World War Two: Total War


The Second World War was a ‘total war’: a war in which massive armies advanced, confronting whole populations with impossible choices. The manufacture of weapons transformed industry and the workforce; area bombing campaigns reduced cities to rubble; sieges doomed populations to starvation; racial policies sponsored campaigns of genocide.

Told through incredible archive footage and expert interviews, we learn how WWII shattered the boundaries between home front and battlefield and became an all-encompassing war of morale, destroying and displacing civilian populations.

Each episode in this absorbing new series looks at a different aspect: starting with an exploration of the portents of total war to come; in Manchuria, China, Abyssinia and Spain and moving through to preparations for war, followed by invasion, occupation and resistance and how total war enabled the Holocaust. The final episode reflects on the aftermath of total war.