You can find some of the best war documentaries on television every Tuesday night on WLRN - TV, starting at 8:00 p.m.
Secrets of the Dead: The Man Who Saved The World (8:00 pm)
In October 1962, the world teetered on the brink of nuclear war. After reviewing photographic evidence, President John F. Kennedy informed the world that the Soviet Union was building secret missile bases in Cuba. For the next 13 days, the Soviet Union and the United States confronted each other and while politicians sought a resolution to the standoff, no one was aware of the events taking place inside the Soviet submarine B-59 in the waters off the coast of Florida. This is the unsung story of Soviet naval officer Vasili Arkhipov, the Brigade Chief of Staff on submarine B-59, who refused to fire a nuclear missile and saved the world from World War III and nuclear disaster.
The War “A Deadly Calling” (9:00 pm)
In this third episode of Ken Burn’s The War, the story picks up in the fall of 1943. After almost two years of war, the American public is able to see for the first time the terrible toll the war is taking on its troops when Life publishes a photograph of the bodies of three GIs killed in action at Buna. Despite American victories in the Solomons and New Guinea, the Japanese empire still stretches 4,000 miles, and victory seems a long way off. In November, on the tiny Pacific atoll of Tarawa, the Marines set out to prove that any island, no matter how fiercely defended, can be taken by all-out frontal assault. Back home, the public is devastated by color newsreel footage of the furious battle, including the bodies of Marines floating in the surf, and grows more determined to do whatever is necessary to hasten the end of the war.