The War (2007)
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The Ghost Front: December 1944 - March 1945 

Americans are shocked by Hitler's massive counterattack in the Ardennes Forest--but by mid March, 1945, they are across the Rhine, while the Russians are 50 miles from Berlin. In the ... See full summary »


Ken Burns (co-director), Lynn Novick (co-director)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Keith David ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Ray Leopold Ray Leopold ... Himself - Resident of Waterbury, Connecticut
Paul Fussell Paul Fussell ... Himself - Infantry
Burnett Miller Burnett Miller ... Himself - Resident of Sacramento, California
Tom Galloway Tom Galloway ... Himself - Resident of Mobile. Alabama
Katharine Phillips Katharine Phillips ... Herself - Resident of Mobile, Alabama
Sascha Weinzheimer Sascha Weinzheimer ... Herself - Resident of Sacramento Valley, California
Burt Wilson Burt Wilson ... Himself - Resident of Sacramento, California
Herndon Inge Herndon Inge ... Himself - Resident of Mobile, Alabama
Daniel Inouye ... Himself - Infantry
Leo Goldberg Leo Goldberg ... Himself - Resident of Waterbury, Connecticut
Dolores Silva Dolores Silva ... Herself - Resident of Sacramento, California
Sam Hynes Sam Hynes ... Himself - Marine Pilot
Glenn D. Frazier Glenn D. Frazier ... Himself - Prisoner of War
Quentin Aanenson Quentin Aanenson ... Himself - Resident of Luverne, Minnesota


Americans are shocked by Hitler's massive counterattack in the Ardennes Forest--but by mid March, 1945, they are across the Rhine, while the Russians are 50 miles from Berlin. In the Pacific, after weeks of desperate fighting, Iwo Jima is secured, and American bombers begin a full-fledged air assault on Japan. Written by Anonymous

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tv mini series | See All (1) »




Release Date:

1 October 2007 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Florentine Films, WETA See more »
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Did You Know?


Ray Leopold: In the process of this battle we took about 18 or 19 German prisoners. A young man approximately 24 years of age turned to me, and in a voice completely accent-free, he said, "Where are you from?" I said, "I'm from the United States." "Where... in the United States?" "The Northeast," I said. "Where Northeast?" I said, "I'm from Connecticut." "Where in Connecticut?" He was persisting. I said "Yes, I'm from Waterbury, Connecticut." "Ah, yes," he said, "Waterbury, at the junction of the Naugatuck ...
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References This Man's Navy (1945) See more »


Silent Night, Holy Night
Music by Franz Xaver Gruber
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User Reviews

From D-Day Onward, The Allies Nearing Victory
24 October 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This episode contains a lot of war footage and shows the battles in France as the Americans and their Allies fight the Germans en route to Germany. One of those was in a thick forest area, hence the title "The Ghost Front."

Later, we see the "Battle Of the Bulge" on the German-Belgian border mainly, and the bloody battles that went with it. The "bulge," I believe, referred to the bulge in our advancing lines as the Germans fought back and started driving the Allies back for awhile. The time period is December of 1944, six months after the D-Day invasion and a lot of lives were sacrificed at this time, among bitter cold conditions. Pictures of literally-frozen bodies are difficult to view. How many soldiers had toes frozen off I don't know. It's pretty sad - from our (U.S.) point of view - when you hear about the German soldiers far better dressed to deal with the cold than our guys. Sometimes you wonder how we ever won the war with the poor leadership and planning we had from our military leaders (with a few exceptions, like Patton).

Another continuing human element that has been part of this series is the saga of young Sascha Weinzheimer and the imprisonment of her, her brother, mom and dad at Manila. Her story, not as dramatic as the famous Anne Frank, nonetheless, is compelling and she is still alive today to tell it. Her story really gets dramatic when the Americans come to rescue all the prisoners and then the Japanese bomb the place. In the end, Manila is almost totally wiped out after two days of brutal fighting and bombing. The pictures of many American prisoners literally skin and bones rival the concentration camp pictures in Germany - just terrible sights.

Meanwhile, the war goes on in and we witness the bombing of Dresdan and other German cities, which kills 600,000 people including hundreds of thousands of German women and kids.

At that point, all of this is almost too much to watch, but this a long episode with plenty more to come, like the battle at Iwo Jima, where an unbelievable 6,000 Americans lost their lives on that tiny island, but taking the island cleared the way for a straight line to Japan now. After that, among other things, we see the huge B-29 bombers leveling several Japanese cities with napalm. It has devastating results.

The end of the war is in sight now.

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