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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

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Bristol-Cruiser

Dunkirk film

44 posts in this topic

Went to see this film last night, in 70 mm IMAX. Found it to be an incredible achievement in filmmaking. Looked at some of the viewer (non-professional) reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and found a fascinating response. Rather than the reviews following a reasonably normal (bell curve) kind of distribution, people either loved the movie or hated it with relatively few reviews in the middle. Many more people loved the movie although there were a fair number of people who hated it. The latter group seemed to include two sub-groups. One are those who go to see a movie to see things and people get blown up and want the blood and body bits flying. The other group like their movies done in a linear, chronological way withe characters you get to know about. Dunkirk has none of this. There are three stories being told concurrently with lengths ranging from an hour (RAF pilots) to a day (private yacht and other vessels going to take people off the beach), to a week for the soldiers stuck on the beach. The three stories converge near the end of the movie although they diverge again in the last few minutes. You do need to pay attention though, but that is not a bad thing.

See if in IMAX 70 mm if at all possible (only 30 such screens in North America out of 3000+ showing the movie). the visual and auditory experience are amazing. I went with my three sons (in their 30s) who are very much of the super-hero movie generation. They were blown away by the intensity of Dunkirk.

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Plesae joine us at  'Moovie Reviewe Threade",
( see Poeste #159 )

 

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What’s Missing From “Dunkirk”

Posted By David Swanson On July 28, 2017 

Yes, I’m going to tell you what’s missing from this film without watching the film. Trump has, as promised, made me so sick of winning that I really could enjoy watching a defeat film, but I think I’ll pass. If I’m wrong about what’s missing from it (I mean one of the many things that are, no doubt, missing from it), I promise that I will eat an entire plan for victory in Afghanistan annually for the next decade.

One of the oddest things about World War II is how it has been marketed as a humanitarian war since the moment it ended.

One reason this is odd is that several times the number of people killed in German concentration camps were killed outside of them in the war (at least 50 million worldwide vs. 9 million killed in the camps). And the majority of those people were civilians. So a war against killing people in camps would be a very strange way to understand World War II, unless killing many more people can be made an acceptable means of opposing killing people. The scale of the killing, wounding, and destroying made WWII the single worst thing humanity has ever done to itself in any short space of time.

Even odder is that zero effort was actually ever made to prevent the mass-murder in the concentration camps. There was no poster asking you to help Uncle Sam save the Jews. A ship of Jewish refugees from Germany was chased away from Miami by the U.S. Coast Guard. The U.S. and other nations refused to accept Jewish refugees, and the majority of the U.S. public supported that position. The U.S. engaged in no diplomatic or military effort to save the victims in the Nazi concentration camps. Anne Frank was denied a U.S. visa.

Peace groups that questioned Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his foreign secretary about shipping Jews out of Germany to save them were told that, while Hitler might very well agree to the plan, it would be too much trouble and require too many ships. Here is an interesting passage from Nicholson Baker:

“Anthony Eden, Britain’s foreign secretary, who’d been tasked by Churchill with handling queries about refugees, dealt coldly with one of many important delegations, saying that any diplomatic effort to obtain the release of the Jews from Hitler was ‘fantastically impossible.’ On a trip to the United States, Eden candidly told Cordell Hull, the secretary of state, that the real difficulty with asking Hitler for the Jews was that ‘Hitler might well take us up on any such offer, and there simply are not enough ships and means of transportation in the world to handle them.’ Churchill agreed. ‘Even were we to obtain permission to withdraw all the Jews,’ he wrote in reply to one pleading letter, ‘transport alone presents a problem which will be difficult of solution.’ Not enough shipping and transport? Two years earlier, the British had evacuated nearly 340,000 men from the beaches of Dunkirk in just nine days. The U.S. Air Force had many thousands of new planes. During even a brief armistice, the Allies could have airlifted and transported refugees in very large numbers out of the German sphere.”

In other words, the story of Dunkirk, the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, is a story of how the Allies treated people they had some use for, and a demonstration of how they could have treated other people if they had had any use for them.

Since the moment the war ended, the U.S. military has had enormous use for those it callously allowed the Nazis to murder. They have been front and center in the argument for war after war after war.

Since World War II, during what U.S. academics think of as a period of unprecedented peace, the United States military has killed some 20 million people, overthrown at least 36 governments, interfered in 81 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs on people in over 30 countries. This extravaganza of criminal killing is documented here. But it isn’t much of a secret. To my knowledge, every single military assault has involved a reference to a new Hitler and a passionate plea to retroactively save his victims. Of course the humanitarian consequences have differed dramatically from those stated intentions.

Somehow I doubt any of that is mentioned in the Dunkirk film.

 

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35 minutes ago, By the lee said:

What’s Missing From “Dunkirk”

Posted By David Swanson On July 28, 2017 

Yes, I’m going to tell you what’s missing from this film without watching the film. Trump has, as promised, made me so sick of winning that I really could enjoy watching a defeat film, but I think I’ll pass. If I’m wrong about what’s missing from it (I mean one of the many things that are, no doubt, missing from it), I promise that I will eat an entire plan for victory in Afghanistan annually for the next decade.

One of the oddest things about World War II is how it has been marketed as a humanitarian war since the moment it ended.

One reason this is odd is that several times the number of people killed in German concentration camps were killed outside of them in the war (at least 50 million worldwide vs. 9 million killed in the camps). And the majority of those people were civilians. So a war against killing people in camps would be a very strange way to understand World War II, unless killing many more people can be made an acceptable means of opposing killing people. The scale of the killing, wounding, and destroying made WWII the single worst thing humanity has ever done to itself in any short space of time.

Even odder is that zero effort was actually ever made to prevent the mass-murder in the concentration camps. There was no poster asking you to help Uncle Sam save the Jews. A ship of Jewish refugees from Germany was chased away from Miami by the U.S. Coast Guard. The U.S. and other nations refused to accept Jewish refugees, and the majority of the U.S. public supported that position. The U.S. engaged in no diplomatic or military effort to save the victims in the Nazi concentration camps. Anne Frank was denied a U.S. visa.

Peace groups that questioned Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his foreign secretary about shipping Jews out of Germany to save them were told that, while Hitler might very well agree to the plan, it would be too much trouble and require too many ships. Here is an interesting passage from Nicholson Baker:

“Anthony Eden, Britain’s foreign secretary, who’d been tasked by Churchill with handling queries about refugees, dealt coldly with one of many important delegations, saying that any diplomatic effort to obtain the release of the Jews from Hitler was ‘fantastically impossible.’ On a trip to the United States, Eden candidly told Cordell Hull, the secretary of state, that the real difficulty with asking Hitler for the Jews was that ‘Hitler might well take us up on any such offer, and there simply are not enough ships and means of transportation in the world to handle them.’ Churchill agreed. ‘Even were we to obtain permission to withdraw all the Jews,’ he wrote in reply to one pleading letter, ‘transport alone presents a problem which will be difficult of solution.’ Not enough shipping and transport? Two years earlier, the British had evacuated nearly 340,000 men from the beaches of Dunkirk in just nine days. The U.S. Air Force had many thousands of new planes. During even a brief armistice, the Allies could have airlifted and transported refugees in very large numbers out of the German sphere.”

In other words, the story of Dunkirk, the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, is a story of how the Allies treated people they had some use for, and a demonstration of how they could have treated other people if they had had any use for them.

Since the moment the war ended, the U.S. military has had enormous use for those it callously allowed the Nazis to murder. They have been front and center in the argument for war after war after war.

Since World War II, during what U.S. academics think of as a period of unprecedented peace, the United States military has killed some 20 million people, overthrown at least 36 governments, interfered in 81 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs on people in over 30 countries. This extravaganza of criminal killing is documented here. But it isn’t much of a secret. To my knowledge, every single military assault has involved a reference to a new Hitler and a passionate plea to retroactively save his victims. Of course the humanitarian consequences have differed dramatically from those stated intentions.

Somehow I doubt any of that is mentioned in the Dunkirk film.

That is by far THE LAMEST critique of US foreign policy I've ever heard.  

btl - did you have a point in posting this?  If so take it to PA.  

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amazing movie.  amazing.  

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Yep, went Saturday, very good movie

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  Watched  the movie today. I liked it but there were obvious faults. The biggest problem was the lack of people on the beach compared to what there actually was from photos of the time. This seems to be what upsets people the most. The other "props" were not that authentic either if your ex navy and recognized the mine sweepers and destroyers. Some of the small boats were probably the same ones that did the real trip but there was the odd modern one there in the movie. Spitfires don't glide that well either!

   I would recommend people to see it and draw their own conclusions.

     

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Read an article about the historical accuracy of the movie and apparently Spitfires could glide long distances, although there is no evidence of a gliding Spitfire shooting down an enemy aircraft. Here is the article.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2017/07/20/what_s_fact_and_what_s_fiction_in_dunkirk.html

Check the end notes for page 179 about a Spitfire gliding for 15 miles.

https://books.google.ca/books?id=oaygCgAAQBAJ&pg=PT243&dq=Dunkirk+raf+spitfire+gliding+shot+down&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Dunkirk raf spitfire gliding shot down&f=false

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48 minutes ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

Read an article about the historical accuracy of the movie and apparently Spitfires could glide long distances, although there is no evidence of a gliding Spitfire shooting down an enemy aircraft. Here is the article.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2017/07/20/what_s_fact_and_what_s_fiction_in_dunkirk.html

Check the end notes for page 179 about a Spitfire gliding for 15 miles.

https://books.google.ca/books?id=oaygCgAAQBAJ&pg=PT243&dq=Dunkirk+raf+spitfire+gliding+shot+down&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Dunkirk raf spitfire gliding shot down&f=false

I will read those nits AFTER seeing the movie.  I don't want to spoil it. 

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13 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

That is by far THE LAMEST critique of US foreign policy I've ever heard.  

btl - did you have a point in posting this?  If so take it to PA.  

 

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15 hours ago, Shootist Jeff said:

That is by far THE LAMEST critique of US foreign policy I've ever heard.  

btl - did you have a point in posting this?  If so take it to PA.  

Although it is definitely more appropriate for PA, I really don't see anything lame about BTL's post.  The British have single handedly done more to fuck up the world with their precious empire than any other country.  Of course it is only a coincidence that the British Royal family, you know, the house of Windsor, formerly the House of Hannover, is more German than British.  After the Brits were completely exhausted from WWII (The entire UK lost almost 1% of its population during WWII, the horror!), their vast empire in tatters, their staunch ally, the US assumed the mantle of world leadership under the guise of spreading democracy, instead of spreading an empire.  Imperialism or capitalism don't look much different if you are on the wrong end of the bargain.  

If you want to carry on in PA, start a thread there and we can discuss the matter further.

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My 18 year-old son took me to see it in IMAX.

Wow.  Just wow.

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once again.... great movie.. go see it.......

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So no romantic drama or full frontal scenes?

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Amazing movie and yes, as posted above, if you have the opportunity to see it in 70mm  Imax, do so.  It is well worth the extra cost. 

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Let's see, who will be along to link Bill O'Reilly or Rush for an equal-opportunity annoyance ?

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Its art, not a historical academic documentary, though I think its a testamemt to its realism that folks try to elevate it then criticise its shotcomings using that measure.

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I just saw Dunkirk this afternoon in 70mm IMAX with the 4dx shaking seats.  It was pretty incredible cinematography and graphically stunning in many ways.  But overall I would almost, but not quite, say "meh".  Maybe after all the reviews about it being the best movie ever made - maybe my expectations were too high.  

Don't get me wrong, it was a good movie.  I enjoyed it.  But I thing the one thing it never captured or even came close to conveying was the SCALE of the boatlift.  I never got the sense of the almost 400K soldiers evacuated.  Which is the whole reason the name Dunkirk is even impressive.  I get that the movie centered on a couple of small aspects of the overall story.  But I would have expected it to at least convey some scale of the numbers on the beaches.  

It was an interesting movie.  Novel even in the way the different timelines were stitched together.  I'll have to ponder on it some more.  

I'd give it 3.5 snags.

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6 minutes ago, Shootist Jeff said:

I just saw Dunkirk this afternoon in 70mm IMAX with the 4dx shaking seats.  It was pretty incredible cinematography and graphically stunning in many ways.  But overall I would almost, but not quite, say "meh".  Maybe after all the reviews about it being the best movie ever made - maybe my expectations were too high.  

Don't get me wrong, it was a good movie.  I enjoyed it.  But I thing the one thing it never captured or even came close to conveying was the SCALE of the boatlift.  I never got the sense of the almost 400K soldiers evacuated.  Which is the whole reason the name Dunkirk is even impressive.  I get that the movie centered on a couple of small aspects of the overall story.  But I would have expected it to at least convey some scale of the numbers on the beaches.  

It was an interesting movie.  Novel even in the way the different timelines were stitched together.  I'll have to ponder on it some more.  

I'd give it 3.5 snags.

Can't give it a 3.5, it didn't have the true stories of the contributions of left handers and completely ignored Baptists.

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+1    never looked like more than a good football crowd.

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23 hours ago, Point Break said:

Can't give it a 3.5, it didn't have the true stories of the contributions of left handers and completely ignored Baptists.

It also left out the Halfricans, women and Indians who obviously all fought valiantly at Dunkirk.

Quote

The trio of timelines can be jarring as you figure out how they all fit, and the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color may rub some the wrong way.   https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2017/07/17/review-christopher-nolan-excellent-dunkirk-explores-heroism-innovative-fashion/482574001/

 

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Released on Friday, French feathers have been ruffled with Jacques Mandelbaum writing in the country’s most popular paper, Le Monde, slating the epic. 

He blasted the “witheringly impolite” film, claiming it had a “purely British” plot. 

Dunkirk

The Russians have also been highly critical, branding it a celebration of British cowardice :o :ph34r:

 

And he accused filmmakers of “distressing indifference” towards the French. 

Depicting the events in 1940, some five years before the end of the war, he claimed it portrayed the evacuation in a “spectacular but incomplete manner’”. 

He wrote: “A dozen seconds devoted to a group of French soldiers defending the city... does not account for the indispensable French involvement to this mad evacuation.

“Where are the 120,000 French soldiers also evacuated from Dunkirk in this film?

“Where are the other 40,000 who sacrificed themselves to defend the city against a superior enemy in arms and in numbers?”

And he was not alone in his criticism, with fellow French journalist, Gary Assouline, also critiquing the film. 

He wrote of Huffpost France: “Anglo-Saxons have an unpleasant tendency to put forward the feats of the British army and pass over those of the French army.”

But historians leapt to the director’s defence, claiming Mr Nolan had “the right” to interpret history. 

Referencing the barrage of french hatred, Max Hastings retorted: “Nolan's film is as shamelessly British as many of Steven Spielberg's are shamelessly American. 

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/831820/Dunkirk-film-world-war-two-French-fury-criticism-British-Harry-Styles

Spielberg shamelessly American? Naw..........:lol:

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On ‎8‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 0:22 PM, Shootist Jeff said:

It was an interesting movie.  Novel even in the way the different timelines were stitched together.  I'll have to ponder on it some more.  

I'd give it 3.5 snags.

I'm in pretty much the same place.  Saw it, with very high expectations going in, and... didn't love it.

I "get" the interwoven timelines.  But I didn't like them.  It seemed to me like a film-maker's conceit which (for me) distracted from the story rather than helping it.

And there were enough distractingly-off incongruities to bug me (like, in one scene the bomber is approaching the ship and the sea is calm; in the next the sea is stormy as the bomber finishes its pass... or, like, huge "scale" discontinuities when the boats come to help the sinking ship... or, like the whole thing about the guys hiding in the beached boat while waiting for the tide to come in... if there was water coming in thru the bullet holes then _A_ the tide is in, and _B_ that section of the hull is already immersed, which makes it pretty hard to shoot...)

Maybe that's all just me, but... it ended up being a "meh".

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I found the final scene a little incongruous - the Germans approaching Tom Hardy over the dunes as his Spitfire burns on the beach (with the container gantries in the background).

 

 

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While certainly not a bad film, as a former Navy officer some things really bugged me:

- every ship that was torpedoed immediately rolled over and sank.  

- there is a scene on a ship where there are lots of people milling about eating sandwiches.  It looks like a huge room on a ship.  Other than the hangar (which wasn't a feature of those ships) every compartment on a ship is filled as much as possible and the deckheads are usually within reach.  Crew spaces are just the bits of room left over that are not taken up by machinery, pipes, wireways, storage, ammunition, weapons, etc.  

- there is a scene where the airplane is being machine gunned and sparks fly off the airplane showing where the bullets hit.   I am pretty sure lead hitting aluminum (?) won't create sparks.  

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Somewhere near the start of the film there's talk of how a boat that "drafts" (sic) more than x won't get up the beach.

"Drafts"??? Shouldn't it be "draws"?

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On 8/11/2017 at 2:22 PM, Shootist Jeff said:

I just saw Dunkirk this afternoon in 70mm IMAX with the 4dx shaking seats.  It was pretty incredible cinematography and graphically stunning in many ways.  But overall I would almost, but not quite, say "meh".  Maybe after all the reviews about it being the best movie ever made - maybe my expectations were too high.  

Don't get me wrong, it was a good movie.  I enjoyed it.  But I thing the one thing it never captured or even came close to conveying was the SCALE of the boatlift.  I never got the sense of the almost 400K soldiers evacuated.  Which is the whole reason the name Dunkirk is even impressive.  I get that the movie centered on a couple of small aspects of the overall story.  But I would have expected it to at least convey some scale of the numbers on the beaches.  

It was an interesting movie.  Novel even in the way the different timelines were stitched together.  I'll have to ponder on it some more.  

I'd give it 3.5 snags.

 yeah , that movie All Quiet on the Western Front, totally ignored the  Eastern front, Ottoman front, the Italian front, african front... blah blah blah

it's a friggin movie, no movie is historically accurate , just enjoy the show, go read the books..  and why  were the 120k french leaving their country the cowardly bastards , stay and fight..

 

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On 8/14/2017 at 8:29 AM, knucklehead said:

I found the final scene a little incongruous - the Germans approaching Tom Hardy over the dunes as his Spitfire burns on the beach (with the container gantries in the background).

 

 

. . .and the engine apparently missing.

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On 8/12/2017 at 0:36 PM, By the lee said:

Spielberg shamelessly American? Naw..........:lol:

The French have no one to blame but themselves for that. The same sort of shit happened after WW1. For whatever reason the French are not given to writing interesting narratives after their wars. We have a cubic butt-load about the British zone...there are thousands of books written about the Somme...but precious little about Verdun, which was by far the larger battle. No big French war movies either. Perhaps because it is, for them, too painful to remember. I dunno...

 Today I'd say the majority of Americans, if asked, believe the French just up and quit against the Germans in WWII, but google up the German casualties and see the damage they did to them in that conflict. At Dunkirk the only reason they got the time to get everybody out of there is the French fought like hell to buy that time. Sacrificed a hell of a lot of guys. 

 They do not preserve battlefields in the way we do, perhaps because there is scarcely an inch of that land that has not seen one at some point or another. I guess the same can be said about most of the rest of the continent. Nothing like our parks for Gettysburg, which in that land could easily have been described as a mere skirmish.,..such is the bloodiness of the region. 

 

 

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Great movie, interesting non-linear time line. But, I have to say, it is just a "movie". Some people complain about the story not following events or showing an event that is not realistically, if it did it would them be called a documentary. I like the fact that the movie wasn't just a computer generated video game, and I can live with the few bits that were not period or real. The story and acting makes up for any of this. Go seeing it on IMAX would be the better way to go if you can.

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13 minutes ago, Topmast said:

Great movie, interesting non-linear time line. But, I have to say, it is just a "movie". Some people complain about the story not following events or showing an event that is not realistically, if it did it would them be called a documentary. I like the fact that the movie wasn't just a computer generated video game, and I can live with the few bits that were not period or real. The story and acting makes up for any of this. Go seeing it on IMAX would be the better way to go if you can.

 

is everyone's Imax charging $20 a ticket?

 

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33 minutes ago, Mark K said:

The French have no one to blame but themselves for that. The same sort of shit happened after WW1. For whatever reason the French are not given to writing interesting narratives after their wars. We have a cubic butt-load about the British zone...there are thousands of books written about the Somme...but precious little about Verdun, which was by far the larger battle. No big French war movies either. Perhaps because it is, for them, too painful to remember. I dunno...

 Today I'd say the majority of Americans, if asked, believe the French just up and quit against the Germans in WWII, but google up the German casualties and see the damage they did to them in that conflict. At Dunkirk the only reason they got the time to get everybody out of there is the French fought like hell to buy that time. Sacrificed a hell of a lot of guys. 

 They do not preserve battlefields in the way we do, perhaps because there is scarcely an inch of that land that has not seen one at some point or another. I guess the same can be said about most of the rest of the continent. Nothing like our parks for Gettysburg, which in that land could easily have been described as a mere skirmish.,..such is the bloodiness of the region. 

 

 

A good part of the reason that so many were pulled out of Dunkirk was that Hitler wasn't terribly interested in annihilating the British forces.  He really didn't war to fight them, he looked at the Brits as a bulwark against a united Europe and considered them rightfully, as a Germanic race.  There were many peace overtures made to the Brits after Dunkirk.  Finally the British bombing of civilians in Germany pissed of Hitler and he gave up on trying to make peace with them.

Yes, those French sure did fight the Germans.  France (including it's colonial soldiers, and civilians) lost a total of 600,000 people during the war, 1.4% of its population.  (Hint: The casualty figures aren't that low because of the prowess of their military.)  Of the major Allied countries only Great Britain and the US suffered fewer total casualties.  Considering that in 1939 the French had Europe's largest, most modern and well equipped army, and had they used it when Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland in 1936 the history of Europe would probably look a little different today.  Or had they used it when Hitler invaded the Low Countries in 1944, instead of hiding behind the ludicrous Maginot Line.  Then there was that inconvenient Vichy collaboration government.  I think it would be historically accurate to say the French didn't acquit themselves well in the war.

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51 minutes ago, Mark K said:

The French have no one to blame but themselves for that. The same sort of shit happened after WW1. For whatever reason the French are not given to writing interesting narratives after their wars. We have a cubic butt-load about the British zone...there are thousands of books written about the Somme...but precious little about Verdun, which was by far the larger battle. No big French war movies either. Perhaps because it is, for them, too painful to remember. I dunno...

 Today I'd say the majority of Americans, if asked, believe the French just up and quit against the Germans in WWII, but google up the German casualties and see the damage they did to them in that conflict. At Dunkirk the only reason they got the time to get everybody out of there is the French fought like hell to buy that time. Sacrificed a hell of a lot of guys. 

 They do not preserve battlefields in the way we do, perhaps because there is scarcely an inch of that land that has not seen one at some point or another. I guess the same can be said about most of the rest of the continent. Nothing like our parks for Gettysburg, which in that land could easily have been described as a mere skirmish.,..such is the bloodiness of the region. 

 

 

No doubt the French fought a holding action till the evacuation was complete and were unable to be evacuated as a result. It's been a long time but I recall some 20-30 thousand French troops were captured when the evacuation was complete. I also recall reading multiple versions of the possibilities of why Hitler's army paused for 3 critical days during the spin up. The most credible I recall was the notion he was giving Britain a chance to accept peace terms favorable to Germany in order to preserve the Allied forces. Combine that with universally criticized French Generals and their strategic decisions and how complicated French politics were with Petain and the Vichy influence......I think the French get an unfair branding as a result. 

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4 minutes ago, Point Break said:

No doubt the French fought a holding action till the evacuation was complete and were unable to be evacuated as a result. It's been a long time but I recall some 20-30 thousand French troops were captured when the evacuation was complete. I also recall reading multiple versions of the possibilities of why Hitler's army paused for 3 critical days during the spin up. The most credible I recall was the notion he was giving Britain a chance to accept peace terms favorable to Germany in order to preserve the Allied forces. Combine that with universally criticized French Generals and their strategic decisions and how complicated French politics were with Petain and the Vichy influence......I think the French get an unfair branding as a result. 

No offense, but that explanation in defense of the French is like saying "But Hitler built the autobahns and gave the world the VW. (OK, several orders of magnitude smaller, but still, the analogy is a good one.)

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The only people better than the French at glossing over their fairly abysmal performance in WWII are the British.  They have elevated it to an art.

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1 hour ago, soak_ed said:

A good part of the reason that so many were pulled out of Dunkirk was that Hitler wasn't terribly interested in annihilating the British forces.  He really didn't war to fight them, he looked at the Brits as a bulwark against a united Europe and considered them rightfully, as a Germanic race.  There were many peace overtures made to the Brits after Dunkirk.  Finally the British bombing of civilians in Germany pissed of Hitler and he gave up on trying to make peace with them.

Yes, those French sure did fight the Germans.  France (including it's colonial soldiers, and civilians) lost a total of 600,000 people during the war, 1.4% of its population.  (Hint: The casualty figures aren't that low because of the prowess of their military.)  Of the major Allied countries only Great Britain and the US suffered fewer total casualties.  Considering that in 1939 the French had Europe's largest, most modern and well equipped army, and had they used it when Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland in 1936 the history of Europe would probably look a little different today.  Or had they used it when Hitler invaded the Low Countries in 1944, instead of hiding behind the ludicrous Maginot Line.  Then there was that inconvenient Vichy collaboration government.  I think it would be historically accurate to say the French didn't acquit themselves well in the war.

It was the same problem that haunted NATO during the hay-days of the USSR. A well-founded defense is a defense in depth, but it was politically unacceptable to say to all the people of the border regions...and in modern warfare that's a band of damn near a 100 miles...they were fucked of war came about. So...long story short...everything had to be stacked up on the border. 
A hard but brittle defense.  


 It's worth mentioning just for the fuck of it that stacking everything up on the border is an offensive formation. The Rooskies had a reason to be a bit paranoid back in the day. That was not a factor for Hitler though. There was somewhere between zero and dick-all French public desire to invade Germany at the time and forts can't move.  

 I suspect one of the reasons the Wehrmacht wasn't in a big fat hurry to approach the beach was Brit naval artillery.  Big stuff, that. 

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hiding behind the ludicrous Maginot Line

I am not familiar as to why the Maginot line was built, but I'm guessing because of the somewhat success of the forts surrounding Verdun and everyone anticipating that the next war would be another trench war... but of course the shortsitedness of the politicians and aging generals that wouldn't realize that "modern" warfare is a constantly changing modality...  the same thinking that caused millions of lives to be lost during ww 1.

Just finished watching Black Adder Goes Forth..  what were "jokes" when I originally watched the series were actually sad realities which are cringe worthy when you know the history..    I'm getting to the episodes of "the great war" where various gases are being used by both sides.. especially the ones where the descriptions were   "animals, people, snails, and even flys no longer existed"  flys! where rotting corpses by the 10's of thousands  existed for miles and miles..

 

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When you have a lot of land, the Russian winter defense strategy (stretch out the invader's supplies train and let them freeze to death) seems to work well. Things are geographically a bit cramped in western Europe.

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3 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

I am not familiar as to why the Maginot line was built, but I'm guessing because of the somewhat success of the forts surrounding Verdun and everyone anticipating that the next war would be another trench war... but of course the shortsitedness of the politicians and aging generals that wouldn't realize that "modern" warfare is a constantly changing modality...  the same thinking that caused millions of lives to be lost during ww 1.

Just finished watching Black Adder Goes Forth..  what were "jokes" when I originally watched the series were actually sad realities which are cringe worthy when you know the history..    I'm getting to the episodes of "the great war" where various gases are being used by both sides.. especially the ones where the descriptions were   "animals, people, snails, and even flys no longer existed"  flys! where rotting corpses by the 10's of thousands  existed for miles and miles..

 

There were 2 problems with the Maginot Line. The first and the lesser problem was the French refusal to recognize airplanes and other modern means of warfare.  Te German managed to drop paratroopers on top of the fortifications that had some success.  The 2nd is partially related to the first.  The Germans simply did an end run through Belgium, the Line stopped at the border. The French and the British didn't anticipate how quickly the German mechanized and armored forces could move.  Tanks had come a long way from the lumbering behemoths that appeared toward the end of WWI.  Supported by CAS from above, the Nazis covered a lot of ground very quickly.

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2 hours ago, soak_ed said:

There were 2 problems with the Maginot Line. The first and the lesser problem was the French refusal to recognize airplanes and other modern means of warfare.  Te German managed to drop paratroopers on top of the fortifications that had some success.  The 2nd is partially related to the first.  The Germans simply did an end run through Belgium, the Line stopped at the border. The French and the British didn't anticipate how quickly the German mechanized and armored forces could move.  Tanks had come a long way from the lumbering behemoths that appeared toward the end of WWI.  Supported by CAS from above, the Nazis covered a lot of ground very quickly.

 It was built in the hope the next war would be somewhere closer to the border, I imagine. With a little luck even in Germany...it was their turn to host, after all.  

  It actually worked as designed. They knew they couldn't build a wall across the whole thing...the idea was to force a German invading force into channels. It did that. Problem was they got their hiney's kicked in those channels....and they didn't anticipate some of them as well as they should have. What is interesting to me is why they weren't more prepared. Getting spies into German from France was a piece of cake...perhaps they misunderestimated how far away those mechanized divisions could stage up.  

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14 hours ago, Mark K said:
17 hours ago, soak_ed said:

There were 2 problems with the Maginot Line. The first and the lesser problem was the French refusal to recognize airplanes and other modern means of warfare.  Te German managed to drop paratroopers on top of the fortifications that had some success.  The 2nd is partially related to the first.  The Germans simply did an end run through Belgium, the Line stopped at the border. The French and the British didn't anticipate how quickly the German mechanized and armored forces could move.  Tanks had come a long way from the lumbering behemoths that appeared toward the end of WWI.  Supported by CAS from above, the Nazis covered a lot of ground very quickly.

 It was built in the hope the next war would be somewhere closer to the border, I imagine. With a little luck even in Germany...it was their turn to host, after all.  

  It actually worked as designed. They knew they couldn't build a wall across the whole thing...the idea was to force a German invading force into channels. It did that. Problem was they got their hiney's kicked in those channels....and they didn't anticipate some of them as well as they should have. What is interesting to me is why they weren't more prepared. Getting spies into German from France was a piece of cake...perhaps they misunderestimated how far away those mechanized divisions could stage up.  

Maybe trump could get some french engineers over to build our wall.  :ph34r:

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