Jump to content
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
  • Welcome to the forum!

    Welcome to the War History Online Community Forum, please register or login to start commenting.

Recommended Posts

My local cinema "Supper Club" showed this last night... the supper was better than the film! Brian Cox is a superb actor, (and was the ORIGINAL Hannibal Lector - Anthony Hopkins merely copied him!) But, unfortunately looks nothing like Churchill. Every baby looks like Chunchill, no baby looks like Brian Cox. He managed to get the voice down well, and I was hoping to enjoy the movie, but found that I disagreed with the central premise of the plot: The writers, it seemed to me, had got the story totally arse-about-face. The story, (as told in the film) shows a Churchill wracked with doubts about D-Day in the few days leading up to it, and trying to get it either stopped completely or at least postponed, because he fears that it will be a repetition of the massacres of WW1 (specifically Gallipoli, an idea that Churchill himself had come up with, but which got "nickled and dimed" down into something unrecognisable. HIS plan had been to blast his way through the Dardanelles, accepting the loss of as many battleships as were required to do the job, because when the job WAS done, it would knock Turkey out of the Axis Alliance, and allow badly-needed supplies to be shipped to the Russians)
When the USA entered WW2 - reluctantly - they did so with an extraordinary amount of arrogance, for a nation whose military had for the most part hardly heard a shot in anger. They arrived ready to tell everybody else what to do, and quite often with ideas that had been outdated in 1918. The USA was gung ho to invade France in 1943 - and was told in no uncertain terms to put a sock in it. AN invasion as envisaged by the USA to take place in 1943 would have been a disasterous bloodbath. Churchill demanded THEN (i.e. in 1942) a year's delay, and he GOT it (a delay until 1944). And he used that extra year to maximum advantage - the creation of the 79th Armoured Brigade under Brigadier Hobart, for example. (Don't forget that in the previous war, Churchill had been instrumental in the development of the tank, to counter the barbed wire and trenches of WW1. With absolutely NO authority to do so, he had provided government finance to develop them! Now he was sponsoring some truly strange vehicles to cross the beaches of Normandy.) PLUTO - the "PipeLineUnderTheOcean" which delivered fuel to the invasion forces via a... pipleline under the ocean! (or at least, under the English Channel) And the Mulberry Harbours, the remains of which can still be seen at Arromanches.  (Churchill had quibbled about them being described as "pre-fabricated", and said that he preferred the expression "ready made") Bottom line, there is absolutely ZERO doubt in MY mind that Churchill had been an enthusiastic participant in the planning of D-Day, in almost every detail, not merely a passive observer whose glory days lay behind him.

Aside from Brian Cox, Miranda Richardson deserves praise as WInston's long-suffering wife Clementine. James Purefoy (who I remember particularly from the BBC series "Rome", in which he played Marc Anthony), was a very convincing King, complete with slight stammer. I think I'd have suggested that the casting director had paid a little more attention to heights. The Chap who played Monty (Julian Wadham) towered over General Brooke (Danny Webb) despite the real Monty being notoriously short. When I was a young man, a comedian name Lance Percival made a good career, partly from making appearances AS Monty on TV - he had the nasal voice down absolutely correctly. Sadly  Mr. Wadham didn't have it. If Monty and Brooke had swapped actors....?


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I too was pretty disappointed with that film and for many of the same reasons.  I am certain that Churchill in the depths of his heart was deeply worried about the consequences of a failed landing, that only makes sense.  But to focus on that doesn't make much sense to me.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A failed invasion would indeed have been a total disaster, but I find the central premise of the film - that Churchill as so obsessed by Gallipoli and the carnage of WW1 that he'd lost his nerve regarding D-Day goes totally against what we know of the man's character. He had written in his OWN History of WW1 that battles are won "either by slaughter or by manoeuvre" and he invested a great deal of effort in outmanoeuvring the Germans in France. I keep stressing the importance of GOOD reliable intelligence... Germany made an utter Horlicks of the Battle of Britain thanks to a pitiable LACK of intel. Most of the time they had a minimal idea of what was going on, and much of what they BELIEVED to be happening was totally wrong. They bombed every airfield that they knew existed, because they had no information regarding whether it was a fighter field, or a bomber field, or even a Coastal Command field. When your grand plan calls for bombing the FIGHTER squadrons out of existence... wasting 2/3 of your scarce resources on bombing the WRONG targets is a complete disaster.
Churchill had indeed been heavily influenced by WW1; he had established during it what amounted to a "gang" of like-thinking men, who came rapidly to terms with a new kind of warfare, involving relatively new concepts like camouflage, trickery, and signals intelligence. The "Gang" reformed at the start of WW2. And established a situation in which, for most of the war, Germany had very little idea of what the hell was going on. Even DURING D-Day, Hitler was 100% convinced (as we'd intended that he should be) that the Normandy invasion was merely a feint, and the moment he moved troops to deal with it, the REAL attack would come, near Calais, using a totally fictional Army Group created simply to confuse the Bosh. Churchill had a very dry wit, I'm sure that he must have found confusing Hitler very entertaining (as well as saving a huge number of lives).

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Content

    • By Clara12
      It is known that on February 2, 2019, the United States announced the suspension of its participation in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), accusing Russia of violating it. A complete withdrawal from the agreement will take place on August 2, 2019. However, NATO, replicating accusations against Russia regarding the INF Treaty, is trying to help the US hide the real reasons for the collapse of the treaty and divert attention from the real intentions of the American side.

      Now, according to a message from Pentagon spokesman Michelle Baldanza, the United States will be ready for testing of two banned by the INF Treaty missiles in summer 2019. We are talking about a cruise missile with a range of about 1,000 km, as well as a ballistic missile with a range of 3,000 - 4,000 km.

      Moreover, Washington began to develop an artillery weapon, which will be able to shoot at a distance of more than 1600 km. This was told by the US Land Forces Minister Mark Esper, who announced the development of a "supergun" capable of hitting targets a thousand miles away (1600 km). Experts believe that in fact the new American weapon is a medium-range ballistic missile. And, calling it a "supergun", Washington is trying to avoid violating the joint Treaty with Russia on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces.

      Also, on May 15, 2019, it became known that Under Secretary of State Andrea Thompson in writing explained the reason why the US was working on the development of missiles that were banned by the INF Treaty. And the answer was obvious - "to ensure that Russia would not get unilateral advantages in that sphere". At the same time, A. Thompson argued that the projects of their own missile systems are supposedly conventional, not nuclear. It is important to note that experts in the nuclear power industry believe that the United States is now trying to shift the blame for the collapse of the Treaty from "a sick head to a healthy one".

      Thus, the withdrawal from the INF Treaty is necessary for the United States to develop new weapons, and Washington prepared for this in advance, having worked out plans for the production of banned missiles. The US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, according to Russian President V. Putin, was a "direct step to shatter" international security and all these actions by the United States would undoubtedly entail a new round of nuclear arms race.

    • By Clara12
      Recently, Japan has increasingly demonstrated a desire to strengthen its armed forces. It is worth to recall that after World War II, Japan lost the opportunity to have its own army, and in 1947 a new Constitution of Japan was adopted, according to which the country was forbidden to use the army and use military forces as means of resolving international disputes. Despite the fact that almost every of the Japanese Prime Ministers tried to circumvent or cancel that article, it is still exists in the Constitution.

      So, bypassing that article, in 1954, with the help of the United States, which needed an ally in the Asia-Pacific Region, the Japan Self-Defense Forces were formed. The Self-Defense Forces with the help of Washington became one of the most powerful and well-armed armies in the world quite quickly. Now the number of Self-Defense Forces is almost 250 thousand people, which is not so little by modern standards.

      Nowadays Japan’s ground forces have 700 tanks, 2.8 thousand wheeled armored vehicles, 202 self-propelled artillery mounts, 99 salvo fire systems and 500 towed guns.
      The Japanese Navy has 131 combat ships: 4 aircraft carriers, 43 rocket ships, 27 minesweepers, 6 corvettes, 6 coast guard ships, 17 submarines, etc. The coast defense is provided by about 100 Tura-88 anti-ship complexes.

      Over 350 anti-aircraft missile systems protect Japan’s airspace. The country owns powerful aviation (including sea): Self-defense forces comprise 288 fighters, 287 bombers and 119 attack helicopters.

      In 2018, with serious help from Washington, the Marines appeared in Japan. The creation of the Japanese Marine Corps units means that the Japan Self-Defense Forces finally change their status: the Marine Corps is a strike force, it is not designed to protect its territory, which was previously the main task of the Self-Defense Forces. Thus, the Japanese army turns into one of the foremost armies of the world. All this is being done with the support of the United States, which is interested in strengthening the military potential of Japan, and now has a well-armed ally in the APR, which they themselves have equipped with the latest weapons and equipment.

      And this powerful military force, thanks to the "militaristic" policy of Shinzo Abe, supported by the United States, with who Japan has an agreement on mutual cooperation and security guarantees, will expand and develop. And this causes concern to the world community. At the same time, no one in the world questions the right of Japan to provide its security with the means that it considers the most effective and necessary. But the sovereign right of other countries is to think about their security and draw conclusions about what is changing or may change in this regard in the region and in the world as a whole in terms of security.

      The world community is now witnessing a rapid growth of military cooperation between the United States and Japan. So at the recent meeting of the leaders of the two countries, that was held in Japan, the expansion of military cooperation between Washington and Tokyo was discussed. President Trump and Prime Minister Abe discussed new arms shipments to Japan, the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty and the fact that Japan has a positive attitude to the deployment of various weapons systems on its territory, including the US.

      Undoubtedly, the militarization of Japan is very beneficial for Washington, for which this part of the Pacific region is the most problematic, since there are three countries at once concentrated, considered by Washington as key opponents - Russia, China and North Korea. Consequently, the United States will continue to monitor the development of the armed forces of Japan. Further development of the Japanese army, which will defend the interests and tasks of not only their country, but also the interests of the United States, will undoubtedly lead to another round of arms race in an already troubled region.

    • By Clara12
      Until December 7, 1941 in the history of America there was not a single military conflict with the Asian army. There were only a few minor clashes in the Philippines during the war with Spain. This led to the underestimation of the enemy by American soldiers and sailors.
      In the US Army, they heard stories about the cruelty that the Japanese invaders were dealing with in China in the 40s of the twentieth century. But before the clashes with the Japanese, the Americans had no idea what their opponents were capable of.
      Routine beatings were so common that it is not even worthy of mention. However, in addition, the captive Americans, British, Greeks, Australians and Chinese had to face slave labor, violent marches, cruel and unusual torture and even dismemberment. Below are some of the most shocking atrocities of the Japanese army during the Second World War:

      The Japanese camps were in deep isolation, surrounded by impassable jungle, and the soldiers guarding the camp often starved as well as the prisoners, resorting to terrifying means to satisfy their hunger. But for the most part cannibalism occurred because of a mockery of the enemy. A report from the University of Melbourne states: “According to the Australian lieutenant, he saw many bodies that lacked parts, even a scalped head without a torso. He claims that the state of the remains clearly indicated that they were dissected for cooking. ”


      The so-called Unit 731 conducted experiments on Chinese women who were raped and fertilized. They were purposefully infected with syphilis, so that you can find out if the disease is inherited. Often the condition of the fetus was studied directly in the womb of the mother without the use of anesthesia, since these women were considered nothing more than animals to study.

      In 1944, on the volcanic island of Peleliu, a marine soldier during lunch with a friend saw the figure of a man heading towards them in an open area of the battlefield. When the man approached, it became clear that this was also a soldier of the marines. The man walked bent over and barely moved his legs. He was covered in blood. The sergeant decided that he was just a wounded man, who was not taken from the battlefield, and he hurried to meet him with several colleagues.

      What they saw made them shudder. His mouth was sewn up, and the front of the trousers was cut. The face was contorted with pain and horror. After delivering it to the doctors, they later learned from them what actually happened. He was captured by the Japanese, where he was beaten and severely tortured. The soldiers of the Japanese army cut off his genitals, and, stuffing them in his mouth, sewed him up. It is not known whether the soldier was able to survive after such terrible abuse. But the reliable fact is that instead of intimidation, this event had the opposite effect, filling the hearts of the soldiers with hatred and giving them extra strength to fight for the island.

      2. BURNING HEAT:
      Japanese soldiers from small islands in the South Pacific were hardened, violent people who lived in caves, where there was not enough food, there was nothing to do, but there was plenty of time to grow in the hearts of hatred of enemies. Therefore, when American servicemen were captured by them, they were absolutely ruthless towards them. Most often, American sailors were subjected to burning alive or partial burial. Many of them were found under rocks, where they were thrown to decompose. The prisoners were tied hand and foot, then thrown into a dug pit, which was then slowly buried. Perhaps the worst was that the victim’s head was left outside, which was then urinated or eaten by animals.

      Most often at interrogations they used beatings of captives. Documents say that at first they spoke to the prisoner in an amicable way. Then, if the officer leading the interrogation understood the futility of such a conversation, was bored or simply angry, the prisoner of war was beaten with fists, sticks or other objects. The beating continued until the torturers were tired. In order to make the interrogation more interesting, they brought another prisoner and forced him to continue on pain of his own death from decapitation. Often he had to beat the captive to death. Few things in the war were as difficult for a soldier than to cause suffering to a comrade. These stories filled the allied forces with even greater determination in the fight against the Japanese.

    • By Julien Brown
      Project ’44 is the first part of an online commemoration project set to launch this summer for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. The website will combine digitize maps, war diaries, Aerial Imagery, photos and documents to create an unprecedented online experience.
      You will have the ability to navigate the 87 days of combat and interact with all of the First Canadian Army units from division to brigade and 70+ regimental units, 37 Squadrons of the RCAF and a mixed force of Allied and Canadian ships of Force J and bombardment Force E. All of which participated in the Normandy Campaign from June 6 to August 30 1944.  As you move the time slider each unit’s war diaries will also be available and you will be able to follow along in the day to day actions of each unit and the engagements they fought.
      We are very proud to have created the largest digital database of unit positions of the battle of Normandy. This data set will be unique in that it will allow further research and give the opportunity to all Canadians and the world to have a better understanding of WHO fought WHERE during the Normandy Campaign. I say again this is the worlds largest database of GEOREFERENCED positions ever created with content that as not been seen in over 60 years. 
      Please follow us on facebook, Instagram, twitter and linkedin under the Canadian Research and Mapping Association. 

    • By Nameless556
      Can we just ban peopole who are offering fake passports and such.  Its just clogging a already dead forum board. 
  • Create New...