German Soldiers.......worst Movie portrayal.

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MI Trooper
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Post by MI Trooper » Thu Jan 01, 2004 1:21 pm

What film are we discussing now?
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Post by Dackelstaffel » Thu Jan 01, 2004 2:51 pm

Don't know but surely it isn't Starship Troopers with its 6th mobile infantry. I talk about this because the "MI trooper" reminds to me the fact that in this SF movie the grunts were wearing uniforms looking like Afrika Korps ones.
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Post by Jonb955 » Wed Jan 07, 2004 5:01 pm

BAND OF BROTHERS.

When Winters runs up on that SS squad just sitting there and empties a clip while the Germans just run around...I mean come on.

The book portrayed the high losses suffered by Easy company and in the series they just magically dissapear with the euphanism "we're gettin some replacements."

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In that particular incident

Post by JeffF. » Wed Jan 07, 2004 5:07 pm

the series was very faithful to the book except in regards to some additional weapons that were not actually present. There were many incidents in all armies when catching the enemy by surprise they acted in a 'stupid' manner. German troops inflicted their share of similar incidents.

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Post by Jonb955 » Wed Jan 07, 2004 5:55 pm

I realize your point, armies can always ambush an enemy. I didn't remember that in the book the same way as on the series. He just stood right there and unloaded not one German (i think they were Dutch or something like that) could return fire.
Don't get me wrong it is a well done series and I enjoyed it.

In private ryan i think the Germans were not portrayed that bad in the sense that they would have tooken that town had it not been for the air support. That German Tank commander was pretty cool in that end scene.

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Post by schwerepunkt » Mon Jan 12, 2004 4:40 pm

Thought I'd add my two cents worth.

The Film industry is not interested in historical accuracy, and anyone who goes to see a film expecting a historical documentation of events is heading for disappointment.

The fact of the matter is, the media of film is art, the same as painting or music. As such, all WW2 films are the directors/producers/actors interperetations of those events. Spielberg is not the biggest fan of the german soldier, granted, however much of the blame for the historical inaccuracies as far as equipment etc goes falls squarely on the shoulders of Mr Dale Dye. This guy served in Vietnam, and so therefore thinks that he is an expert on every military force since the Assyrians, and hires himself out as a Tech Advisor/Military Advisor to film studios. Aparrently, he and Spielberg are quite good friends, so don't expect anything accurate to come from him any time soon. Also, how could anyone reasonably expect to have the germans portrayed as decent/honorable in a film directed by the guy who did Schindler's List?

And remember too, it's not just the Germans who are getting the 'Dye Treatment" In BoB, hand signals from the Vietnam War are used by the Paratroopers, swearing is very prevalent (a-la-Vietnam), the list goes on and on.

As Chigago based film critic Roger Ebert said (In his review of Gods and Generals, IMHO a historically accurate yet abysmal film), Film is not for historical accuracy. That's for Documentaries and Books.

Even if a film is shown from the German perspective, it's still not going to be completely accurate. Someone mentioned before about the depiction of the Soviets in 'Cross of Iron'. An interesting titbit to prove my point, the young Soviet soldier Steiner befriends was put in by Director Sam Peckinpah to represent his son, and their difficult relationship in the film is his expression of his own difficulty in communicating with his son (brought on by his alcoholism). Take a film as it is... entertainment. If you don't like the film, don't see it again, don't whinge about it. The real problem is documentaries which claim to bis accurate, but aren't. And for anyone who's watched the History channel before, there's a lot of them out there.
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Post by Dackelstaffel » Mon Jan 12, 2004 5:10 pm

Hi Schwerpunkt,

For one cent more, I think like you :
If you want to think : Take a book
If you want to have entertainement : watch TV or movie
If you want to know the truth : be sceptical
If you want to have fun : take a ......... CENSORED
If you want to get suicide : Hear a Celine Dion's song
Anyway for the documentary I'am agree with you. One day, I've seen a french documentary about the may 1940 french defeat. All the german tanks showed were the powerful Tiger, Panther and Panzer IV (G or H model). All that bad stuff only to make believe that the german army was stronger than the french army ( in fact the germans were just better organized and their generals smarter) and to proove that France couldn't do anything. Just an example.

So long
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Post by B Hellqvist » Sun Jan 18, 2004 10:10 am

Achilles wrote:Sebastian,

Thanks for that insight into real combat.

I won't even bother ask you for your experiences of war seeing as you're ****ing Swedish. Actually I can understand you ebing interested in other countries military achievements seeing as yours doesn't hasn't actually got any.

When you've ****ing been there and ****ing done it then you can come back and ****ing tell me what combat is about. Until then STFU and stop preaching your arm chair general ****@#%.
Achilles, I enjoyed and agreed with your comments up til that unnecessary attack. FYI, Swedes served and fought in WW2, the largest numbers (c. 8000) as volunteers in Finland, but also in the armies of most major combattants. We were lucky in being a bit off the side of the main fracas, but if you take a look at a map, you'll realise that all our supplies had to go through the Skagerack - which was heavily mined and patrolled. It is hard to fight a war with small fuel reserves... Besides, Sweden gave Finland lots of ammo and other equipment, e.g. AT weapons. Our tanks were few and not good even by 1940 standards, planes that had been ordered failed to show up, the rest being too few and fast becoming obsolete, the Brits seized four of our destroyers in 1940 in an act much akin to piracy, etc. Since the war, Swedes have served with distinction in many UN missions. So, if you could kindly take your own advice and STFU about things you apparently have little knowledge.

On BoB and the Easy vs W-SS in episode 5: anyone questioning the veracity of that episode can read this http://www.worldwar2history.info/Band-o ... mpany.html

Those who question Richard Winter's description could try to tell him to his face that he's a liar. Bring a bag for your teeth that will be knocked out...

To get back on topic: I think the worst movie must be U-571. It depicts Germans as both cruel, treacherous and inept.[/url]
Last edited by B Hellqvist on Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by nonconformist » Tue Jan 20, 2004 12:15 pm

Überhauptnichtsführer wrote:
To get back on topic: I think the worst movie must be U-571. It depicts Germans as both cruel, treacherous and inept.[/url]
I perfectly agree that possibly the wrost movie depicting Germans is U-571. The Germans are shown as two dimensional, cruel, pretty much criminal(in the Geneva convention sense) and it is full of "artistic liberty"-(for example it was U-110 not U-571 that the Enigma was captured from by the British using IIRC HMS Bulldog). It shows the Captain as a lying, desperate, fanatic who would do anything.

On another note, Band of Brothers is possibly the best, most realistic, and awesome Second World War portrayal of American troops to my knowledge, and it brought tears to my eyes.

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Post by Stefan » Wed Jan 21, 2004 4:56 am

So "Gods and Generals" isn't worth buying? It's to be released here on DVD in February, but so far I've mostly heard negative comments about it.

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Post by Achilles » Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:47 am

Achilles, I enjoyed and agreed with your comments up til that unnecessary attack. FYI, Swedes served and fought in WW2, the largest numbers (c. 8000) as volunteers in Finland, but also in the armies of most major combattants. We were lucky in being a bit off the side of the main fracas, but if you take a look at a map, you'll realise that all our supplies had to go through the Skagerack - which was heavily mined and patrolled. It is hard to fight a war with small fuel reserves... Besides, Sweden gave Finland lots of ammo and other equipment, e.g. AT weapons. Our tanks were few and not good even by 1940 standards, planes that had been ordered failed to show up, the rest being too few and fast becoming obsolete, the Brits seized four of our destroyers in
1940 in an act much akin to piracy, etc. Since the war, Swedes have served with distinction in many UN missions. So, if you could kindly take your own advice and STFU about things you apparently have little knowledge.
I stand by my comments that Sweden hasn't got much of a military history since Charles XII apart from a brief appearance at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. And yes, since I have served alongside Swedish soldiers (and Finnish) in a peacekeeping role I am perfectly aware of their unstinting contribution to the UN. So no, I won't STFU.

As for the rest of your post...I agree entirely. Your countryman and others like him seem are basically saying that Winters is a liar. Basically because they have read too many books extolling the German warrior elite. When they are presented with something that does not fit this ideal it is 'ridiculous', a 'lie', 'would never happen', 'SS never ran away' etc etc

This bias is born of two things...firstly the books already mentioned and secondly their total lack of appreciation of a modern (i.e. 20th century battlefield) - what can happen on it, what does happen on it and above all how individuals react when someone starts shooting at them.

PS the description of the attack in the link you posted is interesting for this quote...'inexcusably, after losing their machine-gunners and riflemen in the first volley, they had failed to put an outpost on the road or up on the dike'. Exactly mirrors the behaviour mentioned in 'Battalion' where the author states the Germans were well known to withdraw their night outposts at dawn. The author's unit used this knowledge to their advantage time and again to mount infiltration patrols at precisely this time. Perhaps the Germans weren't all super soldiers.... :wink:

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Post by B Hellqvist » Wed Jan 21, 2004 4:31 pm

Achilles wrote:I stand by my comments that Sweden hasn't got much of a military history since Charles XII apart from a brief appearance at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. And yes, since I have served alongside Swedish soldiers (and Finnish) in a peacekeeping role I am perfectly aware of their unstinting contribution to the UN. So no, I won't STFU.
Well, we've managed to avoid getting new generations killed off mainly by being unoffensive (fortunately, offensive Swedes like Mr. Pye are few and far between). Still, I thought there was a slur towards all Swedes when you slammed Mr. Pye.
As for the rest of your post...I agree entirely. Your countryman and others like him seem are basically saying that Winters is a liar. Basically because they have read too many books extolling the German warrior elite. When they are presented with something that does not fit this ideal it is 'ridiculous', a 'lie', 'would never happen', 'SS never ran away' etc etc
Oh, tell me a bout it! I've fought against the SS fans on another board who think that the episode could never have taken place, the W-SS being 10 feet tall super soldiers, and bullet-proof to boot. I've read Ambrose's book, but also Webster's excellent "Parachute Infantry", and consider myself somewhat familiar with the subject.
This bias is born of two things...firstly the books already mentioned and secondly their total lack of appreciation of a modern (i.e. 20th century battlefield) - what can happen on it, what does happen on it and above all how individuals react when someone starts shooting at them.
Yup. During my training in the army, I was involved in several fights where it was clear that the matter of death or life in combat is a question of luck, fractions of seconds, and being in the right spot. A well sprung ambush can be devastating - in just a few seconds, you can chew up a whole platoon before they can take cover, much less return fire.

Having researched a British soldier who was KIA in WW1, I know the personal aspects that many (mainly young people) tend to forget, and that combat is a fickle thing.
PS the description of the attack in the link you posted is interesting for this quote...'inexcusably, after losing their machine-gunners and riflemen in the first volley, they had failed to put an outpost on the road or up on the dike'. Exactly mirrors the behaviour mentioned in 'Battalion' where the author states the Germans were well known to withdraw their night outposts at dawn. The author's unit used this knowledge to their advantage time and again to mount infiltration patrols at precisely this time. Perhaps the Germans weren't all super soldiers.... :wink:
Yup. Some think that all W-SS units where of highest quality from the beginning of the war to the very end. Everyone more familiar with the subject know that it was a mixed bag, especially towards the end of the war.

To get back on topic: There's a movie where the Germans aren't bumbling or cruel (or whatever), but where they meekly fall prey to the Allies in such a way that it becomes nauseating. I speak of "The Dirty Dozen". The first 1½-2 hours are rather good, with some highly entertaining moments, but it is the ending that turns it into a disgusting display of macho bloodthirstiness. The gasoline-and-grenades scene, where a large number of women are incinerated together with the German officers, is one of the worst things I've seen in a movie. Perhaps director Aldrich did that scene in order to show the thuggish Dozen for what they really were - murderers and rapists. A truly repulsive movie, and typical for the brain-dead "war" movies churned out by Hollyweird in the 50's and 60's. Of course, it could be viewed as a subversive poke at war movies, similar to the Sergio Leone's treatment of the Wild West, but that kind of satire is usually undetected by the popcornivore crowd...

PS: Anyone wondering about my nick, "Überhauptnichtsführer" translates as "nothing-at-all-führer", an old joke in my former gaming society.

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Post by Alpha Alpha Dawg » Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:48 pm

Also, how could anyone reasonably expect to have the germans portrayed as decent/honorable in a film directed by the guy who did Schindler's List?
I watched SPR the other night and the only soldiers I saw who killed EPW's, behaved cowardly, or made bad decisions that got their men killed were Americans. Also I find it interesting that a supposedly German-hating jew would make a movie that features over 30 minutes of the Waffen-ss and not make one single reference to the holocaust, nazism, racism, or war crimes.

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Post by The Fighting Egg » Tue Feb 24, 2004 2:24 pm

hah.. The Great Escape :P

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Re: German Soldiers.......worst Movie portrayal.

Post by Domen123 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:20 am

Well, if it comes to the Band of Brothers:

Isn't this movie based on Stephen E. Ambrose's book, which is in turn based on factual events, however with some coloration, like any WW2 memoirs, or e.g. German Erlebnisberichten and Gefechtsberichten which are full of such coloration?

So I think in the BoB German soldiers are portrayed in the way American paras and / or Ambrose viewed them.

Btw - you listed almost all WW2 movies. Are there any non-German movies with "best" portrayal?

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