Skip to comments.‘Fury,’ Starring Brad Pitt, a Raw Look at Warfare
Posted on 07/30/2014 10:02:13 AM PDT by Theoria
In the first minutes of the writer-director David Ayers Fury, about American soldiers slogging through Europe in the final days of World War II, Brad Pitt, as the tanker Don Collier, slides his knife behind the eye of a German lieutenant.
Piercing his brainpan with a CRACK, is how Mr. Ayers screenplay describes the move. (In Dolby Digital sound, it will be a very loud crack.) Mr. Pitt, our hero, then calmly wipes his blade clean on the Germans uniform.
The Good War this is not.
In what promises to be one of the most daring studio movies in an awards season that will bring several World War II films, Mr. Ayer, Mr. Pitt and a band of producers backed by Sony Pictures Entertainment are poised to deliver what the popular culture has rarely seen. That is, a relentlessly authentic portrayal one stuntman was run through with a bayonet on the set of the extremes endured, and inflicted, by Allied troops who entered Germany in the spring of 1945.
Quentin Tarantinos Inglourious Basterds, which also starred Mr. Pitt, was brutal but surreal. Few believed that a real-life counterpart to his blood-crazed Lt. Aldo Raine had collected Nazi scalps by the hundred.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
‘Fury’ was the name of my first band in 9th grade. We had to change it cause everyone thought we were ‘Furry’.
He was great in Inglourious Basterds.....”Bon Jorn Oh”
The US harasses and spies on political dissidents.
We IMPORTED the political system that we fought.
What made that War Good, if it qualified, was not that it was kinder and gentler. By definition, war is nothing of the sort, no matter how much we might like to pretend it is.
It was Good because it destroyed an evil system that had a quite good chance of taking over the world, which it most certainly would have done if not fought.
It was a damn good war. Nazis didn’t suffer nearly enough.
Last time it was zombies
At that point in the war we should have been pushing through to fight the Russians — a far worse threat to the world in 1945.
Shoulda dropped a nuke right on top of Zhukov’s HQ.
War is war.
Not going to war every now and then is worse though...
It’s no secret the Sherman was an inferior tank to the Panther and Tiger. I guess the general public may not know that since we’ve had the best tank in the world since the 1980’s.
Sometimes quantity has a quality of its own.
It was the last war we fought where the enemy was utterly destroyed.
They were hard men. They had to be. They were living in hard times. Everybody wants to kill tanks. And tanks want to kill everybody....even the crew. This fighting and killing and dying is a hard business.
Sherman were light for a tank and easy to pack on ships.
Oddball summed it up best on Shermans locking horns with tigers. Really bad idea but few other choices.
After lying about our Vietnam soldiers and atrocities for decades, they are going to show some reality about our WWII soldiers and atrocities.
I hope these recent WWII movies don’t mean they are turning against our WWII troops also.
Even Band of Brothers showed Lt. Speirs (or implied) that he mowed down German POWs.
Ever notice how we are still chasing Nazi war criminals, but the Japanese war criminals still alive get a pass.
When I saw the title “Fury” at first I thought it was going to be a remake of the old Bobby Diamond tv western. But I guess Brad Pitt is a little too old to play Joey Newton.
Right, and we committed many such acts in WWII, tons, but in Vietnam they were much fewer.
The problem with atrocities in a 90 minute movie is that they become so dominant in memory, there is a reason why they avoid showing Indians gang raping and slitting the throats of white teen age girls in a movie about Geronimo for instance, it just isn’t the kind of thing that you can show as just an element, or a glimpse into a part of the reality.
In a book you can work it in and it belongs, but in a non documentary movie, it becomes a giant neon sign imprinted large on simple minds, the left knew what they were doing as they pumped out those movies of countless scenes portraying GIs in Vietnam as incompetent cowards that escaped into drugs and rape and mass murder, because they were not real warriors, to this day that fake history is what people think of.
Part of that is also the audience, the thoughtful, intelligent and worldly people that read military history, versus non-readers, absorbing history from watching a movie like a turkey looking up at the rain, to them the Sioux will forever be “Dances with Wolves” Sioux and the GIs will forever be attacking at Wounded Knee.
“It was Good because it destroyed an evil system that had a quite good chance of taking over the world, which it most certainly would have done if not fought.”
Kind of ironic that, seventy years after the war ended, we elected our own dictator and gave him wealth and powers Hitler would have envied.
An article, "Would the atomic bomb have been used against Germany?" (if, say, the bomb had been ready in December, 1944), discusses possible answers, including a conversation with General Groves years later, and some discussion in the comments of what available plane could carry such a load.
IMO, if the bomb and a delivery system were available in December, 1944, it would have been an act of treason to refuse to order the bomb dropped on Germany.
There was a lot of controversy about The Pacific in that regard. Particularly the Okinawa eps.
The crews of the 509th were drawn from the ETO for a reason. The intent was to use it on Germany.
But VE Day happened two months before Trinity.
In Europe we had plenty of fairly large executions of prisoners, including a large number of pressed into service boys, in one.
The problem with using the bomb in Europe is that it would have crossed into other parts of Europe and killed a lot on non-Germans.
I don’t think they had a real handle on fallout that early in the scheme of things.
I mean, we dosed a good portion of the country with the Nevada tests.
So what did you change it to?
If an atomic bomb had been dropped on Nazi Germany (as on Japan), it would probably have killed few non-Germans (except for any non-Germans around Ground-Zero). The two bombs dropped on Japan exploded around 2000 feet, and resulted in much of the fission products going into the stratosphere where the short-lived fission products decayed before the dispersed and diluted fallout eventually came down throughout the world.
Any local fallout around Ground Zero would have landed on people already exposed to the blast, fireball, or lethal levels of prompt radiation from the explosion.
And you are right, Detroit could vastly outproduce Germany.
Another point that seems little known is that American field artillery was a very effective tank killer in WWII.
In September 1944 we deployed the M36 Tank Destroyer in Europe, which had a 90mm gun that could take on the heavy German armor. We never seemed to have enough of them, though.
Now that you bring it up, Japanese war criminals don’t get much mention.
The super secret, pinpoint accurate Norden bombsight was propaganda. We ought to know by now that it takes, from the WWII POV, "sufficiently high technology to be indistinguishable from magic" to achieve the pickle barrel accuracy in level high-altitude bombing of which the Roosevelt Administration boasted. Simply too much unknown, or poorly known, in the problem.
Why was the propaganda important? Because American voters circa 1940 considered British-style nighttime carpet bombing to be a war crime. Thus, American daylight raids using magically accurate bombsights were a political imperative in 1944. The Dresden raid was a blatant exception - and there were American bomber pilots who protested, and had to be intimidated into complying with the orders.
FDR was bloody minded about unconditional surrender - which was popular with civilians, but less so with professional soldiers because it was perfect for NAZI propaganda. Churchill didnt like it either, but he was the junior partner and bit his tongue. It certainly didnt reduce the fanaticism with which the Germans defended the Fatherland.In any event, it would have been FDR, not Truman, making the call. And FDR would have wanted to do whatever was good for the USSR. But even though there was reciprocal racism at work in the military relations between Japanese and Americans, I come down on the side that you couldnt actually hold back a war-ending technology at a time when the Allies were taking casualties at a horrific rate. It would have been interesting to see how FDR would have squared the circle of absolute rejectionism of Germans vis a vis surrendering to Russians and his commitment to the Russians not to negotiate a separate peace with Germany. Even with the A-bomb . . .
Besides the usual commie revisionist agitprop, the article also reveals the author's ignorance by talking, for example, about the "surprisingly sophisticated" German camouflage.
Yeah, when you have no air cover, you get pretty good at hiding stuff.
Also the stuff about how the Sherman tank's armor was "too thin" and that it caught fire easily (which it did).
The armor wasn't too thin: it was deliberately made of softer steel because a round penetrating softer steel produces less internal spalling (which is what kills the crew). This demoralized the crews, but probably enabled a higher percentage to survive.
The Sherman was also more fire prone because it used a gasoline engine, and it used a gas engine because the Navy had a monopoly on all diesel engine production. Using hydraulics for gun elevation, stabilization and turret rotation (advanced features not possessed by German tanks) probably also made it more flammable.
In other words, US soldiers were not "victimized" by a careless government or corrupt contractors, but suffered because of rational (if flawed) planning decisions made early on in the war.
But I guess this kind of reality is too real for a "realistic" war movie.
For a WWII atomic bomb? Are you kidding?
The Brits resorted to nighttime bombing of Germany because they didn't have the fighter planes with the range to escort them into Germany and fight off Nazi planes. The Americans did.
Because American voters circa 1940 considered British-style nighttime carpet bombing to be a war crime.
Perhaps for pacifists, but with what the Germans were doing to London, and following Pearl Harbor, that sentimental notion quickly evaporated.
Dresden involved both British and American bombers. I've not heard of any American pilots who objected. Certainly it wasn't former Royal Air Force Marshal, Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris, who later said, "If I had to have the same time again I would do the same again, but I hope I wouldnt have to."
And any alleged difference in attitudes of FDR and Harry Truman about the use of the atomic bomb can be dealt with by this quote:
The atom bomb was no great decision
It was merely powerful weapon in the arsenal of righteousness. Harry S. Truman, at a Columbia University Seminar, April 28, 1959, New York City, as quoted in The Buck Stops Here: The 28 Toughest Presidential Decisions and How They Changed History, Thomas J. Craughwell, Edwin Kiester Jr., Quarry Books, 2010, p. 178.
For a WWII atomic bomb? Are you kidding?@34: "pickle barrel accuracy"
Obviously my point is the opposite - that America was back then sufficiently principled that it didnt want to know that the US was in fact scattering bombs all over the place. That was what the Nazis did, not for Americans. Dropping an A-bomb is, obviously, just bombing the whole place at one go.The Brits resorted to nighttime bombing of Germany because they didn't have the fighter planes with the range to escort them into Germany and fight off Nazi planes. The Americans
But the US went into the war with a precision daylight bombing theory which was essential to public support. They lost a lot of people and planes trying to vindicate the name of the B-17, the Flying Fortress with its multiple, individually manned defensive .50 cal machine guns in lieu of fighter cover. The German fighters disproved that theory.
The P-38 did have long range, and it was available from the start of US involvement in WWII. According to Wikipedia,Part of the limited success of the P-38 in the European theater was undoubtedly due to the escort tactics, if they even deserve the term, employed early in the war there. Obviously, one of the distinctive characteristic of a fighter is heavy armament which is forward-firing. And just as obviously, you have to be flying at your target to employ that armament, and fighter tactics which are not designed to attain that objective are useless.The P-38 was used most extensively and successfully in the Pacific theater, where it proved ideally suited, combining excellent performance with very long range, and had the added reliability of two engines for long missions over water. The P-38 was used in a variety of roles, especially escorting bombers at altitudes between 1825,000 ft (5,500-7,600 m). The P-38 was credited with destroying more Japanese aircraft than any other USAAF fighter. Freezing cockpits were not a problem at low altitude in the tropics . . .But, also according to the same Wikipedia article,
While the P-38 could not out-turn the A6M Zero and most other Japanese fighters when flying below 200 mph (320 km/h), its superior speed coupled with a good rate of climb meant that it could utilize energy tactics, making multiple high-speed passes at its target. Also, its focused firepower was even more deadly to lightly armored Japanese warplanes than to the Germans'. The concentrated, parallel stream of bullets [i.e., all the guns were in the centerline pilots nacelle, firing straight ahead rather than having left-wing and right-wing guns focused at at only one specific range in front of the airplane] allowed aerial victory at much longer distances than fighters carrying wing guns . . .
The twin Allison engines performed admirably in the Pacific.Adolf Galland was unimpressed with the P-38, declaring, "it had similar shortcomings in combat to our Bf 110, our fighters were clearly superior to it.But,
Experiences over Germany had shown a need for long-range escort fighters to protect the Eighth Air Force's heavy bomber operations. The P-38Hs of the 55th Fighter Group were transferred to the Eighth in England in September 1943, and were joined by the 20th, 364th and 479th Fighter Groups soon after. P-38s soon joined Spitfires in escorting the early Fortress raids over Europe.After some disastrous raids in 1944 with B-17s escorted by P-38s and Republic P-47 Thunderbolts, Jimmy Doolittle, then head of the U.S. Eighth Air Force, went to the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), Farnborough, asking for an evaluation of the various American fighters. Fleet Air Arm Captain and test pilot Eric Brown recalled:After evaluation tests at Farnborough, the P-38 was kept in fighting service in Europe for a while longer. However, even if many of the aircraft's problems were fixed with the introduction of the P-38J, by September 1944, all but one of the Lightning groups in the Eighth Air Force had converted to the P-51 Mustang. The Eighth Air Force continued to conduct reconnaissance missions using the F-5 variant."We had found out that
the Bf 109 and the Fw 190 could fight up to a Mach of 0.75, three-quarters the speed of sound. We checked
the Lightning and it couldn't fly in combat faster than 0.68. So it was useless.
We told Doolittle that all it was good for was photo-reconnaissance and had to be withdrawn from escort duties. And the funny thing is that the Americans had great difficulty understanding this because the Lightning had the two top aces in the Far East."
But the morale of the bomber crews was so low (reflecting the limitations of terminal-defense provided by the bombers own gunners) that it was impossible to get the bomber commanders to agree to fighter tactics designed for any other objective than being visible to the bomber crews. And if you are making yourself visible to bomber crews you are not attacking but waiting to be attacked. So you had a vicious circle - terrible bomber casualties led to the demand for visible bomber escort, visible bomber escort meant passive escort tactics, and passive escort tactics led to further terrible casualties.
It was only as the US gained clear air superiority, numerically and qualitatively, with mass production of Merlin-powered P-51s that it was able to break out of that cycle, and use its escort aircraft in the aggressive search-and-destroy mode which is the only sensible tactic for fighter aircraft. Thereby compounding the effect of the already more-favorable conditions.
NORTH AMERICAN P-51D MUSTANGThe web research required to explain the failure of the P-38 in its designed role as a high altitude fighter escort, in the ETO but not against slower Japanese aircraft over the Pacific, was interesting and Im glad your comment pushed me into it. I am old enough to have been interested in such matters long before many FReepers were born. Some relatively recent books have been quite edifying, and I recommend in particular
In the fall of 1942, Mustangs in the United States and Great Britain were experimentally fitted with British Merlin engines. One in the United States flew a remarkable 441 mph at 29,800 feet -- about 100 mph faster than the P-51A at that altitude. Mass production of the Merlin-powered P-51B and P-51C soon followed (nearly identical, North American produced the "B" in Inglewood, Calif., and the "C" in Dallas, Texas).
In December 1943 the first P-51B/C Mustangs entered combat in Europe with the 354th Fighter Group "Pioneers." By the time of the first U.S. heavy bomber strike against Berlin in March 1944, the USAAF fielded about 175 P-51B/C Mustangs. Along with P-38 Lightnings, these P-51s provided sorely needed long-range, high-altitude escort for the U.S. bombing campaign against Germany.
The P-51D incorporated several improvements, and it became the most numerous variant with nearly 8,000 being built. The most obvious change was a new "bubble-top" canopy that greatly improved the pilot's vision. The P-51D also received the new K-14 gunsight, an increase from four to six .50-cal machine guns, and a simplified ammunition feed system that considerably reduced gun jams.
The P-51D arrived in quantity in Europe in the spring of 1944, becoming the USAAF's primary long range escort fighter. - http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=513
- The New Dealers' War:
- FDR and the War Within World War II
by Thomas Fleming
- Freedom's Forge:
- How American Business Produced Victory in World War II
Chiming in from the peanut gallery here to say that was a really interesting post.
As I was composing it, I realized there were things I didnt know that were internet-searchable, and interesting. In addition to the fact that the P-38 had more than its share of problems and was of limited value against front-line high altitude, high speed fighters, I learned that the engine that the Merlin replaced in the P-51, the Allison V-1710, was a V-12 like the Merlin, and had four valves per cylinder and a single overhead cam per bank of cylinders. The displacement of the Allison was 28 liters, vs. 27 liters for the Merlin. It was the same engine powering the P-38, the P-40, and other aircraft not in the class of the P-51D or the Spitfire.
The other interesting point was the difference between the two engines. You would think there wouldnt be much difference between two such similar engines - until you realize that the Merlin had a two-stage supercharger with inter cooling after each supercharger stage. The Allison didnt have intercoolers at all - and, having an ME degree I can tell you that the absence of intercoolers is death to efficiency and power. No wonder! And the pathetic thing was that Allison objected to switching aircraft models away from the Allison engine to the much more effective Merlin. When I saw that, I experienced a shock of recognition. Of course they would object - thats what a manufacturer would do. And people died because of it. Sigh . . .
I’m an EE and even I get the value of intercooling. These engines had the same basic configuration and the Allison actually had more displacement, but intercooling made all the difference. Not to toot horns but it really is interesting how much of a factor engineering has been in the story of civilization.
Well, EEs have something to live down in the development of the telegraph . . .
Its not the telegraph as such which is the problem, of course - its the killer app of the telegraph (other than the real biggie, command and control of the railroads) which is the problem. I speak, of course, of the wire service in general and the Associated Press in particular. Which set about making news reporting objective, and - tragically - ended up thinking it had actually succeeded in that.
Unfortunately, that decision implied ceasing to even try actually to be objective. Leaving journalism in a state of self-righteous liberalism.
Now, of course, EEs have redeemed their rep somewhat by creating the computer and the www. ;-)
Haha — roger that.
Does anyone remember BATTLE OF BULGE? Robert Shaw and Henry Fonda were in the film...
In that movie, M-48 tanks pretended to be Tigers...
No Sherman tanks in that movie...Chaffee tanks were used by US troops in that film...
In movie A BRIDGE TOO FAR, Sherman tanks were used by British...Some US tanks, again, pretended to be Tiger tanks in that movie...
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