52:05 | Modern history

The War

The Ghost Front  |  Season 1  |  Episode 11  |  ABC

Winter 1944-1945: In Europe, the allies are totally unprepared for Hitler's massive counterattack in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium and Luxemburg. It is the biggest battle of the War on the Western Front, fought during the coldest winter in memory. But by the time the Battle of the Bulge is over, Hitler's enormous gamble has ended in disaster - and the Russians are getting closer to Berlin every day. Meanwhile, in the Santo Tomas Camp in the Philippines, thousands of internees are now starving, desperately trying to hold on to life long enough to be liberated. This 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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