Premieres Sunday, September 18 at 9 PM ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel
The new Smithsonian Channel series WWII’S MOST DARING RAIDS explores some of the most dangerous and remarkable commando raids of the war. It goes into the heart of the action with elite Allied soldiers facing deadly odds to pull off missions that can change the course of the war. Through first person testimony, cinematic reconstructions, expert commentary, weapons demonstrations and cutting edge video game style graphics, every aspect of each mission is visualized and analyzed. The six-episode series premieres Sunday, September 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
The premiere episode, WWII’S MOST DARING RAIDS: STEALING HITLER’S RADAR, tells the story of C Company, an elite group of British paratroopers who launched a daring midnight raid to capture Hitler’s secret radar. Although British top brass initially thought German radar was inferior, in reality the Nazi’s technology was proving fatal to British bombers. When a reconnaissance Spitfire pilot spotted a Luftwaffe listening post on the French coast, Combined Operations hatched a daring plan to steal the unusual radar equipment.
Additional episodes of WWII’S MOST DARING RAIDS include:
WWII’S MOST DARING RAIDS: EASY COMPANY’S FIRST ASSAULT
Premieres Sunday, September 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
This episode tells the story of a small group of elite American paratroopers from Easy Company, the 101st Airborne. They are dropped behind the German lines on D-Day, landing in the early hours of the morning, and are tasked with securing territory behind the beaches. The exhausted American paratroopers have to assault a German artillery position. The Wehrmacht’s guns are trained on Utah Beach where thousands of American infantrymen are starting to come ashore. The paratroopers are massively outnumbered, but for D-Day to succeed, they have to make sure their fellow soldiers get safely across Utah beach.
WWII’S MOST DARING RAIDS: CHURCHILL STRIKES BACK
Premieres Sunday, October 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
December 1941: under cover of a fierce naval bombardment, a taskforce of elite British commandos sail towards the Norwegian town of South Vaagso. Their objectives are the town’s factories: a vital part of the German war machine. The commandos are desperate to avenge Dunkirk and strike a blow against Hitler’s ‘Fortress Europe’. They are expecting fierce resistance. They land under a smoke screen, eliminate German resistance, and block counterattacks long enough to allow the factories and other targets to be destroyed. Even with reinforcements from other units, the commandos are over-stretched as they execute ambitious orders to get in, do the job and retreat before the Nazi’s know what’s hit them.
WWII’S MOST DARING RAIDS: STORMING MUSSOLINI’S ISLAND
Premieres Sunday, October 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Just off the coast of Sicily, the men of the 1st and 4th Ranger Battalions are aboard landing craft preparing to spearhead a mass allied assault. Behind them are 150,000 troops, 3,000 ships and 4,000 aircraft who depend on this operation to be a success. The Rangers must storm the beach at night in advance of the assault, take the town and destroy enemy strongholds and coastal defenses. It’s a suicidal mission and the men are told that retreat is not an option. If they don’t succeed and the enemy is able to hold Gela, Patton’s army would be prevented from landing vital weapons and supplies, and could be pushed back out to sea.
WWII’S MOST DARING RAIDS: CUTTING ROMMEL’S LIFELINE
Premieres Sunday, October 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
On the outskirts of Bouerat Harbor in Libya, a small group of British special forces prepare to destroy a crucial German fuel depot. The men are far behind enemy lines and success will rely on their training, courage and luck. Major David Stirling will lead his men on a 6-day drive across German-controlled desert. At midnight the raiders will enter the harbor on foot, evading sentries, and fan across the area to plant explosives at the fuel dump and a wireless installation. The British must be quick: their explosives are primed to detonate at 2.30am and they must make their escape before the enemy is alerted.
WWII’S MOST DARING RAIDS: SECRET WEAPON SABOTAGE
Premieres Sunday, October 23 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
February 17, 1943. Six Norwegian agents parachute into occupied Norway. Their objective is the Norsk Hydro Plant, where the Germans are stockpiling a chemical needed for nuclear weapons research. If anything goes wrong, the men are on their own, but it’s absolutely vital the Nazi’s nuclear program is stopped. Despite being lightly armed and few in number, they must infiltrate the plant, locate the heavy water cells and destroy them. If they want to get back to Britain, they’ll have to evade capture and make their way overland to Sweden, avoiding German patrols and overcoming the challenges of the brutal Norwegian winter.