THERE is terrific military history in Dogfights: Desert Aces ( Saturday, 7.40pm, History Channel) providing a visceral sense of being there. The Israeli Air Force mastered the Mirage 111 through decades of intense air combat with its neighbours. This takes us into the air with Israel’s ace of aces, Giora Epstein, as he encounters a swarm of Egyptian MiG- 21s in one of history’s great dogfights. Firsthand accounts and rare archival footage take us into the swirling battle. Cutting Edge: Taking on the Taliban — the Soldiers’ Story ( Tuesday, 8.30pm, SBS) is scary, too. Reporter Ben Anderson spends two months with front- line coalition troops in Helmand province for an intimate portrait of their deadly battles with the Taliban. Includes one of the most ferocious firefights involving British troops since the Korean War. Hot Docs: Bearing Witness ( Tuesday, 10pm, SBS) also goes behind the fog of war. The film examines the personal and professional lives of five female journalists in the line of fire during the Iraq war. It is so dangerous trying to put a human face on otherwise impersonal tragedies as journalists bear witness to history’s burden. War is Hell ( Wednesday, 8.30pm, National Geographic) reveals 24 hours of the American Civil War on May 5, 1864. Confederate and Union troops clash terribly in a forest in Virginia called the Wilderness. Based on the reports of four young soldiers, it’s brutal, anguished and harrowing.