2000s Stalingrad: The Attack, The Kessel, The Doom (2003)

Published on August 14th, 2008 | by Chris

0

Stalingrad: The Attack, The Kessel, The Doom (2003)


Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On August 14, 2008
Last modified:October 6, 2012

Summary:

If you want a good fact-filled few hours of hardcore education about an event of World War II that we in the west don't hear much about, then Stalingrad: The Attack, The Kessel, The Doom is one I'd highly recommend.

Stalingrad: The Attack, The Kessel, The Doom (2003)Stalingrad. The name conjures up many images, none of them pleasant. This 2003 three-part documentary explores the fiasco that was the Battle of Stalingrad, through interviews with survivors on both sides, reenactments, and still imagery. Produced in Germany, I was actually surprised how frank it was, and also on how apolitical it was. Neither side (the Nazis or the Russians) were portrayed as particularly "good" or "evil", but rather both armies got equal treatment. That is to say, only the terrible facts and the stories from those who were there, and how they remembered it.

For those wondering what I'm talking about, in 1942 the Nazis made a huge push into southwest Russia, heading for the oilfields on one front, and attempting to take the city bearing the name of Hitler's archenemy, Stalingrad. The fighting was intense and bloody, and the Germans spent the winter pinned down in "the Kessel", surrounded. It turned out to be the bloodiest winter of the war.

What really makes this film compelling, and curious, is the varied yet familiar stories and opinions shared by the interviewees. The terror of the events is evident in these mens' eyes as they recall the battles, and the desperation of their situation. You can feel the survivor's guilt in some of their tales of escaping the Kessel via airlift.

I've read some other reviews which seem averse to the producers (of this DVD) decision to overdub the interviewees with their English translation. I didn't mind this at all, in fact, I didn't find it distracting or demeaning in the least. It's a documentaary, and you can still hear the original voice and all the emotion underneath the dub. Stop nitpicking!

The facts surrounding that winter and the events were all quite interested. I learned a great deal about the battle that I never knew, except from pop-culture fare like Enemy at the Gates and the like. Sure the sniper battle aspect is touched on, but there was so much more to the story. The near coverup of the defeat by the Germans, the conflict between Hitler and the 6th Army command, the role of the neighboring Balkan states in the fight.... Things that we don't hear about.

The first episode, "The Attack", chronicles the German offensive, and the eventual pincer move which left them cut off. "The Kessel," part two, refers to what the cut-off Germans called their situation, aka "The Cauldron." A place of no escape. In "The Doom," we see the events which led to the inevitable defeat of the 6th Army.

I really can't say much else about it. It's a documentary, there's no other way to put it, but its a very, very good one. I wouldn't suggest it for younger, even high-school, audiences, as some of the stock footage, still images, and eye-witness accounts can get rather grisly and emotional. Neither is it particularly "exciting", but that's how it should be.

If you want a good fact-filled few hours of hardcore education about an event of World War II that we in the west don't hear much about, then Stalingrad: The Attack, The Kessel, The Doom is one I'd highly recommend.

(I *think* this might be a clip from this series, but I'm not positive...)

(and yeah, to those who recommended I review "Stalingrad", I put the wrong one at the top of my Netflix queue! doh. I should be getting the 1993 film soon.)

Stalingrad Stalingrad
List Price: $34.95
Sale Price: $16.43
You save: $18.52 (53%)
  Eligible for free shipping!
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days

Description

Stalingrad The Eastern Front experienced the viciousness of war on a scale of unimaginable horror and brutality. The bloodiest and most savage fighting took place in Stalingrad between August 1942 and February 1943...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audience Rating: Unrated
Brand:
Manufacturer: Synapse Films
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Albrecht Appelt
  • Lidia Arazkaja
  • Richard Bäuerle
  • Hermann Behet
  • Winrich Behr

Features

  • Brand Name: WEA-DES MOINES VIDEO Mfg#: 654930305393
  • Shipping Weight: 0.17 lbs
  • Manufacturer:
  • Genre: INTERNATIONAL
  • All music products are properly licensed and guaranteed authentic.

Reviews

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

72 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Admirable account of the Battle of Stalingrad... Terrible English dubbing, September 11, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Stalingrad (DVD)
This is a fine 3-part documentary (3-hours long) on the Battle of Stalingrad. It is a German/Russian co-production made in 2003 to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the battle that turned the tide of the war. It is a remarkable collaborative effort between the two former belligerents, with unprecedented access to their joint historical archives, both in terms of film footage and documentary records. The progress of the battle is told through the recollections of surviving veterans from both sides, as well as poignant letters home from those who perished. Alongside the better known footage from the German archives, there are rarer clips from the Russian vaults, of life in the city before, during and after the battle, and propaganda films of German POWs in Soviet concentration camps. From the NKVD (KGB/FSB) archives, we learn how, contrary to long accepted historical accounts, Field Marshall Paulus' surrender did not bring the battle to a close - over 10,000 German troops chose to... Read more
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fine film ruined by voice-overs on this DVD., July 2, 2006
This review is from: Stalingrad (DVD)
A solid documentary with interesting new footage and invaluable testimony from participants in the battle and related events is ruined by loud voice-overs by poor actors. Both the narration and the voice-overs of interviewees are mediocre at best. If you are averse to dubbing of fictional films, you will understand that overdubbing of non-fictional work is particularly onerous. Clearly a decision was made to create a version that would be accessible to those averse to reading subtitles. But in the age of DVD it is fairly absurd not to include the original version of the film.
0
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond 5 Stars, June 3, 2006
By 
DrBig (Laguna Niguel, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stalingrad (DVD)
This doc does for Stalingrad what Ken Burns "Civil War" did to the ACW. Outstanding archival film research resulted in never before seen footage of Operation Blue & Stalingrad (especially life in the Kessel). 99% of the footage is genuine late 1942 vintage, and quite a bit in color. This is a MUST-SEE on HDTV. The doc also reveals a stunning secret regarding the Kessel, but I won't spoil it for you. I have $3K in English, Russian & German Stalingrad books/video, and I would buy this one again if I had the choice. You can't possibly regret this.
0
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Share your thoughts with other customers:
 See all 29 customer reviews...

Stalingrad
Stalingrad
Sale Price: $9.99
  Eligible for free shipping!
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Stalingrad [Blu-ray]
Stalingrad [Blu-ray]
List Price: $26.99
Sale Price: $8.99
You save: $18.00 (67%)
  Eligible for free shipping!
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
Stalingrad
Stalingrad
List Price: $24.95
Sale Price: $16.45
You save: $8.50 (34%)
  Eligible for free shipping!
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days


Stalingrad: The Attack, The Kessel, The Doom (2003) Chris

Summary: If you want a good fact-filled few hours of hardcore education about an event of World War II that we in the west don't hear much about, then Stalingrad: The Attack, The Kessel, The Doom is one I'd highly recommend.

4.0


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)


About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



Leave a Reply

Back to Top ↑
  • Subscribe via E-mail!

    Get notifications, exclusive contests and offers, and more!
  • More War Movies

  • Large Association of Movie Blogs
  • Recent Comments

  • Facebook

  • Archives