The World at War

The BEST episodes of The World at War

Every episode of The World at War ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of The World at War!

A groundbreaking narrated by the actor Laurence Olivier about the deadliest conflict in history, World War II.

Last Updated: 9/20/2022Network:ITV
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The Bomb (February - September 1945)
star
8.08
274 votes

#1 - The Bomb (February - September 1945)

Season 1 - Episode 24 - Aired 4/24/1974

Western scientists have developed a new, immensely powerful weapon - the atomic bomb. On August 6th 1945, the Enola Gay delivers the world's first atomic bomb to Hiroshima. The world would be forever altered.

Directors: David Elstein
Watch Now:Amazon
France Falls (May - June 1940)
star
8.01
800 votes

#2 - France Falls (May - June 1940)

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 11/14/1973

France discovers it is woefully unprepared for modern warfare as the Nazi war machine easily skirts around the Maginot Line. Britain retreats and prepares for invasion.

Directors: Peter Batty
Writer: Peter Batty
Watch Now:Amazon
A New Germany (1933 - 1939)
star
8.01
1073 votes

#3 - A New Germany (1933 - 1939)

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 10/31/1973

Germany, a nation stricken by humiliating defeat and emerging from crippling economic depression, looks to one man for a resurgence of hope and dignity. That man is Adolf Hitler…

Directors: Hugh Raggett
Watch Now:Amazon
Tough Old Gut: Italy (November 1942 - June 1944)
star
8.00
281 votes

#4 - Tough Old Gut: Italy (November 1942 - June 1944)

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired 1/30/1974

Churchill called Italy the 'soft underbelly of the crocodile' and thought the Allies could cut through it to the heart of Germany. But the soft underbelly turned out to be a 'tough old gut'.

Directors: Ben Shepherd
Genocide (1941 - 1945)
star
7.98
345 votes

#5 - Genocide (1941 - 1945)

Season 1 - Episode 20 - Aired 3/27/1974

The Nazi's are racist; the Aryans are a master race, others, particularly the Jews are sub-human. Himmler's SS sets about ridding Europe of millions of Jews.

Directors: Martin Smith
Watch Now:Amazon
Whirlwind: Bombing Germany (September 1939 - April 1944)
star
7.96
295 votes

#6 - Whirlwind: Bombing Germany (September 1939 - April 1944)

Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired 1/23/1974

Bomber Command begin bombing German cities by night and the Americans reinforce the attacks by day; a whirlwind of terror and destruction that will win the war.

Directors: Ted Childs
Pacific (February 1942 - July 1945)
star
7.95
292 votes

#7 - Pacific (February 1942 - July 1945)

Season 1 - Episode 23 - Aired 4/17/1974

The Americans fight their way across the Pacific towards Japan and the Philippines. Perhaps the bloodiest campaign of all, each island has to be taken by storm and the Japanese fight to the last man.

Directors: John Pett
Watch Now:Amazon
Alone (May 1940 - May 1941)
star
7.90
592 votes

#8 - Alone (May 1940 - May 1941)

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 11/21/1973

After Dunkirk, Britain faces the German onslaught. Although the RAF wins the Battle of Britain, the cities are blitzed and on the continent the last Allies are conquered. The outlook is grim.

Directors: David Elstein
Watch Now:Amazon
Morning (June - August 1944)
star
7.89
333 votes

#9 - Morning (June - August 1944)

Season 1 - Episode 17 - Aired 2/27/1974

The Western Allies resolve to invade Europe. England becomes a floating supply dump and the British and Americans assemble the largest invasion fleet in history. It is June 6th 1944 - D Day.

Directors: John Pett
Watch Now:Amazon
Banzai!: Japan (1931 - 1942)
star
7.85
481 votes

#10 - Banzai!: Japan (1931 - 1942)

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired 12/5/1973

The rise of the Japanese Empire, the Sino-Japanese War, the Soviet-Japanese border conflicts, Pearl Harbor and the early Japanese successes in the fall of Malaya and Singapore. At war since 1931 on the Chinese mainland, the Japanese hope for easy victories over the British and Dutch. And then on December 7th 1941, Japan makes their infamous attack on Pearl Harbour.

Directors: Peter Batty
Writer: Peter Batty
Distant War (September 1939 - May 1940)
star
7.83
747 votes

#11 - Distant War (September 1939 - May 1940)

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 11/7/1973

In Eastern Europe, the full force of the Nazi machine rolls on - but in Britain, an uneasy calm settles on the nation. It is the 'phoney' war, with the sound of distant guns thundering ominously on the horizon…

Directors: David Elstein
Watch Now:Amazon
Red Star: The Soviet Union (1941 - 1943)
star
7.81
348 votes

#12 - Red Star: The Soviet Union (1941 - 1943)

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired 1/16/1974

For two years the Soviet Army fights the Germans almost alone. After one of the greatest land battles in history, the nation survives and triumphs - but with a loss of no less than twenty million of its people.

Directors: Neal Ascherson
Watch Now:Amazon
Nemesis: Germany (February - May 1945)
star
7.80
323 votes

#13 - Nemesis: Germany (February - May 1945)

Season 1 - Episode 21 - Aired 4/3/1974

Hitler retreats to the Fuhrer bunker in Berlin as Germany crumbles around him and his lieutenants abandon him to a fate of suicide. Meanwhile, the Russians raise the red flag in Berlin.

Directors: Martin Smith
Writer: Stuart Hood
Japan (1941 - 1945)
star
7.78
278 votes

#14 - Japan (1941 - 1945)

Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired 4/10/1974

Initially apprehensive about the outcome of declaring war, the Japanese quickly turn to celebration with early victory. In the end, their worst fears are unimaginably exceeded.

Directors: Hugh Raggett
Watch Now:Amazon
Remember
star
7.77
151 votes

#15 - Remember

Season 1 - Episode 26 - Aired 5/8/1974

For many the Second World War was the most significant experience of their lives. Heartbreaking first hand remembrances from a vast array of survivors on both sides of the war.

Directors: Jeremy Isaacs
Watch Now:Amazon
Barbarossa (June - December 1941)
star
7.75
445 votes

#16 - Barbarossa (June - December 1941)

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 11/28/1973

After dominating southeastern Europe through force or intrigue, Germany begins Operation Barbarossa, the massive invasion of Soviet Union. Despite several quick victories, the invasion ultimately stalls after a failed assault on Moscow during Russia's harsh winter

Directors: Peter Batty
Writer: Peter Batty
Watch Now:Amazon
Reckoning (1945...and after)
star
7.67
253 votes

#17 - Reckoning (1945...and after)

Season 1 - Episode 25 - Aired 5/1/1974

The war ends slowly and messily. Britain is victorious but exhausted and the super-powers confront each other as they decide the fate of Europe.

Directors: Jerome Kuehl
Writer: Jerome Kuehl
Watch Now:Amazon
On Our Way: U.S.A. (1939 - 1942)
star
7.66
448 votes

#18 - On Our Way: U.S.A. (1939 - 1942)

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired 12/12/1973

The opposition by various factions to the United States of America entry into the war, U-boat attacks on Atlantic convoys and America's gradated responses, the mobilization of America after Pearl Harbor, the loss of the Philippines, the Doolittle Raid, Midway and Guadalcanal.

Directors: Peter Batty
Writer: Peter Batty
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Inside the Reich: Germany (1940 - 1944)
star
7.60
308 votes

#19 - Inside the Reich: Germany (1940 - 1944)

Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired 2/20/1974

Initial victory in Europe turns sour after the defeat at Stalingrad, yet Germany prepares to fight to the end - even after an assassination attempt on the Führer.

Directors: Philip Whitehead
Wolf Pack: U-Boats in the Atlantic (1939 - 1943)
star
7.55
383 votes

#20 - Wolf Pack: U-Boats in the Atlantic (1939 - 1943)

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired 1/9/1974

In a war of high technology and animal courage, the German U-Boats fight Allied merchantmen, hounding them in packs.

Directors: Ted Childs
Watch Now:Amazon
Stalingrad (June 1942 - February 1943)
star
7.50
420 votes

#21 - Stalingrad (June 1942 - February 1943)

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired 1/2/1974

Hitler's early successes in Russia made him reckless and he resolves to capture Stalingrad. The battle lasts six months with the Russians emerging as victors. The Wehrmacht never recovers.

Directors: Hugh Raggett
Writer: Jerome Kuehl
Watch Now:Amazon
The Desert: North Africa (1940 - 1943)
star
7.49
441 votes

#22 - The Desert: North Africa (1940 - 1943)

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired 12/19/1973

For 2 years the 8th Army and Rommel's Afrika Corps fight in the wastes of North Africa. Finally the tide turns at El Alamein.

Directors: Peter Batty
Writer: Peter Batty
Watch Now:Amazon
Occupation: Holland (1940 - 1944)
star
7.37
289 votes

#23 - Occupation: Holland (1940 - 1944)

Season 1 - Episode 18 - Aired 3/13/1974

Through a neutral country, Holland is attacked by Germany without warning in 1940. During the next four years, life carries on seemingly without incident, but underneath resistance never dies.

Directors: Michael Darlow
It's A Lovely Day Tomorrow: Burma (1942 - 1944)
star
7.36
333 votes

#24 - It's A Lovely Day Tomorrow: Burma (1942 - 1944)

Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired 2/6/1974

Vera Lynn sang of a lovely day tomorrow, but the war in Burma was mud and monsoon. Britain's largest army learned to master the jungle and fought the Japanese to standstill.

Directors: John Pett
Home Fires: Britain (1940 - 1944)
star
7.32
277 votes

#25 - Home Fires: Britain (1940 - 1944)

Season 1 - Episode 15 - Aired 2/13/1974

Finding strength in unity at home in Britain during the war, it was a time of gas masks, Winston Churchill, Dig for Victory, evacuation, George Formby, the Land Army, ITMA, the Squander Bug and the Beveridge Report.

Directors: Philip Whitehead
Writer: Angus Calder

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