PHOTOGRAPHER and filmmaker from Fovant is set to explore the scarred Second World War landscapes of Nazi occupied Western Europe.

Kris McManus has teamed up with historian and writer Lawrence Paterson from New Zealand to launch a crowdfunding project to bring history to life through the ruins of battlefields that still remain.

The Scars Project will see the pair make a feature-length travel/adventure history documentary.

They are hoping to raise £33,000 through Kickstarter by appealing to backers who will in return receive rewards including credits, DVDs, limited edition prints and for the biggest donations, tours in Europe.

McManus, whose fiancé Celia Muir is associate director of the project, said: “I’ve always been interested in the way nature reclaims places we have built. In the blink of an eye they can crumble and nature claws them back to the earth. I think that’s quite an amazing thing. Then I started talking to my friend, Lawrence, who knows a lot about Second World War history.”

The pair aim to make the documentary entertaining and adventurous to engage audiences of all ages.

They hope it will be the first in a series of Scars documentaries they would pitch toward broadcast, but their first, covering Western Europe will be released in chapters, online for free, as an educational and historical resource.

McManus said: “The project is a detailed exploration into the marred landscapes of the Second World War: the scars left behind by the Nazi occupation of Western Europe.

“Atmospheric and monolithic structures that hold historic tales yet still affect the present, through their geography and for the people that live in the shadows of these highly evocative ruins.”

“We hope the site will become a major hub for bringing attention to other great Second World War history projects, local museums and charities that centre around the armed forces and veterans,”

he said.

McManus and Paterson will embark on a chartered journey across Europe, using any available means to access The Third Reich in Ruins.

If they raise the amount needed, they will set off at the end of September and travel from the south of France, through the Ardennes to Germany, covering Munich, and ending in Austria.

The adventure travel aspect of the project will add scale and weight to the trip, according to the organisers.

“This is an in-the-moment, highly entertaining, yet poignant look at the Second World War through its decaying remains,” said McManus.

Along the trip they will meet various experts and survivors from all sides of the turbulent period, and explore ruins rarely seen.

McManus and Paterson, who are hoping to set up a production base in offices at RAF Chilmark, will have a stall at the Chalke Valley History Festival from next Monday to Sunday.

They will be providing more information about the project and they will be on-hand to answer any questions.

To find out more, visit or to make a donation, visit scars-the-third-reich-in-ruins.