Airwars – A Frustrating TV Series

This programme broadcast on Discovery History on Friday 11th July told the story of the battle of the Atlantic. It used some remarkable film and photographs of ships and aircraft. This is one of the series of history programmes from Dr. John Sweetman, Editor Matt Hale, series Producer Audrey Healey, a Cromwell Productions film.


My problem with the series is the poor match between the commentary and the footage. In this film the commentary told of liberator bombers and showed flying boats; talked about Swordfish and showed Albacores. The text about escort carriers was accompanied by film of the USS Hornet and the Doolittle raid.



This is a Swordfish – Open cockpit

This is common in the series. We are told about Hurricanes and the film shows Spitfires. I’ve just spotted a Vietnam era carrier landing while the commentary is talking about escort carriers. Why do this? The only people who watch these films are old geeks like me who can easily spot the difference between a catapult Hurricane and an old American biplane



This is an Albacore – closed cockpit

Why do I watch these films if they frustrate me so much? Well, the research is good and the film clips are great. They should be a great resource for anybody who wants to find out more about history. The problem is in the editing. The clips should be properly indexed so that the film editor can match the right clip to the commentary.


As one of the old geeks I think these resources should be properly preserved and indexed so that some of these little known aircraft will not be forgotten and not shown incorrectly labelled.


A great opportunity missed by careless media indexing.

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