View Full Version : How the USA won the Battle of Britain

Hostie from Hell
12th Apr 2004, 12:42
From the Independent : Tom Cruise and Hollywood rewrite the history of the Battle of Britain !!

"Billy Fiske was a racing driver, a pilot, an Olympic gold medallist and an American - but one thing he did not do was win the Battle of Britain single-handed. Veterans and historians fear that will be the impression given, however, when Tom Cruise plays Fiske in a new film called The Few".

"I've heard it is almost like he won the war all on his own," says Ben Clinch, who loaded the guns fired by the real Billy Fiske and his comrades in 601 Squadron during the summer of 1940. "I can't see how they can make a film of Fiske's life. It was quite short. He was unremarkable, in the context of the squadron. He was just another pilot as far as we were concerned."

"Hollywood's version of the Second World War has already shown Americans capturing the Enigma code machine in U571 (they didn't) and leading The Great Escape from a German prisoner of war camp (also not true). Pearl Harbor even suggested that the RAF only thwarted the Luftwaffe in the summer of 1940 because US pilots popped across the Atlantic to help out. Now Mr Cruise looks set to expand on that with his own version of what Churchill called our "finest hour".

"Fiske was a remarkable character who did fly in the Battle of Britain, but recorded no confirmed kills. "It is going to be a farce if we have the Yanks shooting down everything in sight," says Bill Bond of the Battle of Britain Historical Society. "The battle was four weeks old when Billy was shot down. He made several sorties but he didn't shoot anything down, and his impact on the battle was negligible."

:mad: :mad: anyone care to comment :E

12th Apr 2004, 12:48
Never having sat in a Spitfire, I was wondering, Would Tom Cruise have been tall enough to see over the instrument panel?


Onan the Clumsy
12th Apr 2004, 13:46
When it got bumpy he could always hang on with his big pointy teeth. :8

12th Apr 2004, 13:47
It could be a lot worse.

Imagine Mel Gibson's version of the Battle Of Britain!!! :ooh:

12th Apr 2004, 13:54
Obviously, Tom Cruise will be sitting on 2 parachutes. :rolleyes:

But is this just another USA-bashing thread? I'd better pile in quick then before it gets cut...! :E

We all know that most Americans suffer from an inferiority complex. They need continuous reassurance that the World really loves them. If Hollywood has to feed this insatiable requirement with yet another movie portraying the American hero and has descended to rewriting history by pinching other's heroes because they have run out of their own...should we really complain?!

After all, that way we get to be able to maintain our own image of superiority! :)

12th Apr 2004, 15:29
But if they want to lionise one of the (9) yank volunteers, why not "Shorty" Keogh? The chap who really did sit on 2 parachutes (he was shy of 5ft tall), walloped the krauts, and sadly died the same way. That bloke in "The Station Agent" would seem typecast...

Anyway, it's no wonder that 30% of the population believe the cold war never happened...

West Coast
12th Apr 2004, 16:39
Make fun of him all you want, but he had Nicole Kidman. I could be her stocker if that position ever opened up

Onan the Clumsy
12th Apr 2004, 16:44
Nicole Kidman???? :yuk:

12th Apr 2004, 16:49
Make fun of him all you want, Why thanks, West Coast, that's most neighbourly of you.

I was wondering what to do with myself this evening, as it happens.....

Rich Lee
12th Apr 2004, 17:16
It is time for the British Film Industry to "fight back" with a uniquely British film version of history! Using American methods the Empire can exist once more. Quickly....before the economically powerful French take over.

Lon More
12th Apr 2004, 17:53
Caslance wrote, "Imagine Mel Gibson's version...." With Arnold Schwarzenagger leading the Germans and van Damme as the leader of the Free French, Belgians, Poles etc

Bo Nalls
12th Apr 2004, 17:56
Anyone wanting a quick bio on Billy fiske can click here (http://www.fiske.clara.net/billy_fiske.htm)

Although there is (an american) reference to him shooting 6 enemy aircraft in the above link the best I've been able to come up with is 1 confirmed kill on 13 Aug 40 (Ju-88). Most references to Billy Fiske quote 0 confirmed kills.

All that being said I do think he did have a wonderful life and contributed much to the winter olympics pre-war. He was also the first american to join, and die for, the RAF in 1939/40. He deserves much respect for that. All we can hope is that the current day film makers do not over-exagerate his contibution to the BoB.

12th Apr 2004, 18:11
The Cruiser has his admirers, I suppose but for true Hollywood lunacy you have to hand it to Mr Gibson!

Having seen impossibly well-groomed and psychopatically cruel Englishmen killing and torturing women and children on two continents (In 'The Patriot' and 'Braveheart') until pulled up short by one man's possession of all the important human virtues and a lot of guts besides. That mean-looking guy in the green jacket in 'The Patriot', do you have many like him at home? I would hate to meet him in a dark alley, or even a well-lit one, come to that. And what you did to Mel in 'Braveheart' was really, really mean!

So I cannot wait for Mel's version of the Battle of Britain:

The grinning English fiends machine-gunning Goethe-reading Jerries as they float helplessly under their canopies after having been shot down by sneak attacks from behind!

The bloated capitalist swine W. Churchill spurning Rudolf's last-minute entreaty to see reason and avoid unnecessary bloodshed by making common cause against the Bolshevik threat from the east.

And, just when all seems lost, salvation from over the seas as we Yanks arrive to show everyone how to fly!

I like it!

The only question remaining in this is, where does Pope Pius XII fit into the plot? As far as the Jews, I guess Mel's point of view, like Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged's, would be, 'I did them!'

12th Apr 2004, 18:17
Having sat in a (replica) spitfire, I would say T. Cruise would be a perfect fit.

12th Apr 2004, 19:24
Right. Before we get started I am NOT anti-American...I have relatives who are Americans and I have a lot of time for them generally as a Country, however.............

Can any AMERICAN tell me why it is necessary for the USA to re-stage WW2 in a way that re-writes History to show them actually winning something??

What is it about Hollywood/the American Physche that prevents them portraying events as the actually were, and without a constant "US of A coming to the little Brits aid and winning everything for them" approach to everything?

Am I alone in being disgusted that true bravey and sacrifice are thoughtlessly cast aside by Hollywood producers in an effort to try to persuade a gullible American audience that they actually won something in WW2.


I would like to agree with you however in a period in history when (on both sides of the Atlantic) people have very little grasp of history, and when we have revisionist writers re-writing history for a variety of politically correct reasons and from their own twisted dogmas, there is every risk that this will become accepted History.

Wouldn't it be so nice (and what a change) for an American production to actually feature a historically correct film about say Bomber Command...with British/Dominions/Commonwealth actors.

And to those PC people...remember that there were West Indians and Sikhs in the RAF and wo gave their lives for freedom. They were treated fairly and as equals...unlike in the US Army/Air Force.

12th Apr 2004, 19:28
Dear all,

For a bit of balance I must come down on the side of the US. Check out the film about the Tuskegee Airmen. Not a flattering portrayal.



Cyclic Hotline
12th Apr 2004, 19:42
Without entering into the fray about the political licence of re-writing history in the movies, or about Tom Cruise in general.

But the fact that Tom Cruise OWN'S and FLY'S his own P51D Mustang, might make it likely that not only can he see over the dash of a Spitfire, but that he might even be able to FLY the thing himself - fancy that!

Which might be more than some of the people commenting here can claim? :ooh:

And anyway, as any fule no, the Battle Of Britain was won by Ben Affleck - didn't you see "Pearl Harbor"?:8

12th Apr 2004, 20:13
I've seen Cruise driving a NASCAR in a movie and it absolutely sucked. You can own a race car, you can even drive a race car, but it doesn't make you a real racer... :rolleyes:

12th Apr 2004, 20:23
as any fule no A touch of Molesworth!!! Rah!

Rich Lee
12th Apr 2004, 20:30
You can own a race car, you can even drive a race car, but it doesn't make you a real racer...

There has not been a 'real' racer' since Senna died; but even though Tom is an actor, if he drove a race car....even in a movie that sucked....by definition wouldn't he be a 'real' racer?

Of course NASCAR is not real racing, is it?

12th Apr 2004, 20:34
The Golden Rule (Hollywood version): He who has the gold makes the rules!

If you are making big, loud, brainless movies for Yanks do you suppose you are going to use Englishmen (our generic term for the British) as the heroes when you can substitute Yanks? If you were making movies for dogs would you star cats? Doh!

This started a long time ago, even during the Second World War. Then we had movies showing, for example, how the Yanks chased the Japs out of Burma (?). That must have gone down well in the UK!

Well, come to that, our greatest Second World War movie hero, and even real-life hero to many, was a pathetic draft dodger: John Wayne. He sure looked good up there on screen in 'Sands of Iwo Jima', for instance, even if he took good care not to risk his life in any but a pretend way.

Ronald Reagan in 'Hell Cats of the Navy'? He couldn't really fly that thing; it was up on saw-horses with prop men rocking it back and forth! Durn!

Are you going to insist on narrow-minded realism over the Silver Screen? Then you have to lose all those raging homos and chilly lesbos playing hetero roles , all the smart guys playing fools and the idiots playing geniuses, etc, etc. Even Lassie was a bitch in real life!

Just wait til My Main Man Mel gets that joystick in a grip of steel and gives those Krauts hell! Nitpick all you want but wait and see just how much money the movie pulls in at the box office. That's all Hollywood cares about.

Oh, and Michael Jackson doesn't really love children, either. Well, not in the 'agape' sense of the word! But don't tell anyone; it might hurt his record sales.

12th Apr 2004, 21:01
Hey, it's a movie, not a documentary ... and who can take anything with Tom Cruise in it seriously? Chill, people....

12th Apr 2004, 21:16
Let's be clear on this, chuks. Are you telling me Errol Flynn did NOT win the war?

12th Apr 2004, 21:28
Davaar, are you a total idiot?. There's no way Errol Flynn could have helped win the war.
He was singing with Hot Chocolate at the time:\


12th Apr 2004, 21:35
Why doesn't Hollywood save their money, after all they are going to win this War aren't they?

That will be their first (since 1776)

12th Apr 2004, 21:46
Hey Airship....bit of news for you...at least it is only a complex we have. Shame it is the other way around across the saltwater divide.

I suggest you think where you would be without the "inferior" Americans....say since about WWI. Nothing embarrasses more than ingratitude justly owed.

The Spanish have had their nose bloodied...the French are running scared...and Blighty's turn is coming. We have to remember it is a World War against terrorism...just as you lot did in '39....we have blown the bugle...we took two years to show up....your time is up.

tony draper
12th Apr 2004, 21:50
I seem to recal the Crews of the Lancs that actually flew the Dam Buster mission were not that complimentry about the Brit made Damm buster movie, and since his death we have discovered Douglas Bader was not the "hail fellow well met" he was portrayed as in Reach for the Sky either.
If you want history read a book,or watch a documentry,movies are just entertainment for kiddies of all ages.

12th Apr 2004, 21:51
Bloody hell lads its a film for christs sake!! What difference does it make. And anyway, any US claims that they won the war single handed is no worse then British claims that they were instrumental in the defeat of Hitler in Europe.

The real war as any fool knows was on the Eastern front. Everything else was just mopping up.

12th Apr 2004, 22:05
...say since about WWI US' participation to WW1 was hardly of influence to the outcome, although Hollywood of course would lead us believe otherwise.

12th Apr 2004, 22:27
You forget, 419, that Errol was Australian, and therefore nothing was impossible for him, not even a war on two fronts. That's one thing I have learned from these pages.

12th Apr 2004, 23:07
bravey and sacrifice are thoughtlessly cast aside by Hollywood producers in an effort to try to persuade a gullible American audience that they actually won something in WW2.

I would say producers are more concerned with how much money they make at the box office than rewriting history, although maybe they feel rewriting history makes more money!

Still seems wrong to me.

12th Apr 2004, 23:23
Billy Fiske was issued with that fine piece of British blacksmithing the Hurricane.

Everybody was a shortass in 1940 anyway.

My dad was 5' 2" and drove buses.

13th Apr 2004, 00:42
The Times did an obituary a few years ago on the New Zealander who made his way to Britain to join the RAF at the outbreak of war.

He was too short for the RAF, so the RAF turned him down.

He then tried the army. He was too short for the army, so the army turned him down.

He then tried the RN. He was a bit on the short side for the RN, but they took him anyway.

He was the only man ever to win all three of the VC, the GC, and the DSO. I should remember his name, and I am ashamed that I do not.

13th Apr 2004, 01:29
Chucks, I believe that Ronald Reagan portrayed a Submarine Commander in Hellcats of The Navy not an aeroplane driver.

Anyhow I heard that Hollywood is making a new film about Douglas Bader, except this time he is Black, an American and Blind. Stevie Wonder will play him during the war with Ray Charles stepping in as he moves on to flying for Shell Oil in his later years.


Cyclic Hotline
13th Apr 2004, 04:23
So I guess we can expect a sort of WW2 version of Top Gun then?

West Coast
13th Apr 2004, 05:03
The best part about this movie is the way its getting you limeys all bent out of shape. Panties in a bunch over there and it hasn't made a dollar yet.

13th Apr 2004, 05:10

Think you may be a little confused.

Are you thinking about the late Capt Charles Upham, a New Zealander who was one of only 3 people ever to win a bar to the Victoria Cross? If so he was never refused entry to the RAF as he joined the army in NZ.

One family have a VC, GC and DSO. The Seagrim brothers, Lt Col DA Seagrim VC and Maj HP Seagrim GC, DSO, MBE. They were born in Hampshire, UK.]

Amazing how Google can make one an instant anorak.


13th Apr 2004, 06:52
F. Scott Fitzgerald, down on his luck, once worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Later he wrote a series of stories starring a down-on-his-luck screenwriter named Pat Hobby.

In one of the Pat Hobby stories he tells how a star was pushed into a shell hole by the director, to emerge screaming with rage about how he had ruined his manicure. This was then changed to something like 'You fiendish Huns! You have killed my best friend! Now I will make you pay!' for the war movie in which he was starring.

Actually, I was bluffing there; I have never seen 'Hell Cats (or Hellcats, whichever) of the Navy', have no intention of ever seeing same, and had no idea that RR was piloting a submarine rather than an F6F in that movie.

Additionally, I should have pointed out that Lassie, the TV version at least, was a dog and not a bitch in real life. Two dogs, in fact! Sort of like the Johns Travolta and their wristwatches, I guess.

On the other hand, if I buy and fly my own P-51 then I will be, ipso facto, a P-51 pilot! Perhaps not the 'ace of the base' but a P-51 pilot even so! So hats off to the vertically challenged, Scientologically-minded Mr Cruise, say I! If I buy a copy of 'Dianetics' can I come for a ride? (If I actually manage to read it all the way through then I expect to be given the aircraft!)

My wife was given a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which she rode a few times until I took it away and swapped it for a Yamaha. So she was a Harley rider, despite whatever any of the 'dirty shirts' might have to say about that.

That is the trouble with status objects: someone buys whatever it is you consider to be an icon emblematic of some inner truth and just sort of owns it! Without bothering to consider your feelings about it, even a P-51! Or, the very history of your country.

If Hollywood want to mangle history for the booboisie, well, there are whole libraries full of books called 'history' for the literally-minded to read. Just be careful when you get to David Irvine!

13th Apr 2004, 08:29
Actually West Coast, your comment is a little misjudged. I wonder how the US would react in, say, 20 years time, if the Brits made a movie depicting the British Forces sorting out Afghanistan/Iraq, with the brave Brit Squaddies finding and arresting Saddam while the US Army run around like headless chickens :hmm:

How about a film about the Korean war showing how the Brits helped out, (true actually). I wonder if the average US citizen would shrug and say "Ah well, it's just a movie" I think not.

People are used to seeing movies featuring gung-ho undisciplined American war heroes and we can generally smile and accept that essentially there is nothing wrong with a bit of jingoism, God knows we Brits could do with a bit of that. However, when movies potray a deliberate warping of historical fact, especially of what may be considered a sensitive subject, it's hardly surprising there will be an outcry.

It's a pity, because sometimes a truly great film is released. I thought the film "We were soldiers" was superb and very moving. "Saving Private Ryan" whilst being fictional, was a believable portrayal of a war story.

Well, that's my halfpenneth :ok:

Paranoid Parrot
13th Apr 2004, 08:54
Airhead I thought that was / is how it's happening in Iraq? The yanks seem to be charging around threatening to shoot anyone who doesn't agree with them while the Brits calmly get on with things down in Basra.

Ascend Charlie
13th Apr 2004, 09:20
Why is everyone bagging Thomas H. Cruise Mapother III? He is a very capable pilot, and for a fixed-wing geek, he did a credible job of flying a helicopter after only a short time of expert instruction.

And he is a bloody nice bloke.

But the poor bugga keeps getting cast as Cold Trickle and similar characters, which is really not his fault.

And as for the US rewriting history to suit itself, just look at John Wayne in Green Berets.

Why don't the Brits make a war movie: cast Rod Stewart as Bernard Montgomery and have him showing up Eisenhower (played by Puff Diddy - about time the world knew that Ike was black) for the dill that he was? Put in Posh Spice and let her have an affair with John Cleese as Hitler - (probably the only person she hasn't had one with, if you trust the tabloids) and gerard Depardieu as De Gaulle. Have to be a winner.:ok:

surely not
13th Apr 2004, 09:39
To those of you who say 'hey, it's only a film' please bear in mind that recent surveys have shown that a significant number of people believe the film Titanic to be a true representation of events.

The power of the movie industry to 'change' history should not be underestimated. It is doubtful whether many who go to watch a movie go home to check the facts out by reading up on the subject.

I think the US had several heroes from the battles in the Pacific, and also among their bomber crews in Europe, so quite why they want to 'invent' a hero from the Battle of Britian is beyond me.

Having seen several films about the land battles in Vietnam, I'd like to see a film anout the F105 crews and the B52 crews flyimng over Hanoi. Come on the Film Industry, save your escapism for Love stories and comedy, but leave History to be an accurate portrayal.

13th Apr 2004, 10:01
Bletchley, chuks and others.

We colonials have been putting up with this manure for years from Hollywood.

How we (the good ol USA) won the war, bloody hell they only arrived after intermission! When Yamamoto hurled a bomb into their beloved Hawai and stirred them into action.

So after Hollywood has basterdised how they won (raped) the West now we are going to get more BS about how they won not only WWI, WWII, Stategic withdrawal Vietnam, etc etc etc.

Facts are, 70% of the American Cowboys were African American, (Q. how many "black cowboy" hero's have been portrayed) the Gun Fight at the OK Corral lasted 30 secs and no carn died (there anyway - they died later of self inflicted wounds probably) they've made f.........g 2hr movies out of it.
In Nam the VC wouldn't fight us Ozzies unless they had us 10 to 1 against, yet the way Uncle Sam tells it we were'nt there. But I was,and I know they used to take on Uncle Sams "pussies" when they the VC were outnumbered 10 to 1 by the "good ol boys"

Pity they couldn't tell it like it was, BoB and all but then if they did the only cameo for a Yank would be driving a Taxi or selling hotdogs on the corner.

It's sad to see a country running around rewriting history so as to make themselves fit in somewhere. :hmm:

13th Apr 2004, 10:05
airhead10I wonder how the US would react in, say, 20 years time, if the Brits made a movie depicting the British Forces sorting out Afghanistan/Iraq, with the brave Brit Squaddies finding and arresting Saddam My guess is there would be NO reaction as the film wouldn't even make it into the theatres over in the US. And why would it? They have their own movies to entertain themselves with. "Who? They did what??"

About whom do you make your own home movies?

If it WAS shown I expect the result would be confused silence as the credits rolled, rather than the sort of outrage experienced by everyone else when this happens to them.

And as FarQ2 so eloquently points out, for years, we in Australia have been paying money hand over fist for the privilege of being outraged by their versions of history, just like most.

The real question is, if the (as-yet un-made) film does portray events inaccurately and insultingly from the Brit POV, then why will they inevitably flock to theatres regardless and send their $$$ (sorry no pound symbol) Hollywood-way?

PS: "10 to 1....... 70%" I love these emotive and yet somehow supposedly accurate statistical quotes. We do not have mass "Yank-issues" or a national inferiority complex despite what it looks like...

The ONLY thing that matters to me beyond a gesture towards historical accuracy is that the actual flying scenes are portrayed realistically. Pearl Harbour made me violently ill. Even the P-51 scene at the end of "Shaving Ryan's Privates" was disappointingly artificial. "We Were Soldiers"??? What a load of crap. The UH1 gunship pass followed 0.2 seconds later by an (digitally inserted) F-105 napalm strike in opposite direction. At least the helos were real, I suppose.

I want to see realism of the sort found in the Skyraider/riverbed scene in "Flight of the Intruder",

13th Apr 2004, 10:31
I won't hear a word said against Mel Gibson when it comes to flying planes.

In that classic aviation series "Tales of the Golden Monkey" Mel flew a WW2 flying boat and kept law and order around the whole of the Pacific Ocean. His co-pilot was a one-eyed Jack Russell Terrier which was a member of MENSA and barked once for yes and twice for no. Mel always knew exactly where he was; he could tell Base Ops his exact Lat and Long over the Pacific by looking out of the cockpit window. He was a real swashbuckling hero (so eat your hearts out, Indiana Jones and Maverick you poofs) and he inspired me to follow in his hallowed footsteps.

All of it was authentic, perhaps except for the dog. I think it only pretended to have one eye. :ouch: woof!

13th Apr 2004, 10:34
During my career as a war hero I had occasion to visit the Australian forces at Nui Dat, Republic of Viet Nam. They needed some help there in winning the war, I disremember....

Anyway, one sunny afternoon I made my way to the showers, emerging to find that someone had made off with my towel, so that I had to parade stark b*llocks naked down the company street with both sides lined with jeering Ozzies greeting me with, 'Yank's a blooming pervert! Look, he's naaaked! Hey, Yank!'

Then when I returned to my humble canvas abode I found that they had made off with my M-16 rifle as well. Well, perhaps they thought I might want to commit mass murder after having to endure the naked stroll down the street!

So, as far as I am concerned, Hollywood can commit any outrages it wishes to upon the history of Australia, assuming they can find any outside of perhaps Ned Kelly and whatever the indigenes got up to pre-Botany Bay. Turn Tom Cruise loose to parade himself as Ned Kelly's better-looking and twice as bad American cousin, say, trying to teach Ned to stop being such a wimp and learn to stand up for himself. That might get you roo-sh*ggers in an uproar and serve you right, too! The femal lead to be played by Dame Edna as a ripe example of typical Australian womanhood, of course. Revenge at last!

13th Apr 2004, 11:15
Smeagol, you may be right but my recollection is very clear. The man I have in mind is not one of those you mention. I did clip the obit from The Times, but it has long gone. My chap was an engineer by profession, and he earned the awards by repeated disarming of unexploded mines, bombs, and the like. I suppose I could check with The Times, and if I can find their e-mail address, I shall. It would be interesting to know for sure.

13th Apr 2004, 11:46
So why doesen't Hollywood make a film about the real American heroes of WWII like Don Gentile, or that bloke with the unpronouncable name who flew a P-47. (Sorry, not very good with names).

Is the nightmare of the 8th air force campaign not bloody or desparate enough for cinema audiences?

Buster Hyman
13th Apr 2004, 12:03
I can't wait for the Monty Python version of Iwo Jima!!!! :ok:

Chuks. Out of curiosity, did you notice any "locals" in the Aussie camp? Oh, and the film Ned Kelly is as accurate as the film Pearl Harbour!:rolleyes:

13th Apr 2004, 12:04
Well no wonder you've got a grudge against Australians! Bloke walks off to the showers and leaves his gat laying around the tent and then wonders why it disappeared!!! :rolleyes: Get you court-martialled over here, that would.

Didn't you know we're all thieves down-under? That's how we got to Aust in the first place. Now everyone wants to move in.

I can't believe he left his weapon on a tent-floor when he went off to wash his "weapon"... :confused: :oh: :ooh:

Yank War Atrocity:
Shocking 'C' grade top gun rip-off movie called "Super-Carrier" starring some unheard-ofs which went straight to video. In an attempt to cash in on spectacular but short-lived wide-spread Aussie popularity they cast some yank as F-14 RIO call-sign "Anzac" and gave him a copy of "Croc Dundee" to get his accent right. It was absolutely tragic.

Best scene: F-14 attempts to out-run FA-18. To portray tremendous acceleration, the CAMERA swings right... Tomcat (and wingman, clouds, island, ships) all "accelerate" to the left.

Yes, I admit I saw it.

Tom Cruise: I know you're reading this. Please ensure REAL aircraft are used as much as possible and subject the inevitable digitalised versions to realistic laws of aerodynamics and SOPs. If the producers refuse, just stay in your caravan. Chop out, with extreme prejudice, the love scenes and bathtub-fearing smelly pommy housewives and add more shots of Spitfires and Hurricanes. And give the krauts a break, I hear they were good pilots too.

Sprinkle the odd pom around the cast, too. Apparently there were a few involved in the BoB to some degree.

And find an opening to insert Bin Laden's father as a pre-quel to the inevitable WAT film... sort of like the young Vader in Star Wars episode I.

13th Apr 2004, 12:18
The Australians seemed to make do just fine without maid service, somehow. Their morale put ours to shame, despite the lack of maids, dishwashers, air conditioners, TVs and so on. (I was basically a Saigon Warrior, belonging as I did to the Airplane Army. The airplanes needed a runway, so that I got to sleep between sheets, most nights.)

As to films, they would put a bedsheet up and show 16mm. movies. When I was there the feature presentation was 'Hurry Sundown', a tear-jerker starring Miss Hanoi Jane Fonda and assorted People of Color or 'negroes' as they were then known. It purported to show some aspects of life in the American South during the agitation for Civil Rights.

I was sat there among the crowd, holding tight to my towel in one hand and my rifle in the other, when we got to the near-climax. The Klan was coming to kick some butt! So what did these movie darkies do? Head for the hills or else grab their shotguns, perhaps? (Either one would have done for me under the circumstances!) No, these Hollywood negroes all crowded into the church and started singing hymns!

I burst out laughing, when all around arose indignant cries of 'Yank's a bl**dy racist!' I tried in vain to explain how wide of the mark this film was, even by Hollywood standards, but they wouldn't hear it. After all, there it was in living colour for all to see, up on the bedsheet. I was laughing at racial persecution, or so they thought.

Buster Hyman
13th Apr 2004, 12:22
Thanks Chuks. That confirms something I was told by my Uncle (AATTV) a few years back.

Anyway, if you enjoyed that movie, you should try the "baby seals" thread! ;) :p :ok:

13th Apr 2004, 12:27
I've had a couple of weeks away from JB, and I was looking forward to rejoining the debate, but now I know why I didn't miss it.

This thread is a perfect example of everything that's wrong with Jet Blast; massive generalisations of whole nations based on limited experience, self-aggrandizing posts by pathetic individuals who seem to want to claim personal responsibility for the achievements of "their" country, the whole willy-waving shtick.

You're all pathetic; have a good look at yourselves and ask what you're trying to prove here.

Woeful. :rolleyes:

Buster Hyman
13th Apr 2004, 12:29
Err...except for my posts right Binoculars???:O

13th Apr 2004, 12:32
Hoist on my own petard of generalisation; of course you are exempt, Buster. I speak only of those who take themselves seriously. ;)

13th Apr 2004, 12:36
You m***er f***ing tell 'em Binos!!

13th Apr 2004, 12:38
You're all pathetic; have a good look at yourselves and ask what you're trying to prove here, etc, etc......

Huh?!?!?! What the....???

I didn't think ANYTHING got proven here. That's why they call it a RUMOUR network.

Anyway chuks, you missed the point of it all. You would've been had no matter what you did. A captive yank to take the p!ss out of would've been priceless entertainment for the boys!!

13th Apr 2004, 12:45
Gooda Morning PPrune Sans, *bows*

Anya chanca Mer Gribson a Japonesa? Mr .Suzaka have prenty dorra - want make Peral Harabor firem - Tola Tola Tola - but smarl adjustamenta to ending.

Contac Mr Suzuka ona [email protected]

solly.... *bows*

13th Apr 2004, 12:48
chuks, you say: Anyway, one sunny afternoon I made my way to the showers, emerging to find that someone had made off with my towel, so that I had to parade stark b*llocks naked down the company street with both sides lined with jeering Ozzies greeting me with, 'Yank's a blooming pervert! Look, he's naaaked! Hey, Yank!'How’d all those Ozmate Diggers know you were a Yank if you were stark b*llocks naked, mate? Could it have been the size of your …? And “blooming”? Are you sure you were in the Dat? “The Septic’s an effin’ perve” might be closer to the mark, mate. And leaving your weapon in your tent to go to the showers? Chargeable offence where I came from - apart from being *** stoopid!

On to more serious matters of the history of WW2 as it is told by Hollywood, I always remember some Yank “documentary” (!) about New Guinea. The Australians actually rated a mention – a one liner something like “reeling back under the Japanese onslaught, the Australians retreated to Port Moresby”… and then we were all entertained with tales of U.S. derring-do as they single-handedly defeated the yellow hordes and threw them back into the sea. (Not a mention of the first defeat on land the Japanese suffered in WW2 – Milne Bay – where, p.s. and by the way, there wasn’t a Yank grunt to be seen. So therefore, it didn’t happen.)

General Douglas MacArthur was single-minded to the point of paranoia in making sure every American victory was publicised as an American victory and every Australian victory as an “Allied” victory.

Much of America (and those ‘back home’ in all countries on the Allied side) saw the war in New Guinea through the eyes of a truly superb Australian combat cine cameraman, Damien Parer, (who went to work for a US news company later in the war after clashing with Australian officialdom). However, all Parer’s footage was re-dubbed for American audiences, replacing his voice with that of an American commentator. Parer was killed later in the war – (dare I say, ‘you guessed it’) – by ‘friendly’ American fire as he did his usual thing and went out in front of the troops to get the best footage.

13th Apr 2004, 13:00
Parer was killed later by ‘friendly’ American fire as he ...went out in front of the troops to get the best footage. I'm amazed he lived as long as he did if that's how he got all his footage.

Back to the topic..... let's give Hollywood one more chance to make a truly epic WWII aviation fillum that will satisfy the history buffs, aviation buffs and buffed Tom Cruise poofta fans.

(apparently TopGun is some kind of homo-icon flick.... so they say)

13th Apr 2004, 14:17
In that classic aviation series "Tales of the Golden Monkey" Mel flew a WW2 flying boat

I remember Tales of the Gold Monkey well from childhood, ShyTorque, but Mel was nowt to do with it...


The plane in question was a Grumman Goose incidentally.

13th Apr 2004, 14:52
I've heard rumours that there is going to be a Hollywood movie of the battle of Stalingrad. (cue Daily Mail reader / Fox viewer 'Duh? Whassat?' ).

Perhaps Ppruners can tell me about the cast list and synopsis.

13th Apr 2004, 15:31
We already had a film relating to Stalkigrad didn't we? It was a british one with Jude Law and Rachel Weisz. Law played a famous Russian sniper who picked off countless German officers in the city.

The opening scene is the best when the young Russian soldiers are sent over the Volga into battle, it's terrifying.

Bob Hoskins is incredible as Kruschev!!

13th Apr 2004, 15:43

There have been several movies about Stalingrad. Try "Stalingrad" from the 1990s or "Enemy at the Gates" with Jude Law from (i think) 2001.



13th Apr 2004, 16:20
The German made film 'Stalingrad' was chilling. Well made and with english sub-titles.

Although not a film - Anthony Beevor's books; 'Stalingrad' and 'Berlin - the downfall 1945' are interesting reads.

13th Apr 2004, 16:28

I agree with you on Mr Beevor's books. I think he is one of the best military historians around at the moment. His works are far better than those by Stephen Ambrose. Beevor and Ambrose both rely heavily on first hand accounts as it the current vogue for the periods they cover. However, where Ambrose tends to use large rambling recollections to make a simple point, Beevor on the other hand is able to deftly weave the various sources he has researched to give a fuller picture which should satisfy both the casual reader and the scholar alike.

Another worthwhile read is almost anything by John Keegan.



13th Apr 2004, 16:39
I must be missing something here; I was supposed to carry my M-16 with me at all times in a combat zone? Including into the shower? Durn! With hindsight that would have been a very good idea, except that I might have looked a bit strange trying to take a shower all tooled up. Certainly I would have stood out in the crowd. As I did just a short time later. Tom Cruise is too good for you lot. I think we do a national epic starring Barry Manilow instead!

The way I had it figured, I didn't need to run faster than a VC, I just needed to run faster than an Aussie, if caught unarmed! (So I wasn't really much of war hero. Sue me! I was still a bigger hero than John Wayne and Errol Flynn put together, which may well have happened anyway.)

As to how they knew I was a Yank, it might have been the accent or the fact of someone serving up some advance publicity for me as he ran up the street waving my towel. Anyway, yes, I was the only Yank around for miles at that time.

What is with Mr Binoculars, there? The airconditioning conked out up in the tower cab or the coffee machine broke down? PMS? I actually found this particular little corner of Jet Blast to be a bit of harmless fun compared to trying to sort out the troubles of the world by slagging off various nationalities, religions and participants in regional conflicts.

In the words of my guru, 'Excuuuuse Me!'

13th Apr 2004, 16:54
Stalingrad - Decision in the East

A Twentieth Century Foxxx production

Starring Mel Gibson as Marshal Zhukov
Robert de Niro as Josef Stalin
A shifty looking Brit, probly Billy off Eastenders as Adolf Hitler
Ewan McGregor as Vassily Zaitsev (cos he's scottish, and they're alright as we all know)
Kim Basinger as Stalin's Mum
Bruce Willis as General Patton

Written and Directed by Mel Gibson
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer

Plot synopsis:
Opening scene shows Churchill and Hitler shaking hands on a deal to spread the war eastwards. Cut to Heroic dictator Stalin as the grateful recipient of tons of US aid in his relentless struggle against the British-backed Nazis. "But they were meant to be on our side!" screams Mel, outraged.

Merge to gratuitous scene of Germans and British mercilessly persecuting civilians and innocent Americans.

Cut straight to Evil hordes of fanatical Nazis rampaging across the Ukrainian steppe eating the scenery, raping livestock and plundering expat American farmsteads in Kiev.

Fade to German Sixth Army commander finishing up his evening meal of Russian babies. He phones Hitler to tell him they have conquered Stalingrad.

Follows 2 hours of CGI battle scenes as evil British soldiers working secretly alongside the Nazis viciously beat back the heroic Russian soldiers until they are about to cross the bridge into Moscow. SUDDENLY:

The victorious US Third Army headed by irrepressible General George S Patton blasts into the German lines from behind and pounds them into jelly.

Endscene: Stalin kisses Patton's hand and agrees to live peacefully with the US in a new era of Soviet-American partnership in Europe. Just then Churchill bursts in and threatens them all with nuclear annihilation unless they agree to a 40-year Cold War to help British imperialistic interests. Stalin and Patton gaze wistfully at each other before reluctantly agreeing to his demands.

It's a wrap!

13th Apr 2004, 18:30
I think you made the righ decision not taking your M-16 into the shower room.
Just look at what happened to Gomer Pyle when he took his in. (okay, I know it was the sh1t house, but it's close)


13th Apr 2004, 19:05
So its unanimous then, every body loves Beevor except Chuk who would prefer to play with his tool in a shower full of men!!:}

13th Apr 2004, 20:55

What a howler!

You said (quote):

This thread is a perfect example of everything that's wrong with Jet Blast; massive generalisations of whole nations based on limited experience, self-aggrandizing posts by pathetic individuals who seem to want to claim personal responsibility for the achievements of "their" country, the whole willy-waving shtick.

You're all pathetic; (unquote)

Well, you jumped right in there with the best of 'em Binos :rolleyes:


Oh no! You've just made me realise I really am senile, I was sure it was Mel.

Have I got the dog right?

13th Apr 2004, 21:14
Slim 20

Thank you very much for adding to my historical knowledge. Given that the film is a 16th Century Fox production, I suppose that there is a subplot about the evil anti-American propaganda put out by the English BBC.

Isn't it a fact that Hitler lived for a while (a year?) in Liverpool with his sister and her husband?

This is where he got the idea from that the government all went away to their country houses at weekends, so that this was a good time to start wars and stuff.

Perhaps Hollywood should do a prequel: 'Hitler in Liverpool'?

13th Apr 2004, 21:46
Slim 20;

The role of Churchill can be filled by Danny Devito.

Churchill's mum was American so that can count for the accent.

Oh; and for accuracy, Patton's Arm Div. can be equipped with Abrams.


Many USA produced films may not be accurate but at least there is some general recognition of History (Hollywood can always make up a whole world war when they run out of stories).

In order to fund these 200 mil. blockbusters, they have to stretch the truth to get a return out of the masses - and the masses are the American theatre goers and Vidoe/DVD renters who don't want to see a Brit capture the enigma machine or Aussies defeat the Japanese for the first time in WW2.

Personally, if I want accuracy, I read books on a subject. If I want entertainment, even if it is B/S - I will watch a US produced movie.

'Dark Blue World' was a refreshing change from the usual 'pulp'. As for it's accuracy........

13th Apr 2004, 22:06
"Heil Honey, I'm Home"

by Carla Lane

A new ground breaking sitcom following the hilarious antics of the Hitlers, a modern suburban couple in Liverpool, and their hapless lodger, Mrs Hitler's accident-prone brother Adolf.


>Ding Dong<

Mrs Hitler: Adolf luv can ye get the door la' I'm up to me tits in washing y'know.... I know it's your berthday and all...

Adolf: Ach du scheisse! I've only gone and invaded Poland....

etc etc do it yerselves if you can be arsed, I'm goin to bed............

Ascend Charlie
13th Apr 2004, 23:55
And with the magic of computer graphics, we can have cameos from Sgt Schultz, Colonel Klink, Benny Hill, and the little guy from Laugh-In - Verrrrrrrry interrrestink!

There must be a slot for an NCO-type, to have the Sgt Major from "It ain't half hot mum" in there too. Windsor Davies, I think he was.

14th Apr 2004, 05:29
On the face of it the sort of dumbed down tripe that is churned out by some sections of the Hollywood industry would appear to be harmless enough....the problem is that there is a serious side to it....I spend quite a bit of time over in the States and like any country it has a wide variety of talent and personalities amongst its population..there is however one noticable common denominator that links almost the entire country and that is an astounding naivete regarding issues and events taking place outside of the USA....As for history , most Americans seem to have given up learning it at the age of 8...

The sort of garbage dished out by the film industry that passes for historical fact bolsters the falicy that Americans are somehow superior to all other races which in turn leads to arrogance when negotiating on the international stage and a tendency to over-reaction when they find that in the real world they're getting their ar*es kicked...

A wonderful country but I often get the feeling that it's like watching a bunch of children playing with a loaded AK47...

14th Apr 2004, 05:58
Didnt Gomer Pyle have an appropriate name?

14th Apr 2004, 06:01
I would have taken my M16 to the shower with me if I had one, chuks. Thats fire power that is, never mind the tiny little bullets. I had to make do with a grotty old SLR. It certainly had bigger bullets but it was a one-shot wonder and the bloody bayonet was only six inches long! I mean, what can you do with a tiny six inch weapon that needs a rest in between shots? Overwhelming force - thats what Johnny Foreigner needs eh George? They don't like it up 'em as Corporal Jones might say.

I used to play the shaggy-browed hunch-backed but loveable old sarge that took care of the new lads and always knew where to lay his hands on some extra grub, a cask of ale and a carton of American cigarettes when the going got tough. I didn't get shot by a sniper in the closing scene though - I was eventually demobbed and had to go out and work for a living.

God Bless the Americans. Where would we be without them? There'd only be the Ffrench left to take the p*ss out of. And the Aussies too of course - except we all know its no fun picking on the afflicted...

14th Apr 2004, 06:18
Gomer Pyle was in the Marines, I believe. He had a beautiful singing voice and he was very kind to his mother. I am not sure if these are characteristics shared by all marines or if he was fairly unique. Certainly Sergeant Stryker, USMC in 'Sands of Iwo Jima' did not strike one as possessing these characteristics, plus he was a smoker until told to quit in no uncertain terms by a Japanese sniper who was probably worried about the other members of his squad suffering from passive smoking. That was a movie with a message, for those who are ready to listen: 'Smokers! Give up your evil ways!' It was ahead of its time, perhaps.

During my time as a war hero I would try to get away from it all by listening to sitar music. One evening my reveries were interrupted by a fellow GI who told me that they were on to me. Yes, they had figured out that I really was a sad and lonely person who needed to be invited to come across the aisle (it was a rather small barracks) and watch an episode of 'Combat' with them. They had figured out that listening to this horrible music was just a pathetic attempt to try and show myself to be different, but I really was just a normal Joe underneath it all.

I was rather touched by this, so that I didn't bother to try and explain that, actually, I found sitar music highly enjoyable, really being some kind of weirdo underneath it all.

I went across and watched small-screen war being carried out on tight budget. The Krauts and the GIs were almost indistinguishable, with both having to share the same sort of Dodge quarter-ton trucks we still had with us in Viet Nam. One side had a star on the door and the other side had a cross, that was all.

Along in there somewhere the whole barracks started wobbling like jelly from the real war outside, since there was a B-52 strike going on nearby. And then the C-47 orbiting the greater Saigon conurbation would let loose with its mini-guns, making a sound like a very large fart, drowning out the chirping of the frogs.

After thirty minutes or so of shouting and shooting the tiny war in the TV had come to some sort of happy ending, which freed me to creep back across the aisle and resume contact with Planet Sitar. Meanwhile, outside, the real war ground on.

14th Apr 2004, 06:20
Nothing wrong with the SLR Blacksheep - lots of kilos there to club the adoo to death from at least two metres away !!! :p

As for the SA 80, well, it whiles away the hours much better than a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle and has almost as many moving parts as a Challenger II :}

The most advanced and frequently used section will of course be the butt !

I notice the Brits in any Hollywood movies are still equipped with the 303 Lee Enfield anyway.

Ascend Charlie
14th Apr 2004, 06:32
Chuks: I enjoy your style, just the right amount of irreverence.

The best war scene ever was in "Top Secret", where the hero sprayed a machine gun around a crowded room of fighting Germans, French and Amurrrricans for several seconds, and when he stopped, all the Germans fell down.

Ah yes, Monsieur Deja Vu, haven't we met before?

tony draper
14th Apr 2004, 07:23
Yer can't wack the old Short Boxer Henry cartridge if yer have to go to war with them Johnny Foreigners, proper round that was,and the Martini Henry had a proper bayonet, four foot six of good Shefield steel, yer could get three Zulus aboard one of them puppies and still have room left for a couple of pygmies.


14th Apr 2004, 08:00
I'm late to this thread and the inevitable 'drift' has happened when you look at the original post.

But I think it only fair to record my respect to a man who, voluntarily, came over to Blighty to help us in our hour of need.

Billy Fiske paid for his heroism with his life.

Sod films. Let us honour the man and remember that he had a family who would have been devastated at his demise.

Thank you Billy.

14th Apr 2004, 09:15
If you reads your history, the yanks did win the war. Thousands died in France and the Pacific. The Germans were superior in every way bar numbers, The yanks won it by attrition, fact. For every German Panzer Tank destroyed, three, four or even five Shermans lay in pieces.

The Brits however won an awful lot of battles on the way (and lost a few too).

The yanks did not win the war singlehandedly however.

The Ozzies, S/Africans, Canadians, Indians etc,etc all contributed hugely.
Without Adolf turning on Russia, we would probably still be at it now.

Ok, I know, they (the USA) only came on-side when the Japanese threatened........

The point about this thread is that America has hundreds of it's own war stories to tell (did you see Band of Brothers?) so why distort the truth and steal the glory from their allies? :confused:

14th Apr 2004, 09:18

"Yer can't wack the old Short Boxer Henry cartridge"

Any relation to the old Tall Boxer Henry Cooper!:}


Hostie from Hell
14th Apr 2004, 09:18
I am certainly with you on that sentiment, he was without doubt a very courageous man, and paid the ultimate price, sacrificing his life for the country of his ancestors.
If this film reflects those honourable attributes, his name will have been done justice.

Trouble is... do you trust Hollywood with such a sensitive piece of personal and British history ? .. they better had or there will be uproar .. there is the memory of the man himself, and his surviving family first and foremost; who wants a film producer to "enhance" his memory?, and there are plenty of Battle of Britain veterans still alive today.

To rewrite history and pander to the popcorn chewing obese masses is going too far.
Turin ... well said


14th Apr 2004, 09:38
Sorry, do we definetely know that it's Tom Cruise? He is generally seen in action films and I can't see him NOT shooting down vast numbers of the enemy single handed.
His character will also die during a battle scene as a result of someone else's incompetence. Adds a dramatic aspect doncherknow.

14th Apr 2004, 10:00
The importance of the Battle of Britain is that, had not the British Royal Air Force, ably assisted by a few men from each of a large number of other nations - most notably the Polish by numbers - prevailed over the Luftwaffe, Operation Sealion would probably have been successfuly concluded. The war in Europe would have ended there and then, although in the end the Germans would still have lost to the Russians' overwhelming numbers. There would then have been no place from which the USA could have launched an invasion of Europe; always assuming they would have been bothered about it anyway....

14th Apr 2004, 10:09
HFH - know where you're coming from.

No. I don't trust Hollywood. Not at all!

It's just that I felt we were ignoring the fact that Billy was obviously a brave and decent human being and wanted to note this fact on the thread.

Just on Monday my father was telling me about the death of his best friend. He was shot down by a FW190 over the Channel flying an unarmed photo-recon Spit in 1944.

He wasn't an Ace, he was on the surface of it unremarkable, he took met photos, but he was one of all too many who died serving his country.

Billy reminded me of him. One of the unsung heros.

Buster Hyman
14th Apr 2004, 10:18
One of the unsung heros.
You make a fair point Angels. There were far too many of these heroes to single one out, but we won't see a film about everyone, of course.

Lets just hope that they do his story justice, even if it is unremarkable in comparison to others.

14th Apr 2004, 10:23
Since we've ventured off the original topic of films slightly and onto the war, can anyone tell me why the Messershmidt 110 is called an ME 110 but a Messerschmidt 109 is called a BF 109??

Just curious.

And for the record "Empire of the Sun" had another great aviation scene, of a P51D beating up someplace while the driver waves at the kid. As I recall the rest of the movie sucked.

14th Apr 2004, 10:28
Well, it was Tuesday night, Your Honour.....

I do however notice that the willy waving has decreased markedly. :\

14th Apr 2004, 10:33
Turin, if we are going to 'play fair' here, let us not forget the enormous sacrifice made by the Russians in the final defeat of the Nazis. What Russia did after the war wasn't pretty, and the way they rampaged through Germany was horrific, but from what I have read, the war wouldn't have been won without them sending a sheer endless amount of young men to their deaths in their push to the west.

As to movies; errmm........... why so upset? It's just a movie isn't it? :confused:

Bins, reading your post yesterday, the tuesday thought did strike me! ;)

Aileron Roll
14th Apr 2004, 10:37
The Empire of the Sun Mustangs were flown by Ray and Mark Hanna, (I think with Ray doing the waving bit) and yip absolutley superb bit of footage............

I think also that young Billy's RAF Wings are still on display in St Paul's in London.

14th Apr 2004, 10:56

The 110 was also known as the Bf 110. The Bf came from the factory name. It was only the later models from Willy that were known as Me.



14th Apr 2004, 11:06
BillHicks, do you have any source for when the name change took place? I ask because I was alive throughout the war, and never once did I see a reference to a Bf 109. It was always Me 109. Always. Bf stands for Bayerisheflugzeugwerke, I believe, and no doubt that's where they were made. Only fifty or so years after the war, though, do I see all these references to Bf 109. The Me 110 was, of course, referred to as an Me 110.

14th Apr 2004, 12:36
Well said Flaps, 20 million Russians died during the "Patriotic War." That is an astonishing figure. There was no more barbarous place in the history of mankind I believe, than the Estern front during the war.

14th Apr 2004, 12:38
Thanks, Flaps, for making the point so elegantly.

Of course, many Soviet soldiers and victims of the war were not Russians - the pictures of the Soviet Army entering Berlin make this evident. And the Ukraine and in particular Belarus suffered horribly during the war.

Returning to the Americans and the origins of this thread, I recently saw a video of the movie 'Patton', with George C. Scott in the title role. Patton comes across as an amazing and terrible man. I think the movie asks whether he would have been just as content fighting on the other side.

This part of the world was liberated by the US Army at a very high price in young men's lives. It is not forgotten.

14th Apr 2004, 12:58
answer=242 - I see you're from 'benelux'.

This part of the world was liberated by the US Army at a very high price in young men's lives. It is not forgotten.

I have been to the cemetery at Oosterbeek. (http://www.airbornemuseum.org/) It is full of Brits.

Earlier in this thread I mentioned that my father's best friend was killed in WW2.

In fact ALL his close friends were killed in WW2. One of them was 'executed' at Arnhem.

Dad -- thank God -- survived the horrors of the Far East.

No offence intended -- but it wasn't only the U.S. troops that liberated Benelux.

It was a team effort.

14th Apr 2004, 13:01
Monty has a big bronze statue in Brussels that can be seen from miles away. He and his men are remembered.

My comments were in the context of the film about Patton. And 'this part of the world' is geographically imprecise.

No offense intended and none understood.

14th Apr 2004, 13:35
May I tell you that :

Without Red Army,.........
Without US, Brits, and other Allied disembarking in Normandy,....
Without Resistance fighting around Europe (don't forget Yougoslaves, Greek, Italian, French...),....
Without the Brits fighting alone in 1940,....
Without troops from colonial territories,.........
................WWII could have been lost.

It was a common victory, and we must pay tribute for our freedom to all the allied fighters, east or west.

What happened after is another story.

14th Apr 2004, 13:36
Okay answer - my apologies. I thought you were insuating that Benelux was liberated by the Americans and no-one else.

And BTW - I think Monty was much over-rated, but that's an entirely different thread!!

14th Apr 2004, 13:42
Flaps, of course you're quite right. The Russians lost millions.


The Russians were quite happy to sit back and let Europe be decimated by the nazis until they were turned on themselves.

Of course you could say that about the USA. :\

Ok heads down.

14th Apr 2004, 13:55
But that was hardly the fault of the ordinary Russians/Ukranians etc TURIN!!

That was the horrific Soviet regime. When the push came, millions of Soviet citizens poured into battle and gave their lives in the 10's of millions to defeat Hitler.

Kiting for Boys
14th Apr 2004, 15:22
Soviet Battle Casualties were more like 11 million fighting the Germans and their allies.

Stalin killed more Soviet civilians than this, up to 50 million some say, with more accepted estimates being 20 million. So the famous '20 million Soviet dead' is really 20 million civilians killed by the regime and another 11 million soldiers killed fighting the Nazis.

14th Apr 2004, 15:26
I find it incredible that people can attack a movie that hasn't started filming yet, based on a book that hasn't been published yet. Once the film is complete, we can criticise to our hearts' content, but until then it is pure speculation. It's rather like criticising the pilot after a crash on the day it happens instead of waiting for the results of the investigation.

Fiske had dual nationality and was one of a few Americans who flew with the RAF in the BoB. One of the few of the Few, if you like. Sounds like an interesting story - no doubt Tom Cruise thought the same. We've already had generic films about the Battle of Britain, so new films are bound to be about interesting individuals in the context of the Battle rather than just another history of the events themselves.

What basis do we have for presupposing that this going to be another Hollywood history re-write? None, as far as I can tell. If this was a Mel Gibson effort, then fears would be justified. It's not, thankfully. Director is Michael Mann who has done one or two decent films in the past. Has no track record of history manipulation that I can think of. He learnt his trade in London, so there's every possibility that he won't turn out to be rabidly anti-English like Mr Gibson. Screenplay is by John Logan (Gladiator, The Last Samurai) - read into that what you will. Supposedly based on a book by Alex Kershaw. Must be a book that hasn't been published yet, because I can't find anything that sounds like the basis for this film by him. He has written one WW2 history - The Bedford Boys. I haven't read it. Have you? Tom Cruise (producing and starring) doesn't have a track record of Hollywood history-mangling. His career to date seems to be a balance between action and more straightforward drama.

Staying on topic and avoiding we-won-the-war-willy-waving and two-world-wars-and-one-world-cup type stuff...;)

14th Apr 2004, 16:00
Jeez Kiting, 11 million??

Still a huge figure for god's sake. A substantial amount of civilains would have been killed also in Stalingrad as they were starved having been cut off from food supplies.

Civilian casualties in the USSR have been placed roughly at 2,500,000 killed. The loss of population (including both military and civilian casualties) caused directly or indirectly by the war has been stated at 20,000,000.

The exact military losses can be found here (http://www.magweb.com/sample/sgmbn/sgm80soj.htm)

This is according to a book called "Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses (WWII)"

by Colonel General Krivosheev

14th Apr 2004, 16:18
The Russians were quite happy to sit back and let Europe be decimated by the nazis until they were turned on themselves. Not the gentlemanly thing to do, by any means but not to be unexpected either considering Russia and Germany were ALLIES before Hitler turned.

You never know, they might even have figured they'd wait til the end when both sides were exhausted and then move in but Hitler beat them to it. Just my theory.

I still say the Skyraider scene in "FOTI" is the best. "Battle of Britain" had some classic stuff but is dated. And those toffy accents... :}

"Behind Enemy LInes": Mildly entertaining Owen Wilson and weak performance by Gene Hackman, memorable only for an OUTSTANDING zoomed-in sequence of an FA-18E flying down a valley. The SAM scenes ruined it.

14th Apr 2004, 16:46
I’m with you all the way RA. The unbelievable paranoia that some of the people on this thread have over, as you said, a movie that has not been made based on a book that has not been published!

And talk about thread drift. This thread has gone from the evils of Hollywood so called rewriting history to accusations that all the United States contributed to WWII was a couple of drunken sailors in a row boat.

If it weren’t so pathetic it would be hilarious. Actually some of the posts are pretty funny.

Anyway, please carry on all of you folks in your Hollywood, America, mom’s apple pie, US Military, Presidential, American Football, Baseball, Basketball, US Oil Companies, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Texas, US National Policies, US International Policies, Election System, Educational System, Television Networks, News Networks, American Tourist, Newspapers, TV sitcoms, American Automobiles, American Trucks, American Drivers, American Motorcycles (Harley Davidson), Boeing 707, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, US Military aircraft, all other US aircraft, American Pilots, Movie Stars, TV Stars, US Senators, US Congressmen, ALL Cabinet Members, US Governors, US City Mayors, US Policemen, US Immigration policies, TSA, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, CIA, NSA, USMS, The girl next door, The yellow ribbon tied around the old oak tree, American Jazz, Blues, Rock n Roll, Country and Western, Blue Grass, Rap, Gospel music, American Singers, American Musical Composers, American Recording Companies, American Novelists, American Writers in general, American Publishers, American Magazines, American History, American Cowboys, American Cows for that matter, American work ethics, The American Dream, American rich, middle class and poor, (and I am real tired of Kerry calling me rich when I’m not!), American Banking System, Wall Street, Chicago Commodities Exchange, Miss. America, Miss. USA, Texas, New York City, Washington DC, American English language, American Religions, American Church Leaders, American Evangelists (some of these people need to be shot I must agree), Speed limits on the American Interstate and highway system, The FAA Air Traffic Control System, The FAA (although I’ll have to agree with some of you on the FAA), The FFA (Future Farmers of America), Little League, Pee Wee football, High School Sports, College Sports, College Marching Bands, Texas, American Fashions, Baseball caps, Cowboy hats, American Rifles, Pistols, Machine Guns, American Gun Collectors, Sling Shots, BB Guns (you’ll put your eye out), American Gun Laws, American Judicial Systems, Courts, Judges, Jails, Prison System, Death Sentence, Supreme Court, The guy at the local 7-11, John Wayne, etc. bashing!

If I left anything out I am sure some one will point it out to me in the next few posts.

Thank you for time and effort in reading the above and carry on bashing.

Oh yes, one more thing, it’s ok to bash Texas!

14th Apr 2004, 16:55
Hey con, were you watching the Cowboys in the NCAA final four? Great game between Duke and UConn as well.

Rich Lee
14th Apr 2004, 18:45

I don't know what the hell you just said little kid, but you special man, you reached out an touched a brother's heart

14th Apr 2004, 18:48
I know what you mean Rich. Thanks con, you just made me really miss home.....:(

14th Apr 2004, 21:56
Two points about the Soviet Union before and during the war.

Not only were there horrific casualties of combattants but non-combattants also suffered enormously. Many of the dead were from starvation. I believe that something like 80% of the remaining population of Leningrad died during the siege. People used to go out of the city in the sub-zero temperatures to try and glean something from the frozen fields. If you fell over from hunger and exhaustion, you died. No-one would try to pull you up because if they did, they would inevitably fall over too.

Hence the 20 million dead.

Before the war. Reference has already been made on this thread to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, in which the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany agreed to divide Poland; the USSR to invade the Baltic states and the USSR to supply Nazi Germany.

Stalin had previously had a different policy: to try and ally with the UK and France to defeat the Nazis. Every Soviet citizen knew that the Nazis would eventually attack the USSR.

The policy of the appeasers - both in the UK and France - was to direct Nazi expansion eastward - hence Munich. Once this direction became clear to Stalin, he sacked his Jewish foreign minister Litvinov and replaced him with Molotov in preparation for dealing with Hitler.

I don't know what happened to Litvinov but Stalin had most of the people around him shot sooner or later.

bugg smasher
15th Apr 2004, 00:43
The real point of the story, not to step on any patriotic toes, is that millions of innocents died brutal and savage deaths on the Russian front, the young German boys under orders from their Ober-leaders to be included.

It’s a great thing to belong to the ‘winning’ side, but not very impressive, in my books, to brazenly crow about it.

Step back, all of you, in shame, and look at the historical context in which all of this happened.

15th Apr 2004, 02:35
I thought the real point was to discuss this up-coming film about yanks in the Battle of Britain???

And aviation films in general...

Speaking of aviation, anyone remember that TV show, "Baa Baa Black Sheep"? Hours of great footage there of F4U4 Corsairs flying around the S. Pacific shooting down The Dirty Jap. Pity the same footage was used again and again and that there were only about 5 of them in total but it still looked good. And it beat todays digital "airplanes".

Buster Hyman
15th Apr 2004, 02:50
You forgot Hawaiian shirts con!:E

15th Apr 2004, 07:18
So what's wrong with moaning about a movie that hasn't even been made yet? Anything featuring a major star of minor proportions, such as The Cruiser, will inevitably commit at least one major sin against reality.

Take 'The Right Stuff', for instance. I was sat there in my anorak with all well with the world when suddenly 'Chuks Yeager' was bimbling along in his NF-104 with nary a word to nobody, leaving the bods in the tower not very upset, as if this represented the way they have of doing things at Edwards Air Force Base. I spilled my popcorn!

What, they just had to stick that in there, right at the end of a movie that otherwise tried to stick fairly close to an entertaining and somewhat realistic book? That is like the 'Little Johnny' jokes about the brat who just has to bring something rude into ever classroom answer given.

As for war, in general, whether it be the Great Patriotic War, the Punic Wars or whatever, all I have noticed is that it does not seem to bring out the best in Most People. Yes there is the odd hero, whom it is proper to celebrate, but he or she shines like the odd diamond in a heap of festering pig poop.

About the only advice I ever took from my dear old grey-haired mother was to not enlist in the US Marines. She had spent some time in charge of med-evac flights with young men missing limbs who felt bad about 'letting down the Marine Corps' by being maimed for life before killing a sufficiency of Japs. Not having herself gone through Boot Camp she found this attitude to be a bit unfortunate.

Later I met some nice folks who had lost their son at Khe Sanh, about the same time I got to see that John Wayne movie featuring his version of Viet Nam. These two things went together like whelks and eclairs.

Then there was this good friend of mine who lost her fiance in the air war over Germany. Well, he was trying to kill Germans until the Germans killed him. And the deeper meaning of this was? She seemed to feel this sad event had somewhat derailed her life. Typical female there, focussing on her own needs and ignoring the larger issues....

So I like to take the mickey out of the movies, but serious discussion about the stats for the Russkies vs. the Nazis, or just who is buried where and what he did to get there... uhhh!

When I get the chance I sometimes visit military cemeteries or monuments; here in Europe they are often hard to overlook. I go to the movies to have my boob glands stimulated, for the most part. That's what they are there for, I think. If that makes me a shallow person, well....

High Wing Drifter
15th Apr 2004, 07:23
According the stats at the end of the proper Battle of Britain film, there were seven Americans in BoB, one of which was killed. There was were all-sorts, one Isreali, Frenchies, New Zelanders, Austrailians, Poles, Belgians, the list goes on. The American involvement, however valuable, does seem to be pretty minor in comparison.

Also, am I correct in thinking that Fiske failed to down any enemy a/c. How will the file show that, not dishonourable, ascpect.

15th Apr 2004, 07:55
Fiske gave his life "despite' not shooting down any aircraft - How much more of a contribution to the Battle could he have given ?

15th Apr 2004, 08:24
Did anyone see that TV programme a few weeks back about how they took five non-flying people and gave them the 11 hours experience in a Spitfire which was the typical training regime for new pilots in the Battle of Britain?

I'm amazed anyone survived more than 5 mins. And yet they went up time after time, day after day, as their numbers dwindled, until a combination of luck, bravery and determination led to a strategic reversal and the indefinite postponement of the invasion of Britain.

The repercussions of this was that vast US and Canadian forces could be massed and trained in Britain up to 1944 when the invasion of France took place.

Any way you cut it, this was an amazing triumph against the odds - and men like Fiske, regardless of their nationality, deserve to be remembered.

As ratarrse has pointed out, Michael Mann has a strong track record with character driven films and Thomas C Mapother IV has not dropped many turkeys recently. Let's wait and see, huh?

Of course, if any Hollywood producers liked the idea of the Stalingrad story, I'm open to offers:E

15th Apr 2004, 09:30

A very thoughtful post. If that is shallow, then I'd like to be a puddle.

I had two objectives in my comments:
1. To show that you can learn something from a war movie, as I did from 'Patton'.
2. To point out that people's knowledge of history is often determined by non-historical movies. Or indeed omission of events in movies. Such as the entire Eastern Front.
If these two objectives are somewhat in conflict, so be it.

One of the most moving paintings I have ever seen is of a naked young woman crying on her love's soldier's grave.
I do not remember the nationality of the painter.

You raised the issue of Vietnam. A few years ago, I was in a minibus full of foreigners that passed through Da Nang. Every village in Vietnam has its military cemetary with its standard white monument and the graves of the village boys and girls who died in the military. The cemetary outside Da Nang was a civilian one. There were graves as far as the eye could see. Most appeared to date from the period of the war. Rich families had built mausoleums. There were people living in them.

In town, I saw a boy whose head was expanded like a light bulb. The effects, many years later, of Agent Orange, perhaps.

As we drove along, one of the young men in the minibus started to comment. I thought he was going to say that what we had seen had given him a little idea about the war.
No. What he said was this:
"It's just like 'Apocalypse Now'".

15th Apr 2004, 10:28
High Wing Drifter:

One Israeli....in 1940? I don`t think so.

Israel wasn`t founded (if that`s the word) until after the war....so the gent in question would have been from Palestine.

High Wing Drifter
15th Apr 2004, 10:30
Derrr! I didn't really didn't twig, what a twit I am :O I must have mis-read the end sequence, I'll get back to you.

Fiske gave his life "despite' not shooting down any aircraft - How much more of a contribution to the Battle could he have given ?
Yes, my words do read in an incosiderate and disrepectful way. My appoligies. What I mean to say that I don't think there is going to be much to commend this upcomming film as from the descriptions it is will not represent reality. I do peronsally have a problem with this. The film U571 was an insult to those involved, I can only imagine how a film showing an American as a pivotal character in the battle will do likewise.

tony draper
15th Apr 2004, 10:50
There was also one German Pilot who flew for the RAF during the war don't think he was involved in the BOB though,though I may be wrong, we had a thread on this subject a while back,and a few links were posted and articles copied as I recal I don't think any American Pilots fought in the actual Battle of Britain.

15th Apr 2004, 11:00
Loki - HWD was quoting the credits at the tend of the BoB film. I've seen it more times than I can remember and, believe me, that credit is there. I can't explain it, either. However, there were Jews living in what is now Israel at the time and all I can think is that one of them decamped himself and joined the RAF at the right time. Probably a terminological inexactitude to call him an "Isaeli" since the state itself did not exist then, but there you go. I play Othello (or Reversi) online in moments of boredom and I've played against people whom the software terms "Hebrew". How does it know??

15th Apr 2004, 11:56
Someone mentioned 'Apocalypse Now'. For the fans of that movie, read 'Heart of Darkness' by Joseph Conrad. Large chunks of the movie are lifted from the novella inspired by the Belgian Congo. For instance, that odd scene on the river when the PBR is being attacked by unseen people shooting little arrows, and then the one where the skipper is speared... transplanted almost verbatim from the novella!

I liked the movie but if I had to choose I would go with the book.

The movie came in handy once though, when I went along on an SAR mission in a Bell 212 hel'copter. I was PNF working the radios, when the pilot was explaining all the different little switches that involved. When he got through with that I asked him, 'So what about the music?'

Being a very polite Englishman he just said, 'I beg your pardon?'

'You know, like in the movie. Where's the switch that makes "Ride of the Valkryries" play? Don't they all come with that?' I'm not sure if he knew I was joking or if he just thought I was an idiot American. Whichever was fine with me.

15th Apr 2004, 12:10

I'm afraid that I've never seen 'Apocalypse Now' and its many years since I read 'Heart of Darkness'.

I think it was Pedro Almovodar who said that it was 'Apocalypse Now' that made him want to become a movie director. He had believed that the Russian Roulette scene was based on fact. When he found out that it was made up, he wanted to have the same influence on people's understanding of the world.

High Wing Drifter
15th Apr 2004, 12:20
He had believed that the Russian Roulette scene was based on fact.
You are thinking of The Deer Hunter. ApNow didn't have such a scene as I remember it.

Buster Hyman
15th Apr 2004, 13:08
Yes, definately The Deer Hunter...Christopher Waalken, Robert DeNiro.

Okay, seeing this has really drifted, I'll push a little further before it's closed. Does anyone recall a film (possibly a doco) about the Japanese GI units that fought in EU?:confused:

15th Apr 2004, 13:16
I am indeed thinking of 'The Deer Hunter'. Haven't seen that either.

Has it really drifted? It's still on the original theme of the relation between war reality and cinema depiction.

Buster Hyman
15th Apr 2004, 13:27
Well, I think someone mentioned drifting earlier...:confused:

Now, if you want a good Vietnam movie, try "The odd angry shot".;) Chuk should like it....;)

15th Apr 2004, 19:41
'The Deer Hunter', from what I knew of Saigon, really sucked! I didn't like it much as entertainment, either. Perhaps if we got to see Meryl Streep's tits it would have been okay.

'The Odd Angry Shot' left me cold, as did 'Full Metal Jacket'. Aussies and Marines, uhhhh....

'We Were Soldiers' would have been even better if Mel had been, perhaps, caught by the gooks and crucified but I liked the 'crispy critter' bit anyhow. Pity dinner that night was Peking Duck. And way too many helicopters - how about a nice action shot of a U6 or a U8 for some variety? Come on Hollywood!

Which leaves us with 'Apocalypse Now' which, as I said, is a conflation of a couple of freaky places.

'Platoon' was interesting, but we Saigon Warriors didn't share that life.

When I saw a 'grunt' coming I knew to get on his upwind side, since that life didn't have much to do with soap and water, bedsheets and maid service and all that sort of stuff. Hard cheese, old boy, but that's what you got with an 11B (Infantryman) MOS. Mine was 67B20 (Aircraft Mechanic). Life is unfair. So sue me.

I have a friend who is a former marine. He told me that the brass made them all watch 'Sands of Iwo Jima' since they needed infantry officers. He watched Stryker get the anti-smoking message and then signed up for Transport! Not all marines are dumb as rocks. Another stereotype shot all to hell.

16th Apr 2004, 11:38
7x6?, if you enjoyed "Patton", then you will very probably appreciate both "Apocalype Now" and "Deer Hunter". For a light-hearted war-movie, I'd also recommend "Kelly's Heroes"... :)

16th Apr 2004, 11:58
I've never been to Saigon but I have been to Ha Noi a number of times. And on at least two occasions I've seen soldiers with Stars and Stripes decals on their motorbikes.

High Wing Drifter
16th Apr 2004, 13:24
More kindling for the fire: http://www.westpress.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=127638&command=displayContent&sourceNode=127637&contentPK=9562995

16th Apr 2004, 13:41
High Wing Drifter - What a marvellous piece of crap you posted there! I assume the hack on the Western Daily Press was too ashamed to byline the piece.

However, winning the Battle of Britain was not one of his many accomplishments.

No-one said it was.

Jack Younie, 84, of Radstock in Somerset, joined the RAF just before the battle began. He said: "It will make it look as though the Americans were everywhere, but they were hardly there at all.

Way to go Jack. Have you read the script? I see the hack from the Turnip-muncher Daily notes you joined the RAF 'just before the battle began'. Ground crew? Accountant? Whatever you were matey, you weren't a pilot. (No offence to ground crew, my dad was gound crew in the RAF for three years in WW2 and three years thereafter).

Recalling another piece of Tinseltown propaganda, military historian and former RAF pilot Colin Pomeray, of Dorset, said: "It is like John Wayne being the big D-Day hero in The Longest Day.

Anyone who has seen the Longest Day will know that the above statement is total bollocks. The scene from the Longest Day of the assault on Pegasus Bridge is awesome -- and not a yank in sight.

I stress again. Billy was there. He died.

16th Apr 2004, 15:15
This has gone so far off the topic that it has gotten rediculous.


In all wars the victor's write the history. If you folks are getting your history from the movies and are that wrapped around the axle about it, then I guess America did win the battle of britain by itself.

Pick up a book and relax already, or admit we won it for you and relax already, if that's the message you are taking home from the movies.


16th Apr 2004, 15:17
I expect in 50 years their will be a film showing how the U.S won the 'war on terror'...imagine that!

(I love the American people, just not the current president)

16th Apr 2004, 15:22
Another superb Vietnam movie is Kubricks Full Metal Jacket.

Especially the first section when they're in basic training. Brilliantly done.

16th Apr 2004, 15:39

How do u know Jack Younie was not a pilot?



18th Apr 2004, 15:22
What a marvellous piece of crap you posted there Interesting comment from someone who posted a "fart story". Still, a lot of replies; I guess everyone loves a fart joke.

I guess America did win the battle Question: Why do some people call the place "America"? I thought it was called the USA?? Aren't the Americas some continents?

Anyway back to the topic, yeah "Full Metal Jacket" also had some good air scenes. No models or digital aircraft there, they used real Hueys and Wessexs or whatever the yanks called them although in one scene as the jarheads are leaning out, you can see the shadow on the ground and it's of a (much-cheaper per flying hour) Bell Jetranger.

Most Notable Quote:

"How can you shoot women and children???".............../

West Coast
18th Apr 2004, 16:00
This is like hunting in a baited field. You limeys are so easy to rile. If you were secure enough with your history you wouldn't care how a movie put out by tinsil town portrayed you. It appears your not because it gets a bunch of panties wadded up on the little island over there.

Pretty soon Austin Powers will have to PC up and stop portraying your lot the way he does if you keep crying. True what dad said, Brits are nothing if they aren't bitching about someone or something other than themselves.

High Wing Drifter
18th Apr 2004, 16:52
No, we only "bitch" about yanks ;)

Not forgetting the French of course :p

18th Apr 2004, 17:15
Those who experienced the BoB in England would likely thank the USA for their support or at worst give them a passing shot at being "late" while they were eating food provided by the US, at US risk, at US cost. Then again, perhaps they don't, which leads to an entirely different topic.

Upset about the potential of a movie? Make your own and show the world how.

18th Apr 2004, 17:26
StbdD, You may rest assured that in one family at least in Britain we always recognised and honoured, at the time and after, the efforts of the United States in bringing us the food we ate.

And Yes I know it was not the BoB, but it was an American pilot (USN on loan) in an American-supplied aircraft (PBY) who spotted the Bismarck when she was on the run; and the USA was not in the war at that time.

High Wing Drifter
18th Apr 2004, 17:45
Correct me if I am wrong:

Without the US and indeed Russia, WWII probably, could not have been won. You can be rest assured, that we are all greatful. No argument there. The US won pivotal battles as huge human cost. The US Air Force with Big Week took massive casualties but managed to cripple the Luftwaffe in the process.

However, within the context of BoB and the supply effort, the US claimed nutrality and the seven US pilots in BoB were there illegally. Also, the US provided supplies had to be paid for. The UK amassed a huge financial debt to the US at the end of the war that, as far as I know, took decades to pay off...with interest.

18th Apr 2004, 17:54
I am certainly not correcting you, High Wing Drifter, but we did get the food, and we did pay for it, but we had to have it to live. There was another price we did not pay. That other price was American lives in merchant ships and escorts. The destroyer USS Reuben James was torpedoed on 31 October 1941 by U-552 while escorting convoy HX-156 across the North Atlantic, and that was before Pearl Harbor. I suppose the Germans thought she was there illegally too, and maybe she was. She sank with heavy loss of life off Iceland.

High Wing Drifter
18th Apr 2004, 18:10
There was another price we did not pay. That other price was American lives in merchant ships and escorts.
Yes, you're right to point that out. It is easy to get bogged down into pinickity detail, when the real cost is all too easily ignored :(

I guess I am guilty of being sidetracked. I'll wait for the film and then vent my anger or admiration accordingly.

18th Apr 2004, 18:29
Shame about the tons and tons of aid they gave Russia. Don't suppose they got any of that money back neither.

The US did a fantastic job for all the Allied countries in WW2, paying for victory in equipment, supplies, fuel and blood. Not one US serviceman was killed on mainland US soil by the enemy. Hundreds of thousands are buried from France to the Solomon Islands for fighting to relieve British, French, Australian etc troops. Their Air Force flew countless missions in support of the same. And their blood was spilled to liberate many many countries who never had a chance to defend themselves against the overwhelming superiority in tactics, technology and firepower that the Germans possessed in 1939-40.

I imagine the average European respects that fact more than people like West Coast do. Even so, its particularly irritating when, 60 years later, the Hollywood machine still feels sufficiently insecure to have to tell us that the US did it single-handedly.

We should all read the WWII Youth in Combat thread on JB to gain some level of perspective.

18th Apr 2004, 20:30
Examples of BAD Hollywood aviation-related movies:

"Memphis Belle" Lot's of digitalised airplanes. I know there aren't that many B-17s around but there's a few. If you're going to fake these scenes, at least make them look believable.

"Pearl Harbour" How about the jap that dives down vertically then levels off with about a 75G pull-up and zooms between the hangars. And the formation of japs crossing the coast at low-level, maintaining no known (then or since) formation structure but still not hitting each other despite the chaotic shambles.

"Air Force One" What more do I need to say?

"Executive Decision" Best part was Steven Seagull getting "offed" so early in the movie! The rescue-team are all strapped into the secret rear cabin of the F-119 Stealth that no one even knew existed. Then they unfold the penile extension tube that connects them to the 747 belly and climb up it. Have to admit Kurt Russell did a passable impression of a novice attempting to land an airliner. He even referred to Vref speed....

Even TopGun is riddled with irritating technical errors.

18th Apr 2004, 20:52
Everyone knows Britain has a glorious history, but many of us from Britain tend to forget that the United States also has a glorious history. The ship USS Reuben James had been on patrol in the North Atlantic since 1939, and when sunk was operating from Newfoundland. When she was sunk more than sixty ratings were lost, forty-four rescued, and every one her seven officers was lost. Unless they were unlucky enough all to be in the same spot when the torpedo hit, it does rather look as though they were doing their duty to the very end. When the ship took the torpedo she had interposed herself between an ammunition ship and the known position of a U-boat wolf-pack.

But who was Reuben James? He was a boatswain’s mate in the USN when Lieutenant Stephen Decatur with a group of volunteers entered the port of Tripoli (“From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli”) in 1804. The idea was to burn the USS Philadelphia, which was aground, so that the Presbyterian Corsairs of Tripoli could not make use of her. Hand to hand fighting ensued. James was wounded in both hands, but one of the Presbyterians aimed a sword thrust at Lt Decatur. James took the blow aimed at his officer, but fortunately survived, to continue his career in the USN.

The war from 1801 to 1805 was aimed at stopping the Presbyterian Corsairs in Tripoli from demanding tribute from all maritime traffic on the Mediterranean. These Presbyterian Corsairs regarded everyone else as infidels, and levied huge blackmail on shipping and travellers. The RN was at the time engaged in keeping the F***ch bottled up in port and, of course, in 1812, in fighting the Americans. This was just another of the times when the USA was attending to the world’s business when no one else would.

If you want to read a fictional account of the piracy, slavery, and enforced conversions to Presbyterianism, read “The Middy and the Presbyterians”*, by R M Ballantyne.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

*If it wasn’t Presbyterians it was some other doctrinaire group, but I can't think what their name might be. Not here, anyway.

18th Apr 2004, 20:54
Even so, its particularly irritating when, 60 years later, the Hollywood machine still feels sufficiently insecure to have to tell us that the US did it single-handedly.

Hollywood exists for one reason, and one reason only… (States the obvious)

What concerns me is how the surviving BOB-vets must feel witnessing a blatant misrepresentation of history in favour of ticket sales…

I think I’ll wait for the Billy Fiske story to hit television. What if a film was made about the Polish or Caribbean (http://www.movinghere.org.uk/search/catalogue.asp?sequence=11&resourcetypeID=2&recordID=44724 ) BOB participants? That’s something I’d pay money to see.

Edit: Not sure if any Caribbean Airmen had joined by 1940, anyone confirm?

19th Apr 2004, 07:14
Any war movie, unless Hollywood somehow simultaneously gets an infusion of morals and discovers a large cache of period hardware, will have to disappoint someone, somewhere.

Fred Allen (who he?) once said that you could fit all the taste and morals to be found in Hollywood into a flea's navel and still find room there for a theatrical agent's heart and a caraway seed.

Given that they are usually made by and for we Americans then that's just 'everyone else' and our own 'nerds' (English: anoraks) who become upset about what is shown in a typical war movie. But since they usually become upset after paying for a ticket to the cinema, does Hollywood mind this very much? (Does a chicken have lips?)

The craziest bit is the way Hollywood reality can cross-breed with 'reality' reality. For instance, Ronnie Reagan, when he was still compos mentos enough to stand up and read his cue cards, once gave a very touching speech in which he detailed the last minutes of a war-time flight crew. The navigator or someone like that was too badly wounded to bail out so that the pilot said 'We'll ride this one in together,' or words to that effect.

President Reagan went on to say that the result of this selfless act was a 'Medal of Honor'. There must have been a few sniffles from his audience, since it was a rather moving speech.

Of course then, seconds later, rational thought kicked in; who had been reporting the pilot's words if there were just the two of them on the doomed aircraft?

It turned out to merely have been a scene from a, yes, Hollywood war movie. But the Chief Executive of the United States of America could use it in a major speech as 'reality' with only a few cynical reporters bothering to point out that he was talking absolute b*llocks there. Such is the power of the silver screen over the minds of the booboisie.

The trouble really comes when we end up with a boob as President. ('Democracy' literally means 'mob rule', according to one interpretation, so that it shouldn't be too surprising to have boobs electing a boob.) Then, being a boob, he takes his simple-minded view of reality (Hollywood movie-style reality) and applies it to 'reality' reality, with often disappointing results.

All this snapping and snarling about what we are up to in Iraq? It gets cut from the movie that's playing in the President's mind, I think. There, a brass band is playing, the Star Spangled Banner is waving from the jackstaff of the aircraft carrier and he is saying that the war is over. Cut! Next scene: the inauguration speech, January 21, 2005. Long shot, zooming in to the President on the rostrum, stepping forward to take the Oath of Office...

Never mind 'The Battle of Britain'. Anyone who really cares knows what really happened; just walking around London shows who fought and who won. As in, not much German being spoken!

Visit St Clement Dane's or look at the Royal Air Force monument and be happy with that. Never mind what is playing down at the multiplex; that's for the boobs.

High Wing Drifter
19th Apr 2004, 09:06
You are correct in your assessment. However, I am a bit of a nerd yes, but the term is a little unjustified in this sense as it is the small things that have the largest cumulative effect. The devil really is in the detail and ingnorance of it produces the kind of arrogance we see in Iraq today.

19th Apr 2004, 10:58
Excellent post chuks!

All you need now is $90m and you could run for president yourself!:} (if you havent paid off angels already)

19th Apr 2004, 17:19
Apparently Disney just released (9 April) a new 'Alamo' movie which portrays people formerly revered as heroes in a new light......Gen. Sam Houston as a "venereal-diseased drunkard" and Col. William Barret Travis, commander of Texan forces at the Alamo, as a "deadbeat dad and serial adulterer."

It goes on to say that Col. James Bowie, the Alamo defender famous for his knife-fighting skills, is portrayed as a land-swindling slave trader. The film reportedly has Crockett participating in a My Lai-style massacre in the Creek Indian War.

Some USA groups ( notably B. Forrest Clayton of the Freedom Alliance...cool name huh...)have gotten all grumpy about it, complaining about the rewriting of history apparently......shame.


19th Apr 2004, 20:19
Are there any good flying scenes in it?

20th Apr 2004, 11:39
Perhaps Dumbo puts in a cameo appearance, dive-bombing the Meskins. Or an army of flying monkeys comes to the aid of the Alamo defenders, thus making this a feel-good movie with a happy ending. Why not? I would pay to see that!

There is a rumour going around (everywhere but Texas) that that whole thing, the fight to the last man and the last bullet, never would have happened if only the Alamo had had a back door. Why, oh why, do people have to pick on Texas and Texans?

If they do make a movie about the Alamo then I hope they go on with the story of the battle of San Jacinto, one of the biggest military blunders of all time. That was when the Texans more than got even with General Santa Ana.

20th Apr 2004, 15:55
Ozzy Osborne once pissed on the Alamo when he was blind drunk wearing his wifes dress cause his wife had confiscated his clothes to try and stop him going out boozing, so he just nicked her dress and legged it out!!

When the cop caught him he was outraged and asked Ozzy how he would like if it if the cop pissed up against Buckingham Palace?

Ozzy replied simply, "Couldn't give a s**t mate!!"

No answer to that I guess!

Hostie from Hell
20th Apr 2004, 17:50
So, seems like it is OK if during the next film version of "The Alamo" ... a version concerning a bloke from Preston who happened to be there...the Brits wandered over the horizon and changed the result ? :E

20th Apr 2004, 18:11
For Buster Hymen - The only movie I know of that features the Japanese-American units in WWII is "Go for Broke", 1951 B&W that follows a platoon from training through parts of Italy and France. Features a platoon from 442nd RCT. Movie, not a documentary.

Sorry for pushing this off topic.

20th Apr 2004, 18:37
That movie, Ms Hostie, could be about quite a few who were there. At The Alamo there were 5 from Scotland, 10 from England, 10 from Ireland, and 1 from Wales. At least one of the Scots played the pipes.

At San Jacinto ("Remember The Alamo!") which followed about three weeks later there were many from Britain, as attested by the memorial at the battlefield. That was where the Texicans cleaned Santa Ana's clock for him in 18 minutes.

20th Apr 2004, 22:17
I'm not sure I like the idea of this film either, but just something to toss in, slightly off topic, regarding the BoB is the 'The Myth of the Few'.

Between June and October 1940 the Brits manufactured far more fighters than Germans. More than double.

On average we had 700 active SE fighter aircraft, and 1300 fighter command pilots. The Germans couldn't keep up with the attrition, but we could.

The Battle was won, some say, in the factories.

Source: Air Force Blunders, Geoffrey Regan, 1996.

20th Apr 2004, 22:23
Another fact favoring the Brits was that Brit (including allied) pilots who could bail out after being shot down could fly again very soon (some even have the same day), whereas German pilots ended up in a POW camp.

henry crun
20th Apr 2004, 23:59
paulo, I don't know where Geoffrey Regan got his numbers from but nothing I have read indicates a near 2:1 ratio of pilots to aircraft.

As with many aspects in war, the numbers are only relevant if quoted with the experience of the combatants

John Terraine in The Right Of The Line says of August, "And yet the shortage of pilots persisted, a graver source of worry to Dowding than any other".

Further on referring to September, "Experienced pilots were like gold dust, and each one lost had to be replaced by an untried man who for some time would be vulnerable, until he acquired battle know-how".

There is much more along similar lines in the book but I think those two quotes are sufficient to press the point, and everything I have read in other books agrees with Terraine's observations.

Buster Hyman
21st Apr 2004, 03:16
Thanks Samusi01. I probably should have looked it up under their motto...:rolleyes:

21st Apr 2004, 08:51
Hasn't Tom cruise got some Welsh in him, so at least he could claim to have flown for the Brits as a Brit. :ok:

21st Apr 2004, 09:19
Just an aside...

have you noticed how many modern Hollywood films have no shortage of British/Australian actors in them playing Americans?

I often wondered about "good" Hollywood war movies based on actual events like Band of Brothers and Black Hawk Down - how did the actual soldiers feel about their characters being portrayed by British or Australian actors putting on American accents?

I might wonder why they couldn't find American ones to do the job.

21st Apr 2004, 11:12
The British Actors usually play the baddies.

Why is this?

Some believe it's because they are better actors, or that they are better at putting on strange "east european accents".

So, in the upcoming film I expect to see Alan Rickman as a Luftwaffe Commandant, Bill Nighy same, Kenneth Branagh as any fat German officer (after a session on the pies of course), and every ex/current brit soap star as the German pilots.

Can't wait.

simon brown
21st Apr 2004, 19:33
I thought John Mills won the war when he dropped the British invented Atom bomb on Japan, from a Lancaster bomber, having taken off from Scampton 2 hours earlier

21st Apr 2004, 22:13




21st Apr 2004, 22:28
henry - thanks - would really appreciate it if you could PM me with your recommended reading on the subject.


That's home turf advantage. Along with that goes fuel & time and a bunch of other things. One way or another, it's harder working "off site". ;)