The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - Graeme Blun­dell

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.

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