A new documentary on a legendary Korean War battle will feature the personal perspectives of more than 20 veterans of the deadly, frigid, two-week ordeal.
"The Battle of Chosin," part of the American Experience series, debuts Tuesday on PBS and will be available for online viewing at PBS.orgthe next day. The two-hour film chronicles the men of 1st Marine Division, and attached soldiers, who for two weeks fought their way to the Korean coast through a larger Chinese force.
The ordeal began shortly after Thanksgiving 1950 in some of coldest fighting conditions ever faced -- daytime temperatures well below zero, dropping to minus-20 or lower during some of the nighttime battles. The weather inflicted casualties that outpaced the fighting, turning minor injuries into fatal ones for many troops on both sides of the conflict. Estimates put Chinese losses around 40,000 troops.
Members of the "Chosin Few" who participated in the project "recount their experiences in intimate detail," said Mark Samels, executive producer with American Experience, in a news release. "Representing a cross-section of America, these men tell stories that are often heartrending, but which affirm the valor and dedication of those who served during the brutal days and nights at Chosin. It’s important that we capture their stories now, in their own words, before we lose them."
The film debuts at 9 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday. Documentary DVDs are available for pre-order