Facebook login

7 Great Foreign Language War Films You Should See: 1944

Like many history buffs, I love it when films bring military history to life. Of course, I prefer they do it in a believable way and with the support of an intriguing story such as Saving Private Ryan or Platoon.

Good war films can help supply the dramatics and realism of war to those of us who are already submersed in military history, but they also bring in a new generation of history lovers. In my case, films convinced me to read about events after viewing films like The Longest Day, A Bridge Too Far, and Stalag 17.



Click here: 


World War II films are perhaps the most popular and lauded of all war films and for good reason. Many non-English speaking countries have contributed significantly to the genre, but often get overlooked by even the stoutest of military history geeks.

Here are seven World War II films from various countries in no particular order that are worth your time to see if you haven’t already. I have narrowed the field to include only films with regular units; therefore, no partisan, resistance, or commando style films. Also, all these films are available with English subtitles.

1. Stalingrad (German – 1993)

2. Brest Fortress (Belorussian/Russian – 2010)

3. Unknown Soldier (Finland – 2017)

4. Days of Glory (Morocco – 2006)

5. Battle for Sevastopol (2015 – Russian)

6. Das Boot (German – 1981)

7. 1944 (Estonian – 2015)


(Estonian – 2015)

1944 is one of the most successful Estonian films ever made, but unfortunately one of the least viewed war films outside the Baltics and former Soviet space. This is a shame because it is an incredibly moving experience for history buffs and regular audiences both.

The film has a fantastic and creative storyline that follows Estonian soldiers that either volunteered or were conscripted into both the German and Red Armies during World War II.

It begins on the Tannenburg line in Estonia with the German forces fighting to hold back the Soviet surge in the north in 1944. It then switches to the Soviet perspective after the fall of Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, and the mop up operations to eliminate all German/Estonian resistance.

There are many intense battle scenes from both the German and Red Army perspective that captures the futility of Estonians that fought and lived during the war with no hope for sovereign autonomy regardless of the victor.

It is one of the best films showing the plight of peoples caught between two great militaries and ideologies – and in this case, neither side was universally agreeable to the Estonian people.