Deadliest Battle

Production Biographies

HISTORIANS

right-farrellColonel Kevin W. Farrell
Colonel Kevin Farrell is West Point’s lead historian regarding the Eastern Front of World War II. He also holds two master’s degrees and a doctorate in modern British history. He has experienced armored warfare personally while commanding units in three major conflicts. He is a holder of the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Combat Action Badge.

right-glantzDavid M. Glantz
A US Army Colonel (ret.) who served during Vietnam is a world-renown expert and author of the Eastern Front of World War 2. Glantz brings decades of research on the subject to the screen. He is currently writing a 3-volume book on the battle of Stalingrad. He is also chief editor of The Journal of Slavic Military Studies and one of the first U.S. members of the Soviet (now Russian) Academy of Natural Sciences. He has written more than one hundred books on the Soviet (Red) Army and the Soviet-German War, 1941-1945.

PARTICIPANTS

right-guentherDr. Walter Guenther
Dr. Walter Guenther grew up in Berlin and watched Adolf Hitler come and go through the streets of Berlin as a child. He was eventually drafted and took part in the invasion of France, Greece and the Soviet Union. He was with the German 6th Army just outside of Stalingrad where he was hit by a mortar round. Eventually wounded 3 times, including being shot in the face, he was evacuated from the battlefield by helicopter to a hospital in Dresden where he witnessed the firebombing of the city. After the war Guenther immigrated to the US where he resides to this day.

right-kruschevSergei Khrushchev
The son of Nikita Khrushchev, Sergei Khrushchev has been a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute at Brown University since 1996. From 1968 – 1991, he served at the Control Computer Institute in Moscow. Prior to that, he was an engineer in charge of guidance systems for missiles and space design. His father was the political officer in charge of the Red Army in the crucial battles of Kiev, Stalingrad and Kursk just to name a few. He was also part of Stalin’s inner circle. Khrushchev edited his father’s memoirs. He was a child during the battle of Stalingrad.

right-merezhkoAnatoly Merezhko
Anatoly Merezhko was a soldier fighting for the famous 62nd Army during the battle of Stalingrad. He fought briefly at the siege of Sevastopol and was one of the last to escape before the Germans seized the city. He then deployed in Southern Russia and fought daily actions against the German advance in the summer of 1942. He eventually became a liaison officer to General Vasily Chuikov of the Soviet 62nd Army. Merezhko became Deputy Commander of the Warsaw Pact after the war.

right-wusterDr. Wigand Wuster
Dr. Wigand Wuster was drafted into the German Army right before the invasion of Poland. He fought in the Polish, French and Russian campaigns. He belonged to the German 6th Army that was eventually tasked to seize the Russian city of Stalingrad. He surrendered inside the city in February 1943. He remained in a POW camp until 1949. Today he resides in Munich, Germany.

PRODUCTION

Jared Lipworth, executive producer
As director of science programs, Jared Lipworth is responsible for commissioning and executive producing all science programs produced by THIRTEEN’s Science, Natural History and Features department. Current projects in production or development include Secrets of the Dead IX, Ground War, Curious II and The Human Spark, which is currently a finalist at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival for Presenter-Led programming. Recently completed projects include Curious, Warplane, Secrets of the Dead VII-VIII (with one program, Doping for Gold, up for a 2009 Emmy) and The Mysterious Human Heart, which won the 2008 Emmy for Science, Technology, and Nature programming.

Prior to becoming executive producer and then director of science programs, Lipworth was the series producer for the department’s technology series, Innovation. He also served as series producer for the Emmy-nominated Secrets of the Dead III and coordinating producer for many of the department’s projects, including Warrior Challenge, Secrets of the Pharaohs, the Emmy Award-winning Frontier House and The Secret Life of the Brain, Warship, Taxi Dreams, Echoes From the White House and Savage Planet. In 2003, Lipworth was nominated for a writing Emmy for Secrets of the Dead: Mystery of the Black Death. Additional credits at THIRTEEN include post-production producer for The American President and 1900 House and production assistant for Savage Seas, On The Trail of Mark Twain, The Great Balloon Race and Stories of Lupus.

Before arriving at THIRTEEN, Lipworth produced, directed and edited In the Footsteps of the Black Rhino for the BBC’s Animal Zone. He received his master’s degree in broadcast journalism from New York University, where he won the award for academic excellence, and he received his bachelor’s degree in business management from Cornell University.

right-haydenJim Hayden
Jim Hayden is president of Planet Pictures, founded in 1986. Programs and series created and produced by Hayden have won virtually every major award for excellence including the National Emmy, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards (3), the RTNDA Murrow Award (3) and the George Foster Peabody. Hayden has served in a wide variety of management and production capacities over some 25 years in television. He has been General Manager of News and Information Programs with New York syndicator All American Television, and a project development consultant for such organizations as Group W and Turner Broadcasting. On behalf of Group W, Hayden created USA Update, the first prime-time news headline service offered on cable. For TBS, Hayden developed and served as Executive Producer of Earthbeat, the first weekly solutions-oriented environmental magazine (Earthbeat was renamed Network Earth and had a successful six year run every Sunday in primetime, proceeding National Geographic Explorer). Following that, Hayden created and executive produced an original series commissioned by Ch4 (UK) called California Offbeat, a series of thirteen half-hours looking at the offbeat and quirky side of California. Hayden also wrote, directed and produced the PBS documentary Assignment Earth which led to a series option on Discovery for a half-hour science format titled Future Perfect. In addition, Hayden co-created and piloted the cooking phenomenon The Urban Peasant which became a hit on the CBC (Canada) where it had a ten year run, garnering consistent “9” and “10” ratings. The series also had successful runs on TLC (US), BSKYB (UK), STAR (Asia), XYZ Lifestyle Channel (Australia), UHF 25 Net (Philippines). Hayden also created and executive produced the documentary magazine series What A World which ran on TLC (US) and was co-produced with S4C and UFA Nonfiction. More recently, Hayden created and is executive producing the lifestyle series Auction Adventure for The Fine Living Network (FLN).

In 1982, Hayden created the Local Program Network (LPN), a division of CBS’s WCCO Television, Minneapolis. LPN grew to become a consortium of 45 major-market TV stations which pooled programming by satellite. In 1984, Hayden launched One-on-One Exclusive, a pioneering service which, based in Washington DC, connected local stations’ anchors with major national newsmakers for interviews by satellite. LPN was represented in domestic syndication by Fox Lorber Associates and All American Television. Hayden managed LPN until directing its successful sale in 1987.

Throughout the 1970s, Hayden produced, directed, and executive produced a variety of documentaries, specials, and series ranging from PM Magazine to Bill Moyers’ Journal (PBS). Hayden was the creator of the acclaimed Moore Report documentary series for WCCO-TV.

In addition to his production work, Hayden has also been active in channel packaging. In 1997, Hayden co-developed and launched QuesTV, the adventure documentary channel carried across Europe by way of the Astra satellite system and in Japan on DirecTV. Planet also is a program supplier to VOD services such as IP System Cinemanow, Rainbow’s MagRack, Akimbo, and Google Video. Planet is also actively involved in the development and pre-launch of additional channels, through its sister company, Nichecast Media.

right-brianBrian J. McDonnell
Brian J. McDonnell has been in the television industry for almost 10 years operating as a free-lancer in New York City. In 2003 he created Timeline Productions, building it into a production facility that handles all industry formats. Working with Barataria Productions he has been responsible for post-production budgets, schedules, and finishing work. He is also an award-winning editor with almost 100 broadcast programs to his credit. Highlights include the World War 2 documentary Silent Wings (2007), based on the experiences of U.S. glider pilots, the feature film Homeland (2008), A&E’s Biography (2007-08), Fine Living’s Auction Adventure (2004-06), Here TV’s Here at the Movies (2006), CNBC’s Dlife (2007-08), FOX Sports’ Boost Mobile Surf (2006), FUSE (2005), and many more.

right-mcimmyMichael L. McKimmey
Michael L. McKimmey is a New York City freelancer and has over ten years of shooting experience that has taken him all over the world. With Original Ventures, McKimmey shot Aerial, High-Resolution Photo and HD Video from helicopter that took him high over Rose Hall Jamaica, Manaos in the Amazon, and Hilton Head, South Carolina. For Here! TV, McKimmey shot and produced for over two years and is responsible for over 100 News and Life Style pieces. His camera work can also be seen in the hit series, Auction Adventure. Recently, Michael McKimmey was also commissioned by the Fine Living Network to shoot the pilot, Stop, You’re Paying Too Much. McKimmey’s adept command of the captured image also includes shooting for the “GMHC Honors”, and the “Boost Mobile Pro Surf Championships” in Southern California. His camera credits also include philanthropic work which has taken him to locations around the world including the Rain Forest Preservation in Brazil and the Terra Preservation in Jamaica. McKimmey is also an award-winning editor with four years of experience in broadcast programming to his credit.

right-eldridgeMichael Eldridge
Michael Eldridge is an award-winning director, writer, and producer with years of experience and over 300 programs to his credit. He worked as a supervising producer for Towers Productions in Chicago. During his tenure with the company, he co-created, wrote, and supervised the History Channel series, True Crime Authors, and was the supervising producer of the launch of A&E’s Minute By Minute, a series that received an Emmy nomination for the episode “Attack on the Pentagon.” He also wrote and supervised Investigative Reports (A&E). In addition, he was the head writer for Towers’ Productions’ launch of the popular Weather Channel series, Storm Stories. Other notable projects during his tenure were The History of Unconventional Warfare (writer/supervising producer), Times Millennium Capsule (writer), and he wrote numerous episodes for A&E’s The Unexplained, American Justice, and Biography. He also worked as a producer and writer of various documentaries, including National Geographic’s Interpol Investigates. His work appeared on PBS (Best Friend Forgotten—2005 Genesis Award Winner), WNET in New York (Innovations—Building to Extremes), and CBS (various sports documentaries). In the summer of 2004, he started his production company, Barataria Productions and produced Auction Adventure, a lifestyle series on the Fine Living Channel. Eldridge is the series producer, host, and head writer of the Telly Award-winning series. In the fall of 2006, he partnered with writer/producer Brad Rothschild to direct the feature film Homeland. He is also developing screenplays. He co-wrote a feature film for Emerging Productions in NY, Beauty Remains, directed by Ann Hu (Shadow Magic), which debuted in New York in October 2007. He is currently writing her next feature, Made in China.