51:34 | Modern history

The War

A Helluva War  |  Season 1  |  Episode 5  |  ABC

November 1943 - February 1944: The Marines take the tiny Pacific atoll of Tarawa, but at a terrible cost. Back home, Japanese-Americans are permitted to form a special segregated infantry unit, and begin to train for combat. As the war economy booms, ugly racial violence erupts in cities across the country. Overseas, in the mountains south of Rome, the allies try to fight their way around the edges of Monte Cassino, but are stopped cold. 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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17:13 | Modern history

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