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Operation Felix: Hitler's Key to Victory
During the Second World War, the British Colony of Gibraltar became a crucial weapon for the allies. Famous in legend as one of the mythical Columns of Hercules, the Rock's strategic position made it a "key" to the control of the Mediterranean and a vital staging post for the war…
Firestorm
After suffering heavy losses of aircraft during attacks on German factories, Winston Churchill orders cities to be targeted in order to smash German morale and reduce the number of workers available for the Nazi war machine. Hundreds of thousands of German civilians are killed as incendiary bombs turn the center…
The Reich Underground
HITLER'S SECRET LABYRINTHS EXPLORED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DECADES Late in World War II, while Germany sustained relentless bombing by the Allies, the Nazis undertook a bold gambit to turn the war back in their favor. Building an extensive tunnel system deep underground to house armament factories, Nazi leaders…
The Forgotten Force
After the atomic obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, over 36,000 Australian men and women, part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF), marched onto Japanese soil. They were assigned the toughest and most dangerous area of Japan: Hiroshima Prefecture, which included the atom-bombed city. The Forgotten Force tells for the…
When Things Get Tough
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The War
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…
FUBAR
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The War
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 Top Secret Trials of the Third Reich
In August of 1944, the trial began of the men who conspired to assassinate the Fuhrer (the subject of the Tom Cruise film Valkyrie). Under orders from Joseph Goebbels, cameras were hidden in the courtroom, and soon thereafter a propaganda film was released to the public. Unfortunately for the Nazis,…
A Deadly Calling
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The War
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…
Pride of Our Nation
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The War
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 -- in the European Theater, a million and a half Allied troops embark on one of the greatest invasions in history: the invasion of…
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…
Terezin: Resistance and Revival
Terezin to the Czechs. Theresienstadt to Germans. It was a Nazi concentration camp where some of the world's greatest musicians, composers, artists and theatre professionals continued to create despite the near certainty that they would be transported to Auschwitz. Indeed, the Nazis exploited their art as propaganda -- 'evidence,' they…
VJ Day: War & Peace
August 6 1945, 8.15 a.m. the first atomic bomb used in warfare, codenamed 'Little Boy' was dropped on Hiroshima, resulting in the death of 70,000 people. Three days later, on August 9, a second bomb, codenamed 'Fat Man' was dropped on Nagasaki, leading to a Japanese surrender on August 15,…