World War II is considered by most war historians to be the bloodiest war of all time, with an estimated 30 to 50 million people losing their lives during the conflict. It was a time of technological and military revolution that saw the entire world fall into chaos for a number of years, and much of the damage that was caused took decades to repair.
It’s a period of time that has been become a favourite for both historians and movie creators over the years, and there are countless films based on the various exploits of both the Allies and the Axis. Here we will look at some of the best World War II movies ever made.
Letters From Iwo Jima
Directed by famed actor Clint Eastwood, Letters From Iwo Jima is a unique piece that instead focuses on the enemy rather than the Allies. It looks at the common Japanese soldiers that fought in the war, their beliefs, and why they felt that they were on the right side of history.
It’s a powerful and moving film that shows that not everyone on the “bad” side of was evil. The film acts as a counterpoint to Flags of Our Fathers, which shows the same battles but from the perspective of the American side.
Grave of the Fireflies
While this movie might turn some away due to it being an animation, the stories and graphic depictions of the war told during the film are an important perspective that many might not have considered before.
The story follows two young children that survive the bombing of Hiroshima, and offers a taste of the truly terrible realities of nuclear weapons and the kind of destruction they can cause. It’s not a movie for the faint hearted, but one that remains important nevertheless.
Saving Private Ryan
This is a movie that’s incredibly difficult to forget, but does a brilliant job at showing the realities of the war and how much destruction was truly caused. While not based on any specific missions from the period, it does accurately portray what the soldiers would have experienced, and how much suffering and pain they endured during their time in Europe, with the opening act of the film based on the invasion of Normandy.
With a cast of A-list actors and directed by Steven Spielberg, Saving Private Ryan is considered by many to be the best WW2 film ever created, and makes for a great watch while waiting for gaming sites to load.
Dunkirk centres around the evacuation of British soldiers from the shores of northern France, and the many trials that these young men faced as they ran from the Germans. It’s a unique war film as it shows perspectives from land, air, and sea, and focuses on both the soldiers themselves and the many civilians that risked their lives to rescue their brethren.
With superb acting and breathtaking shots, Dunkirk isn’t just the best World War 2 film of all time, but one of the best movies ever.