Monday, October 19, 2015

Documentary Review: Ken Burns: The War (5): FUBAR

This is the continuing PBS documentary directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.  In this series the expectation of the boys being home before Christmas of 1944 is dashed.  The acronym FUBAR (f'ed up beyond all recognition) introduces the theme, that sometimes, even with the best preparation things do not always go as planned, and sometimes generals can make stupid decisions.  This episode deals much with the relationship between the 442nd and their general.  This was a Japanese American regiment.  Their general had them take a hill, then abandon it, then take it again when Germans moved in.  they were also called upon to rescue the lost battalion.  This is a group that was behind enemy lines.  This resulted in the Battle of Hurtgen Forrest.  This regiment was mostly used up, and lost about 400 men as they rescued 250.  However they were presented with a commendation.  The general wanted them all to show up and was upset there were so few.  However they were all there, there were just so few who survived.
In this episode we also see General Douglas MacArthur returning to the Philippines.  With their air superiority and planes coming from air craft carriers most of the Japanese fleet was destroyed in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
This film continues to show the horror of war.  It also talks about the rough language the men picked up.   They had to be careful in the selection of words when they were on leave or after they returned home.

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