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The Ghost Front : December 1944-March 1945

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Summary

  • By December 1944, Americans had grown weary of the war: the stream of newspaper headlines telling of new losses and telegrams bearing bad news seemed endless. In episode 6, The Ghost Front, Ken Burns explores the unpredictable and unnerving months toward the near-end to the war. In the Pacific, American progress had been slow and costly, while in Europe, no one was prepared for the massive counterattack Hitler launches in the Ardennes forest of Belgium and Luxemburg. Back home, newspapers cover the "The Battle of the Bulge" as citizens begin to wonder if victory can truly be won. In March, Allied warplanes drop 185,640 tons of bombs on Germany - more than in any other month of the war - and Marines face 21,000 Japanese defenders who are ordered to kill as many Americans as possible. In the coming months, Allied bombings set Japan's cities ablaze, killing hundreds of thousands and leaving millions homeless. But by the middle of March 1945, the end of the war in Europe finally seems imminent.

Notes

  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on September 23, 2011.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
  • Mode of access: Internet.
  • System requirements: FOD playback platform.

Contents

  • Extent of German Ambitions (3:30) -- Soldiers' Experience (2:57) -- War Weariness (2:18) -- Hitler's Plan for Victory (2:14) -- Preparations for Attack (1:58) -- Extracting Bullet from Self (1:41) -- Ardennes Before Battle (2:18) -- Germans Break Through (1:53) -- German Successes (2:08) -- Malmedy Massacre (3:03) -- Containing the Bulge (1:12) -- Taken Prisoner (0:57) -- Holding Bastogne (2:01) -- Air Force Aids Bastogne (1:30) -- Eisenhower's Response to Bulge (1:35) -- Sasha Weinsheimer's Journal Entry Christmas 1944 (3:55) -- Psychological Impact of Bulge on Homefront (0:51) -- Black Skin Signifying American Identity (1:12) -- Experience in the Ardennes (2:38) -- Frostbitten in Ardennes (1:58) -- Retaking Ground (1:45) -- Taking No Prisoners (2:52) -- Victory at Bulge (1:40) -- Eating at War (1:45) -- Starvation on the Philippines (3:42) -- Medics (4:00) -- Soldiers Going Mad (1:10) -- Pin-Up Girls (2:50) -- Americans Reach Philippine Prison Camp (1:25) -- Liberation of Philippine Prison Camp (3:05) -- Publicizing Liberation (1:28) -- Battle for Manila (2:50) -- Reported Dead (2:02) -- Yalta (1:34) -- Air Assaults on Germany (1:53) -- Local Paper Records Soldier's Death (0:49) -- Gruesome Experience in Castle (2:26) -- Bombing Tokyo (1:52) -- Assault on Iwo Jima (2:37) -- Experience at Iwo Jima (2:52) -- Battle on Iwo Jima (2:00) -- Toll of Iwo Jima (2:10) -- Firebombing Japan (2:06) -- POWs in Japan During Bombing (1:27) -- Justification for Firebombing: There Are No Civilians (0:51) -- Marines Excited to be Back (2:50) -- Crossing the Rhine (2:06) -- American Prisoners in Germany (2:13) -- Disappointing Rescue Mission (3:01) -- Status of the War (2:55) -- Experience at Iwo Jima (2:10) -- Individual Story from Iwo Jima (1:35) -- Going Home (1:30) -- Credits: The Ghost Front (December 1944-March 1945) (2:44)
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