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Dogfights is a television series that focuses on military aviation. The purpose of the television series is to depict dogfights. Dogfights are air battles during war time in which two or more planes fight in the air, maneuvering around each other and trying to shoot the other plane down. The series airs re-enactments of many famous dogfights. Dogfights were key strategies for winning battles in the Vietnam War and both World Wars.

The series interviews pilots who participated in the dogfights as well as modern day aviation experts in order to give viewers the opportunity to experience how it feels to be fighting in such a manner. They also show computer-generated videos and demonstrations of how the fights are done.

The series also shows fights that occur at sea, when planes would attack battleships and submarines. The series uses computer technology to give viewers a chance to experience many different aspects of a battle. Some demonstrations are shown through a cockpit viewpoint so the viewer can see everything that the pilot saw. Some views go outside the plane and show the damage as it occurs.

The series also goes in-depth when discussing particular types of aircraft, comparing various types to one another. The show also goes through all the different maneuvers that pilots use, detailing their names, objectives, and complexities. The series doesn't limit itself to interviewing just American pilots. The producers also interview veterans from the German and Japanese armies to get their viewpoints on the war and air battles.

Each episode of the television series focuses on one battle. The battle is re-enacted with the pilots who participated in the battle speaking about the event, if possible. The episode also delves into each pilot's backstory and what life was like for him at the time the battle was fought.

Friday 9:00 PM et/pt on History Channel
2 Seasons, 29 Episodes - Canceled
November 3, 2006
Documentary & Biography, Action & Adventure, Military & War
8.5/10
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Dogfights Full Episode Guide

  • November 20, 1944. The USS Mississinewa, a massive oil tanker, sits off the coast of the island of Ulithi. At 5:45am, an explosion rips apart the vessel. This is the work of the Kaiten--a manned, suicide submarine.

  • In the fighter pilot business, they say "speed is life." Speed means the ability to maneuver. Speed is the initiative in a dogfight -- with the speed advantage you can almost always out perform and out think your opponent.

  • A WWII surprise attack by Germany in several European locations in January 1945 caused a clash between Allied and German fighters in the Operation Bodenplatte battles.

  • Recalling Vietnam War battles involving planes from the USS Midway.

  • Battles involving the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first all-black squadron of fighter pilots, are recalled.

  • A generational leap in technology and strategy is put to the ultimate test over enemy airspace in Iraq.

  • Recalling World War II battles involving the P-51 Mustang, including a group of Mustangs that are attacked leaving Iwo Jima and a battle in Germany.

  • Recalling Vietnam War battles fought on May 10, 1972, during Operation Linebacker, a combined Navy and Air Force air assault.

  • Desert battles involving the Israeli Air Force and its Dassault Mirage III fighter are chronicled. Included: a profile of former Israeli fighter pilot Giora Epstein.

  • Night battles and tactics are explored.

  • Recalling the Sonderkommando Elbe, a World War II German ramming unit.

  • Low-level battles fought just over the treetops, where split-second decisions are critical, are recalled. Included: a World War II battle involving U.S. bomber escorts who are attacked by German fighters; and a Vietnam War battle between F-4Cs and MiG-17s.

  • Battles involving the Israeli Air Force and its Dassault Mirage III fighter are chronicled. Included: a profile of former Israeli fighter pilot Giora Epstein.

  • Guns kills in air battles during the Vietnam War are examined. Included: a battle between an A-1H Skyraider and a MiG-17.

  • Battles involving Thunderbolts are recalled.

  • Famous air battles involving jets are re-created using computer graphics, archival footage and re-enactments. Also: firsthand accounts of the battles.

  • Battles involving kamikazes are recalled.

  • The search for the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic during World War II is recalled.

  • Battles in the Middle East are recalled. Included: battles between Israel and Egypt in the 1967 Six-Day War. Among those profiled: Israeli Air Force pilot Giora Romm. Also: a segment on the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and its role in a 1979 fight over Lebanon.

  • Recalling battles from World War II and the Vietnam War in which fighters faced off against bombers. Also: a profile of World War II pilot Stanley W. Swede Vejtasa; and Medal of Honor winners Jay Zeamer (World War II) and Leo K. Thorsness (Vietnam).

  • The 1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf, which was fought in the Philippines during World War II and saw the defeat of the Imperial Japanese Navy, is recalled. The battle was the first time that the Japanese used kamikaze aircrafts.

  • Recalling Lt. Cdr. Richard W. Schaffert's solo battle against four MiG fighters in 1967 during the Vietnam War.

  • World War II Pacific battles between Japanese Zero Fighters and the American Grumman F6F Hellcats are recalled. Pilots profiled include Robert Duncan, Alex Vraciu and Hamilton Mac McWhorter.

  • Air battles over Hanoi during the Vietnam War are recalled. Among those profiled are pilots Fred Olmsted and Steve Ritchie.

  • The air battles during the invasion of Guadalcanal in 1942 are chronicled. Included: the efforts of Maj. John L. Smith, Capt. Jeff DeBlanc and 1st Lt. James E. Swett.

  • Examining World War II clashes over China between the U.S. Flying Tigers, a volunteer group, and the Japanese in the weeks after the Pearl Harbor attacks. Planes involved include the P-40 Tomahawk and the Japanese I-97.

  • Following Vietnam War clashes between Russian MiG-21s and the U.S. F-4 Phantoms during 1967's Operation Bolo, masterminded by Col. Robin Olds, a legendary World War II pilot.

  • Korean War dogfights between U.S. F-86 Sabres and Russian MiG-15 fighters over an area of North Korea dubbed MiG Alley by U.S. Air Force pilots.

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