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1st.Take "At War" Series

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Birmingham at War

Birmingham at War


Ref: FT135D


Price:14.95 (including VAT at 20% for customers in the UK & EU)
Price: 12.46 excluding VAT (for customers in non-EU countries e.g.Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada)

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Over 20,000 were killed in the Birmingham Blitz – a fact the authorities fought to cover up. By combining first-hand accounts of Brummies who lived through that terrible period with photographic records including some previously unpublished material, this DVD tells the story of a city at war and captures the tragedy, humour and spirit of a people under siege.


Running Time: 50mins
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Devon at War

Devon at War


Ref: FT132D


Price:14.95 (including VAT at 20% for customers in the UK & EU)
Price: 12.46 excluding VAT (for customers in non-EU countries e.g.Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada)

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During the Second World War Devon was reputedly the most militarised county in Britain. This was particularly so just before D-Day when every town and village was bursting with American troops preparing to take part in the liberation of occupied Europe. But the story of Devon at War begins long before that and in this film you will visit places that were affected throughout the conflict, and hear the testimonies of people who were living there at the time. Their recollections re-live a time when Devon, along with the rest of the country, was fighting for survival.

You will see how Plymouth and Exeter experienced some of the most devastating air attacks outside London, while even smaller communities along the south coast such as Exmouth and Teignmouth suffered from the shock tactics of ‘tip and run’ raids. Tribute is paid to the crucial role of the county’s ports and harbours, which did so much to keep Britain’s Navy afloat and at the forefront of operations. You will see airfields such as RAF Exeter, which was fundamental to victory during the Battle of Britain, and Dunkeswell, from where the United States Air Force hunted enemy submarines.

Perhaps most important of all, Devon’s incalculable contribution to all aspects of Operation Overlord is acknowledged, on land, sea, and in the air. In the north of the county at Woolacombe, you will see how American forces prepared for D-Day, while in the south the Slapton Sands tragedy, which left hundreds dead, is closely examined. At Torquay and Brixham, you will see the locations from where Allied forces sailed to the Normandy beaches.

Written and presented by historian and author Henry Buckton, this documentary is further enhanced by stunning archive material and evocative modern film.


Running Time: 95-mins (1hr 35mins)
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Hampshire at War

Hampshire at War


Ref: FT133D


Price:14.95 (including VAT at 20% for customers in the UK & EU)
Price: 12.46 excluding VAT (for customers in non-EU countries e.g.Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada)

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In the early hours of June 6th 1944 allied troops landed on the coast of northern France. Located directly opposite the Normandy beaches, Hampshire would become the main springboard for Operation Overlord, the code name for the invasion of occupied Europe.

But in telling the story of Hampshire at War, this fascinating DVD goes right back to the start of hostilities, on a geographical journey around many locations throughout the county, all of which played a key role towards ultimate victory.

As the biggest cities in the county, Southampton and Portsmouth are featured in great depth, not least because their strategic importance led to them being heavily bombed during the Blitz. The crucial industries of the area are given particular attention, especially shipbuilding and aircraft manufacturing; Hampshire was very much the home of the Spitfire. You will also see how Gosport provided the Royal Navy with everything it needed from food to ammunition; visit some of the defences that were built in 1940 to protect the country from invasion; the part played by numerous airfields in the New Forest; the important contribution of Middle Wallop during the Battle of Britain and how Farnborough kept our aircraft technology ahead of the game.

Written and presented by best-selling social historian Henry Buckton, the story is enhanced by superb archive photographs, film excerpts, maps and stunning modern location film. It benefits greatly from a diverse collection of interviewees, including Lt. Col. Alan Norman, who was wounded on Gold Beach as a young officer on D-Day.

This is the compelling story of a county, and a country, fighting for survival.


Running Time: 106-mins (1hr 46mins)
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New Forest at War

New Forest at War


Ref: FT131D


Price:14.95 (including VAT at 20% for customers in the UK & EU)
Price: 12.46 excluding VAT (for customers in non-EU countries e.g.Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada)

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Many of the 14 million visitors who enjoy the magnificent scenery of the New Forest today will be unaware of the pivotal role played by the area during the Second World War, as now revealed by the most extensive film ever produced on the subject, which benefits from a wide range of high quality interviewees and specialist contributors.

It includes a comprehensive feature on the twelve wartime airfields of the forest, which is enhanced by the fascinating recollections of Typhoon pilot Jerry Eaton, who flew from Needs Oar Point; a tribute to the Royal Observer Corps, dubbed ‘the eyes and ears of the RAF’; and the important work which was performed at the requisitioned estates of Breamore and Exbury.

We also unearth what remains of some of the many defensive emplacements which were introduced to protect this front-line region against attacks from Nazi occupied France, such as pillboxes, anti-glider obstacles and anti-aircraft guns; how the sea lanes around Portsmouth and Southampton were secured by the awe-inspiring Hurst Castle; and the crucial activities at Ashley Walk Bombing Range, in the secluded north-west of the forest.

The memories of Betty Hockey, who founded a concert party which entertained the service personnel based in the New Forest, are absolutely priceless, as are those of Les White and Neville Cullingford, who were schoolboys in the area during wartime. To them the war was often something of an adventure, although the seriousness of it dawned on them during the build-up to and execution of D-Day, as thousands of Allied troops vacated their camps and made their way to embarkation points along the south coast.

Supported by the New Forest National Park Authority, whose own wartime project has utilised technology and diary research to make some exciting new discoveries, this documentary utilises a blend of rare archive material and superb modern film to capture the true flavour of one of England’s most beautiful locations, during one of its darkest hours.


Running Time: 90-mins (1hr 30mins)
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Somerset at War

Somerset at War


Ref: FT134D


Price:14.95 (including VAT at 20% for customers in the UK & EU)
Price: 12.46 excluding VAT (for customers in non-EU countries e.g.Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada)

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Somerset’s contribution to the Second World War was extremely varied, and in this film you will see a wide range of locations which illustrate this diversity.

You will see coastal defences at places like Brean Down and Steep Holm; pillboxes built throughout the county to bog down the Germans if they had invaded; how the town of Glastonbury prepared for occupation by enemy troops; Burnham-on-Sea’s

connection with the Mulberry Harbours; Barrage Balloon trials on the Pawlett Hams; how explosives were produced at the Royal Ordnance Factory; how the first jet aircraft entered service with the RAF at Culmhead; and why the Taunton area was

crucial to the defence of the West Country.

You will also see how naval fighter pilots were trained at Yeovilton, while anti-aircraft gunners learnt their skills at Doniford and tank crews near Minehead. There are features on Downside Abbey School, the scene of one of the most tragic incidents of

the entire war; Double Hills, where the first casualties of Arnhem perished; the military prison at Shepton Mallet, where the Americans executed some of their own soldiers; and Pilton, to recognise the vital role of the Women’s Land Army. There are

also tributes to the important contribution played by the town of Yeovil to wartime aviation; and the airfields at Weston Zoyland and Merryfield, from where the American airborne forces took part in the invasion of Normandy. It is also revealed that

Weston-super-Mare and Bath experienced the worst of the bombing on the county.

Written and presented by Somerset-based historian and author Henry Buckton, this documentary is packed with eye-witness accounts, remarkable archive material and spectacular modern film.


Running Time: 97-mins (1hr 37mins)
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