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Why We Fight

WWII Complete Series

7 films, 1942-1945, DVD
Master filmmaker Frank Capra was commissioned by the US Army to produce this documentary series to show the soldiers what they were fighting for - and what evils they were fighting against.

Why We Fight

"Why We Fight" is an incredible overview of the events leading up to America's involvement in World War II. Master filmmaker Frank Capra was commissioned by the US Army to produce this documentary series to show the soldiers what they were fighting for - and what evils they were fighting against. With nearly seven hours of actual footage from WWII, "Why We Fight" adds a new dimension to the study of history - a dimension that books and photos cannot match.

Capra gives viewers a greater understanding of the issues, battles, heroes, and villains of WWII as told from America's perspective. The films in this series are as compelling as any war movie, but the battle-weary soldiers and civilians are not actors. The explosions and ensuing destruction are not the product of Hollywood special effects - they're real.

Far from perfect, "Why We Fight" stumbles over ideas like religious pluralism and FDR's New Deal. It's proof that history is not neutral - the bias of the teacher (in this case, Capra) shows through. As such, viewers will have their worldviews sharpened if they keep their minds engaged. Our hope in making this series available is that viewers will learn from the past so they can emulate the triumphs of past generations and avoid their mistakes.

Films in this collection:

1)Prelude to War (1942)
Made to convince American troops of the necessity of combating the Axis Powers and later released to the public as a rallying cry for support of the war.
2)The Nazis Strike (1943)
Introduces Germany as a nation whose aggressive ambitions began in 1863 with Otto von Bismarck and with the Nazis as their latest incarnation.
3)Divide and Conquer (1943)
Deals with the Nazi conquest of Western Europe in 1940 after the fall of Poland in 1939.
4)The Battle of Britain (1943)
Concentrates on the German bombardment of the United Kingdom in anticipation of Operation Sea Lion, the planned Nazi invasion of Great Britain.
5)The Battle of Russia, parts 1 & 2 (1943)
The film begins with an overview of previous failed attempts to conquer Russia: by the Teutonic Knights in 1242, by Charles XII of Sweden in 1704, by Napoleon I in 1812.
6)The Battle of China (1944)
The invasion of China is explained in terms of the four-step plan for Japanese conquest: Manchuria for raw materials, China for manpower, the riches of the Indies and eastward to crush the United States.
7)War Comes to America (1945)
The dire consequences for the United States of an Axis victory in Eurasia are spelled out.

Product Features

  • 4 Disc DVD Set

A great quote from Frank Capra...

"I made mistakes in drama. I thought drama was when actors cried. But drama is when the audience cries."

WWII Propaganda Films...

The dictionary defines propaganda as a derogatory term for information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. While the term has acquired a strongly negative connotation by association with its most extreme examples, such as Nazi propaganda used to justify the Holocaust, propaganda in its original sense was neutral, and could refer to uses that were generally positive, such as public health recommendations, signs encouraging citizens to participate in a census or election, or messages encouraging persons to report crimes to law enforcement, among others.

Propaganda can be classified as either white, gray or black. White propaganda openly discloses its source. Gray propaganda is ambiguous or non-disclosed. Black propaganda purports to be published by the enemy or someone besides its actual origins. All three were employed during World War II and can be rather easily identified. In Spanish and Portuguese languages, the word propaganda simply refers to the most common form of persuasion and manipulation -- advertising -- which carries no particular connotation per se.

Related Scanning WWII dates...

  • Triumph of the Will (Germany)
    28 Mar 35: Leni Riefenstahl's award-winning film chronicling the Sep 5-10, 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg
  • Ohm Krüger (Germany)
    04 Apr 41: Anti-British feature film shedding bad light on British imperialism toward Afrikaans-speaking Boers
  • No Greater Sin (USA)
    28 Aug 41: Military instructional film warning young soldiers about the dangers of prostitutes and the spread of syphilis
  • Why We Fight (USA)
    27 May 42: A series of seven Frank Capra-produced documentary films to show the the dire necessity of combating the Axis Powers
  • Mission to Moscow (USA)
    22 May 43: Feature film made to garner more sympathy and support for the Soviet Union
  • This Is the Army (USA)
    12 Aug 43: Irving Berlin's wartime musical designed to boost American morale and patriotism
  • The Negro Soldier (USA)
    10 Apr 44: Frank Capra-produced docudrama made to promote African-American military enlistment
  • Memphis Belle (USA)
    13 Apr 44: William Wyler documentary of the first crew of the 8th Air Force to complete 25 missions
  • Nazi Concentration Camps (USA)
    29 Nov 45: Films of concentration camp atrocities are shown at the Nuremberg trials

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