December 1941 to March 1942. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 thrusts the United States into the global cataclysm that will eventually touch every family on every street in every town in America. Within a few months, millions of young men have entered the armed forces and are beginning to train for war. A series by Ken Burns. Part 1 of 14.
March 1942 to December 1942. With U-boats menacing the East Coast, and little good news from overseas, many worry that the United States is utterly unprepared to fight in a 'total war'. But after six months of gruelling combat on Guadalcanal, the Americans finally stop Japan's expansion in the Pacific. A series by Ken Burns. Part 2 of 14.
January 1943 to June 1943. American troops land in North Africa and test themselves for the first time against the German and Italian armies, learning to set aside the notion that killing is a sin, and adopting the outlook that 'killing is a craft'. Back home, cities become booming 'war towns' overnight as nearly all manufacturing is converted to the war effort, and thousands of women become industrial workers. A series by Ken Burns. Part 3 of 14.
July 1943 to December 1943. On daylight bombing missions, American airmen gamble with their lives against overwhelming odds to bring the war to the heart of Hitler's vast empire. Allied forces invade Sicily and then Italy but, as they grind their way towards Rome, the weather turns bad and the terrain grows more and more forbidding. Twisting mountain roads and blown bridges have to be negotiated while under constant German fire. A series by Ken Burns. Part 4 of 14.
November 1943 to February 1944. In November, the US 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. A series by Ken Burns. Part 5 of 14.
January 1944 to June 1944. American and British troops are pinned down at Anzio for months, while at Monte Cassino, the killing goes on and on. African-Americans, incensed at the segregation of the armed forces, put pressure on the military to make some changes. In May, allied soldiers at Cassino and Anzio resume their drive northward in Italy, liberating Rome on 4 June, but they let the retreating German army get away. A series by Ken Burns. Part 6 of 14.
6 June 1944: D-Day. In the early hours of 6 June 1944, the invasion of France begins. A million-and-a-half men take part. It is the bloodiest day in American history since the Civil War, though the Allies succeed in tearing a 45-mile gap in Hitler's vaunted Atlantic Wall. By day's end more than 150,000 men have landed on French soil, and more men, equipment and supplies are coming ashore every hour. A series by Ken Burns. Part 7 of 14.
June 1944 to August 1944. American and British troops in Normandy are bogged down in the hedgerows, while in the Pacific, the marines fight their costliest battle to date on the island of Saipan. Back home, dreaded telegrams from the War Department begin arriving at a rate inconceivable just one year earlier. But by mid-August, the Germans are in full retreat out of France, and on 25 August, after four years of Nazi occupation, Paris is liberated. A series by Ken Burns. Part 8 of 14.
Autumn 1944. In September of 1944, with their troops in Europe stalled on the German border having outrun their supply lines, Allied commanders gamble on a risky plan to drop thousands of airborne troops behind enemy lines in Holland. When the mission ends in disaster, it becomes painfully clear that the war in Europe will not end before winter. In the Pacific, on the island of Peleliu, the marines fight one of the most brutal campaigns of the war. A series by Ken Burns. Part 9 of 14.
Autumn 1944. In the late autumn of 1944 American soldiers suffer terrible losses when they are ordered into the forbidding and fiercely defended terrain of the Hürtgen Forest and the Vosges Mountains. In the Central Pacific, to the delight of audiences back home, General MacArthur returns to the island of Leyte. But months of bloody fighting lie ahead before the Philippine Islands, and the people imprisoned on them, can be liberated. A series by Ken Burns. Part 10 of 14.
Winter 1944 to 1945. The Allies are unprepared for Hitler's counterattack in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium and Luxembourg. It is the biggest battle of the war on the Western Front, fought during the coldest winter in memory. By the time the Battle of the Bulge is over, Hitler's enormous gamble has ended in disaster and the Russians are approaching Berlin. Meanwhile, in the Santo Tomas Camp in the Philippines, thousands of internees await liberation. A series by Ken Burns. Part 11 of 14.
Winter to Spring 1945. On the island of Iwo Jima, the marines face 21,000 Japanese defenders who, without hope of reinforcement, have been ordered to kill as many Americans as possible before being killed themselves. Once the island is taken, Allied bombers set the cities of Japan ablaze, killing thousands and leaving millions homeless. In Europe, Americans are crossing the Rhine and driving into Germany, while the Russians are within 50 miles of Berlin. A series by Ken Burns. Part 12 of 14.
Spring 1945. In the Pacific, Americans fight on the island of Okinawa while kamikaze pilots wreak havoc on the fleet offshore. In Europe, allied forces rapidly push across Germany from the east and west, and American and British troops discover the true horrors of the Nazis' industrialised barbarism at Buchenwald, Dachau, Mauthausen and other concentration camps. Finally, on 8 May, with their country in ruins and their Fuhrer dead, the Germans surrender. A series by Ken Burns. Part 13 of 14.
May to December 1945. In June, the battle on Okinawa ends yet Japan's rulers, despite the agony their people are enduring, resist unconditional surrender. On 6 August 1945, an American plane drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Two days later, Russia declares war against Japan. A second atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki and, finally, Japan surrenders. In the following months, hundreds of thousands of American servicemen and women return home. A series by Ken Burns. Part 14 of 14.
I Am War tells the personal accounts of five men and women who fought in the Afghanistan War and how these traumatic experiences have changed their lives. These compelling testimonials are personal journeys into war and based on actual events and stories from first-hand witnesses.