Watch war documentaries on BBC Select

BBC Select is the place to watch World War II documentaries with stories from both the frontline and the home front.

Stream World War 2 documentaries that explore the rise of the Nazis, the myth of Britain’s so-called ‘Blitz Spirit’ as well as how Stalin’s ascent and the bombing of Hiroshima would cast World War Two’s shadow well into the latter half of the 20th century.

Start your BBC Select free trial with any of the streaming platforms listed below. Free trial restrictions apply*.


How did a nation like Germany allow, and even welcome, the destructive and disturbing ideas of Nazism to take hold? Shown through the views of those closest to the Nazi propaganda machine, and those desperate to stop it, the rise of Hitler and his stranglehold on power are compellingly told. Was fascism something that had to happen, and what lessons can be learned to stop it happening again?

Watch Rise of the Nazis on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*.


Watch the Countdown to War documentary on BBC Select

On Friday 1st September 1939, Hitler’s Nazi forces invaded Poland. By Sunday morning, Britain had declared war. BBC Select presents this fascinating history documentary scrutinizing the three days that led up to the Second World War. JJ Chalmers and Raksha Dave visit key locations, meet historians and unearth startling archive material. Just how did ordinary Brits react to the prospect of war?

Watch Countdown to War on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*


This remarkable BBC history documentary takes a candid look at what life was really like for those living in, and under, Hitler’s Third Reich in Nazi Germany. Recently discovered home movie footage offers a unique insight into what people in Germany were thinking and how their day to day lives were affected by fascism. This is a distinctly personal experience of the rise, and fall, of Nazism.

Watch Lost Home Movies Of Nazi Germany on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*



Stream Churchill's Desert War: The Road to El Alamein with BBC Select

By 1942, the desert skirmish in North Africa had become pivotal to the outcome of World War II. Hundreds of thousands of men from over ten nations fought in one of the most inhospitable battlefields on Earth. In this stunning history documentary on BBC Select, Jonathan Dimbleby investigates the significance of this campaign on which Churchill gambled both his own future and that of Britain itself.

Watch Churchill’s Desert War: The Road to El Alamein on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*.


Historian Lucy Worsley explores some of the myths surrounding The Blitz, one of the most devastating bombing campaigns of WWII as Hitler’s Luftwaffe bombed the city of London for many months. The common perception is that Londoners displayed unwavering solidarity that got them through the rest of the war. But, as this BBC history documentary demonstrates, the truth was far more complicated.

Watch Blitz Spirit with Lucy Worsley on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*


Watch 100 Days to Victory on BBC Select

It was the birth of modern warfare. In Spring 1918, the Germans launched a massive ‘shock and awe’ offensive to defeat the Allied forces. To survive, the Allies needed to coordinate and cooperate. As this gripping history documentary on BBC Select reveals, this sudden need for a concerted defensive effort led to an Allied victory in World War I and changed the way that war was waged forever.

Watch 100 Days to Victory on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*


Watch Hiroshima: The Real History on BBC Select

The nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima heralded the dawn of a new era. It killed over 100,000 people and unleashed a new merciless threat that no country could hide from. From the war rooms that led the attack and the planes tasked with the deadly mission to the city’s devastated streets, this eye-on-the-ground film unravels a chilling moment whose motives and consequences are still in question.

Watch Hiroshima – The Real History on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*


Stream BBC at War on BBC Select

Hailed and derided in equal measure, in 1939 the BBC had yet to establish its reputation. In this enthralling history documentary on BBC Select, Jonathan Dimbleby reveals how the BBC fought not only Hitler during World War II, but also the British government to become the institution it is today. What impact did the BBC’s wartime broadcasts have on the British public and on the Nazi hordes abroad?

Stream BBC at War on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*


Stream Winston Churchill's War on BBC Select

BBC Select explores the psyche of one of the most fascinating figures in history: Winston Churchill. The groundbreaking documentary unpicks the character of this great war leader who helped to defeat Hitler and the Nazis and kept the British public going during the darkest days of World War II. What’s revealed is a complex figure with many demons and flaws. But what made this great man tick?

Watch Winston Churchill’s War on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*


Watch 1945: The Savage Peace on BBC Select

When the Second World War ended, the people of liberated Europe celebrated their freedom from Nazi tyranny. Years of suffering had ended, but for millions of Germans, a new and terrible chapter was beginning. This remarkable history documentary on BBC Select reveals the appalling violence meted out to the defeated Germans, which mirrored some of the worst cruelty of Hitler’s Nazi forces.

Stream 1945: The Savage War on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*.


Stream Touched by Auschwitz on BBC Select

The extraordinary story of six Auschwitz survivors, sharing the moving details of their survival in the years after they left the camp. The film reveals a compelling portrait of the problems, challenges and triumphs that six different individuals experienced since the war ended. And attempts to answer one of the most profound questions of the Holocaust: what was the human legacy of the crime?

Watch Touched by Auschwitz on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*


Watch World War Two and the Man of Steel on BBC Select

In this BBC history documentary, David Reynolds reassesses Stalin’s role in the life and death struggle between the Nazis and Russia during World War II. Stalin’s name means ‘man of steel’, but the reality of 1941 did not live up to that title. Russia was almost annihilated by Hitler as Stalin lurched from crisis to crisis. How were Churchill and FDR drawn into an alliance with the dictator?

Watch World War II: 1941 and the Man of Steel on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*


Watch the Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitl;er on BBC Select

History’s had its share of terrifying leaders. And none more so than Adolf Hitler. His legacy of destruction is without parallel. Yet there’s a paradox at the heart of his story. Why did millions support this hate-filled character, ultimately destroying their own country? These films examine his relationship with those he led in World War II via testimonies, compelling footage and reconstructions.

Watch The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler – Leading Millions into the Abyss on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*

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