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The Longest Day: Classic World War 2 Movie
The Longest Day: A classic
This is a must for every home movie collection. It's now seventy years since the events of D-Day, the Normandy Landings - but it's something we should never forget.
I can't even begin to remember the number of times I've crossed the English Channel from the UK to France. Mostly, these crossings have taken place in the summer and every time, I've thought about the men who made that same journey so many year before - in the summer of 1944.
I was going on vacation - they were going to liberate France. But they also knew that for some of them, it would be the last sea voyage they ever made. A sobering thought.
For me, beaches meant sunshine, swimming and fun. For those men, it meant hardship and horror.
In brief, the Normandy Landings - D-Day was officially known as Operation Overlord - was the first move towards the liberation of France and ultimately, its capital, Paris. The beach landings, although it is they that most people think D-Day refers to, were just the beginning of a huge operation.
This took months to plan and included airborne troops, naval involvement plus regular soldiers and it was meticulously planned and executed. However, there were over 12,000 Allied casualties and over 4,000 confirmed dead.
This is something we should never forget.
This film does not deliberately glamourise the events of the Normandy Landings but, as it was made in 1962, there are minor inaccuracies and omissions. Nevertheless, it is the definitive movie which has become a classic in its own right.
The advantage of the film being made in '62 is that the filmmakers were able to use people who had taken part in the events of 1944 as consultants. Several were Chiefs of Staff who were intimately involved with the planning and execution of the landings and there were also several German consultants too.
This is an extremely important film about an event in the twentieth century that is largely forgotten and yet it was a momentous event in world history. It's a valuable addition to any collection.
Read more about the Longest Day
The film was based on this book which took year of research.
The author and researchers conducted hundreds of interviews to enable them to create an accurate account of this world event.
This does not make this into a 'history book' however as it's thoroughly good read. At times, I had to remind myself that this was factual book and not a novel.This book is the perfect companion piece to go with the film where the events can be delved into in more detail. The two together make wonderful gift, especially for history lovers or those with an interest in military or social history from the twentieth century.
See a sample
Despite the fact that this film is about such serious subject, don't think it's dry and stuffy. It's great entertainment too. See the clip below. You'll see that there's plenty of amusement too
Note too the use of pigeons - see my article about their use in WW2 here.
A patriotic note from a Brit
When I was reading the reviews of this book, many (younger) (American, presumably) reviewers described it as a major triumph by the American Armed Forces.
As a patriotic Brit, I feel duty-bound to direct your attention to the details you see below. Americans were in the minority and we should also not forget the French, the Canadian and the Polish troops. Note too that the entire operation was under British command.
Patriotic rant over.
The Second World War - more articles
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- Dunkirk: British Second World War Film
When Winston Churchill referred to 'fighting on the beaches' he was talking about the dramatic events that took place in 1940 on the beaches of Dunkirk - events involving ordinary people. Read more.
- Britain at war
In the twentieth century, Britain was involved in two world wars. Read more about how Britons coped and their day today life.
- War Brides: Personal book review
This novel tells of a group of young women who were close friends in a tiny village during the Second World War. When they are elderly, they meet up for a reunion. But one is missing. What happened?
© 2014 Jackie Jackson