51:55 | Modern history

The War

Pride Of Our Nation  |  Season 1  |  Episode 7  |  ABC

June 6, 1944 - D Day: In the early morning hours of June 6th, 1944 - D Day - the invasion of France begins. A million and a half men take part. It is the bloodiest day in American history since the Civil War. The Allies succeed in tearing a 45-mile gap in Hitler's vaunted Atlantic Wall. By day's end more than 150,000 men have landed on French soil, and more men and more equipment and supplies are coming ashore every hour. The War, a series directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, tells the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four quintessentially American towns. The series explores the most intimate human dimensions of the greatest cataclysm in history, a worldwide catastrophe that touched the lives of every family on every street in every town in America and demonstrates that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives. Throughout the series, the indelible experience of combat is brought vividly to life as veterans describe what it was like to fight and kill and see men die at places like Monte Cassino and Anzio and Omaha Beach; the Hurtgen Forest and the Vosges Mountains and the Ardennes; and on the other side of the world at Guadalcanal and Tarawa and Saipan; Peleliu and the Philippine Sea and Okinawa. In all of the battle scenes, dramatic historical footage and photographs are combined with extraordinarily realistic sound effects to give the film a terrifying, visceral immediacy. The film honours the bravery, endurance, and sacrifice of the generation of Americans who lived through what will always be known simply as the War.

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