A new PBS documentary explores a World War II battle on a tiny Alaskan island. That's right, Alaska.

Red White Black & Blue

(PBS, Nov. 9, check local times): Most history buffs will tell you World War II was never fought on American soil. But the veterans of the rarely discussed Japanese invasion of the Alaskan island of Attu know otherwise. For 19 days in 1942, thousands of US troops battled equal numbers of Japanese. The westernmost Aleutian island would have given the Japanese an airstrip from which to invade the US. Some 4,000 Americans died while the Japanese force was totally destroyed. This is a fascinating look at a footnote of history that might have changed the war's outcome had the US not prevailed. Grade: A – Gloria Goodale

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