People's Century Episode 23 War of the Flea/Guerilla Wars 1975/1973

A departure from other documentaries that observe history as the actions of great men, People’s Century considers the Century from the view of common people. Most persons interviewed were ordinary men and women who closely witnessed various events and they give personal accounts how developments in the Twentieth Century affected their lives. The opening credits depict various images from the century and a very short introduction. Episode 23 War of the Flea 1975 – While in the second half of the century there are fewer conventional wars, civil conflicts under the backdrop of superpower rivalries emerge, fought by ideologically driven guerilla movements. While usually being small and poorly armed, their motivation, self belief and their abilities to co-opt popular support and exploit terrain to their own advantage prove to be key factors why several guerrilla movements are successful. With only a very small band of determined supporters, Fidel Castro manages to eventually overthrow Fulgencio Batista in the Cuban Revolution. After the French are defeated by the Viet Minh in Vietnam, the Americans deploy in huge numbers, however their technological prowess, industrial might and Hearts and Minds campaigns cannot defeat the Viet Cong. Similarly in Afghanistan, the Soviets are forced to pull out by the US-armed Mujahideen. The introductory scene shows the fall of Saigon. Interviewees include Ahmed Shah Masoud, General Vo Nguyen Giap and Colonel David Hackworth. (US version title: Guerilla Wars 1973).