Go behind the lines! Bringing viewers compelling, real-world stories of heroism, military strategy, technological breakthroughs and turning points in history, Discovery Communications, Inc. transitioned its Discovery Wings Channel to the Military Channel on Monday, January 10, 2005. The network’s revamped slate of series and specials is designed to take viewers “behind the lines” to tell personal stories and offer in-depth explorations of military technology, battlefield strategy, aviation and history.
Times are Eastern Standard Time (EST)
CAPTURE: P.O.W. STORIES
World Premiere: Thursday, July 7, 8-9 PM
They endured unspeakable hardships while suffering the horrors of enemy captivity. Their stories of courage and determination are among the most compelling of any wartime tales. From the brutal privation of World War II’s Bataan Death March to the suffering inflicted in the torture cells of the “Hanoi Hilton,” CAPTURE: P.O.W. STORIES chronicles the personal accounts of the brave men and women who were once prisoners of war.
THE BATTLE OF JUTLAND
World Premiere: Thursday, July 14, 8-10 PM
When it occurred, the Battle of Jutland was the biggest naval battle in history. On May 31, 1916 , 251 British and German battleships set out to annihilate one another in the North Sea . In a vicious engagement that lasted over 12 hours, 25 huge ships were sunk and 8,600 lives were lost. In this two-hour special, dives to two sunken dreadnoughts that lie 100 miles from shore and up to 60 meters deep at last will expose why the British Navy failed to score a decisive victory.
World Premiere: Thursday, July 21, 8-11 PM
This three-hour special tells the story of combat in the most direct way possible”through film footage shot from the attacking plane, tank or other combat vehicle itself. GUN CAMERA’s footage comes alive as soldiers’ accounts and forensic analysis take viewers on the world’s deadliest missions, strapping them to the gun sight for the ultimate first-person shooter.
The Vietnam War was the most photographed war in history, but much of this footage and photography has rarely been seen. BATTLEFIELD VIETNAM draws upon this imagery to present this distinctive documentary of the Vietnam War, from both the ground and air. Featured footage includes film shot by Vietnamese cameraman from both sides of the battle that has only recently become available, as well as French and Chinese photography. [TV-PG(V)]
Monday, July 4
Countdown to Tet
President Johnson expressed confidence in a U.S. victory over North Vietnamese aggression. Pentagon officials gave daily reports hailing success over Communist infiltration into South Vietnam . To the American public, all seemed business as usual, despite escalating tension and U.S. presence “in country.” All hopes for a speedy end of the war were smashed at the end of January 1968, when the North Vietnamese surprised both U.S. and South Vietnamese forces with shocking bombings and barrages, destroying almost 60 cities in the South and shocking the American public awake to the realities and future of the conflict in Southeast Asia .
Monday, July 11
Dien Bien Phu – The Legacy
November 1953″French air support out of Saigon dropped 9,000 troops and supplies into the northwest Vietnamese town of Dien Bien Phu, as forces geared up for a showdown with Ho Chi Minh’s troops. The French had no idea how isolated they’d be once the Viet Minh attacked, as they did on March 13, 1954 . The Viet Minh pounded the French forces. The French held their ground until May, when the Viet Minh took the town, along with thousands of French POWs they couldn’t support. With the battle and the Geneva Accord that followed, splitting Vietnam in two, the world knew that the French withdrawal and the Geneva peace talks wouldn’t mark the end of the war in “Indochina ” but the start of the war in “Southeast Asia .”
Monday, July 18
Fall of Saigon
Thousands around the world spent years calling for the end of hostilities in Vietnam . Thousands protested the U.S. presence, the escalation of troops, the ongoing bombings, both secret and revealed, and the horrors of war on both sides of the 17th parallel. But nobody was really prepared for the chaos, the looting and the massive evacuations from the roof of the U.S. embassy in the South Vietnamese capitol of Saigon , which marked the war’s final days. On April 30, 1975 , the last U.S. Marines to leave the city lifted off the roof, even as North Vietnamese troops broke down the embassy gates.
Monday, July 25
Peace with Honor
The Vietnam War left an indelible stain on the legacy of the Johnson administration. When Johnson refused to seek or accept nomination for another term as U.S. president, Americans were confident the tide had turned. Still, the entrance of Richard Nixon as president saw a paradoxical determination”he hoped to resolve the crisis through promises of “peace with honor” and pullback of U.S. presence. Through secret bombings over Cambodia , Nixon sought to destroy Communism in the region once and for all.
THE FIRST WORLD WAR
THE FIRST WORLD WAR strips away nearly 90 years to look back to the reality of the “war to end all wars.” World War I started as a global conflict involving nations on every continent and people of all classes and races. Using archival and specially filmed footage from authentic locations in 22 countries, this multilayered mini-series examines myths and answers key questions from the origins of the war to its bitter end.
Tuesday, July 5
Under the Eagle
In August 1914, the Germans stormed through neutral Belgium to invade France. The first few months of the war on the Western Front were mobile, fast and dangerous, with no place to hide from battlefields swept by machine gun and artillery fire.
Tuesday, July 12
In 1914, war for Europe meant war for the world. This episode tells the extraordinary story of how Germany tried to open up the war around the world and how Britain tried desperately to close it down.
Tuesday, July 19
This episode shows how the Ottoman Empire became a major force on Germany’s side. The Empire tied up Allied troops across the Middle East for four years and claimed the lives of 250,000 Allied and Commonwealth soldiers.
Tuesday, July 26
Shackled to a Corpse
The war on the Eastern Front was a conflict totally unlike any battle waged anywhere else. In many ways, this was a racial and cultural fight, fought between Slavs on the one side and Teutons on the other. Among the many horrors that came from this conflict was the first-ever use of chemical weapons.