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The Valour and the Horror

1991 3 films
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This three-part series critically examines some aspects of Canada's contribution during the Second World War. Many of the events described are not familiar to most Canadians, and all share the theme of the bravery of Canadian soldiers and the tragedies of war.

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The Valour and the Horror
  • In Desperate Battle: Normandy 1944
    This documentary looks at the events of June 6, 1944, when a combined force of American, British and Canadian troops landed on the beaches of Normandy. The Allied invasion of occupied France was a turning point in the war against Hitler's Germany. From a tactical view, Canada's role was limited; strategically, it was pivotal. Part of the 3-part series The Valour and the Horror.
  • Savage Christmas: Hong Kong 1941
    In the autumn of 1941, nearly 2,000 inexperienced Canadian soldiers were sent to Hong Kong at the request of the British government as a symbolic show of strength that would deter a Japanese attack on the colony. Canada's soldiers found themselves in the midst of a desperate battle they could not hope to win. On Christmas Day, 1941, the British colony of Hong Kong officially surrendered to Japan. The surviving defenders became prisoners of war. Over the next three and a half years, many of them would come to envy the dead.
  • Death by Moonlight: Bomber Command
    This feature-length documentary focuses on the Canadian pilots who served in the air force bomber command in Britain during World War II. From the outset, it was clear to Britain that air combat would be the key factor in the battle against Hitler's Germany. Told they would be targeting factories and military targets, the airmen were actually ordered to drop their payloads on civilians in an attempt to annihilate the enemy. Using interviews, re-enactments, old footage and photographs, Brian McKenna's film depicts the war from the perspective of the pilots.

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This three-part series critically examines some aspects of Canada's contribution during the Second World War. Many of the events described are not familiar to most Canadians, and all share the theme of the bravery of Canadian soldiers and the tragedies of war.

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