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Saturday, 02 June 2018

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The 1970 film "Waterloo" was a lot better than most and quite realistic in many parts. But it was not Hollywood, it was Russian and Italian.

Sometimes H-wood sets out to make a good film and succeeds. Almost always H-wood sets out to make maximum money...arses in seats. Then there are times when they manage to do both. In this setting, history is malleable.

I agree about Waterloo, I would also rate Austerlitz. Provided you have a few hours to spare. Arguably you need a Frenchman to make good films about Napoleon?

Should have added Austerlitz was directed by Abel Gance.

G'day Duffers,

I found Beevor's article but not in The Mail as your link told me it couldn't find it. It was however in The Guardian.

Good article. I wonder what he would say about the charge of the Australian 4th Light Horse at Beersheba [1917] and their capture of that town. Anyone interested in it can find it in the film "The Light Horsemen". A good story and the events leading up to it did happen.

It even gives a lot of credit for the success of the taking Beersheba to a Brit Intelligence Officer, Colonel Meinetzhargen.

"Meinetzhargen"!? A British intelligence officer? Are you sure, AussieD? Sounds a bit dodgy to me!

G'day Duffers,

British he was and the attached reference gives some details on him personally. I spelt his name incorrectly. From the Australian point of view he was a good operator.

It seems we Aussies are much kinder to this Brit officer than those who have written the bit for Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Meinertzhagen

Guardian link for anyone interested. I can't find Mail article. Search for Beevor returns his Arnhem book.

I'm told that the films Gettysburg and Gods and Generals are pretty realistic, particularly the battle on Mary's Heights. I'm not expert so don't render an opinion myself.

I do note however, John Keegan discusses warfare and makes mention of a number of facts. (1) The melee shown in every film was rare except in the final moments of a battle. This is logically true because armies fighting without uniform (or inconsistent uniforms) was very common so you would not be able to tell friend from foe. (2) many soldiers didn't kill anyone - in research they found that many soldiers did not fire their guns.

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