaped by history.”

Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trips offer a variety of interactive videos for students studying the era. See http://www.history.org/History/teaching/eft.cfm

Here’s an interesting link to a clip at YouTube on the Kennedy-Nixon Presidential campaign of 1960 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ur92R4Gvcj4

Marines raising flag at Iwo Jima

courtesy of NARA

D Day courtesy of NARA

Over the past few years, video gamers have witnessed the emergence of new gaming platforms promising – and delivering – ever sharper graphics and faster speeds. But game-play itself has continued to be rooted in controllers which might offer improved variations of the sensitive joystick pioneered by Nintendo 64, but still rely heavily on the gamer pushing buttons to achieve the desired effect. That is one reason why Nintendo’s Wii has been so phenomenally popular, with its remote Wii remote enabling gamers to perform actual physical movements which their on-screen counterparts will mimic. Brandishing these innovative interactive controllers, some energetic Wii players have lost weight in strenuous gameplay and others, in rare unfortunate incidents, have flung unsecured controllers right through their television screens. Gamers intent on putting their new remotes through their paces will undoubtedly enjoy the recently released Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Don’t expect cutting-edge graphics (which the Wii will not provide anyway), but the game’s emphasis on swordplay (with a lethal variety of offensive and defensive moves, as well as deadly combinations) is tailor-made for the Wii remote. That Captain Jack Sparrow’s character dominates the proceedings in his own inimitable way is another plus. Perhaps there isn’t the depth of game play to attract experienced gamers to return again and again, but for anyone who has fancied shipping out aboard the Black Pearl or parrying and thrusting with a cutlass, this release provides ample fun.

World War II Games

Wargaming has been revolutionized over the past two decades by the opportunities afforded by the development of personal computers. In the 1960s or 1970s, wargaming meant either playing scenarios on model terrain with military miniatures or on two-dimensional map boards with die-cut cardboard counters. The undisputed king of board wargames was the Avalon Hill Company, which included a number of World War II titles in its broad line. With the company’s demise, gamers are forced to look to Ebay and elsewhere for copies of Africa Korps, Anzio, Battle of the Bulge, Bismarck, D-Day, Guadalcanal, Midway, and Stalingrad. Most of these games were pitched at a strategic level, but gamers who wanted to recreate the experiences of small units and individual vehicles on a tactical level could turn to PanzerBlitz and its evocation of armored warfare on the Russian front.

With the advent of personal computers, games have grown more sophisticated and visually oriented. One can still find strategic games which cover the broad sweep of the conflict and players field the full might of the Allies or the Axis. One of the most intriguing such games has just been prepared by Muzzylane, called Making History – the Calm and the Storm. It simulates the situation in Europe just prior to the outbreak of World War II, and up to eight players can replay history according to their own choices. Initiate rearmament more quickly? Go to war with Hitler in 1938? Attack Russia rather than France in 1940? These options and more are yours in this sophisticated and engrossing game, but the lengthy, detailed scenarios can take hours to complete.

Gamers looking for quicker gratification may gravitate to the many FPS (first-person-shooter) games in which one adopts the identity of an individual soldier in a given historical situation. Perhaps the most popular current series of such games are the Call of Duty titles. Three have been released so far; unusually, the first installment (Finest Hour) enables one to play as a Russian sniper in Stalingrad, a British commando in North Africa, or an American. The second volume (Big Red One) follows the campaigns of the highly-decorated American First Infantry Division, while the third illustrates the Normandy Breakout after the D-Day invasion. Gamers have enjoyed the realistic detail and numerous, authentic weapons, although the games rarely reproduce the very different sounds by which veterans distinguished among various incoming shells and took appropriate responses. Those who wish to flex their muscles in the Pacific will relish the challenge of Rising Sun in the Medal of Honor series.

Stay tuned for updates and reviews of new games.


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