Historiography of the Falaise Gap

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

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Easiest way to tell is to ask them a chronology of the Second World War, and ask them after they give you a dreadful one - to explain HOW the Allies win. They can't.


    I couldn't do that :lol:
     
  2. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Think of this then friends. When giving a lecture, or talk or what ever....The first thing that I asked, after introducing myself and my comrades, and ensuring all present could hear me was this...

    "How many know or have heard about D day" ..Surprising to me ! How many were aware of that tumultuous day. About half depending on their ages.

    Sapper
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Think of this then friends. When giving a lecture, or talk or what ever....The first thing that I asked, after introducing myself and my comrades, and ensuring all present could hear me was this...

    "How many know or have heard about D day" ..Surprising to me ! How many were aware of that tumultuous day. About half depending on their ages.

    Sapper

    I bet a lot more had heard of D-Day after Saving Private Ryan than before it was made though.
     
  4. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Gerard,

    Rich Payne gave a very eloquent reply to your note and I won't go over that ground again.

    Although you raise the point about what land based assistance was given to the Soviets between June 1941 and October 1942. I would first echo what Rich said, which is that we were in no position to offer any significant land based assistance to anyone. But for our cousins in the Commonwealth we would have probably lost all 'influence' in N Africa, the Middle East and the Eastern Med during this period as well.

    However, we - the Commonwealth - did what we could and this saw the introduction of the north Atlantic convoys, as well as the bombing of industrial targets (but not always) in Germany, which had to have held back industrial output and certainly manpower that would otherwise of found itself on the eastern front. The Russsians coudn't have failed to notice the state of Germany when they eventually arrived, courtessy mainly of the RAF and USAAF.

    On land, the 50th (Northumbrian) Division was embarked from Cyprus for Palestine on 6 November 1941, with the ultimate objective of concentrating in Iraq and then moving to fight side by side with the Russians in the Caucasus. Soon after two Brigades, the 151st and 69th, of 50 Div had arrived in 'Kirkuk' the Caucasian project was cancelled. I can't currently recall the source of the following comment, but I understand it was the Russians that cancelled the assistance.

    The 50 Div was sent to the assistance of the Russians in November 1941 despite the fact that there was no English Infantry division facing the enemy anywhere in the world until February 1942; and 50 Div was that division, situated in the Western Desert.

    On the Hollywood matter. My point here is that the vast majority of people who watch those movies do not and never will have your understanding of WWII. And it is those movies that influence them about WWII. You may not agree, but if you did a survey you would probably find that '9 out of 10 cats' believe what these movies spout. There may not be a general conspirarcy, but I think it would be at best naieve, at worst ignorant to believe that the anti-Monty/British lines are not inserted by Anglophobes and/or revisionists; otherwise why are they there?

    Best,

    Steve.
    Points well made Steve. :)

    If I may take you up on your point regarding this "conspiracy" theory by Anglophobes and Revisionists, I completely agree that there are US made war films where there are inaccuracies, U-571 and the scene about XXX Corps stopping to make tea in "A Bridge too Far" being cases in point. However there is also a danger of "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" here. not all "Hollywood" war films are "Brit-bashing" movies. And just because a war film is American made, doesnt make it bad. Yet we have at least 1 contributor on this thread who would subscribe to this particular viewpoint indeed post 48 is a fairly wide-ranging slapdown of any author of US Nationality. Not once has any source been quoted to back up this statement, merely that "My distaste is for the American authors not our own historical writers". Not all Americans "Brit-Bash". And the inference appears to be that if its American its biased and therefore if its British, then it must be unbiased. Which is wrong, totally wrong.

    Brian if your statement above is true then what is your opinion about David Irving. He is one of "your own historical writers"!!! My point is this, there are good authors and there are bad authors. Their talent or biases are not based on nationality, otherwise Erickson or Glantz would never have given us such great works about the Great Patriotic War/Ostfront.
     
  5. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    That makes me smile ! For it occurred to me, that there are many on this site that would perhaps enjoy listening to this old buzzard talk. Thing is about giving my time to schools, is that it served two purposes. One, to keep the memory alive of those that sacrificed their lives for the Country. Two, to make the younger generation aware of what took place as part of the modern history module. That ensured they would be made aware of their heritage.

    The content of the session was always balanced to the audiences age.
    sapper
     
  6. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Gerard.
    Where I find the intrusion of these Authors who never heard a gun fired.. AND kept using others already published materials.. each time being added to, with their own views and with their prejudice added.
    Lets be serious; for this is absolutely true, where the children of today are concerned...D Day was American and they largely won the war, the Brits? Oh
    they were sort of helpers. Now you may not like that much. I dont, but I can assure you of this. The Hollywood versions of what took place, have become fairly well established, so that they have become the true and accepted legends of D Day.

    Never underestimate the power of films to sway opinions. For they do become propaganda (though inadvertently) as we saw so clearly under Hitler
    Sapper/
    PS You can see the same here where Books are fairly accepted as "The true Version" Just because its got some one well know name on it.....
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Brian,

    Can I ask what books you have read on WW2 that you would recommend?

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  8. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Hi Gerard.
    Where I find the intrusion of these Authors who never heard a gun fired.. AND kept using others already published materials.. each time being added to, with their own views and with their prejudice added.
    Lets be serious; for this is absolutely true, where the children of today are concerned...D Day was American and they largely won the war, the Brits? Oh
    they were sort of helpers. Now you may not like that much. I dont, but I can assure you of this. The Hollywood versions of what took place, have become fairly well established, so that they have become the true and accepted legends of D Day.

    Never underestimate the power of films to sway opinions. For they do become propaganda (though inadvertently) as we saw so clearly under Hitler
    Sapper/
    PS You can see the same here where Books are fairly accepted as "The true Version" Just because its got some one well know name on it.....
    Ok Brian, as you say, lets be serious. Exactly who have you got a problem with? Which Authors do you have a problem with? If you are going to say that you have a distaste for American Authors then exactly which ones??? I dont have an issue with anyone who criticises certain authors for their views. But you have said that you find American Authors distasteful and I am merely asking you to back up your assertion with some sources. Brian, I dont have a problem with your desire to have the truth told, honestly I dont. But when you make a remark about the fact that you find American Authors distasteful well thats just tarring everyone with the same brush. Judge an author on their work, not their nationality.

    So again I ask, which Authors do you have a problem with?
     
  9. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Sure. Firstly I do not read a great deal. Why? Well I get annoyed when I read such rubbish as the Canadians landing on Sword beach, and we did not exist at all. Now I cannot recall the book it was some time ago BUT it stuck in mind.

    What I read are books written under the auspices of the regiment or Corps... Or even better, texts written by those at the time. (I have several)

    I also have a book on the Third Div, given to me by General Mike Jackson, signed with best wishes, who went on to be Chief general staff. The short history of the RE is a great book ,as is "Assault Division" by Scarfe? The real thing!

    That is the sort of area that interests me... First hand knowledge that I can mentally nod my head in agreement with.
    Cheers Sapper
     
  10. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Who said anything about distasteful?

    At my age I find it difficult to recall the names of the books I have read..Or quoted on this site. Often I will pick up a book (In The past) start reading, and throw it down in disgust at the utter rubbish that is written. So please dont ask me to recall names.

    Churchill's history of WW2 is a prime example of how history should be read. Not by some one only interested in making money.
     
  11. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Who said anything about distasteful?
    You did! In post 48: My distaste is for the American authors not our own historical writers.


    At my age I find it difficult to recall the names of the books I have read..Or quoted on this site. Often I will pick up a book (In The past) start reading, and throw it down in disgust at the utter rubbish that is written. So please dont ask me to recall names.

    Churchill's history of WW2 is a prime example of how history should be read. Not by some one only interested in making money.
    If you dont want to name names then I would ask you to stop throwing accusations out about "American Authors". Again I have no problem with you seeking the truth, but those sort of accusations, besides being untrue are unhelpful. Not all American Authors are biased and comments like the one you have made help perpetrate the myth.


    By all means rail against inaccuracies, Sapper. But stop judging people on their nationality.
     
    dbf likes this.
  12. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The Hollywood films that are made, are created by American authors..Are they not? What I wrote about the influence on our youngsters is dead right.....

    There are a great many Americans that are utterly convinced that they, and they alone, won the war..... You at least should know that.

    If you had been in contact with as many youngsters as I have, then you would realise just how corrosive these films are in corrupting history. The USA did not capture Burma, nor did they capture the enigma machine.That is the general tendency to glorify the USA And why not? Except that is makes a mockery of the true events ....Does it not.. Ask most children in the UK, and the will tell you the history of the UK as shown in films.

    What about those that died for this land? Where do they stand when faced with Hollywood>
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    x Sorry I couldn't bring myself to post what I was thinking.
     
  14. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Nor I when I read some of what is posted. Some of the oddest ideas about events that took place. One thing is for sure we shall never agree.
     
  15. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    The Hollywood films that are made, are created by American authors..Are they not?
    No not necessarily. People from all over the world, writers, historical consultants, people from all nationalities, work in Hollywood. Just as people from all over the world work in the British Film Industry.What I wrote about the influence on our youngsters is dead right.....
    I never said that people werent influenced and I'm not knocking you for this.

    There are a great many Americans that are utterly convinced that they, and they alone, won the war..... You at least should know that.
    Oh I'm well that there are Americans out there who believe that. Just as there are many people from Britain and the Commonwealth who believe that theirs was the greater burden. and many russian people who believe that they won the war on their own. Its not just Americans, Brian. Every country likes to talk up its armies achievements and every country is guiilty of this, including the UK. Its not malicious.

    If you had been in contact with as many youngsters as I have, then you would realise just how corrosive these films are in corrupting history. The USA did not capture Burma, nor did they capture the enigma machine.That is the general tendency to glorify the USA And why not? Except that is makes a mockery of the true events ....Does it not.. Ask most children in the UK, and the will tell you the history of the UK as shown in films.

    What about those that died for this land? Where do they stand when faced with Hollywood>
    Brian, believe it or not it honestly galls me when I see war Films bathed in inaccuracies. But I know that its not just films that are made in the US (as opposed to US Films) and its not just American writers who are at fault. Its over the fact that writers (see the way I'm not tarnishing Americans here??) take creative licence to amend stories as they see fit.

    thats why people like you are so important Brian. To tell the future generations about what actually happened. But again, I most respectfully say you are wrong to accuse US writers only of biasedness. Many English people have contributed to US films. Sir Richard Attenborough directed A Bridge too Far!! How much more British do you want? And yet that is a "Hollywood" production.
     
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  16. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Sure. But under USA influence, and for the USA market... where the real money is made.
    One thing stands out here; very clear and stark, it is a generational thing. The world as seen through the eyes of the younger generation, and how it is seen through the eyes of the elders...We I am afraid, see the world in a totally different light.

    One Thing is certain. Ron. Tom. Driver op. and all the great old vets that inhabit these pages, were there and took part in the real events... and in many cases paid the price...... The greatest spur to challenge what is so often written..... is that many Vets cannot stand hearing the sacrifices of their friends belittled by adverse comment, both in print and on film.
    Never will. For that would be casting their memory aside. I am not going to do that...EVER......
    sapper
     
  17. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    This thread started off in Falaise, has passed through Arnhem, Burma and god knows where else, all by means of going round and round in circles. Amazing.
     
    Gerard likes this.
  18. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    One Thing is certain. Ron. Tom. Driver op. and all the great old vets that inhabit these pages, were there and took part in the real events... and in many cases paid the price...... The greatest spur to challenge what is so often written..... is that many Vets cannot stand hearing the sacrifices of their friends belittled by adverse comment, both in print and on film.
    Never will. For that would be casting their memory aside. I am not going to do that...EVER......
    sapper
    You equate the US film industry with belittling the memory of your comrades. you have a good heart Brian but it would be better to rail against inaccurate movies and authors instead of constantly referring to"Americans". You can say all you want but you do our American members no favours by constantly referring to this.

    We have journeyed far havent we DBF?
     
  19. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    My Word. Its amazing how these very good threads get thrown into other paths, Dead interesting though .Or it is for me.
    Where I find the time to answer all the requests.. I do not know, I spend a while every day answering. plus e mails to film companies, Magazines, and documentaries. But if it keeps the memory alive of the great deeds that were done...So be it
    Sapper
    Sapper
     
  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Brian can I ask if you have ever read a book you can recommend that covers the Normandy and North West European Campaign?
     

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