COMMENTARY | At first glance, the premise of The History Channels “The World Wars” is a good one. It attempted to tell the stories of the First and Second World Wars as a singular whole through the eyes of several historical figures.
However, as Newsbusters pointed out, the three part miniseries was riddled with historical errors so profound that a high school student who was well read should have caught them not to mention fact checkers at the History Channel.
Among the whoppers that Newsbusters points out:
The program falsely states that the Bolsheviks overthrew the Czar when they stormed the Winter Palace. In fact the Czar had been deposed months before.
It stated that Italy failed to gain any territory in World War I. In fact it gained quite a bit thanks to the Treaty of Versailles.
The program stated that Neville Chamberlain appointed Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty shortly after the Czechoslovakia crisis. In fact he made the appointment shortly after the Nazi invasion of Poland.
It suggested that Franklin Roosevelt was worried about Stalin’s tyrannical rule. In fact this was more of a concern of Churchill.
Newsbusters only scratched the surface however. It also has General Patton invading and occupying Italy before being sidelined because of the slapping incident. In fact the slapping incident and Patton’s removal from command of the 7th Army took place before the invasion of Italy.
Then the program had Patton being brought back into the fight after the Battle of the Bulge broke out. In fact he had been leading the 3rd Army across Europe for months before. The show also depicted Patton personally leading the first troops to enter Buchenwald. It never happened.
Incidentally, in the History Channel’s version of the two world wars, Eisenhower never existed. This is likely because he never saw combat in World War I.
The History Channel has been rightly ridiculed for having silly shows about aliens in its programming. But one would think that in shows about actual history it would actually get things right.