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Thread: World War II

  1. #11
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    I wish there were more epic WWII movies being put out, in the vein of Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers. I'd like to see something focused more on the Pacific theater. "The Pacific" HBO miniseries was good, but not as strong as Band of Bros.

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swordpath View Post
    I wish there were more epic WWII movies being put out, in the vein of Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers. I'd like to see something focused more on the Pacific theater. "The Pacific" HBO miniseries was good, but not as strong as Band of Bros.
    There was a time that it was the staple for movies, I also know that while I was growing up it was a staple for UK TV to rerun them and to put out lots of TV series on pacific and european theatres of battle.

    Although its become difficult to do so because these films in the main had a sort of idealised version of battle and war which are hard to maintain in the post-vietnam, ie disillusioned, era.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swordpath View Post
    I wish there were more epic WWII movies being put out, in the vein of Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers. I'd like to see something focused more on the Pacific theater. "The Pacific" HBO miniseries was good, but not as strong as Band of Bros.
    There was a time that it was the staple for movies, I also know that while I was growing up it was a staple for UK TV to rerun them and to put out lots of TV series on pacific and european theatres of battle.

    Although its become difficult to do so because these films in the main had a sort of idealised version of battle and war which are hard to maintain in the post-vietnam, ie disillusioned, era.

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    World War II was my parents' war; mine was the Cold War. I well recall my daughter, when in her teens, telling me that they were 'studying the Cold War' as modern history at school. I replied with my most vivid - and not at all pleasant - repeating memory, of lying in bed at night as a child in the 1950s knowing that somewhere in England a bomber was sitting on the runway at a military airport, pilot in the cockpit, engines running, nuclear payload on board, just waiting for the order to take off for Moscow: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Her surprised response was that she hadn't realised that 'we were part of it' - it must have been the first lesson on the topic at school I suppose, perhaps NATO was lesson two I went on to say that in the ICBM era the Americans had the relative luxury of 15 minutes' notice of annihilation whereas we would have to make do with 4 minutes, but to her it was just words.

    Quite recently I obtained my grandfather's World War I military record. It was faintly disappointing in that it gave no detail of the injury that saw him sent back to England for three months to recover, but it did indicate the date of his departure from England back to the Front in France: two days before Christmas Day. As a teenager, his mother died on Christmas Eve when he was fourteen (and two of his three sisters within weeks thereafter) so Christmas wasn't exactly the best time of year for him. What the military record didn't show (nor did I expect it to) was that more or less the first shots he saw fired when on active service were through the head of a fellow soldier, tied to a chair and blindfolded, after a court-martial for cowardice in the face of the enemy - he was ordered to act as a witness. Had the condemned man been able to meet his fate with dignity, it just might not have been such a traumatic experience, but (and I deliberately choose not to use graphic wording) he was clearly suffering from severe shell-shock and was not in a state to comprehend what was happening. My mother once relayed that tale to my young-adult children, but it seemed to have little or no emotional impact. I suppose when you're young, the passage of a hundred years turns history into "History with a capital H", if not indeed Ancient History. My living memory easily stretches back half a century and, although society was more rigid and deferential then, I find it astonishing to think that 'the same again' takes us back to an era where millions were butchered in the trenches in the service of a rock-solid gung-ho patriotism.

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