Historiography of the Falaise Gap

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

  1. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    TBH they show the initial Beach Landing of SPR as representative of the Second World War combat. Its an extraordinary action being shown as the norm - total nonsense in that regard.



    How many opposed landing were made in the PTO? The norm is relative to the theater of war you are talking about.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Brian, I have watched the back and forth discussion between you Gerard. I have always thought more of you where overly-nationalistic fervor is concerned. My respect for your war-time and post war endurance is still present, but I guess I expected more out of you when you were asked to support with examples your statements about authors and the like.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I agree that most war-related moves are crap. Where I don't agree is that they are made intentionly to denigrate the efforts of the British combatant, but rather to they were made to sell to a US audience. Whether we like it or not, movies made in the US are made to make money and the producers, who are ultimately beholding to the shareholders, end up making a movie that they think will appeal to the largest common demominator. Ultimately, that group is the US audience, for better or (quite often) worse.

    I am quite certain that the Germans and Japanese grow weary of watching ineptness of their soldiers and endemic charactures protrayed on the screens. I do not know how these men are portrayed in British films, I have seen very few British war films that show enemy soldiers. The main one that comes to mind is The Bridge on River Kwai and it is hardly a sterling example of adherance to the actions of the actual event.

    In the end, I do think that the vast majority of the respected members here do not get their information regarding the war from a movie or the TV. That would be like watching the old TV show I Love Lucy to see how US family life was in the 1950s.
     
  2. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    YES "Assault Division" that is written by some one who was there, and was familiar with what happened. Any book that derives its facts from actual historical papers... NOT those that have been used time and time again ...often changed to make them sell-able in the USA. You all know about it to pretend that you do not, is not worthy of anyone. I have read many times on this site, so many of you that have torn apart certain authors.....

    No one surely can stand up and say hand on heart that the USA films have not created a legend,that is now the bench mark?? Worse! is believed.
     
  3. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    How many opposed landing were made in the PTO? The norm is relative to the theater of war you are talking about.

    To be brutally honest the war with Japan is of little interest in UK schools, as is the war with Germany, so it is shown as (effectively) the norm of all of the fighting against Germany.
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    YES "Assault Division" that is written by some one who was there, and was familiar with what happened. Any book that derives its facts from actual historical papers... NOT those that have been used time and time again ...often changed to make them sell-able in the USA. You all know about it to pretend that you do not, is not worthy of anyone. I have read many times on this site, so many of you that have torn apart certain authors.....

    No one surely can stand up and say hand on heart that the USA films have not created a legend,that is now the bench mark?? Worse! is believed.

    Any others Brian or just that one book?

    I must say I have around a 100 books now on Dunkirk and 1940 France some written by veterans who were there and some by authors who have never served in the military and whilst its nice to read about someones personal experiences the non military authors do tend to write the better books on this subject and even the American author Walter Lord who wrote Miracle of Dunkirk appears to have done a great job on a subject that the Americans were not really involved in. His book is used time and time again as a source of information for those that came along after his book.

    Having got around 200 war diaries from the 1940 France campaign I can say they do not always tell the story that accurately-Surely a good book should not be written purely on the back of war diaries but also interviews with veterans who were there and other books that had previously done used records and interviewed veterans who were there?

    I think a book written purely on diaries and other official records would be quite boring if I'm honest and not really that factual.

    A good example is your own units war diary in 1940-It does not mention the Engineers that were routed in Furnes and turned around at the point of the Guards bayonet after at least one was shot by the Guards.
     
  5. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I have doubts about that report , Even though you delight in printing it.......AGAIN! Why? because their is no report about that anywhere. One thing about the RE is that they do record every damn thing. I can find nothing...
    I have read Churchill's book on WW2. Iron Division, given me by General Mike Jackson when he commanded the "All forces Third Division" 18 July 1995 He went on to become the Chief
     
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    To be fair Brian they are hardly going to record the units withdrawal in full detail if they can get away with it. The 246 RE diary describes it more of a tactical withdrawal and reads like it was someone elses fault for leaving the line. The fact a Guards officer was awarded a Military Cross for saving the day and there are several other sources quoted its unlikely to be made up.

    Just two books on Normandy and after then Brian?
     
  7. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Why more? We served there, Just in case you forgot.....And I do have the reports.
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Ps It was all doom and gloom for 246 Field Company at Furnes - Sergeant William Henry Bohlem was awarded a DCM at Furnes too.
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    You admitted in the other thread you rarely knew what was happening along with the other veterans like myself who have fought in wars.

    I would think you would need to read more than two books to get the whole picture accurately of what was happening and as we have already proven not all official records are that accurate so its not wise to base all of your knowledge on just those surely? I have only read two books about Iraq-The same as you have about a war that was a lot longer than mine and I still don't really know the detail of what happened only that we won.
     
  10. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Subject to further discussion, this thread has now been moved to the Arguments Yard.
     
  11. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Why more? We served there, Just in case you forgot.....And I do have the reports.
    Because if you havent read other books, how do you know they are inaccurate, how can you accuse American Authors of being distasteful if you havent read any of them? :huh:

    We've asked you to support your comments and you havent told us one American Author who you find distasteful. If you cant remember then dont make the accusation.
     
  12. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    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...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.


    Gerard,

    Apologies for not writing sooner - work and all that!

    I have been at pains in earlier messages in this thread that I was talking about 'some' authors/films and tried to make this clear at Message #18, where I even named a few of the ones I think are guilty. I do not adhere, either, to any general conspiracy theory, be it of Anglo-phobia in Hollywood or US authors and to do so would be quite wrong. I am sure there are books and possibly films (do we make them anymore?) that are anti-American, but I have either not read/seen one or have not noticed anything adverse. I am British and a patriot, but I am not anti-American and I try to reach balanced views. I trust my position is clear and I won't be writing on this subject again.

    The person that started this thread appeared to be on a new 'lets blame Monty' trip, which is what I railed at. In a later message, that person even suggested Bradley and Eisenhower may have been telling lies about the stop order at Falaise. I also didn't like that suggestion, because it is potentially calling into question the integrity of two US Generals that I personally admire (but for very different abilities and reasons). I wasn't vocal about this latter 'dislike' as that is not where the original incendiary was aimed.

    This is a general comment, but I still don't see why the Russians were introduced to this thread and by a moderator. Their peoples sacrifices may have been great, but they were not at Falaise as part of the Russian Army. I don't think introducing them into this thread has assisted it in any way; quite the reverse. I am disappointed!

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    This is a general comment, but I still don't see why the Russians were introduced to this thread and by a moderator. Their peoples sacrifices may have been great, but they were not at Falaise as part of the Russian Army. I don't think introducing them into this thread has assisted it in any way; quite the reverse. I am disappointed!



    The thread was well of track anyway.
    ;)
     
  14. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Going off topic? ... it happens to us all once and a while. ;)

    Now I'm getting drawn in...

    Just to remind everyone that, absent the Finnish scraps, the Russians only got involved in WWII in July 1941. ...
     
  15. Peccavi

    Peccavi Senior Member

    I have really enjoyed the cut and thrust of the argument on this thread - have you really finished or can I reawaken something from the embers?

    I must admit the only book I read on Falaise condemned Monty - but now I am not so sure.

    Way back somewhere, some one commented on how difficult it was to close a pocket and someone else added that it would have needed to be preplanned. So knowing very little I decided to read up on the subject.

    Still a novice and I am not sure just how appropriate this is to Normandy (so apologies to all of you who are more expert than me) but these diagrams of the German method are shown in the thumbnail.

    The first action is the meeting of Panzer spearheads which is very difficult and has to be very well co-ordinated -obviously both sides need both wireless and visual recognition systems agreed before hand(Germans messed it up a couple of times in Russia - sorry Russia mentioned again - very easy to stop short or to run into each other). One side of the ring would be foolish to try to do it without thorough co-ordination with the other.

    The Panzers and Motorised troops then face outward and inwards and pray that the Infantry arrive on the scene soon.

    On arrival of Infantry the Panzers and Motorised troops face outwards.

    Heat (the Kessel) is applied by the Infantry, artillery (facing inwards) and Luftwaffe who progressively squeeze the pocket while the Panzers and Motorised troops parry relief attacks from outside the ring.

    The skill was not apparently in attacking but more in defending the concentric inner ring from desperate breakouts and the outer from break ins while pounding the pocket to smithereens.

    So unless both sides Anglo and American were fully prepared, communications agreed etc etc, it would be very difficult to achieve closure and destruction of the pocket successfully.

    Surely there ought to have been a lot of evidence of planning and discussion between the Anglo wing and the American Wing at Falaise - was there?
     

    Attached Files:

  16. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

  17. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

  18. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

  19. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Now that is a very, very interesting development indeed.

    That said this board does get many authors bouncing ideas around et al.
     
  20. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Ha!! So he pulled the pin on the "Monty Hand Grenade" and lobbed it in on us! Just been rereading the thread. Boy did we stray off topic!
     

Share This Page