The War

  • 2007
  • TV Show
  • None

A 14-hour documentary that chronicles World War II through the experiences of everyday Americans from Luverne, Minn.; Mobile, Ala.; Sacramento; and Waterbury, Conn.

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Ken Burns, <EM>The War</EM>

Ken Burns Goes to War, Unravels Untold Stories

As long as I live, I will never forget the sound of my friend's voice on the phone, or the two words he managed, through tears, to blurt out: "He's back." Before I explain what he meant, some background: It had only been a few days since I'd reluct… Read more

Latest Full EpisodesSee all »

A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick: A World Without War (March 1945 - December 1945) Season 1, Episode 7 Oct 2, 2007 Paid

From PBS - In spring 1945, although the numbers of dead and wounded have more than doubled since D-Day, the people of understand all too well that there will be more bad news from the battlefield before the war can end. That March, President Franklin Roosevelt warns in a newsreel that the final battle with Japan could stretch on for years. Meanwhile, as Allied forces rapidly push across Germany from the east and west, American and British troops discover for themselves the true horrors of the Nazi's industrialized barbarism. Finally, on May 8, the Nazis surrender. But as Eugene Sledge remembers, to the Marines and soldiers still fighting in the Pacific. Then, on August 6, 1945, under orders from President Truman, an American plane drops a single atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. On August 9, a second American atomic bomb destroys the city of Nagasaki. The rulers of Japan decide at last to give up - the greatest cataclysm comes to an end.

A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick: The Ghost Front (December 1944 - March 1945) Season 1, Episode 6 Oct 1, 2007 Paid

From PBS - By December 1944, Americans have become weary of the war. In the Pacific, American progress has been slow and costly, with each island more fiercely defended than the last. In Europe, no one is prepared for the massive counterattack Hitler launches on December 16 in the Ardennes Forest in Belgium and Luxemburg. Back home, Katharine Phillips of Mobile and Burt Wilson of Sacramento are shocked to see newspaper headlines showing the Germans on the offensive and wonder, "Are we losing now that we're this close?" In the Pacific, Allied bombers are ready to batter Japan as well - but first, the air strip on Iwo Jima, an inhospitable volcanic island halfway between Allied air bases on Tinian and the Japanese home islands, needs to be taken.

A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick: FUBAR (September 1944 - December 1944) Season 1, Episode 5 Sep 30, 2007 Paid

From PBS - By September 1944, the Allies seem to be moving steadily toward victory in Europe. "Militarily," General Dwight Eisenhower's chief of staff tells the press, "this war is over." But in the coming months, on both sides of the world, a generation of young men will learn a lesson as old as war itself - that generals make plans, plans go wrong and soldiers die.

A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick: Pride of Our Nation (June 1944 - August 1944) Season 1, Episode 4 Sep 26, 2007 Paid

From PBS - By June 1944, there are signs on both sides of the world that the tide of the war is turning. On June 6, 1944 - D-Day - a million and a half Allied troops embark on the invasion of France. The Allies succeed in tearing a 45-mile gap in Hitler's vaunted Atlantic Wall. Bogged down in the Norman hedgerows, facing German troops determined to make them pay for every inch of territory they gain, the Allies for months measure their progress in yards and suffer far greater casualties than expected. In the Pacific, the long climb from island to island toward the Japanese homeland is underway, but the enemy seems increasingly determined to defend to the death every piece of territory they hold.

Video ClipsSee all »

When Things Get Tough: January 1943 - December 1943
00:30 — When Things Get Tough: January 1943 - December 1943
A World Without War: March 1945 - September 1945
00:30 — A World Without War: March 1945 - September 1945
Why “The War” will be remembered
02:32 — Ken Burns and Lynn Novick talk about why WWII will always be remembered.
Adding Sound
01:51 — The filmmakers talk about the process of adding sound to the silent archive video footage they had for The War.

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  • Premiered: September 23, 2007
  • Rating: None
  • Premise: A 14-hour documentary that chronicles World War II through the experiences of everyday Americans from Luverne, Minn.; Mobile, Ala.; Sacramento; and Waterbury, Conn. (more)

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