Korea, Vietnam through to the Gulf War, astonishing film footage, educational, nostalgic to those who lived it, lessons for the future. 10, 47-minute episodes rich with firefight footage, not for the squeamish. A documentary on modern warfare, the good, the bad and the ugly. Propaganda revealed along with leadership decisions on both the pos. and neg. sides. 20 Emmy-winner Mike Wallace is no novice to covering US war and here is a supreme example of his journalistic ability. Reporters such as Murrow, Cronkite, Safer & others are also brought back to life in recovered news-footage. See John McCain as a tortured, wounded, captured pilot,+ MacArthur and McNamara in action.
A worthy DVD set for any history, war historian, US history, or military buff. A must see for anyone born in the 20th century later half. Vets will remember much more than presented here. Scenes are not all heroic winning. Some are. Women in war is covered as well.
SUBTITLES provided. Bonus of 9 text military leader bios.
1 VIETNAM: HOW WE WENT TO WAR--Pulitzer David Halberstam called Vietnam "the making of a quagmire." Nam was America's most unpopular war. Un-winnable guerrilla war leaving 300,000 wounded, 58,000 dead. History of Pres. Truman through Johnson. Pres. Johnson's '65 escalation went from 20000 to 190000 then on to a 543,000 peak.
2 VIETNAM: A SOLDIER'S DIARY--"Grunts" fought "Charlie" in "Nam". Shows live firefights, survivor interviews, and casualties. "68 Tet suggests Vietnam would be lost. Home population ready to leave. Pres. Johnson refuses another term. Even troops rebel--on camera. '73 end with no hero welcome.
3 VIETNAM DILEMMA: TET AND THE ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT--America won military advantage of the Tet Offensive but lost morale. Anti-War movement leaped ahead. Tape footage of foot-by-foot Hue fighting; Cronkites '68 public declaration than Vietnam Was was not winnable; college campus protests; Chicago Dem. convention riot; & Kent state deaths.
4 PORTRAITS OF COURAGE: AIR WAR IN VIETNAM AND THE PRISONER OF WAR--591 POWs. Bombing (3x that used against Germany/Japan in WWII. Nixon's Ho Chi Minh Trail bombing. Christmas bombing (more than all dropped between 1969-71.) POW life was torture & POW/MIAs became a war-end condition.
5 KOREA: THE FORGOTTEN WAR--'50s Korean War remembered finally in 1995 memorial. 1 1/2 million Am. soldiers in Korea. See MacArthur's risky Inchon landing with teenage troops. Newsreel footage of Korean battle action. The Chinese-American conflict on Korea land. Truman's commitment to a limited war; replacing MacArthur; then trench warfare & POW brainwashing. Ike's win, war's end, stalemate costing 54000 Am. lives.
6 AMERICA'S ELITE FORCES: A CHECKERED HISTORY--Gulf war a fit for "elite", SOF, forces. Green Beret + Seals (footage shown).70's Delta Force crated to fight terrorism. 1980 failed Iranian desert operation, "Desert One" (Carter Ad.). Reagan's boost to special forces. Debacled Grenada; '89 Panama, Noriega, success; '91 Persian Gulf Desert Storm; '93/'94 UN food effort in Somalia covered with film.
7 MILITARY DEBACLES--Limited war for limited objectives, DC politicians fail to understand military force. Pearl Harbor an example. Korean War "sneak attack" of 300000 Chinese trapped Am. men. Vietnam was without a winning military goal. Iranian hostages '79-'80. Lebanon 1982--241 Marines killed. '92/3 Somalia famine relief. Desert Storm '90-1. is an exception of a 100 hour win. (Some repeat &/or expansion of Ep. 6.)
8 THE GULF WAR REVISITED: THE UNTOLD STORY--"Mother of all Battles" named by Saddam Hussein '91. Precision bombs less than perfect. 25% failed but compare to 25% hits for 'dumb' bombs. 24% of American deaths here (35 men) were "friendly fire" killed. '91 cease fire was without all objectives met. 70% of Saddam's Republican Guard escaped. Re visit the TV coverage.
9 A FEW GOOD WOMEN--From support to Desert Storm's near combat role. 1901 beginning for Army Nurse Corp. WACs & 1074 WASPSs (WW2). 400,000 women served in WWII. 1948 Women's Army Services Act. 1993 Vet. Day unveiling of a memorial to the war female. Post-draft ('73) opened recruitment of women. 1990s had 200000 service women. Tailhook Convention activity reviewed.2nd Class soldiering changed for the better in Gulf War. Clinton instructs ('93) to make room for women.
10 THE CHANGING FACE OF WARFARE--Violent & quick is the image of modern technological warfare after lessons of Gulf War. AWACS give immediate sophisticated radar pictures. Stealth fighters caused anti-aircraft firing to be random--no targets seen. Night warfare advantage learned from Vietcong. Apache laser guided attack helicopters; Abrams M1A1 tanks; JSTARS recon planes; GPS; integrated command; ICBMs Patriot missals vs SCUDS; Tomahawks; Mavericks all shown in action. Dehumanized war of the future 21st century.
This documentary is 96% visual footage with live dialogue, or narration. You are there! Again. Sobering for those who have never fought in a battle. Probably some tough scenes for those who have, and survived.