The World Wars (miniseries)

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The World Wars
Genre Historical Drama
Written by David C. White
John Ealer
Alec Michod
Chelsea Coates
Jordan Rosenblum
David Schaye[1]
Directed by John Ealer
Narrated by Jeremy Renner
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 3
Producer(s) Stephen David
Russ McCarroll
Paul Cabana
Elaine Frontain Bryant
Christian Murphy
Brian Burstein
David C. White
Tim W. Kelly
Randy Counsman
Cinematography Roger Chingirian
Editor(s) Tim W. Kelly
Jonathan Soule
Production company(s) Stephen David Entertainment
Distributor History
Original network History
Original release May 26 (2014-05-26) – May 28, 2014 (2014-05-28)
External links

The World Wars is a three-part, six-hour event miniseries by the History Channel that premiered on Monday, May 26, 2014, (Memorial Day) airing for three consecutive nights. An extended version of the series, divided into six episodes with never before seen footage, was subsequently broadcast on H2 and in more than 160 countries on June 22, 2014.[2]

Narrated by Jeremy Renner,[3] the documentary series features a mix of dramatic reenactments, archival stills and footage, and interviews with historians and authors alongside current and former prominent political figures such as current U.S. Senator John McCain from Arizona, former U.S. General and Secretary of State Colin Powell, former British Prime Minister John Major, former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, former U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, former U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband and many more.[2][4]

The show was produced for History Channel by Stephen David Entertainment, the production company behind the Emmy Award-winning miniseries The Men Who Built America.[5][6] A portion of the filming took place in and around Martinsburg, West Virginia in the United States during October and November 2013.[7] The series was introduced by United States President Barack Obama in a pre-recorded message.[8]


According to the History Channel, the miniseries "showcase(s) the thirty year period that changed the course of human history", documenting both World Wars and the interwar era in a continuous timeline from 1914 to 1945. The series takes a personality-driven approach, focusing on some of the key players of World War II (Hitler, Mussolini, Patton, Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt), and chronicling how their experiences as younger men in the First World War shaped them into the leaders they became in World War II.[9]



The series features two actors for each of the main characters, one young (during WWI) and one older (during WWII and its lead-up).[10]

Interview subjects

The following people appear as talking head experts throughout the series.


Number in series Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
1 "Trial by Fire" John Ealer David C. White May 26, 2014 (2014-05-26) 3.4[12]
An assassin’s bullet sparks a global conflict that quickly evolves into the deadliest war humanity has ever seen. In the chaos, a new generation of soldier emerges, including a group of men who would become the most infamous leaders of the 20th century.
The show began with a brief introduction recorded by United States President Barack Obama[11] and a quote by Winston Churchill: "One must regard these 30 years of strife in Europe as part of one story of a 30 years' war."
2 "A Rising Threat" John Ealer David C. White May 27, 2014 (2014-05-27) 2.8[13]
3 "Never Surrender" John Ealer David C. White May 28, 2014 (2014-05-28) 3.3[14]

Expanded version

During the expanded re-airings during June, instead of three episodes, the series was split into six episodes.

Number in series Title Original air date
1 "Trial by Fire" June 22, 2014 (2014-06-22)
An assassin's bullet starts a global conflict that escalates into a deadly war; a new generation of soldiers emerges, including future world leaders such as Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaulle, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Joseph Stalin; tanks and chemical weapons enter the battlefield.
2 "The Price of Glory" June 22, 2014 (2014-06-22)
The Allies turn Germany away from France; leaders are dissatisfied with the Treaty of Versailles; Germany's economy collapses with the end of the war; Hitler begins his rise to power.
3 "The Rising Tide" June 23, 2014 (2014-06-23)
The entire world plunges into an economic depression; Josef Stalin seizes power; Japan makes plans to dominate Asia; Adolf Hitler begins taking back the territory Germany lost.
4 "The Storm Explodes" June 23, 2014 (2014-06-23)
Hitler takes over Czechoslovakia; Stalin and Hitler sign a shocking pact; Churchill rises to Prime Minister as Hitler invades Poland; Hitler betrays Stalin; the United States is theatened by Japan's increasingly bold actions near the United States-controlled Philippines.
5 "Never Surrender" June 24, 2014 (2014-06-24)
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brings the United States into the war; Germany almost takes Moscow; the Nazis continue to execute the Jews of Europe; the Allies gain a victory at the Battle of Midway.
6 "Peace at Last" June 24, 2014 (2014-06-24)
Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt meet to discuss an invasion of Europe; D-Day is launched and the Allies defeat Hitler on the beaches of Normandy; Hitler tries to retaliate; the war ends when Hitler commits suicide and Japan surrenders.

"Trial by Fire" and "Never Surrender", episodes 1 and 5 of the expanded six part series, use the same names as episodes 1 and 3 of the original three part series with two hour episodes.

Home media release

On September 9, 2014, the miniseries was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats. The two-disc includes English subtitles and bonus material, such as deleted scenes of over an hour of footage cut from the original U.S. broadcast; "Characters In Depth" of Churchill, Stalin, Truman, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Hitler; and 10 featurettes on both wars. UltraViolet digital copies of each episode were also included.[15]


  2. 2.0 2.1 "'The World Wars' to Premiere Monday, May 26 on History - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2014-04-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Jeremy Renner to narrate History's 'The World Wars'". Real Screen. 2014-04-16. Retrieved 2014-05-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "History Orders Six-Hour 'World Wars' Docuseries". 2014-02-05. Retrieved 2014-05-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "TV Review: History's 'The World Wars'". 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Emmy Award Status for 'The Men Who Built America'".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Residents audition for chance to be on History Channel". The Journal. 2013-09-29. Retrieved 2014-04-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "President Obama to intro History's 'The World Wars'". 2014-05-23. Retrieved 2014-05-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "'The World Wars' on History Channel a six-hour, three night miniseries". The Denver Post. 2014-05-23. Retrieved 2014-05-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "iMDb Cast List".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Benzine, Adam (May 23, 2014). "President Obama to intro History's "The World Wars"". Retrieved May 24, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Monday Cable Ratings: NBA Playoffs Win Night, 'Love & Hip Hop Atlanta', 'WWE Raw', 'Hit The Floor', 'Real Housewives of Orange County' & More". 2014-05-28. Retrieved 2014-05-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Tuesday Cable Ratings: NBA Playoffs Win Night, 'Deadliest Catch', 'The Haves and the Have Nots', 'Bad Girls Club', 'True Tori' & More". 2014-05-29. Retrieved 2014-05-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Wednesday Cable Ratings: NBA Playoffs Win Night, 'Catfish', 'The World Wars', 'Melissa & Joey' & More". 2014-05-29. Retrieved 2014-05-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Lambert, David (August 6, 2014). "The World Wars (mini-series) - The Recent History Channel Mini-Series Comes to DVD, Blu-ray". Retrieved August 7, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links