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Oceans and war and films and books

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Oceans and war and films and books

Old 14th May 2020, 01:03
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Oceans and war and films and books

After having posted in another thread a question about rough seas, it made me think of the great number of excellent books and films that have been made about being afloat, fighting a war whilst being afloat, being underwater, or simply traversing from A to B upon water.

There have been so many good ones. Any particular favourites? I think of the great black and white films of the 1940s and 1950s. Sure, the special effects are not what they are today, but the stories were good and some of the acting superb.
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Old 14th May 2020, 02:32
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I would far rather watch an english language movie where somebody won without a hero from the US.

Does anybody know of one about the Japanese fleet that is readily available
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Old 14th May 2020, 03:33
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My favorite has always been "The Cruel Sea" with Jack Hawkins and Donald Sinden. It's a story about people rather than bang-crash-special effects.
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Old 14th May 2020, 03:55
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Originally Posted by Heatseeker View Post
My favorite has always been "The Cruel Sea" with Jack Hawkins and Donald Sinden. It's a story about people rather than bang-crash-special effects.
Book was exceptional and the film very good indeed. Masterful crafting on Nicholas Monsarrat's part. He wrote from first hand experience. Holds pride of place on my shelves.
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Old 14th May 2020, 04:21
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I'm with you all on "The Cruel Sea". Superb. Coincidentally while flipping through the channels last night I happened upon "In Which We Serve" - another favourite. I also enjoyed "The Battle of the River Plate" about the sinking of the Graf Spee. It always struck me as odd that the first naval battle of the Second World War was fought off the coast of South America.
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Old 14th May 2020, 04:24
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Best film I ever saw (not movie) was very early footage by a very early motion picture cameraman taken aboard one of Lipton's old clipper ships rounding Cape Horn.
The German captain training the deck hands to recognise the rope positions by calling them out and having the gang run to position with the captain's bull mastiff chewing at their butts.
The captain cutting the crewmen's hair with massive spread-eagled fingers and a pair of hand clippers.
Footage taken from the crow's nest with the mast appearing to be about parallel with the horizon.

Great film. Fascinating.

Last edited by WingNut60; 14th May 2020 at 04:43.
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Old 14th May 2020, 06:43
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See Das Boot, and read the Hornblower books.
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Old 14th May 2020, 06:49
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"The Ship" by C.S. Forrester. Set aboard a wartime cruiser. Damn good read of The Cruel Sea style.
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Old 14th May 2020, 07:39
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There's a bunch of old wartime films that have recently been uploaded to YouTube. I recently watched 'in which we serve' and 'enemy below'.

But I always think that the story of Shackleton's 1914-16 Antarctic expedition is one of the most astonishing tales of skill, bravery and leadership at sea. I have never seen a decent film covering this, surely something has been done ?
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Old 14th May 2020, 08:12
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The Shackleton story is astonishing, all the more so because of when it happened.

The Operation Mincemeat book by Ben Macintyre (and the documentary) hold a special.place in my heart because my grandad was an engineer on the HMS Seraph - the WW2 submarine which took part in this covert operation, among others, throughout its service. He had some fantastic stories to tell. Didn't believe all of them when I was a kid, but they have all turned out to be true.
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Old 14th May 2020, 08:38
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Master & Commander, one of my all-time favourite films. Great portrayal of life on board back in the day, also an impressive study of leadership and man's endless conflict

"On the uproll, FIRE!!"
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Old 14th May 2020, 08:45
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HMS Ulysses - Alistair MacLean
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Old 14th May 2020, 09:01
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Uncle Fred
I would agree with others and say Cruel Sea - book and film, and Das Boot book and film as well.
Cheers
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Old 14th May 2020, 09:04
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I too think The Cruel Sea nailed it.. (especially with that memorable phrase: ".. And so we went to war.."). So - taking The Cruel Sea out of the equation - who comes 2nd and 3rd?

Books? Eric Newby's "The Last Grain Race" takes some beating. At age 18, he signed on a Finnish 4 masted barque as an apprentice in 1938 - going out to Australia to pick up grain and then back home via Cape Horn. He was the only Anglo on board. Unforgettable story - can't recommend it highly enough.


Last edited by sidevalve; 14th May 2020 at 15:18.
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Old 14th May 2020, 09:32
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Originally Posted by sidevalve View Post
Books? Eric Newby's "The Last Grain Race" takes some beating. At age 18, he signed on a Finnish 4 masted barque as an apprentice in 1938 - going out to Australia to pick up grain and then back home via Cape Horn. He was the only Anglo on board. Unforgettable story - can't recommend it highly enough.

I second that!
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Old 14th May 2020, 09:43
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Wingnuts,

This is the flim:-
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Old 14th May 2020, 11:03
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Another vote for Das Boot, with its haunting music.
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Old 14th May 2020, 11:08
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The Bedford Incident.

Not exactly uplifting but as cold war films go, pretty ggod.
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Old 14th May 2020, 11:28
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Originally Posted by spInY nORmAn View Post
I'm with you all on "The Cruel Sea". Superb. Coincidentally while flipping through the channels last night I happened upon "In Which We Serve" - another favourite. I also enjoyed "The Battle of the River Plate" about the sinking of the Graf Spee. It always struck me as odd that the first naval battle of the Second World War was fought off the coast of South America.
In which case it's probably even odder when one considers that two of the first major naval actions of the First World War also took place off the coast of South America, the Battle of Coronel off the coast of Chile on 1 November 1914 and the Battle of the Falkland Islands on 8 December 1914, when the latter was effectively the British retribution for the German win at the former.

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Old 14th May 2020, 12:17
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A Book of Sea Journeys an anthology compiled by Ludovic Kennedy is a damn good read along with his Book of Air Journeys and Book of Train Journeys.
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