A Necessary War
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The War

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A Necessary War
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A World Without War
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In spring 1945, although the numbers of dead and wounded have more than doubled since D-Day, the people of Mobile, Sacramento, Waterbury and Luverne understand all too well that there will be more bad news from the battlefield before the war can end. That March, when Americans go to the…
When Things Get Tough
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By January 1943, Americans have been at war for more than a year. The Germans, with their vast war machine, still occupy most of Western Europe, and the Allies have not yet been able to agree on a plan or a timetable to dislodge them. For the time being, they…
A Deadly Calling
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In fall 1943, after almost two years of war, the American public is able to see for the first time the terrible toll the war is taking on its troops when Life publishes a photograph of the bodies of three GIs killed in action at Buna. Despite American victories in…
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By September 1944, in Europe at least, the Allies seem to be moving steadily toward victory. "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…
The Ghost Front
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The War
By December 1944, Americans have become weary of the war their young men have been fighting for three long years; the stream of newspaper headlines telling of new losses and telegrams bearing bad news from the War Department seem endless and unendurable. In the Pacific, American progress has been slow…
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The Siege of Leningrad
In 1941, Hitler ordered the German Army to invade Russia. The Nazis raced across Russia's heartland until they reached Leningrad - the cradle of the Bolshevik Revolution. But the city did not fall quickly to Hitler's troops. Instead it resisted. The siege of Leningrad began on September 8, 1941 and…
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If the astonishing true-life story of British writer and poet Micky Burn MC had been written as a novel, readers would readily accept it as invented. Born in Mayfair in 1912, his father worked for the Royal family. He became the lover of the communist spy Guy Burgess, and would…
Road to Tokyo
By late 1944, the worst of World War Two appears to be over. Germany is awaiting defeat after D-Day and Japan has been repulsed from Australia's doorstep. But the conflict in the Pacific is about to hot up and it will be a long road to Tokyo for the Allies.…