Since movies first started being made, we have always tried to tell stories about wars and armies. While in the make-believe world of cinema we have heroes and villains fighting each other, the army or military are people who actually lay down their lives for their jobs. They live lives way more dangerous than the heroes of our films. Thus, it has always been a desire among men to portray military and army lives on the silver screen. Their real-life stories are far more shocking than any fiction we can come up with. We have seen many movies, TV shows, and documentaries on war and the effects of war. Some of the best war movies surely include names like ‘Where Eagles Dare’ (1968), ‘The Guns Of Navarone’ (1961), ‘Apocalypse Now‘ (1979), ‘Saving Private Ryan‘ (1998) and ‘Full Metal Jacket‘ (1987).
Most war movies have anti-war messages that acknowledge the sheer horror and brutalities that men involved in it are forced to face. They tell the world how war has ravaged and plundered the lives of many. The futility of so many sacrifices is laid bare in truly great war movies. On a similar vein, numerous TV shows have also been made on the army or military. These shows, while showing us the true nature of war, also try to explore the lives of the men and women who are soldiers and would do anything to protect their country. We understand what they do when they are not fighting. The rigorous training, discipline, and struggle is something to learn from. With that said, here’s the list of really good army shows on Netflix that are available to stream right now:
7. Five Came Back (2017)
This three-part series has been adapted from a book written by Mark Harris called ‘Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War’. John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens are the five important Hollywood filmmakers who have all served in the Second World War. This shows covers their experiences during the war and mostly uses archived footage. The series is narrated by the great Meryl Streep. Interestingly, while we learn about the experiences of these directors on the battlefield, the show interviews five modern directors, each one describing the effects and influence of any one of the aforementioned directors. Steven Spielberg talks about Wyler, Francis Ford Coppola describes the works of John Huston, Guillermo del Torro explains the influence Capra has had on his work, Paul Greengrass discusses the impact John Ford has had on cinema while Lawrence Kasdan speaks about George Stevens.
6. Hitler’s Circle of Evil (2018)
Starring Guy Walters, Alisdair Simpson, Jonathon Michaels, and Richard Overy, ‘Hitler’s Circle of Evil’ is a British historical documentary television series that focuses on the men behind the horrors of World War II. The show revolves around Hitler’s closest allies and captures the establishment and subsequent rise of the Nazi Party in the 1920s. It then looks at the condition in which the ascent to power in the following decades under the leadership of some twisted men who planned to commit one of the evilest crimes in human history. As much as the show sheds light on the suffering that followed, it primarily gives viewers a chance to really understand people in Hitler’s inner circle.
5. Greatest Events of World War II in Colour (2019)
‘Greatest Events of WWII in Colour’ is a television docuseries that features Derek Jacobi, Geoffrey Wawro, and James Holland. The film recounts how the Allied forces were pushed back to Dunkirk by the German Blitzkrieg while the war continued in the different parts of the world. By covering ten major events that happened during the war, the docuseries tries to offer a detailed overview of one of the bloodiest wars in history.
4. Rebellion (2016 – 2019)
Created and written by Colin Teevan, ‘Rebellion’ is a historical fiction series directed by Aku Louhimies. The Charlie Murphy and Ruth Bradley-starrer follow the incidents that occur in Dublin in the light of World War I, which erodes social stability and creates a period of uncertainty for the people. The horrific challenges and the testing times bring a group of friends from different parts of the United Kingdom closer together. As the social conditions slowly became favorable for Ireland’s independence, these friends played conflicting roles in the entire historical movement, which changed the United Kingdom forever.
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3. Secret Agent Selection: WW2 (2018-)
This series is one of the most unique reality shows ever. Here, contestants participate to go through all the rigorous training that each British secret service agent had to go through during the Second World War. This naturally includes learning how to use firearms and explosives along with hand-to-hand combat. The exercises are so rigorous that most contestants don’t even manage to complete them. Performances in each round of this training determine whether one would proceed to the next round or not. The final round has a mission that the finalists have to complete using the entire set of skills that they have learned till date. To give the show a truly 1940s feel, the uniform of the participants and those of the hosts have also been designed in a retro style.
2. Fauda (2015 -)
Created by Lior Raz and Avi Issacharoff, ‘Fauda’ is an Israeli television series that stars Lior Raz, Hisham Sulliman, Shadi Mar’i, and Laëtitia Eïdo. After serving for decades in the Israeli Defense Force, Doron retires and starts working on his own vineyard. Just when he feels that he won’t be going back to fight again, he learns that the dangerous enemy that his squad has once killed is still alive and plans to attend his brother’s wedding. Without wasting any time, Doron springs into action and joins his squad again, hoping to take on his adversary while undercover. Unfortunately, when his team’s cover is blown, a series of events are set into motion that changes everything.
1. The Liberator (2020)
Based on Alex Kershaw’s book, ‘The Liberator’ is an adult animated war drama miniseries written by Jeb Stuart. The show centers upon Felix Sparks, a U.S. Army officer who leads the 157th Infantry Regiment that comprised of Mexican Americans, Native Americans, and white cowboys in five hundred days long grueling struggle against the Nazis. The brave men fought along with the Allied forces and gave crucial contributions in the battle in France, Italy, and the subsequent liberation of the Dachau concentration camp.
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