DVD Review: PANZER MARCHE! The Dash for Bastogne – by Phil Hodges

The Dash for Bastogne.
Pen & Sword Military
80 mins.

Review by Phil Hodges for War History Online

This DVD is from The Battle of the Bulge series, another one from Battlefield History TV. Where to start ? Well first off, if you’re buying this purely from looking at the cover I imagine you’re going to be sorely disappointed. The three actors portraying the entire Bastogne force (two German and one American soldier) are comical to say the least. Standing in their finest catalogue re-enactment uniforms their presence is a little pointless and with the GI carrying a Sten you have to ask yourself why bother?
Looking at the title and cover again would lead you to believe that the documentary is from the German perspective of the battle. This isn’t the case at all and while Axis units and regiments are mentioned (somewhat obviously you’d like to think) it certainly leans towards the American involvement and organisation, or lack of, during the battle.

There are also some annoying Shakespearean interviews filmed, albeit unfortunately, in  Lounge-o-Vision  which does seem to detract from what is actually being said. Clearly there is a passion for the subject here but it does at times get both irritating and amusing. If I’d wanted to see someone’s choice of curtains I’d go to DFS.  It just seems such a strange angle on things when, after all, the same guy pops up on location which is clearly visually better for all. A nice touch to this DVD is the inclusion of American vets and site visits to the various key points on the battlefield. History from those who were actually there is hardly ever beaten!

However, that said and the acting aside the use of graphics and maps is quite superb. Clear and concise, they help the viewer to get a better understanding of this famous and yet often overlooked battle. The DVD retails at £14.99

Phil Hodges

Phil Hodges is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE