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Documentary series. The second episode reveals how Hitler managed to lead Germany to war in 1939 and orchestrate the dramatic victory over the French in 1940.

Adolf Hitler seemed an unlikely leader - fuelled by anger, incapable of forming normal human relationships and unwilling to debate political issues. Such was the depth of his hatred that he would become a war criminal arguably without precedent in history.

Yet this strange character was once loved by millions. How was this possible, and what role did Hitler's alleged 'charisma' play in his success?

With the help of testimony from those who lived through these times, film archive - including colour home movies - and specially shot documentary footage, this film reveals how Hitler managed to lead the German people to war in 1939 and orchestrate the dramatic German victory over the French in 1940.

This is the second episode in a three-part series written and produced by Laurence Rees, who won a BAFTA for his previous series Nazis: A Warning from History and a Grierson award for his Auschwitz: the Nazis and the 'Final Solution'.

First shown: 9pm 19 Nov 2012
Available for 12 days Why? Duration 60 mins