History Channel's 'The World Wars' Chock Full of Major Historical Errors

May 29th, 2014 10:00 AM

Did you know that the Communists stormed the Winter Palace and overthrew the Czar?

If you are right now screaming at your computer screen in anger, congratulations. That means you are more informed on the subject of history than the entire History channel. The error cited above is but one of the many that the History Channel included in their three part series, "The World Wars," this week. The amazing thing is that not only a particular History Channel writer made these errors but that nobody at the History Channel spotted them. Are they so involved in the "history" of Ancient Aliens over there that they have completely lost track of real history? The lack of historical knowledge at the History Channel is astonishing as evidenced by the following errors in the series.

First of all, the Communists (or Bolsheviks as they were known then) did not overthrow the Czar when they stormed the Winter Palace in November 1917. The Czar was already overthrown the previous March (February by the Julian calendar) while Lenin was still stuck in Switzerland. The new Provisional government consisting mainly of Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries continued the war against Germany which is why the Germans brought Lenin to Russia via sealed train. To overthrow the Provisional government, not the Czar who was already out of power. However, this is how the History Channel narrator (was it the weird hair Ancient Aliens dude?) presented the scenario for November of that year:

The Communists storm the Winter Palace, toppling the Russian Czar. The Soviet Union is born.

This was only one of many errors in the series. Another one was this claim:

After the First World War, Italy failed to get any new territory during negotiations for the Treaty of Versailles.

Actually, Italy got substantially new territory as a result of their participation in the First World War such as South Tyrol, Trentino, and Trieste. They didn't need the Treaty of Versailles to get South Tyrol and Trieste since it was promised to them in 1915 in the London Treaty and Trentino was given to them via the Treaty of Saint-Germain in 1919.

Winston Churchill is one of the major figures of the Twentieth Century yet the History Channel also gets its facts wrong about him. It makes it seem that Neville Chamberlain appointed Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty just after the Germans occupy Czechoslovakia in order to quiet his criticisms:

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain is feeling the heat. For months he and his government have been relentlessly attacked by Winston Churchill who has finally succeeded in drawing attention to Adolf Hitler's conquest of Europe. The people of Great Britain are growing restless for action and Chamberlain knows he has to do something to calm their fears.

In real history, Churchill was appointed as First Lord of the Admiralty on September 3, 1939 when war had already broken out between Britain and Germany. So it is laughable when in the History Channel recreation, Chamberlain tells the newly appointed Churchill that he doesn't want another war since it had already been declared.

The History Channel will be repeating "The World Wars" this weekend. Watch for yourself to laugh at the many errors. Perhaps it is time for the History Channel to change to Ancient Aliens Channel since they continue to get real history so wrong.

p.s. And Franklin Roosevelt wasn't very concerned about Joseph Stalin's dictatorial inclinations as the History Channel suggested he was. That was Churchill's worry. In fact he was quite irked by Roosevelt thinking of Stalin as benevolent old "Uncle Joe."