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The Cuban Missile Crisis

1962—American spy planes spot launch ramps in Cuba that are designed for nuclear missiles. President Kennedy orders that the island be blockaded in order to inspect any ships wishing to dock there. On October 26, Khrushchev tells Kennedy that he will continue his action: “If the United States want war, we shall find ourselves in hell.” The CIA informs the American president that 24 Russian missiles are now operational and pointing at precise locations in the country. Off the coast of Cuba, the U.S. Navy confronts the Russian fleet and is hunting down Russian submarines. Two of them break surface, but a third remains submerged, refusing to come up. Three exercise charges are dropped to emphasize the order to surface. Moscow orders its vessel to react. A nuclear torpedo is loaded into [...]

The Big Picture: Army Divers' School

Through the lenses of the U.S. Army’s The Big Picture cameras, this classic episode will follow the training and actual underwater operations assigned to enlisted divers of the Army Transportation Corps. The diving student learns and becomes a jack-of-all-trades: welder, carpenter, mechanic all rolled into one. He must also be an explosives expert; at home with such items as blasting machines, plastic explosives, gelatin dynamite, and TNT. Playing down the dramatics usually seen in underwater work, the skillful photography results in a documentary featuring generous use of all camera angles. It takes 17 weeks in the Divers’ School for young soldiers who had never been under the water to become qualified salvage divers and fledgling members of one of the highest-paid trades in the wor [...]
2012; 2008

Adrinople: Rome Against the Barbarians

Rome, 4th century AD. The Empire is now too vast to be ruled by a single man. For the first time, it is decided to divide it into two. Valentinian, an excellent general, rules the Western Empire. Valens, his brother, a far less talented man, governs the Eastern Empire. After receiving a delegation from the barbarian chiefs, Valentinian plunges into one of his habitual, violent rages. On this occasion, his body gives up: suffering a brain hemorrhage, he collapses and dies during the night. His son, Gratian, replaces him as head of the Western Empire at the worst possible moment. The Goths, driven from their own lands by the Huns, cross the Empire’s frontiers. Valens, Emperor of the East, brings his army home to Adrianople to confront the Goths. Rather than wait for reinforcements from [...]
2017; 2016

Over and Out: Dismantling U.S. Military Operations in Iraq—Dan Rather Reports

First evidence that the 6 year-old war in Iraq is coming to an end for U.S. forces. Dan Rather Reports was on hand for the dismantling of one of the bases that was once a hot spot in the middle of the war. Now everything is being shipped to the U.S. or Afghanistan. Also, the remarkable women of Rwanda taking power.
2016; 2010

Chemical Weapons: An Insidious War

Chemical weapons, which the world awakened to, once more in Syria, are still a nightmare. This investigative film will tell the story of the past, present, and future of chemical weapons with unprecedented access to weapons inspectors, government officials, and the personal testimony of those who have experienced this horror. We will find out how they came to be, how hard they are to control, how dangerous they are, and how international efforts to control them are ushering a new era of cooperation to counter terrorists plots.
2018; 2015

50 Years of Military Integration (7/31/98)

Journalist Haynes Johnson, historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Michael Beschloss, and retired Army Lieutenant General Julius Becton discuss the 50th anniversary of President Harry S. Truman's executive order that formally integrated the armed forces.
2017; 1998

Paul Nitze: Interview (10/26/89)

Jim Lehrer interviews American diplomat Paul Nitze on his views of the Soviet Union.
2017; 1989

The Battle of Dunkirk

May 10, 1940. The Germans launch an offensive into Holland, Belgium, and Luxemburg. The French and British armies are caught off guard and find themselves surrounded, so they are ordered to pull back to Dunkirk. 400,000 men crowd onto the beaches and wait to be embarked back to England: Operation Dynamo begins as General Guderian’s Panzer divisions speed towards the town. As Guderian is about to launch a decisive assault on Dunkirk, he receives a direct order from Hitler to halt his advance. He will not be authorized to resume until three days later, on May 27, 1940. Taking advantage of this three-day reprieve, 224,686 British and 123,098 French have time to cross the Channel to safety in England—figures far higher than the Allies first hoped. While France is forced to sign the armis [...]

D-Day 360

D-DAY 360 strips D-Day back to its raw data to reveal how the odds of victory, in the greatest gamble of World War II, swung on what happened over a five-hour period on a five mile stretch of French coastline. Data gathered though forensic laser scanning, 3D computer modeling, and eye-witness accounts bring the battlefield to life as never before.
2017; 2014

Last Days in Vietnam

During the final days of the Vietnam War, as the North Vietnamese Army closed in on Saigon, the South Vietnamese resistance crumbled. The U.S. had only a skeleton crew of diplomats and military operatives still in the country. With the clock ticking, a number of heroic Americans took matters into their own hands, engaging in unsanctioned and often makeshift operations in an effort to save as many South Vietnamese as possible.
2017; 2014

Einstein and the Manhattan Project

Germany, 1933. Hitler becomes Chancellor. Albert Einstein, a confirmed pacifist, flees Nazi Germany and takes refuge in the United States. He fears for his life, but also for his research, which he refuses to allow to fall into the wrong hands. However, even without him, Germany discovers how to split the atom, thanks to Otto Hahn. The Second World War is looming. The threat of a nuclear Germany is ever closer... In August 1939, under pressure from physicists Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner, Einstein writes a letter to President Roosevelt warning him of the possible development by Germany of “new bombs of a new, extremely powerful type.” While this letter’s aim was to warn the American authorities of the dangers of nuclear arms, it will have the opposite effect: Roosevelt launches the [...]
2017; 2016

Special Forces

From WWII to the present, witness the daring heroics of Britain's SAS (Special Air Service) and SBS (Special Boat Service), and meet America's Delta Force.
2017; 2003

The Phony War

Inspired by newsreels, France, England, and Germany reveal their versions of the “truth” to their citizens. Between September 1939 and June 1940, we view how each side saw the inexorable plunge Europe took into chaos.
2018; 2010

D-Day in HD: Part 2

Codenamed Operation Overlord, the battle also known as D-Day, began on June 6, 1944, when some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France's Normandy region. For the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Nazi-held Europe, this two-part series tells the story of D-Day in HD. Rare footage is rendered in High Definition, then combined with interviews from the men who lived through it. Part two covers the slow battle inland towards the strategic city of Saint-Lo. The Allied operation was compromised by breaches in intelligence, leadership issues, and a major storm that destroyed supply ships and infrastructure on the Normandy coastline. German commanders anticipated American and British attacks [...]
2017; 2014

Events of China's Communist Revolution

Following the second Sino-Japanese War, China lay in ruins politically and militarily. This program follows the internal conflict between the Communist People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (the Kuomintang). Civil war ignites in 1946, setting the stage for the Communist Revolution that will transform and modernise China, though at a great and tragic human cost.
2017; 2015

End Game

Historian Peter Barton concludes his history of the battle in the final months of the campaign. He shows how a remarkable German tactical revolution begun in the summer of 1916 continued throughout this period to frustrate the Allied advance. This would have profound implications, tragically extending the entire First World War far beyond Allied expectations. Barton also presents a new narrative which argues that the battle of the Somme ended not in the winter of 1916, but in the spring of 1917. And he reaches the conclusion that there was no British victory.
2017; 2016

Persian Gulf War: Part 2

Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait resulted in more than one million troops facing off against each other in the desert of the Persian Gulf. The Allied Coalition's air war, known as Operation Desert Storm, involved the most sophisticated technological weaponry available.
2017; 2003

The Big Picture: The Steel Ring

“The Steel Ring,” the complicated defense lines of radars and guns surrounding our country and cities, is the focus of this episode of The Big Picture television series. As explained in this video from the National Archives and Records Administration, the threat of atomic attack hangs over America in these times of lukewarm peace, so the nation must away be prepared. (30 minutes)
2012; 2008

The Vietnam War

The United States fought in the Vietnam War to defend democracy. Ten long years of vicious combat—including the Tet Offensive and bloodshed at Hue and Saigon—permanently embedded the Vietnam War in the American consciousness.
2017; 2003

James Cameron's Expedition: Bismarck

Director James Cameron returns to the high seas to tell the tale and search for the truth of the German legend "Bismarck". With revolutionary production techniques and high-tech remotely operated vihicles, Cameron lights up this dark world and gives us the first glimpse inside the Bismarck in more than 60 years.
Clemons (Stacks)