Synopsis by Steve Blackburn
Born in the Texas Hill Country German immigrant town of Fredericksburg, the low-key Admiral Chester Nimitz (1885-1966) had a completely different command style than the arrogant, showboating General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964). Yet, as this video shows using archival combat footage, interviews, and commentary, these two military leaders teamed to lead their forces in the final drive to defeat the Japanese, resulting in some of the bloodiest fighting of the entire war. The program explains the strategy that involved MacArthur and his men fighting from the Solomon Islands and New Guinea, moving on to the Philippines, while Nimitz and the Navy began this stage of the campaign in the Gilbert Islands at Tarawa. Nimitz masterminded U.S. strategy at the Battle of the Philippine Sea (1944) and Battle of Leyte Gulf (1944). Narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier and billing itself as "the definitive story of World War II," The World At War is a 26-volume history of the largest war in history, showing what the war was like for those on the killing fields. This episode was written by David Wheeler and produced by John Pett. Michael Darlow and Hugh Raggett directed.