Battle Ground: The Art of War

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Battle Ground: The Art of War TV Poster Image
Military history docu reenacts violent battles without gore.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

It discusses some of the shrewd (and not so smart) military strategies that changed the course of specific military campaigns, and created the legacies of certain military leaders.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Military leaders are recognized for their unique and successful strategies during combat. 

Violence

Swords, javelins, guns, cannons, tanks, etc. are visible. Battles include hand-to-hand combat, stabbings, shootings, explosions, etc. Soldiers fall wounded or dead, but not a lot of blood is visible. 

Sex

Some innuendo, including suggestive belly dancing to please a king. Love interests and unhappy marriages, some being the result of battles lost, are also discussed. 

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine drinking and cigarette smoking visible in a few scenes. These are presented in a historic context. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Battle Ground: The Art of War is an informative docuseries featuring conversations about, and reenactments of, historic military campaigns. Soldiers are fatally stabbed, shot, and wounded, but these violent battlefield maneuvers are shown without a lot of blood and gore. There’s some drinking as well as brief discussions about wives won through battle. Military buffs may find it worth watching, thanks to detailed explanations of military history and strategy. 

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What's the story?

BATTLE GROUND: THE ART OF WAR is a documentary series that relives some of the greatest battles in history. From following Alexander the Great’s strategy the battlefield at Galgamela, to understanding what transpired during the notorious WWII Battle of the Bulge, it features recreations of pivotal decision-making moments, as well as the combat strategies on the battlefield. With the help of live-action dramatizations and computer generated imagery, viewers get to watch as events unfold, and see how and why some of history’s greatest military campaigns were won and lost. Insights and explanations from military experts, historians, and educators fill out the details of each of these stories. 

Is it any good?

Part educational, part entertainment, this stylized series offers detailed and dramatic reenactments of some of history’s greatest military actions. It highlights the strategies employed by some of the world’s greatest military minds, including Alexander the Great and Napoleon. It also reveals lots of details about the kinds of weapons used, the size of combat forces, specific maneuvers, and other particulars. Military buffs will appreciate the discussions about these finer points, but those who are more interested in the broader, human interest stories behind these campaigns may find some episodes a little boring. Others may be put off by the lack of discussion about the brutal consequences of these battles, or the less-than-perfect accent work as actors portray characters from many different countries. Nonetheless, Battle Ground: The Art of War is informative, and has a lot to offer those who are interested in military history by attempting to bring key moments back to life. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about military campaigns that changed the course of history. What made them unique? 

  • How does Battleground: The Art Of War reenact battles without relying on graphic violence to do so? Does this make the reenactments unrealistic?

  • Is it necessary to go to war in order to bring change or peace to a region? Does this series justify any of the military campaigns it showcases? 

TV details

  • Premiere date: January 1, 2005
  • Network: Kids Central
  • Genre: Educational
  • Topics: History
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: June 26, 2019

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love history

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