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War Stories With Eric Sevareid: First Strike, The World War II Films Of American Film Director And U.S. Navy Officer John Ford, Covering The Beginning And The Turning Point Of The Pacific War: The Attack On Pearl Harbor And The Battle Of Midway, In A Special Feature Hosted And Analyzed By The Eminent American Radio And Television Journalist And "Murrow's Boy" During World War II Eric Sevareid, Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS As An MP4 Video Download Or Archival Quality All Regions Format DVD! (Color, 1992, 48 Minutes.)
DECEMBER 7TH (Black/White, 1943)
John Ford and Gregg Toland's acclaimed docudrama about the Pearl Harbor attack and its aftermath, the recovering of the ships, the improving of defense in Hawaii and the US efforts to beat back Japanese reinforcements and advances in the Pacific.
THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY (Technicolor, 1942)
A John Ford film, winner of the 1943 Academy Award for Best Documentary, detailing the battle that turned the tide in the war against Imperial Japan. Ford was wounded by schrapnel while shooting segments of this film, which can be determined during the film when the camera jumps out of frame due to the concussion of the explosive that wounded him.
December 7, 1941: World War II: The Asia-Pacific War: The Attack On Pearl Harbor: National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: The U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was attacked in a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service, an event memorialized in the United States as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. The attack led to the United States' entry into World War II. The Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI, and as Operation Z during its planning. Japan intended the attack as a preventive action to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions they planned in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. Over the next seven hours there were coordinated Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines, Guam and Wake Island and on the British Empire in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time. The base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft (including fighters, level and dive bombers, and torpedo bombers) in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. All but the USS Arizona were later raised, and six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. One hundred eighty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded. Important base installations such as the power station, dry dock, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section), were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 64 servicemen killed. One Japanese sailor, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured. The surprise attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day, December 8, the United States declared war on Japan, and several days later, on December 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. The U.S. responded with a declaration of war against Germany and Italy. Domestic support for non-interventionism, which had been fading since the Fall of France in 1940, disappeared. There were numerous historical precedents for unannounced military action by Japan, but the lack of any formal warning, particularly while negotiations were still apparently ongoing, led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy". Because the attack happened without a declaration of war and without explicit warning, the attack on Pearl Harbor was later judged in the Tokyo Trials to be a war crime.
June 4-7, 1942: World War II: The Pacific War: The Battle Of Midway: On June 4, 1942, the Battle Of Midway begins as Japanese Admiral Chuichi Nagumo orders a strike on Midway Island by much of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Battle of Midway was a decisive naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II which occurred between 4 and 7 June 1942, only six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and one month after the historic Battle of the Coral Sea. The United States Navy under Admirals Chester Nimitz, Frank Jack Fletcher, and Raymond A. Spruance defeated an attacking fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy under Admirals Isoroku Yamamoto, Chuichi Nagumo, and Nobutake Kondo near Midway Atoll, inflicting devastating damage on the Japanese fleet that proved irreparable. Military historian John Keegan called it "the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare.". The Japanese operation, like the earlier attack on Pearl Harbor, sought to eliminate the United States as a strategic power in the Pacific, thereby giving Japan a free hand in establishing its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The Japanese hoped another demoralizing defeat would force the U.S. to capitulate in the Pacific War and thus ensure Japanese dominance in the Pacific. Luring the American aircraft carriers into a trap and occupying Midway was part of an overall "barrier" strategy to extend Japan's defensive perimeter, in response to the Doolittle air raid on Tokyo. This operation was also considered preparatory for further attacks against Fiji, Samoa, and Hawaii itself. The plan was handicapped by faulty Japanese assumptions of the American reaction and poor initial dispositions. Most significantly, American cryptographers at Station HYPO in Hawaii were able to determine from decryptions of the Japanese JN-25 naval communications cypher the date and location of the planned attack, enabling the forewarned U.S. Navy to prepare its own ambush. There were seven aircraft carriers involved in the battle, and all four of Japan's large fleet carriers - Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu, part of the six-carrier force that had attacked Pearl Harbor six months earlier - and the heavy cruiser Mikuma were sunk, while the U.S. lost only the carrier USS Yorktown and the destroyer USS Hammann. After Midway and the exhausting attrition of the Solomon Islands campaign, Japan's capacity to replace its losses in materiel (particularly aircraft carriers) and men (especially well-trained pilots and maintenance crewmen) rapidly became insufficient to cope with mounting casualties, while the United States' massive industrial and training capabilities made losses far easier to replace. The Battle of Midway, along with the Guadalcanal Campaign, is widely considered the turning point in the Pacific War.
John Ford, nicknamed Jack, American film director, US Navy Commander (active) and Rear Admiral (reserve), head of the photographic unit for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), widely regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers of his generation (February 1, 1894 - August 31, 1973) was born John Martin Feeney in Cape Elizabeth, Maine; he later often gave his given names as Sean Aloysius, sometimes with surname O'Feeny or O Fearna; an Irish language equivalent of Feeney. Ford's work was held in high regard by his colleagues, with Orson Welles and Ingmar Bergman among those who have named him one of the greatest directors of all time. John Ford is renowned both for Westerns such as Stagecoach (1939), The Searchers (1956), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), as well as adaptations of classic 20th-century American novels such as the film The Grapes Of Wrath (1940). His four Academy Awards for Best Director (in 1935, 1940, 1941, and 1952) remain a record. One of the films for which he won the award, How Green Was My Valley, also won Best Picture. During World War II, Commander John Ford, USNR, served in the United States Navy and as head of the photographic unit for the Office of Strategic Services, made documentaries for the Navy Department. He won two more Academy Awards during this time, one for the semi-documentary The Battle of Midway (1942), and a second for the propaganda film December 7th: The Movie (1943). Commander Ford was a veteran of the Battle of Midway, where he was wounded in the arm by shrapnel while filming the Japanese attack from the power plant of Sand Island on Midway. John Ford died of cancer at his home in Palm Desert, California, aged 79. His funeral was held on September 5 at Hollywood's Church of the Blessed Sacrament. He is interred in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Eric Sevareid, American radio and television journalist (November 26, 1912 - July 9, 1992) was born Arnold Eric Sevareid in Velva in in central North Dakota. Several days after he graduated from high school, he and his friend Walter Port embarked on an expedition by canoe from Minneapolis to York Factory on Hudson Bay, sponsored by the Minneapolis Star newspaper (now The Star Tribune). While attending the University of Minnesota, he was an activist against ROTC recruitment on campus. He was one of a group of elite war correspondents hired by pioneering CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow, and thus dubbed "Murrow's Boys". He was the first to report the fall of Paris when it was captured by the Germans during World War II. Traveling into Burma during World War II, his aircraft was shot down and he was rescued from behind enemy lines by a search and rescue team established for that purpose. He was the final journalist to interview Adlai Stevenson before his death. After a long and distinguished career, he followed in Murrow's footsteps as a commentator on the CBS Evening News for 12 years for which he was recognized with Emmy and Peabody Awards. Eric Sevareid died of stomach cancer at age 79 in Washington, D.C. on July 9, 1992.