I came across the YouTube channel The Great War some time in 2017, and I was blown away instantly. Week by week story-telling of one of the most important events in world history, a mind boggling amount of detail that's not really common on other breadtube or infotainment channels, and just the sheer scope of the project intrigued me. But I was busy in 2017, catching up to 4 years worth of YouTube videos was not going to be practical, so I gave up.
Fast forward to now, and I'm not busy at all. I was actually trying my hand out at Hearts of Iron IV, and that got me thinking whether the makers of The Great War had something similar for World War II. Turns out, they did. The channel, unsurprisingly, is called World War Two. The Great War and World War Two are actually produced by different entities but the format, style and the host, American historian Indiana "Indy" Neidell, is the same across both. There were only about 100 videos I needed to watch to catch up to where they currently were, and I can say without exaggeration that these were the best three days of my life. I'm lying, of course, but the videos were excellent.
If you want to learn about the first or second world war, YouTube has a LOT of options. Almost too many. But these two channels stand out for some pretty obvious reasons. The learning is gradual so there's a better chance that someone could actually absorb some of this knowledge, the history lessons take place at the same speed that they happened many years ago, and that gives the viewer an element of living through the wars in real time. Because they don't have to rush, there's a wealth of information in these videos that are hard to find on YouTube. The lessons are based on well-regarded literature on the two wars, and they're referenced heavily in almost every video. The scripts contain discussions on the grand strategy that came to define these two wars, as well as the more personal stories of soldiers and civilians, who suffered greatly and fought bravely for their respective causes.
Indy Neidell's sufficiently dramatic delivery is my favourite thing about these channels. He's funny when he wants to be, sombre when he needs to be, and ends every video with a soul searching question that keeps you wondering about life and reality on Earth in the early to mid twentieth century. Both these channels have extra content delving into the lives of people who played important roles in these wars, there are videos shot on location of some of the important battles during these wars. There's a series that talks about the time between the two wars called Between Two Wars as well. But a personal recommendation is the War Against Humanity series that dives into the human cost of the Second World War, which makes me sad every time I think about it.