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Greatest Fighting Machines of WWII Allied-Axis Fighters

Discussion in 'WWII Films & TV' started by belasar, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member Patron  

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    Awhile back I was gifted a boxed set of DVD's entitled Greatest Fighting Machines of World War II from Questar video. A 6 volume set of straight to DVD films. I dug them out to re-watch and figured a review was in order. Each video runs about 60 minutes each and is divided into more or less discrete subjects such as Allied Fighters etc. Relying heavily of period imagery and propaganda films, the Image quality ranges from fair to quite good and often includes sequences not often seen. First up is Allied Fighters.

    In many ways this is a curious video, both for what is included and omitted. Also the amount of time on each aircraft varies greatly and seems odd. In example the Hurricane gets three to four times the exposure than the Spitfire. On the positive side some excellent footage of the Hurricane in Africa and CBI is included. Some notable aircraft get very little coverage such as the Hellcat and Thunderbolt, while the P-40 and P-38 gets quite a bit more though again to Lightning footage was a delight.

    Planes not included do seem odd. The Wildcat, P-39, and all Russian aircraft not named Yak did not make the cut. To be fair they were not spectacular in performance they did yeoman work though out the war, especially when used properly. This seems even more odd when considered by what they chose to include. For some reason Navy attack planes like the Dauntless, Avenger and Helldiver all get air time as does the the Russian Pe-2 and Sturmovik. I'm sure they may have shot down a plane or two but they could hardly be called 'fighters' can they.

    As a final note they go into depth on Fighter-Bombers, both dedicated machines and conversion use of conventional fighters in the fighter-bomber role.

    Axis Fighters is a more coherent offering, but also has a serious flaws. German aircraft take up probably 50-60 percent of the run time and they do hit all the highlights, but spend a lot of time on the Me 310, a major failure. Surprizingly their coverage of Italian fighters and development is actually quite good except that the Cr-42 is largely mentioned in passing. Again not a first rate aircraft but a major player in the Regia Areonautica.

    The real shame is that apparently the only Japanese fighter was the A6M Zero-Zeke. The Ki-46 is briefly featured, but the Claude is mentioned only as a preamble to the A6M and both the Oscar and Tony are completely omitted all together.

    At times these two are pretty decent videos, but often is way too uneven in what they choose to include and how much coverage they devote to each plane.
     
  2. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    That is definitely weird that they would put the Dauntless, Avenger, Pe-2 and IL-2 aircraft in the category of fighters, as they definitely were not. It's unfortunate that many aircraft like the Wildcat, and P-39, along with all those other Soviet aircraft didn't get included, plus the many Japanese aircraft you mentioned. They are going for "Greatest" fighters, so that could be a good reason, but determining greatness is pretty subjective and broad.
     
  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member Patron  

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    It's difficult to see them using real historians in the project in any real depth. Spending 5 minutes on the P-40 and only 1 on the P-47 and the same ratio with the Hurricane/Spitfire seems bizarre.
     
  4. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Very unique indeed o_O
     

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