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The War Season 1 Episodes

Season 1 Episode Guide

Season 1

7 Episodes 2007 - 2007

Episode 1

A Necessary War: December 1941 - December 1942

Sun, Sep 23, 2007 147 mins

Ken Burns' seven-part series tells the story of World War II through the experiences of ordinary people from four American towns. First up: a summary of the war and its cost (some 50 million lives), and reasons for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It also chronicles the first year of U.S. involvement, focusing on, among others, Glenn Frazier, from Mobile, Ala., who survived the Bataan Death March; and Sid Phillips, who fought the Japanese on Guadalcanal.

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Episode 2

When Things Get Tough: January 1943 - December 1943

Mon, Sep 24, 2007 117 mins

The events of 1943, including U.S. forces engaging Rommel's panzer divisions in North Africa, where success eludes them until Patton takes command. Also: bombing raids over Europe; the Allied invasion of Sicily and southern Italy. On the home front, Mobile, Ala., experiences a population explosion; and women join the workforce.

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Episode 3

A Deadly Calling: November 1943 – June 1944

Tue, Sep 25, 2007 117 mins

The November 1943 Army-Marine Corps assault on Tarawa in the Pacific and the reaction to color footage of the battle shown in the U.S. are recalled. Also: The drive north in Italy stalls at Monte Cassino, leading to a risky plan to land Allied forces behind enemy lines at Anzio. Back home, racial violence erupts in Mobile, Ala.; blacks train for combat, but generally are assigned to service posts; a policy reversal permits Japanese-American men, previously labeled "enemy aliens," to volunteer.

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Episode 4

Pride of Our Nation: June 1944 - August 1944

Wed, Sep 26, 2007 147 mins

The events of June 6, 1944 (D-Day), when Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, are recalled by several veterans who took part. While the casualty toll is huge, the victory enables the Allies to push the Germans out of France. In the Pacific, the Marines face their bloodiest battle yet on Saipan, where even Japanese civilians seem to prefer death to surrender.

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Episode 5

FUBAR: September 1944 - December 1944

Sun, Sep 30, 2007 147 mins

By September 1944, Allied success in Europe leads some to believe the war will soon end, but U.S. and British forces on the German border face a fuel shortage; a plan to drop airborne troops behind enemy lines goes awry; and the Battle of Hurtgen Forest results in many casualties. Also: The Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team endures brutal combat in the Vosges Mountains; and in the Pacific, the Battle of Peleliu rages and MacArthur returns to the Philippines.

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Episode 6

The Ghost Front: December 1944 - March 1945

Mon, Oct 1, 2007 120 mins

On Dec. 16, 1944, the Nazis launch a counteroffensive in the Ardennes Forest in Belgium and Luxembourg. This Battle of the Bulge (as it came to be known) catches the Allies by surprise. By March 1945, however, the Allies have dropped more bombs on Germany than in the preceding three years; and ground troops cross the Rhine. In the Pacific, the Marines are locked in a ferocious battle with the Japanese on Iwo Jima.

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Episode 7

A World Without War: March 1945 - September 1945

Tue, Oct 2, 2007 147 mins

The final months of World War II are chronicled, including the death of President Roosevelt; the discovery of Nazi concentration camps by U.S. and British troops; and the Germans' surrender on May 8, 1945. In the Pacific, however, the war drags on, with a fierce fight for the Japanese island of Okinawa; and the prospect of a years-long struggle for Japan itself. Everything changes in August, however, when the U.S. drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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The War, Season 1 Episode 7 image