World War 2 in movie form chronologically

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Comrade Temuzu said:
If you want more movies leading up to WW2
you need to see 08/15, part 1.

Actually, watch all three parts and thank me later.

Hunde, wollt ihr ewig leben? isn't too bad, I recommend to replace Enemy at the Gates with it.
 
Captured Joe said:
Comrade Temuzu said:
If you want more movies leading up to WW2
you need to see 08/15, part 1.

Actually, watch all three parts and thank me later.

Hunde, wollt ihr ewig leben? isn't too bad, I recommend to replace Enemy at the Gates with it.

They all look really interesting. Getting subtitled versions of them might be an issue however. For some reason Europeans are extremely poor at making their old war flicks available to international audiences.
 
The 1949 Soviet film(s) Battle of Stalingrad is also an interesting thing to see. It's not quite propaganda, not quite drama, not quite documentary. It combines stock footage with dramatic recreations, and tries to cover the whole battle chronologically by showing snapshots of different people and places; giant arrows flying across maps, generals arguing in bunkers, sweeping long-takes of tanks plowing through rubble... the whole gambit. It's got some great cinematography and tons of real surplus and trophy tanks, planes etc. as props and scene-dressing. Even Roosevelt makes an unnecessary cameo. If you ignore the Stalin-worship and the fact that Zhukov is literally flushed down the memory hole and never appears in the film (which is a big ****ing thing to ignore) then it's a great, weird film-history-document-...thing. It is actually educational, but watch it with narrowed eyes. Aram Khachaturyan wrote the score.

Of course, if you're watching it for the cinematography, Youtube won't suffice, but the whole two films can be found there with English subtitles:



Another Soviet drama related to Stalingrad is They Fought for the Country, 1975. Based on a novel, the film is kind of like a Soviet spin of James Jones' The Thin Red Line, covering the exploits of a rifle company and the personalities within as they deal with the heat and exhaustion of a summer drought on the steppe, the shame of retreat and leaving civilians behind to the mercy of the enemy, and the uncertainty of their nation as they head toward the Volga and possibly beyond. There's a great scene where a soldier is foraging and comes to a farm house to beg for food, essentially, and the old woman of the house, having lost a son in '41 and missing her husband, berates him for his constant retreating and now trying to eat her out of house and home. "You run away and who will fight for me? I'm left here. Who will fight for you if you keep running?"

Battles are sporadic, chaotic, confusing and seemingly fruitless. It's very modern in a sense, the way the camera focuses on the minute and personal and denies the audience comprehension when thematically appropriate and surreal camera work to show concussion and psychological trauma, but it never entertains the idea that the war against Germany is "pointless" in order to further a broader message; battles may seem pointless, individual deaths and the destruction of the landscape may seem pointless, but the war - that war - demanded battles, deaths and heartache for the sake of preserving a people and a way of life, and that the men we see sweating and cursing and worrying over their fate, vulnerable and fallible men, are the ones that fought and resisted against unthinkable odds for their families, their homes, their country. During the film they're constantly lugging their unit's banner all wrapped up on its pole and concealed by a dust-cover, and it seems to be a useless burden, but at the end, the men assemble and unfurl the banner and its pure scarlet against the endless dust and khaki seems to be completely revitalizing and magnetic. You might roll your eyes when the music swells and their commander tears up in his one good eye and kisses the banner, but the emotions in the pageantry are real and his gratitude to his men could not be expressed with mere words. On Remembrance/Veterans'/Victory Day during the moment of silence, rather than just keeping quiet to be polite and daydreaming, think about that officer crying before his men, and turning to the preserved banner as the embodiment of perseverance. Imagine being responsible for the sacrifices of other men's minds and bodies. How heavy they must weight every day.

I could've swore Mosfilm had subtitles up before, but now they don't.
 

Almalexia

Her Flamboyance, the Calipha
Duke
M&BWBNW
Seff said:
It would be quicker and less misleading to watch "The World at War" from 1973-4.

Ive watched it and I liked it, but it is rather dated now in presentation and information. Especially considering the Soviet Union had yet to collapse at the time it was made, so information on the Eastern Front was obfuscated. Is there not a newer, comprehensive documentary series on the War yet?
 
Almalexia said:
Seff said:
It would be quicker and less misleading to watch "The World at War" from 1973-4.

Ive watched it and I liked it, but it is rather dated now in presentation and information. Especially considering the Soviet Union had yet to collapse at the time it was made, so information on the Eastern Front was obfuscated. Is there not a newer, comprehensive documentary series on the War yet?

The Century of Warfare was pretty good, though it doesn't go extremely deep since it covers the entire century, hence the name. There are also some singular mistakes here and there. Josef Tito's nationality f. ex is wrong, as are Finland's borders in 1939. Overall I still think it's an interesting watch.
 

F.F.C._fritz

Grandmaster Knight
WB
Besides, the ending of the first movie did not really suggested any possible sequel.

I'll have to re-watch "Cross of Iron" sooner or later. Always wondered if it was actually a good movie or if I, too, fell for the "wow, the german point of view". Sometimes it seems that if a movie is from the german POV, then it's of course good and interesting, maybe as a result of the oversaturation of allied POV movies, I don't know. Also, as in every german POV movie, no one is a nazi. Of course...
 
F.F.C._fritz said:
Also, as in every german POV movie, no one is a nazi. Of course...
This reminds me of how Karl-Friedrich Merten (former captain of U-6:cool: and Kurt Baberg (U-61:cool: wrote Wir U-Bootfahrer sagen: "Nein!" "So war das nicht!" to criticise - among other things - how marrily anti-nazi the crew in Buchheim's books (Das Boot and others) are.
 

Wellenbrecher

Trümmerfrau
Archduke
WBM&BVC
You lot should read the secret SD reports - "Meldungen aus dem Reich" - at some point if there's a translation available. :roll:
Proper, glowing Nazis weren't all that common. Simple sympathisers and folks who didn't give a **** and just ran with it for personal advancement on the other hand...


(that's not to say that Das Boot didn't paint too rosy a picture...)
 

F.F.C._fritz

Grandmaster Knight
WB
I'd be curious too. Omer Bartov's "Eastern Front" had convinced me otherwise that both the officers and the soldiers - the members of both coming mostly from the low-middle class - mostly believed in what they were doing. And the aristocrats, which today are thought to be somewhat heroical, appeased the National Socialism they so much despised (since it encouraged the de-aristocratization of the officers' class) until things started going bad for them as well. Heroic Stauffenberg was all for colonization of Poland and had something to say about inferior polish jews, just to mention the most famous and glamorized anti-nazi hero of the Wehrmacht. To sum it up, a pretty interesting book. I'd be more than curious to read your document, tough. Even today, it's still pretty hard to have a clear idea on how things were.

Especially since books written by former nazis themselves, sometimes under a false name (such as Paul "Carrell" Schmidt), are still sold as historiography, even today. The Cold War complicated things even further...

On one things we can all agree, the german POV movie presents excessively "rosy" situations. In 1994 Stalingrad a character even says something about Germany deserving the revenge of the russians. Yeah, I'm sure, ahah
 

Wellenbrecher

Trümmerfrau
Archduke
WBM&BVC
See, that's what I mean. I am absolutely willing to believe and convinced that what you wrote there is true. Painting Stauffenberg, Rommel or so many of the other "good Germans" as heros in some way or another is silly.
But it's just as silly to always expect there to be some sort of glowing Nazi at every corner who desperately wants to kill every Jew he sees. For example the anatgonist in Iron Cross. I'm willing to bet that a character like that will "Heil" and hate and slaver at the mouth about "Jewish conspiracies" when it's useful, but when at the front he will not be going on about that constantly as there's no pay-off to it.

Being "mostly ok "with partaking in a war you've been told your whole live is the only way for Germany and indeed Europe, to survive is in my book rather different than... dunno, being someone like Heydrich or Himmler.



The SD Berichte are a collection of reports from spys and informers and such, collected and edited to give those in charge an idea of what the "normal" folks are thinking and what their problems are.
Amongst the most interesting aspects of this, IMO, is that a huge amount of people knew exactly when Barbarossa was supposed to start and also knew about atrocities committed against civilians in the East.
But it can also be an easy amusing read when they're reporting on jokes and little obscenities being levelled at the authorities.
The reactions to the British terror bombings later in the war are well worth a read as well and show how utterly and completely that tactic failed to do achieve anything other than being a war crime.
 

Swissky

Stalingrad from 2013 is pure Russian propaganda, but if you must, be sure to watch it with subtitles instead of dubbed. Stalingrad from 1993 is good, but most likely it has a few historical flaws. Nice to see that excluded the aforementioned.  :razz:
 

F.F.C._fritz

Grandmaster Knight
WB
Yeah, well, actually Stransky (Max Schell) is a perfect potrait of the hypocrisy of the aristocratic class described in Bartov's.
And yes, of course there's a different from being just a sympathizer and a fanatic.

This detail on the huge amount of people knowing of the crimes in the East, well, that's why I found stuff like "Generation War" so idiotic. "Oh, we're hating and killing jews and untermensch? Wow, that's new!"

On the idiocy of terror bombings on civilians, Brits should have known better from their own example during the Blitz. I was pretty struck by the portrait of "bomber" Harris given by Hastings in "Inferno: World at War", he's little more than a maniac from what I remember (he even have a photo-book of destroyed german towns, the copies of which he gifted to important guests).

I would have been curious to see the "third season" of Band of Brothers, which was to be set among the ranks of the 8th Air Force. Just to see how such a serious production would have dealt with the courage of the bomber crews and the criminal destruction they dropped over civilians' heads.
 

Wellenbrecher

Trümmerfrau
Archduke
WBM&BVC
The funny thing that that even after the war and far into the atomic arms race - even today IIRC - the British tactic in these regards is to target population centres, whereas all by now declassified plans of the USSR and the US aimed at industry and military installation. The destruction of civilian targets is a sacrifice to necessity and not the actual target.
 
I remember reading something about fire-bombings of Japan and from the post-surveys it seemed that in the end the population got desperate and hopeless; not because of the bombing itself, but because day after day they saw US bombers roam the sky completely unopposed.
 
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