D-Day To Berlin (BBC1)

Desperate Housewives (C4)

THE first in the BBC's new D-Day series, The Struggle To Break Out, was eager to let all sides be heard. And to take the audience beyond the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.

Survivors from both the Allied and German forces gave accounts of the assault on Hitler's Europe as the forces moved inland.

The sometimes strained relationship between General Montgomery, commander of the land forces, and General Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander, was explored.

Reconstructions were cleverly intercut with archive footage of the action.

And the well-mounted series does something that, at an earlier point in history, wouldn't have happened - it rams home the horror of war as well as the heroics. We were left in no doubt that war is hell.

A description of the action as "a dreadful experience" hardly did justice to the facts. Most of the troops were barely 20 and living on borrowed time. "It was a lottery who was going to be the next casualty," said one participant.

Advancing troops couldn't see where they were going, accidentally treading on the dead and wounded. "When someone has a leg blown off and he crawls back in the corn in case the Germans counterattack and his dead body is found a fortnight afterwards, what a death that man must have had," is the sort of comment to make you appreciate the suffering.

Even those on the winning side were taken aback by the aftermath of the fighting. "The Germans had to be beaten and the Nazis were ghastly, but some of the sights we saw, you couldn't help feeling sorry for what had had to be inflicted upon them," said one survivor.

The leaders weren't always in agreement. The more gung-ho Eisenhower didn't approve of Montgomery's approach. The pair had a wager on the outcome. The American had bet the British general £5 that the war would be over before Christmas, within seven months of D-Day.

He began looking like a winner although, as narrator Sean Bean pointed out at the end of this first episode, "he couldn't have been more wrong".

Desperate Housewives continues on its merry way without showing any signs of growing stale or running out of ideas as "the sound of scandal" echoes around Wisteria Lane.

Maisie Gibbons was taken into custody for having sex in her house for money. The arrest didn't go according to plan. When the plainclothes officer approached her with handcuffs, she told him: "That's going to cost you extra".

The opening of Maisie's little black book, containing the names of clients, threatened many a male in the area, as well as Bree, whose husband Rex had been availing himself of Maisie's services.

Elsewhere, Susan wondered if neighbour Edie believed in evil. "Of course I do, I work in real estate," replied Edie - which isn't the type of comment you expect to hear on a channel that specialises in property shows.