Historiography of the Falaise Gap

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by falaisegap, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    The Film industry employs script writers for entertainment in order to make money, I for one certainly do not confuse it with fact. Sapper, the way you've expressed yourself it seems that you have a poor opinion of the rest of us - who apparently are incapable of telling the difference between 'history' and a film, or 'history' and opinion. Some of us had our interest in WW2 piqued by pulp fiction and blockbuster films, and were later quite able to sort the wheat from the chaff.

    Measuring an entire nation's authors by the Holywood yardstick is a little unfair. I'd rather read a bad book than none at all. At least it creates debate. I'd be interested in which authors you particularly find so offensive in their opinions and why. As you yourself have said before - sources please?

    I go along with what my father once said when asked about A Bridge Too Far ... "It's only a film." But then he would know, his platoon having been on the backs of the leading 2IG tanks on 17 Sept 44. And I have Cornelius Ryan and his wife to thank for recording the thoughts of Dad's best mate, his platoon commander and his CO, when no-one else bothered.

    Great post Diane. I concur.

    The American movie industry is an entertainment business. American investors fund American movies for primarily American audiences and that leads to only one outcome and that is not preserving historical accuracy or balance. It may be aggravating at times but it is what it is. U.S. movies are not motivated by any particular malice, just money.

    It's simply unrealistic and somewhat unfair for those from the Commonwealth to look to Hollywood for validation or recognition. That was the preserve of John Wayne and Gregory Peck.

    It's not an American thing, it's a business deal.
     
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  2. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    My view on the influence of Hollywood, et al, may be different to what's been said before...

    The audience of this fantastic forum is limited to those that are interested in WWII and it 'truths'; some truths still debatable and under debate.

    The audience of, both, authors courting controversy in order to make a fast Buck and Hollywood films is far, far, greater and a lot of their audiences are gullible. We on this forum don't even touch the surface.

    So, in an age when children of school age, at least here in the UK, are not generally taught WWII history as 'WE' know it, who has the influence on history? It is those that control/influence the media; the authors that court controversy and Hollywood.

    Is that to be the legacy of people like a few noble chaps that frequent this site, and numerous members of my family and beyond, that I have never had the privilege to meet and say thank you to for their sacrifice?

    A quick 'dissing' by Ambrose, D'Este, D-Day Sixth of June (the film), Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan and our yougsters are infuenced; 'The Americans won the war, were we involved dad?' Obviously not, John Wayne won the war single handed, or did he have the help of a true American war hero, Audie Murphy?!

    We should all be 'up' for a fight against this, surely?!?

    None of our collective Generals were perfect, either as generals or as people, but let's stop taking the p*ss. They were all fallable and yet mostly they all had brilliance(at least in some ways).

    What to my mind is not acceptable is to undermine the 'Big Picture' achievements of these noble people, even if only indirectly, and of all of their generation. DO NOT call any of them or their like, from whichever country, 'straw men'; they were and are anything but...they have opinions formed and won in blood. They were not Generals, but they were there and they know what was going on.

    (I will now be lambasted by war heroes that are more than capable of looking after themselves - my respect gents!)

    I read what these noble people and people like them say, I take it on board and I analyse it. I don't find it anti-Americam, I find it protective of what they and people like them did and achieved.

    Long may it continue, before we are eventually submerged by Hollwood and the great grand children of Ambrose, D'Este and their like!

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I'm still waiting for sources ;)
     
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    our yougsters are infuenced; 'The Americans won the war, were we involved dad?' Obviously not, John Wayne won the war single handed, or did he have the help of a true American war hero, Audie Murphy?!


    Our youngsters say, 'Uhh, who?'
    ;)
     
  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Dianne - thank you for the link - as you are well aware - Truth and Clarity are the first victims of war- and no doubt will always be the case - even when we fight with sticks and stones again !
    Cheers
     
  6. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Speaking from some experience here, if I stood up in front of a group of adults on a coach going on a first time tour of the Normandy battlefields and asked them to name two D Day heroes, the majority would say:

    1. Dick Winters
    2. Private Ryan

    I've had people ask me where the latter is buried, who he was really and have I ever met him....

    Only a minority have ever heard of Stan Hollis VC.
     
  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    So, in an age when children of school age, at least here in the UK, are not generally taught WWII history as 'WE' know it, who has the influence on history? It is those that control/influence the media; the authors that court controversy and Hollywood.

    Is that to be the legacy of people like a few noble chaps that frequent this site, and numerous members of my family and beyond, that I have never had the privilege to meet and say thank you to for their sacrifice?

    A quick 'dissing' by Ambrose, D'Este, D-Day Sixth of June (the film), Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan and our yougsters are infuenced; 'The Americans won the war, were we involved dad?' Obviously not, John Wayne won the war single handed, or did he have the help of a true American war hero, Audie Murphy?!

    I'm afraid Steve that I would have to disagree. We could all complain about the dumbing-down of much in today's society, but I'd stress that my education about the war (and everything else) began at home; not at school. The greatest influence is not film, not printed matter, but my family. I can't even remember the names of my history teachers.

    Now if we are happy to plonk our kids down in front of a screen, or a book, and leave them to it, it's not their fault but ours. Fortunately, my children ask questions; I'm sure most kids do. Only last night I watched Schindler's list with my eldest (13) and I added explanations where needed as the film progressed. I was concerned that he would not be able to understand at an age appropriate level, but he asked all the right questions ... in that, to begin with any question is a right one. And, he keeps asking questions because he knows he will get a response. My father still offers me the same advice as before when I ask a question about tactics - go read 'that' book and come back to me afterwards.

    I would also like to point out that the Official IG History which he started me off reading when I was a child, contains some errors. Not the author's fault, we all make mistakes, but, he 'was there' most of the time, yet it took another veteran to point these out.

    History should be taught like this ... give him a minute to get warmed up.

    [YOUTUBE][/YOUTUBE]
     
  8. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I don't think we should forget that the unconditional surrender of Germany occurred less than a year after the landings in Normandy. That doesn't seem like a bad result to me. I've yet to talk to a veteran of the campaign in NW Europe who didn't regard it as a job bloody well done in sometimes difficult circumstances.

    I've also come a across a number who didn't like Montgomery's manner. He did indeed put people's backs up but his record really speaks for itself.
     
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I don't think we should forget that the unconditional surrender of Germany occurred less than a year after the landings in Normandy.

    Yes, the Red Army did rather well in defeating Nazi Germany didn't they?
    :)
     
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  10. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    :rolleyes:
    According to some!
    70,000 Germans killed or captured
    344 Armoured vehicles destroyed or abandoned
    2,447 Lorries and cars destroyed or abandoned
    252 Towed Arty destroyed or abandoned

    Yer man Monty did'nt do so bad did he!!!
     
  11. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    dbf,

    Quote: "I'm afraid Steve that I would have to disagree. We could all complain about the dumbing-down of much in today's society, but I'd stress that my education about the war (and everything else) began at home; not at school. The greatest influence is not film, not printed matter, but my family. I can't even remember the names of my history teachers.

    Now if we are happy to plonk our kids down in front of a screen, or a book, and leave them to it, it's not their fault but ours."

    I got my interest from my family and their involvement in WWI, WWII, Korea, Suez, and more recently from serving and ex-serving members who were involved in Gulf Wars I and II, Bosnia, etc.

    Neither my wife or I have ever plonked our kids down in front of a television, book or any other media and left them to it. My wife was a teacher of good repute, and our daughter is an editor and our son is a lecturer. However, neither is interested in WWII, but both are experts in the area they are interested in. Power to them.

    As that well know philosopher, John Wayne, said 'you can take a horse to water, but you can't make it drink', and as a parent I would not and did not force them to be interested in something they were so clearly not interested in. But I do so sincerely wish they were interested in WWII.

    I really like the 'Tower' video; really good!

    Rich; Message 68 - Agreed.

    Owen; Message 69 - I don't know what you are trying to provoke (possibly more debate, but skewing off thread), but I'll leave that one well alone; except to say that I had a great granddad KIA as a direct result of those buggers ducking out of WWI and they were quite happy to carve up Poland in coalition with Nazi Germany before Barbarrosa, so I don't really care about their sufferings or what they did in WWII. They were as vile as the Nazis, at government level. At the end of the fight against Germany, Patton had a valid point about who the enemy then really was!

    Paul; Message 66/Rob; Message 70 - I think that supports my thread point(s)!

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    :rolleyes:
    According to some!
    70,000 Germans killed or captured
    344 Armoured vehicles destroyed or abandoned
    2,447 Lorries and cars destroyed or abandoned
    252 Towed Arty destroyed or abandoned

    Yer man Monty did'nt do so bad did he!!!

    I wonder how that compares to the BEF in 1940 :rolleyes:
     
  13. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Steve, in relation to your post about the Eastern Front, Stalin's Soviet Russia was a distasteful regime but you should care about what they did in WW2. 80% of the wehrmacht faced the Red Army at all times during the war. Owen was merely reminding people that the Germans faced more than the Fronts in Normandy and Italy which some Westerners are surprised to find out about!! Acknowledging the contribution by the Soviets does not mean support of their regime, merely recognising the contribution towards the defeat of Nazi Germany.
     
    Owen likes this.
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    :rolleyes:
    According to some!
    70,000 Germans killed or captured
    344 Armoured vehicles destroyed or abandoned
    2,447 Lorries and cars destroyed or abandoned
    252 Towed Arty destroyed or abandoned

    Yer man Monty did'nt do so bad did he!!!

    Killed, Wounded and Captured = 66,438

    Armoured Vehicle Losses = 1,530*

    B Vehicles Losses = 100,458**

    Various Artillery Losses = 2,702

    Mortar Losses = 1,600***

    AT Rifles = 6,400***

    Pistols = 10,000***

    Rifles = 180,000***

    Bren Guns = 10,700***

    *It's thought a further 900 of the three main types of carrier were lost not included in the figures above.

    ** Not including Dragons, losses are estimated at over 300

    *** Estimated
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I think the Germans won that one :D
     
  16. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

  17. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    - I don't know what you are trying to provoke (possibly more debate, but skewing off thread), but I'll leave that one well alone; except to say that I had a great granddad KIA as a direct result of those buggers ducking out of WWI and they were quite happy to carve up Poland in coalition with Nazi Germany before Barbarrosa, so I don't really care about their sufferings or what they did in WWII. They were as vile as the Nazis, at government level. At the end of the fight against Germany, Patton had a valid point about who the enemy then really was!


    As Gerard said, just reminding some members where Nazi Germany was actually defeated, it wasn't in Normandy that's for sure.
    Anyone who studies WW2 & ignores the Great Patriotic War is missing the main part of Germany's war.
    This was far more devastating for the Germans in 1944.
    Operation Bagration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



    Here's an example of an totally unheard of Eastern Front battle that had more casualties than the more famous Battle of The Bulge.
    to quote Gerard,
    what strikes me is the amount of casualties, more than the Ardennes in the same time frame yet its almost unknown in the west.

    The Carpatho-Dukla Operation
    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/eastern-front/13532-carpatho-dukla-operation.html


    PS.
    I too lost a relative in WW1 as you say in the Russians ''ducking out'' of that one as he was killed in the March offensive of 1918 a direct result of German troops being freed up from the Eastern Front after their Revolution.
     
  18. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    As a footnote to Owen's post on Operation Bagration could I suggest the very concise Stalin's Revenge: Operation Bagration and the Annihilation of Army Group Centre by Anthony Tucker-Jones from Pen and Sword. It's only a couple of hundred pages and gives an excellent overview of events.
     
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  19. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Point is, it took an Allied effort to defeat Germany, Not the Commonwealth forces on their own, not the US on its own and not the Soviets on their own. It would be nice if some people could realise this.
     
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  20. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Point is, it took an Allied effort to defeat Germany, Not the Commonwealth forces on their own, not the US on its own and not the Soviets on their own. It would be nice if some people could realise this.
    Agrreed, 100%.
     

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