Narrow Escapes of World War II tells the real stories of courageous and deadly fights against impossible odds. The extraordinary stories of heroes; men who stand up and fight when everything seems lost. Those brilliant generals, ferocious warriors and individual acts of courage that can turn the tide in a war, and whose stories can still be told as shining examples of bravery and courage. This series combines eyewitness and expert testimony with specially shot material, dramatic reconstruction and archive much of it previously unseen. The Amiens Raid: It was one of the most daring raids of World War II. Led by Group Captain Charles Pickard, a squadron of Mosquito bombers, often flying just twelve feet off the ground, sped across the English Channel. Their task to smash down the walls of Amiens Jail and free the Resistance fighters inside. But waiting for them was a squadron of German fighters. This film features the gripping recollections of Maxwell Sparks, one of Pickard s pilots and authentic footage from the raid. The Doolittle Raid: In the wake of the humiliation of Pearl harbour, Colonel Jimmy Doolittle was asked to mount an astonishing raid. For the first time ever, bombers would be put onto aircraft carriers and shipped over near Japan. They would then hit Tokyo. The trouble was, the bombers couldn t land on the aircraft carriers. Instead, the crews had to fly to China and then bail out. Many ditched in the sea. Others met up with resistance fighters and then tried to evade the Japanese. Several were captured. This film has exceptional footage of the raid itself and testimony from several of the surviving Doolittle raiders. Wingate & The Chindits: They were the bravest of the brave. Led by the bible-thumping, onion chewing maverick, Orde Wingate, the Chindits were the British army s elite jungle troops the first to take on the Japanese and beat them. This film contains jaw-dropping testimony from survivors, dramatic reconstruction and archive and it tells the story of the Chindits first near-suicidal mission behind Japanese lines. How often do get the chance to look into a man s eyes as he tells how he had to shoot a wounded comrade in the head, or hear a poem composed on the death of a mule? The Black Battalion: At Christmas, 1944, Hitler made his last great gamble to win the war. His plan: to cut the Allied army in two in the so-called Battle of the Bulge. Key to it all was the taking of the town of Bastogne. But waiting for his troops there was the 333rd Field Artillery. It was made up of black soldiers, led by white offices from America s segregated south. They were sneered at by most US troops. But at Bastogne they made one of the heroic stands of the war, surviving atrocities by the SS and prejudice from their own side. This film features the emotional reminiscences of George Shomo, one of the last survivors of the 333rd. Lucky Laycock s Escape From Crete: Handsome, clever and born to lead Major-General Robert Lucky Laycock was Winston Churchill s head of Combined Operations, his most fearsome commando leader and a legend amongst Special Forces. He was also very lucky to survive the war. Along with his brigademajor, the novelist, Evelyn Waugh, he made one of the most remarkable escapes of World War Two, as their ill-equipped unit desperately held off of a mighty German attack on Crete so that 30,000 British soldiers could escape.
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