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Darkest Hour - 7/11/2017 4:50:31 AM   
brian brian

 

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EDIT, Nov. 2017 - skip to page 3

Since this newly released movie covers the same time frame as the movie Dunkirk earlier thus year, I just bumped this thread.

DVD versions of Dunkirk should be out by now as well...




read an article about this new movie today. comes out July 21 I think. I will definitely go. There is nothing quite like seeing a high quality visual depiction of war to keep us grounded in the realities of a subject we are all so fascinated with. I will never forget the total silence amongst the large crowd walking out of a screening of Saving Private Ryan some 20 years ago now. And anyone who says the USA won WWII should at least watch the first 20 minutes of Enemy at the Gates, as well - preferably on the biggest screen possible.

I figure there will be a long thread on this movie maybe somewhere else on the Matrix forums and will follow it there too I guess, when there is a link ready. I think there was a good discussion over the movie "Fury" a few years ago - I need to re-visit that one, though it would likely make me blow the dust off my GI:Anvil of Victory counters. I hated the half-squads though and it was all downhill from there with that system.

Sadly I highly doubt I will be anywhere within a good 300 miles or so of a theater showing this in 70mm. Outside chance, perhaps.



As for Dunkirk in this particular game, it is not a strategy line I automatically prefer, in every game. Sometimes, when Vichy is declared and Foreign Troop Commitment no longer counts, it's time to go All In with the Hurricanes and the 6 Pdr and the Bofors, which I can do because I keep CW Infantry Gearing high, not CV&BB Gearing.

Other time's it's desperate shoe string battles fighting to the last Tommy on the river Garonde while logistics limits still count even when France only has Minas Tirith left to fight from there in the Pyrenees, and someone has to be the Rohirrim. And maybe King Theoden, errrr, the 1st Earl of Wavell, just might summon his HQ Support roll and some newly landed Bofors to replace Montgomery's magnificent but recently Shattered II Corps, all enough to make the last German blitz across the ole Garonde come up -/- before the weather turns Storm for six months straight and the Germans throw in the towel completely, with no chance to take Minas Tirith at all before Uncle Joe Saruman changes sides over dere in der Ost and the Yankees are getting all excited about going "Over There" themselves. All thanks to several squadrons of Matildas that were NOT evacuated at Dunkirk, or Rouen, or Cherbourg, or Bordeaux, or most cowardly of all, from Nice.

Because in the game, we are measured against a fixed amount of time and command cardboard or pixels, not real human soldiers and a totally unknown Future ahead of us, as at the real Dunkirk. I'm looking forward to it.

< Message edited by brian brian -- 11/25/2017 1:54:27 AM >
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RE: Dunkirk - 7/11/2017 1:15:52 PM   
Centuur


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You've seen to many re-runs of the Lord of the Rings....

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/11/2017 5:27:23 PM   
paulderynck


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I was surprised that after all the hype, Fury was such an awful, terrible movie. If the German army had used those tactics, the war would have been over by Sept 30, 1939.

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/11/2017 6:10:57 PM   
Cohen

 

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I agree fully Fury was horrible.
Horrible!

But most of the Warmovies (especially the USA made) related to WW2 paint anyone else than the US forces as dumb and stupid fools. (That includes too Battle of Britain scenes where RAF pilots sucks and the US volounteers rock hard).

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/12/2017 1:40:13 AM   
brian brian

 

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just saw my first commercial for the movie. it used the "fight them on the beaches" speech as a bit of an audio track, though delivered in a flat monotone, not a representation of the actual speech, obviously. but I confess I wouldn't mind seeing a cinematic re-creation of that one. I hope they have a good actor for it.



oh and there can't be enough repeats of the LOTR movies. but if I had a billion dollars, I would hire someone to make a complete re-do of those awful Hobbit movies and somehow erase them from history.


the cinematic German player in the Fury Squad Leader scenario would lose decisively every time. I saw it only once, in the theaters but lately I have been wondering if the operational/tactical military parts in the first half of the movie might have been made accidentally forgettable by the dumb video game like second half of the movie. and I like watching such movies for the gear, sometimes. my memory of it is good, in that movie, except for the tracer rounds

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/12/2017 4:26:20 AM   
Jagdtiger14


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A great Dunkirk book is: Dunkirk: The Patriotic Myth. Interesting to note is that when the panzers made it to the channel to cut off the Allied forces, they had a hard time of it moving northwards. The terrain along the coast and well inland was reclaimed from the sea with lots of high ridges (roads on them) and low swampy bowls. Panzers make great targets on the top of the ridges, and cant get into the swampy bowls or get stuck. There was an interesting story about Sepp Dietrich when the infantry caught up to him...he was covered in mud, hunkered down. Panzers had no chance to move further...they became the anvil to the hammer (infantry)...which is normally the reverse.

I hope the movie remembers the Germans dominated the sky. I don't want to see Spitfires and Hurricanes shooting down thousands of German aircraft...which is what I fear this movie will do.

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Conflict with the unexpected: two qualities are indispensable; first, an intellect which, even in the midst of this obscurity, is not without some traces of inner light which lead to the truth; second, the courage to follow this faint light. KvC

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/12/2017 5:54:12 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cohen

I agree fully Fury was horrible.
Horrible!

But most of the Warmovies (especially the USA made) related to WW2 paint anyone else than the US forces as dumb and stupid fools. (That includes too Battle of Britain scenes where RAF pilots sucks and the US volounteers rock hard).
warspite1

Trouble is money talks and .......

Films will generally be made by people that want to celebrate their countries achievements. That is not surprising - and totally understandable. To get bums on seats they will want to 'big up their role' and emphasise their prowess as much as possible. They need to sell the film to 'their' audience. Absolutely no problem. The US has the money and are making the films so it is not surprising when there is a US slant on things.

However, its one thing to have things biased to one side, and another to simply produce ********. There are thankfully exceptions, but films like U-571 and Pearl Harbor are, quite simply, beyond embarrassing. I still find it incredible to believe that someone put the line

"I think World War II has just started"

into a film set around the events of December 1941. I still find it difficult to accept that there is someone who thought that a good line, that others then agreed and that they thought the paying public so monstrously dumb, so vacuous that they could get away with it.

A real shame.


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805



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RE: Dunkirk - 7/12/2017 1:40:36 PM   
brian brian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jagdtiger14

I hope the movie remembers the Germans dominated the sky. I don't want to see Spitfires and Hurricanes shooting down thousands of German aircraft...which is what I fear this movie will do.


well, in the TV commercial / probable trailer I saw last night watching the All-Star Game (American Baseball), this could be a matter of perspective. The Luftwaffe was delivering a lot of ordinance on everything in sight. But the quick clip of some actual planes flying was, yes, a trio of RAF fighters.

thankfully, there shouldn't be any way to work in a volunteer American pilot in to the action in this one. maybe a William R. Shirer character will make a minor appearance though, that would be neat.


< Message edited by brian brian -- 7/12/2017 1:42:48 PM >

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/12/2017 3:52:40 PM   
CrusssDaddy

 

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I will definitely see this on the big screen, but I go in under a cloud of suspicion that I'll not like it. Chris Nolan is more tiresome with each new film and having Hans Zimmer along for the ride again means the melodrama will be absurdly overdone, over-produced, and overbearing. Massive overuse of CGI makes modern war films more akin to science fiction/fantasy films, and perhaps that speaks to the fact audiences feel more in touch with the Star Wars future than with events from a time increasingly shadowed by the passage of decades. But maybe supporting a big, bad WWII film by buying a ticket means that the future opportunity for a better film from a less contemptible creative team arises. Or maybe the movie will be good, who knows...

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/12/2017 4:48:10 PM   
brian brian

 

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yeah, only one way to find out

I like to find out for myself on these things, but then I went to see Gods and Generals in a theater, anyway. there can't possibly be a zero star movie, could there? yes, there could. I did not make that mistake with Pearl Harbor though I did eventually give up 99 cents to oggle the CGI via DVD player

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/12/2017 5:50:12 PM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

I figure there will be a long thread on this movie maybe somewhere else on the Matrix forums and will follow it there too I guess, when there is a link ready.


Here is another thread about the upcoming movie Dunkirk.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4200658

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/13/2017 3:12:08 AM   
tom730

 

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Re America's role in WW2, I'm an American but also a history buff. Without GB toughing it out solo for over a year (Fall of France to Barbarossa) when the easy choice was some sort of accommodation with Hitler we would have had a VERY different outcome! There have been some really terrible WW2 films, no doubt. But my absolute favorite terrible WW2 TV show was "Rat Patrol" which featured 3 Americans and one Brit cruising around N. Africa in Jeeps a la the Desert Rats. Even as a youngster watching that I knew it was wrong!
Truth is though, that without the "Arsenal of Democracy" churning out everything from tanks to planes to trucks to boots for the cause it is unlikely the USSR could have turned the tables as fast as they did. More likely without all the trucks they got from us they would have slowly bled the Nazis to death in a perpetual slugfest, still ultimately winning due to overwhelming numbers of men and industrial capacity. Just would ave taken longer and been even uglier. It would have meant bad news for ALL of Europe instead of just Eastern Europe!
So even without our army, navy, marines & air corps the contribution of the U.S. to Allied victory was pretty huge. But some movies (and TV shows like Rat Patrol) really don't understand that the U.S. didn't win the war single-handed. But those are "entertainment" and not meant to be historical.
Re "Pearl Harbor" just remember the song from "Team America" - "Pearl Harbor sucked, and I miss you!" :)

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/13/2017 3:47:04 AM   
brian brian

 

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I mentioned "who won" WWII because let's just say that with the country of "Russia" in the news in the country of "The USA" a wee little bit lately, it has become a bit of a common pissing match to flippantly say something about which country "won" the war - but only amongst people not deeply immersed in military history. Anyone on this forum I would expect to well understand that there is a lot more to such a question than a one word answer. But Russia's experience of WWII is becoming less known in the West, I believe, and I also think modern day Russians have a bit of a chip on their shoulder about that, and I can't fault them for that. War is utter Hell and not something to be trivialized amidst political squabbles a couple generations later.


Rat Patrol was a fricking great TV show. It totally makes me want to build and command the LRDG counter in World in Flames (Khaki in Flames expansion module a decade out from MWiF), but how often do the Germans send out an Afrika Korps playing WiF any more? The Royal Navy is just too good for such a strategy.

There should though, be a Rat Patrol video game so you could blow up Panzers with that .50 cal. But if one player drove the jeep and one got the .50 cal, who would want to be the driver, anyway?

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/13/2017 4:48:21 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 36971
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
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quote:

ORIGINAL: tom730

Truth is though, that without the "Arsenal of Democracy" churning out everything from tanks to planes to trucks to boots for the cause it is unlikely the USSR could have turned the tables as fast as they did. More likely without all the trucks they got from us they would have slowly bled the Nazis to death in a perpetual slugfest, still ultimately winning due to overwhelming numbers of men and industrial capacity. Just would ave taken longer and been even uglier. It would have meant bad news for ALL of Europe instead of just Eastern Europe!

warspite1

Re Lend-Lease to the USSR, the British helped too! - The below is an article by historian Alexander Hill from HistoryNet

That the Soviet victories of late 1941 were won with Soviet blood and largely with Soviet weapons is beyond dispute. But for decades the official Soviet line went much further. Soviet authorities recognized that the “Great Patriotic War” gave the Communist Party a claim to legitimacy that went far beyond Marxism-Leninism or the 1917 Revolution, and took pains to portray their nation’s victories in World War II as single-handed. Any mention of the role that Western assistance played in the Soviet war effort was strictly off-limits.

During Nikita Khrushchev’s rule in the late 1950s and early 1960s, there was a window of greater frankness and openness about the extent of aid supplied from the West under the Lend-Lease Act—but it was still clearly forbidden for Soviet authors to suggest that such aid ever made any real difference on the battlefield. Mentions of Lend-Lease in memoirs were always accompanied by disparagement of the quality of the weapons supplied, with American and British tanks and planes invariably portrayed as vastly inferior to comparable Soviet models.

An oft-quoted statement by First Vice-Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars Nikolai Voznesensky summed up the standard line that Allied aid represented “only 4 percent” of Soviet production for the entire war. Lacking any detailed information to the contrary, Western authors generally agreed that even if Lend-Lease was important from 1943 on, as quantities of aid dramatically increased, the aid was far too little and late to make a difference in the decisive battles of 1941–1942.

But since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a trickle of information has emerged from archives in Moscow, shedding new light on the subject. While much of the documentary evidence remains classified “secret” in the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense and the Russian State Archive of the Economy, Western and Russian researchers have been able to gain access to important, previously unavailable firsthand documents. I was recently able to examine Russian-language materials of the State Defense Committee—the Soviet equivalent of the British War Cabinet—held in the former Central Party Archive. Together with other recently published sources, including the wartime diaries of N. I. Biriukov, a Red Army officer responsible from August 1941 on for the distribution of recently acquired tanks to the front lines, this newly available evidence paints a very different picture from the received wisdom. In particular, it shows that British Lend-Lease assistance to the Soviet Union in late 1941 and early 1942 played a far more significant part in the defense of Moscow and the revival of Soviet fortunes in late 1941 than has been acknowledged.

Particularly important for the Soviets in late 1941 were British-supplied tanks and aircraft. American contributions of the time were far fewer. In fact, for a brief period during December 1941, the relative importance of British aid increased well beyond levels planned by the Allies as a result of American reaction to the outbreak of war with Japan; some American equipment destined for the Soviet Union was actually unloaded from merchant vessels and provided to American forces instead.

Even aid that might seem like a drop in the bucket in the larger context of Soviet production for the war played a crucial role in filling gaps at important moments during this period. At a time when Soviet industry was in disarray—many of their industrial plants were destroyed or captured by the advancing Nazi troops or in the process of evacuation east—battlefield losses of specific equipment approached or even exceeded the rate at which Soviet domestic production could replace them during this crucial period. Under these circumstances even small quantities of aid took on far greater significance.

According to research by a team of Soviet historians, the Soviet Union lost a staggering 20,500 tanks from June 22 to December 31, 1941. At the end of November 1941, only 670 Soviet tanks were available to defend Moscow—that is, in the recently formed Kalinin, Western, and Southwestern Fronts. Only 205 of these tanks were heavy or medium types, and most of their strength was concentrated in the Western Front, with the Kalinin Front having only two tank battalions (67 tanks) and the Southwestern Front two tank brigades (30 tanks).

Given the disruption to Soviet production and Red Army losses, the Soviet Union was understandably eager to put British armor into action as soon as possible. According to Biriukov’s service diary, the first 20 British tanks arrived at the Soviet tank training school in Kazan on October 28, 1941, at which point a further 120 tanks were unloaded at the port of Archangel in northern Russia. Courses on the British tanks for Soviet crews started during November as the first tanks, with British assistance, were being assembled from their in-transit states and undergoing testing by Soviet specialists.

The tanks reached the front lines with extraordinary speed. Extrapolating from available statistics, researchers estimate that British-supplied tanks made up 30 to 40 percent of the entire heavy and medium tank strength of Soviet forces before Moscow at the beginning of December 1941, and certainly made up a significant proportion of tanks available as reinforcements at this critical point in the fighting. By the end of 1941 Britain had delivered 466 tanks out of the 750 promised.

The British Military Mission to Moscow noted that by December 9, about ninety British tanks had already been in action with Soviet forces. The first of these units to have seen action seems to have been the 138th Independent Tank Battalion (with twenty-one British tanks), which was involved in stemming the advance of German units in the region of the Volga Reservoir to the north of Moscow in late November. In fact the British intercepted German communications indicating that German forces had first come in contact with British tanks on the Eastern front on November 26, 1941.

The exploits of the British-equipped 136th Independent Tank Battalion are perhaps the most widely noted in the archives. It was part of a scratch operational group of the Western Front consisting of the 18th Rifle Brigade, two ski battalions, the 5th and 20th Tank Brigades, and the 140th Independent Tank Battalion. The 136th Independent Tank Battalion was combined with the latter to produce a tank group of only twenty-one tanks, which was to operate with the two ski battalions against German forces advancing to the west of Moscow in early December. Other largely British-equipped tank units in action with the Western Front from early December were the 131st Independent Tank Brigade, which fought to the east of Tula, south of Moscow, and 146th Tank Brigade, in the region of Kriukovo to the immediate west of the Soviet capital.

While the Matilda Mk II and Valentine tanks supplied by the British were certainly inferior to the Soviets’ homegrown T-34 and KV-1, it is important to note that Soviet production of the T-34 (and to a lesser extent the KV series), was only just getting seriously underway in 1942, and Soviet production was well below plan targets. And though rapid increases in tank firepower would soon render the 40mm two-pounder main gun of the Matilda and Valentine suitable for use on light tanks only, the armor protection of these British models put them firmly in the heavy and medium categories, respectively. Both were superior to all but the Soviet KV-1 and T-34 in armor, and indeed even their much maligned winter cross-country performance was comparable to most Soviet tanks excluding the KV-1 and T-34.

A steady stream of British-made tanks continued to flow into the Red Army through the spring and summer of 1942. Canada would eventually produce 1,420 Valentines, almost exclusively for delivery to the Soviet Union. By July 1942 the Red Army had 13,500 tanks in service, with more than 16 percent of those imported, and more than half of those British.

Lend-Lease aircraft deliveries were also of significance during the Battle of Moscow. While Soviet pilots praised the maneuverability of the homegrown I-153 Chaika and I-16 Ishak fighters—still in use in significant numbers in late 1941—both types were certainly obsolete and inferior in almost all regards to the British-supplied Hurricane. The Hurricane was rugged and tried and tested, and as useful at that point as many potentially superior Soviet designs such as the LaGG-3 and MiG-3. There were apparently only 263 LaGG-3s in the Soviet inventory by the time of the Moscow counteroffensive, and it was an aircraft with numerous defects. At the end of 1941 there were greater numbers of the MiG-3, but the plane was considered difficult to fly. The Yak-1, arguably the best of the batch, and superior in most regards to the Hurricane, suffered from airframe and engine defects in early war production aircraft.

A total of 699 Lend-Lease aircraft had been delivered to Archangel by the time the Arctic convoys switched to Murmansk in December 1941. Of these, 99 Hurricanes and 39 Tomahawks were in service with the Soviet air defense forces on January 1, 1942, out of a total of 1,470 fighters. About 15 percent of the aircraft of the 6th Fighter Air Corps defending Moscow were Tomahawks or Hurricanes.

The Soviet Northern Fleet was also a major and early recipient of British Hurricanes, receiving those flown by No. 151 Wing of the RAF, which operated briefly from Soviet airfields near Murmansk. As early as October 12, 1941, the Soviet 126th Fighter Air Regiment was operating with Tomahawks bought from the United States by Britain. Tomahawks also served in defense of the Doroga Zhizni or “Road of Life” across the ice of Lake Ladoga, which provided the only supply line to the besieged city of Leningrad during the winter of 1941–42. By spring and summer of 1942 the Hurricane had clearly become the principal fighter aircraft of the Northern Fleet’s air regiments; in all, 83 out of its 109 fighters were of foreign origin.

British and Commonwealth deliveries to the Soviet Union in late 1941 and early 1942 would not only assist in the Soviet defense of Moscow and subsequent counteroffensive, but also in increasing Soviet production for the next period of the war. Substantial quantities of machine tools and raw materials, such as aluminum and rubber, were supplied to help Soviet industry back on its feet: 312 metal-cutting machine tools were delivered by convoy PQ-12 alone, arriving in March 1942, along with a range of other items for Soviet factories such as machine presses and compressors.

Once again, raw figures do not tell the whole story. Although British shipments amounted to only a few percent of Soviet domestic production of machine tools, the Soviet Union could request specific items which it may not have been able to produce for itself. Additionally, many of the British tools arrived in early 1942, when Soviet tool production was still very low, resulting in a disproportionate impact. The handing over of forty imported machine tools to Aviation Factory No. 150 in July 1942, for example, was the critical factor in enabling the factory to reach projected capacity within two months.

Lend-Lease aid did not “save” the Soviet Union from defeat during the Battle of Moscow. But the speed at which Britain in particular was willing and able to provide aid to the Soviet Union, and at which the Soviet Union was able to put foreign equipment into frontline use, is still an underappreciated part of this story. During the bitter fighting of the winter of 1941–1942, British aid made a crucial difference.


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805



(in reply to tom730)
Post #: 14
RE: Dunkirk - 7/13/2017 4:52:05 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 36971
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: tom730

Re "Pearl Harbor" just remember the song from "Team America" - "Pearl Harbor sucked, and I miss you!" :)

warspite1

- and with the lyrics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsPrQgTO0HU


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805



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Post #: 15
RE: Dunkirk - 7/13/2017 4:56:05 PM   
brian brian

 

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The British also took a whole lot of casualties delivering that aid to the USSR. Nothing similar to the scale of Russian casualties in a general sense, but the price of aid to Russia wasn't just Dollars and Pounds.

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/13/2017 10:17:52 PM   
tom730

 

Posts: 160
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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: tom730

Truth is though, that without the "Arsenal of Democracy" churning out everything from tanks to planes to trucks to boots for the cause it is unlikely the USSR could have turned the tables as fast as they did. More likely without all the trucks they got from us they would have slowly bled the Nazis to death in a perpetual slugfest, still ultimately winning due to overwhelming numbers of men and industrial capacity. Just would ave taken longer and been even uglier. It would have meant bad news for ALL of Europe instead of just Eastern Europe!

warspite1

Re Lend-Lease to the USSR, the British helped too! - The below is an article by historian Alexander Hill from HistoryNet

That the Soviet victories of late 1941 were won with Soviet blood and largely with Soviet weapons is beyond dispute. But for decades the official Soviet line went much further. Soviet authorities recognized that the “Great Patriotic War” gave the Communist Party a claim to legitimacy that went far beyond Marxism-Leninism or the 1917 Revolution, and took pains to portray their nation’s victories in World War II as single-handed. Any mention of the role that Western assistance played in the Soviet war effort was strictly off-limits.

During Nikita Khrushchev’s rule in the late 1950s and early 1960s, there was a window of greater frankness and openness about the extent of aid supplied from the West under the Lend-Lease Act—but it was still clearly forbidden for Soviet authors to suggest that such aid ever made any real difference on the battlefield. Mentions of Lend-Lease in memoirs were always accompanied by disparagement of the quality of the weapons supplied, with American and British tanks and planes invariably portrayed as vastly inferior to comparable Soviet models.

An oft-quoted statement by First Vice-Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars Nikolai Voznesensky summed up the standard line that Allied aid represented “only 4 percent” of Soviet production for the entire war. Lacking any detailed information to the contrary, Western authors generally agreed that even if Lend-Lease was important from 1943 on, as quantities of aid dramatically increased, the aid was far too little and late to make a difference in the decisive battles of 1941–1942.

But since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a trickle of information has emerged from archives in Moscow, shedding new light on the subject. While much of the documentary evidence remains classified “secret” in the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense and the Russian State Archive of the Economy, Western and Russian researchers have been able to gain access to important, previously unavailable firsthand documents. I was recently able to examine Russian-language materials of the State Defense Committee—the Soviet equivalent of the British War Cabinet—held in the former Central Party Archive. Together with other recently published sources, including the wartime diaries of N. I. Biriukov, a Red Army officer responsible from August 1941 on for the distribution of recently acquired tanks to the front lines, this newly available evidence paints a very different picture from the received wisdom. In particular, it shows that British Lend-Lease assistance to the Soviet Union in late 1941 and early 1942 played a far more significant part in the defense of Moscow and the revival of Soviet fortunes in late 1941 than has been acknowledged.

Particularly important for the Soviets in late 1941 were British-supplied tanks and aircraft. American contributions of the time were far fewer. In fact, for a brief period during December 1941, the relative importance of British aid increased well beyond levels planned by the Allies as a result of American reaction to the outbreak of war with Japan; some American equipment destined for the Soviet Union was actually unloaded from merchant vessels and provided to American forces instead.

Even aid that might seem like a drop in the bucket in the larger context of Soviet production for the war played a crucial role in filling gaps at important moments during this period. At a time when Soviet industry was in disarray—many of their industrial plants were destroyed or captured by the advancing Nazi troops or in the process of evacuation east—battlefield losses of specific equipment approached or even exceeded the rate at which Soviet domestic production could replace them during this crucial period. Under these circumstances even small quantities of aid took on far greater significance.

According to research by a team of Soviet historians, the Soviet Union lost a staggering 20,500 tanks from June 22 to December 31, 1941. At the end of November 1941, only 670 Soviet tanks were available to defend Moscow—that is, in the recently formed Kalinin, Western, and Southwestern Fronts. Only 205 of these tanks were heavy or medium types, and most of their strength was concentrated in the Western Front, with the Kalinin Front having only two tank battalions (67 tanks) and the Southwestern Front two tank brigades (30 tanks).

Given the disruption to Soviet production and Red Army losses, the Soviet Union was understandably eager to put British armor into action as soon as possible. According to Biriukov’s service diary, the first 20 British tanks arrived at the Soviet tank training school in Kazan on October 28, 1941, at which point a further 120 tanks were unloaded at the port of Archangel in northern Russia. Courses on the British tanks for Soviet crews started during November as the first tanks, with British assistance, were being assembled from their in-transit states and undergoing testing by Soviet specialists.

The tanks reached the front lines with extraordinary speed. Extrapolating from available statistics, researchers estimate that British-supplied tanks made up 30 to 40 percent of the entire heavy and medium tank strength of Soviet forces before Moscow at the beginning of December 1941, and certainly made up a significant proportion of tanks available as reinforcements at this critical point in the fighting. By the end of 1941 Britain had delivered 466 tanks out of the 750 promised.

The British Military Mission to Moscow noted that by December 9, about ninety British tanks had already been in action with Soviet forces. The first of these units to have seen action seems to have been the 138th Independent Tank Battalion (with twenty-one British tanks), which was involved in stemming the advance of German units in the region of the Volga Reservoir to the north of Moscow in late November. In fact the British intercepted German communications indicating that German forces had first come in contact with British tanks on the Eastern front on November 26, 1941.

The exploits of the British-equipped 136th Independent Tank Battalion are perhaps the most widely noted in the archives. It was part of a scratch operational group of the Western Front consisting of the 18th Rifle Brigade, two ski battalions, the 5th and 20th Tank Brigades, and the 140th Independent Tank Battalion. The 136th Independent Tank Battalion was combined with the latter to produce a tank group of only twenty-one tanks, which was to operate with the two ski battalions against German forces advancing to the west of Moscow in early December. Other largely British-equipped tank units in action with the Western Front from early December were the 131st Independent Tank Brigade, which fought to the east of Tula, south of Moscow, and 146th Tank Brigade, in the region of Kriukovo to the immediate west of the Soviet capital.

While the Matilda Mk II and Valentine tanks supplied by the British were certainly inferior to the Soviets’ homegrown T-34 and KV-1, it is important to note that Soviet production of the T-34 (and to a lesser extent the KV series), was only just getting seriously underway in 1942, and Soviet production was well below plan targets. And though rapid increases in tank firepower would soon render the 40mm two-pounder main gun of the Matilda and Valentine suitable for use on light tanks only, the armor protection of these British models put them firmly in the heavy and medium categories, respectively. Both were superior to all but the Soviet KV-1 and T-34 in armor, and indeed even their much maligned winter cross-country performance was comparable to most Soviet tanks excluding the KV-1 and T-34.

A steady stream of British-made tanks continued to flow into the Red Army through the spring and summer of 1942. Canada would eventually produce 1,420 Valentines, almost exclusively for delivery to the Soviet Union. By July 1942 the Red Army had 13,500 tanks in service, with more than 16 percent of those imported, and more than half of those British.

Lend-Lease aircraft deliveries were also of significance during the Battle of Moscow. While Soviet pilots praised the maneuverability of the homegrown I-153 Chaika and I-16 Ishak fighters—still in use in significant numbers in late 1941—both types were certainly obsolete and inferior in almost all regards to the British-supplied Hurricane. The Hurricane was rugged and tried and tested, and as useful at that point as many potentially superior Soviet designs such as the LaGG-3 and MiG-3. There were apparently only 263 LaGG-3s in the Soviet inventory by the time of the Moscow counteroffensive, and it was an aircraft with numerous defects. At the end of 1941 there were greater numbers of the MiG-3, but the plane was considered difficult to fly. The Yak-1, arguably the best of the batch, and superior in most regards to the Hurricane, suffered from airframe and engine defects in early war production aircraft.

A total of 699 Lend-Lease aircraft had been delivered to Archangel by the time the Arctic convoys switched to Murmansk in December 1941. Of these, 99 Hurricanes and 39 Tomahawks were in service with the Soviet air defense forces on January 1, 1942, out of a total of 1,470 fighters. About 15 percent of the aircraft of the 6th Fighter Air Corps defending Moscow were Tomahawks or Hurricanes.

The Soviet Northern Fleet was also a major and early recipient of British Hurricanes, receiving those flown by No. 151 Wing of the RAF, which operated briefly from Soviet airfields near Murmansk. As early as October 12, 1941, the Soviet 126th Fighter Air Regiment was operating with Tomahawks bought from the United States by Britain. Tomahawks also served in defense of the Doroga Zhizni or “Road of Life” across the ice of Lake Ladoga, which provided the only supply line to the besieged city of Leningrad during the winter of 1941–42. By spring and summer of 1942 the Hurricane had clearly become the principal fighter aircraft of the Northern Fleet’s air regiments; in all, 83 out of its 109 fighters were of foreign origin.

British and Commonwealth deliveries to the Soviet Union in late 1941 and early 1942 would not only assist in the Soviet defense of Moscow and subsequent counteroffensive, but also in increasing Soviet production for the next period of the war. Substantial quantities of machine tools and raw materials, such as aluminum and rubber, were supplied to help Soviet industry back on its feet: 312 metal-cutting machine tools were delivered by convoy PQ-12 alone, arriving in March 1942, along with a range of other items for Soviet factories such as machine presses and compressors.

Once again, raw figures do not tell the whole story. Although British shipments amounted to only a few percent of Soviet domestic production of machine tools, the Soviet Union could request specific items which it may not have been able to produce for itself. Additionally, many of the British tools arrived in early 1942, when Soviet tool production was still very low, resulting in a disproportionate impact. The handing over of forty imported machine tools to Aviation Factory No. 150 in July 1942, for example, was the critical factor in enabling the factory to reach projected capacity within two months.

Lend-Lease aid did not “save” the Soviet Union from defeat during the Battle of Moscow. But the speed at which Britain in particular was willing and able to provide aid to the Soviet Union, and at which the Soviet Union was able to put foreign equipment into frontline use, is still an underappreciated part of this story. During the bitter fighting of the winter of 1941–1942, British aid made a crucial difference.





Churchill was so pleased with Hitler's crazy attempt at subduing the USSR that he was understandably more than willing to give aid to Stalin, even though GB was in a very shaky condition at the time. The earlier aid got there the better, and the crews of the arctic convoys were incredible brave! A real tribute to the maritime excellence of the Brits. I take nothing away from GB and the courage of the British people and armed forces in WW2!
But once the US was in it and geared up production, the tanks they sent helped Montgomery in North Africa and the trucks they sent to Russia - let alone all the other stuff - allowed the Russians to develop mobile tactics on a grand scale.
Re the Russians, Stalin was smart enough not to appeal to Marxist ideology and instead called for saving the Rodina! Millions of Russians answered the call and died for the motherland. It can't be forgotten though that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, Cossacks, and other non-Russians fought for Hitler given the chance. With the horrible treatment these people received from Moscow it is no wonder.

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Post #: 17
RE: Dunkirk - 7/22/2017 12:10:12 PM   
brian brian

 

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So I was able to see this last night, a bit earlier than expected, and even with an old gaming friend who I played many hours of PanzerBlitz, Squad Leader, and Third Reich with.

I will just say it's not your 1960s style WWII epic, and I quite look forward to seeing it again.

I made a smal tactical mistake and sat down in a seat at only 6 minutes after the official start time. This exposed me to still 6 more minutes of trailers for upcoming attractions, and I rarely like those. I was somewhat relieved to learn that the new Blade Runner project is not a re-make, but a sequel. I also learned there will be a new war-related movie that looks to be perhaps a bit of a cross between The Others and Cold Mountain. But now I feel like I have already seen that movie, thanks to the trailer.

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/22/2017 3:25:58 PM   
paulderynck


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Some comedies, all you need to see is the trailer, the entire rest is unfunny. Think of it as free admission.

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/22/2017 5:09:53 PM   
Jagdtiger14


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Well, the French seem to not like the movie, and the Russians are calling the Brits cowards:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/french-furious-at-being-written-out-of-dunkirk-film-epic-33rg8m57l

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/22/2017 5:27:13 PM   
Centuur


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I've seen this movie yesterday and I have to say that the French are quite right here...

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/22/2017 5:32:01 PM   
RFalvo69


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I watched it here in Paris on iMax 70mm, and I found it amazing.

I won't spoil, but let's say than Nolan, again, plays with the concept of "time" in an unique way. The movie intercuts between the soldiers stranded on the beaches, the small fleet of civilians coming to the rescue, and the RAF battling the Luftwaffe. However, as we are clearly told, the land scenes cover one week, the sea ones one day, and the air battles one hour. Nolan, though, intercuts between them like if they were on the same timeline. The effect is disorienting, at the beginning, but the way everything comes together is, IMHO, totally unique.

There is no gore in the movie, but be warned that this is a very hard PG13 (here in Europe we have different rating systems, but the concept is basically the same): the anguish and the tension are relentless, and soldiers die in dire ways. You really don't need blood and flying limbs when certain... things do happen to people.

A word of warning: there are no real characters in the movie, something, I feel, that many people will not like. I think that Nolan cast some recognisable faces just for that reason ("Hey, Kenneth Branagh looks worried! He must be an English high-up or stuff!" "Wait a minute... they are not going to kill Mad Max, do they??) - because the only connection you have is with the actors. Characters are defined by what they do, not by speeches about the wife at home expecting their first baby. The movie can be defined as a single, uninterrupted sequence that never lets go: there is simply no time for sad sing-alongs.

Zimmer's score is fantastic. Let's say that it doesn't "accompany" the movie, but it is an integral part of the soundscape.

Watch it on the biggest screen around. The air battles alone had the whole audience banking...

My vote: 9 out of 10

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/22/2017 5:33:47 PM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur

I've seen this movie yesterday and I have to say that the French are quite right here...

Has the French made a war movie celebrating the courage and bravery of the English soldiers?

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/22/2017 5:55:48 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

Well, the French seem to not like the movie....


Total and utter rubbish. Why are some people so stupid? It's like there is an army of people out there just waiting to be offended by someone or something. And its not just the French.

'The French' are angry because Dunkirk neglects them - and if you recall 'the British' were angry because Saving Private Ryan didn't mention their involvement on D-Day.

Hey - here's a novel idea for those people whoever they are - how about growing the hell up?

Saving Private Ryan was set in Normandy - but NEWSFLASH - it was a story about a deeply personal American experience; it was based on a true story and was about a rule that was brought in for US servicemen following the loss of the Sullivan brothers. Sure, the film could've included reference to the British and Canadians, but it didn't and that was no insult - there was just no reason to necessarily include them.

Dunkirk is about the British experience at Dunkirk - especially the sailors who manned the little ships. Even so, because of the interplay between the British and French forces, in the case of Dunkirk (and despite it being a British story being told here) it would have been fitting to make reference to the French out of fairness. But the point is IT DID SO.

To say it neglects the French - when the opening shot shows FRENCH ONLY soldiers manning the perimeter (while the retreating British soldier is motioned on to the beach while the French continue fighting), when it mentions during the action (despite the limited dialogue) that the French soldiers are manning the perimeter and when it mentions at the end of the film that the British wait longer to try and get more French off - is simply false and just looking for trouble.

Pathetic.

Edit: Slightly re-worded to make more readable and to highlight the fact that recently I keep spelling their when I mean there



< Message edited by warspite1 -- 7/23/2017 6:18:15 AM >


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RE: Dunkirk - 7/22/2017 6:01:49 PM   
RFalvo69


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur

I've seen this movie yesterday and I have to say that the French are quite right here...


I don't know. There is a scene showing French troops holding the perimeter. It is a single one, but it is in the movie.

The movie also shows French troops on the beach being refused access to British ships because "they are for British soldiers only". This briefly after, in a dialogue, it is underlined how Churchill publicly supports the idea that "the fight is not over", but privately "he wants his Army back".

"Dunkirk", as clearly stated, is about the evacuation, and nothing else. It is uninterested about how the Allies put themselves in that situation or who is to blame. However, if you pay attention, you get enough info to understand the overall state of things even outside the main story.

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/22/2017 6:22:32 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

....and the Russians are calling the Brits cowards


And while we're discussing mindless stupidity perhaps 'the Russians' who say the film celebrates cowardice can clarify how Dunkirk differs from Odessa.

You know, when an army, with its back to the sea and has no way out, gets evacuated so its troops can be used for more important battles to come rather than to populate German prisoner of war camps. How was the evacuation from Dunkirk different?

Of course as we know, these comments have nothing to do with stupidity and everything to do with trying to stir up trouble.



< Message edited by warspite1 -- 7/22/2017 7:16:36 PM >


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RE: Dunkirk - 7/22/2017 7:29:13 PM   
brian brian

 

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Actually, Dunkirk is just used as a setting for some much deeper themes, such as the anonymous nature of war and the way the individual decisions each have profound ramifications for all the other participants in war. And the way individuals come round to those decisions either quickly or slowly, and the ways those decisions can then be rendered completely irrelevant, perhaps instantly, by random chance, anyway.

Using this movie to get into some sort of national pissing match is a little silly - any battle could be used to explore what this movie is actually exploring. It is slightly unfortunate that because Dunkirk is not well-known at all, any more, the movie will be looked at as telling the "story" of Dunkirk, when it actually does only some of that, and is quite beside the points being made. And with the exception of D-Day, the Battle of Britain, and perhaps Market-Garden, no battle of WWII is known by the public any more, really. It strikes me as a bit of a shame that Nolan picked this battle, with it's implications for relations among Allies, etc., to explore what he explores in the script, rather than some more anonymous battle. Perhaps Dieppe would have worked just the same, though he would not have been able to work a civilian angle in to that one.



I would say there is an existential terror question in the first few minutes that few would notice, save military hardware buffs - if you see a Stuka diving toward you, and you don't have a foxhole ready, do you run towards the Stuka, or away from it?

< Message edited by brian brian -- 7/22/2017 7:30:12 PM >

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/22/2017 7:36:07 PM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

....and the Russians are calling the Brits cowards


And while we're discussing mindless stupidity perhaps 'the Russians' who say the film celebrates cowardice can clarify how Dunkirk differs from Odessa.

You know, when an army, with its back to the sea and has no way out, gets evacuated so its troops can be used for more important battles to come rather than to populate German prisoner of war camps. How was the evacuation from Dunkirk different?

Of course as we know, these comments have nothing to do with stupidity and everything to do with trying to stir up trouble.



I suspect they never even heard about the evacuation from Odessa.

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RE: Dunkirk - 7/22/2017 7:40:23 PM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian


I would say there is an existential terror question in the first few minutes that few would notice, save military hardware buffs - if you see a Stuka diving toward you, and you don't have a foxhole ready, do you run towards the Stuka, or away from it?

Towards it, but angling it slightly to the side.

Although if it really happened I rather suspect I would be petrified. And then hit the ground at the spot I was standing in.


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RE: Dunkirk - 7/22/2017 7:43:41 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

....and the Russians are calling the Brits cowards


And while we're discussing mindless stupidity perhaps 'the Russians' who say the film celebrates cowardice can clarify how Dunkirk differs from Odessa.

You know, when an army, with its back to the sea and has no way out, gets evacuated so its troops can be used for more important battles to come rather than to populate German prisoner of war camps. How was the evacuation from Dunkirk different?

Of course as we know, these comments have nothing to do with stupidity and everything to do with trying to stir up trouble.



I suspect they never even heard about the evacuation from Odessa.
warspite1

Indeed


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