Skip to comments.Maybe the best war movie ever- "Brest fortress" (Full movie with English subs- VANITY)
Posted on 04/10/2011 1:39:15 PM PDT by kronos77
"- This fortress, fortress here, we keep the defense, - This fortress, fortress here, we keep the defense..."
This film is perhaps the best, but certainly one of the best war films made in the past 20 years in Europe. Talking about the legend of the Second World War, the epic Brest fortress that was first attacked by the Nazi hordes, the first day of the war with the USSR 22nd June 1941.
The story tells of a young boy who is a trumpeter in the orchestra in Brest fortress and all the time movie battle through hell trying to find a girlfriend who is lost in the war. During his quest he survives the horrors of the battle in which he actively participate.
The film is full of scenes of war, desperate efforts of the Russian soldiers who defended the fort, during the most certainly futile struggle. While it is a fortress under siege, the German army has penetrated far beyond the fortress that is doomed to fail, but even when they find out, Russian soldiers decided to fight to the end. Excellent film directed complemented by the strong acting and perfect music. Scenes of war are almost epic, presented with the harsh reality.
Brest Fortress is something similar like the American fort Alamo, just became much larger and more powerful symbol of the perseverance of Russian troops, tragedies, and ultimate victory.
The film certainly has to be seen, and the quality of acting, directing and scenes of war, beyond almost all the western movies so far recorded.
The film shows the people and the destiny woven through this historical epic about the Brest fortress. Avoided, and quite nice, skilled and successful, politics and ideology, and instead of great political speeches film shows pure heroism, struggle, and an iron will, not only from the military fortress of the crew, but also the entire Soviet people to defend the country from the fascist hordes .
Ordinary people, cooks, musicians, soldiers, doctors, civilians become suddenly, on that fateful morning of the 22nd June 1941, heroes, they want it or not, they like it or not. The film shows the harsh reality. Absolute lack of preparation and complete negligence of the Soviet army before the dawn of war, a total neglect of the defense of the nation from German aggression. Shows the persistent struggle of the army commander, Major Gavrilov and warning of impending war.
And Germans come as a shock bolt from the blue. The collapse of the Soviet military is obvious. Mass deaths, the collapse front, panic and chaos. From such chaos and terror, the rise of the heroic figures of defense fortress. Major Gavrilov, political commissar of Fomin and many others that his example of heroism, defiance and leadership endured ten times stronger against the German enemy, to the last drop of blood, the last bullet, the last drop of water ...
Long after the movie, in your ears will ring a continuous repetition of words spoken бѕ radio operator from the fortress:
"- This fortress, fortress here, we keep the defense, - This fortress, fortress here, we keep the defense..."
The Soviets invaded Poland with the Germans in 1939, but France & Britain apparently didn’t feel strongly committed enough to their treaty to declare war on Russia along with Germany. I’m sure when the Soviets killed all of those Poles in Katyn they knew there would be no repercussions (and there haven’t been).
Because of military restrictions imposed by Versailles, the Soviets trained many German pilots in the 1930s until Hitler’s “coming out” party; they were birds of a feather (national socialism & international socialism). All that was in question was who got to rule what; that was the cause of their antagonism.
“He mentioned that the Germans did nothing noble on the Eastern front then he detailed it.”
Many minorities in the Soviet Union (especially Ukrainians) greeted the Axis as liberators; Russia admitted in the last five years that they deliberately sent troops behind the lines to stir up the Germans, causing retaliations against the Soviet civilians to drive them back into the Soviet fold (and it worked).
Doesn’t work for me?
It looks typically Russian. The rock has a concrete appearance.
Plus Partisans of Vilna for the documentary version.
The Nazis had the Slavs in their crosshairs, even if they were blue eyed blonds with nearly 100% Swedish background.
I really don't think anything the Germans did in WWII is defensible ~ NOT ONE THING.
Bump it for later
Bump it for later
Glad Patton did not get his war! My dad was ready to fight the Russians while with Patton's Army. He even had the opportunity to give Patton his excuse for war in an altercation with a Russian officer.
The people who lived in that part of the world will judge the merits of Nazism and Bolshevism; the first half of the 20th century indicates they preferred the former, usually as a defense against the latter.
The example of the Ukrainian women is great; how many Ukrainians DIED as unpaid slave laborers in the 1930s and 1950s? There was a reason why they preferred Hitler to Stalin; they knew Stalin wasn’t the cuddly “Uncle Joe” our lying government sold to us, and they didn’t yet know just how bad Hitler really was.
If WWII was really between the Nazis and the Bolsheviks, the US had no reason to fight in it. If Japan attacked us, we could destroy them while avoiding Europe (as Stalin did, fighting in Europe while avoiding the Far East). There was no reason to choose sides when Satan battled Lucifer; the only losers were the people in that part of the world.
Thanks, pretty good movie.
I am reading “Flyboys”. Brady makes the Japanese and their treatment of the Chinese make the Germans seem like a bunch of boy scouts.
If you remember the movie “Enemy at the Gates” a lot of the Soviet snipers were trained by the Germans in the 30s as well.
The Nazis stole blonde-haired Polish kids and Germanized them and gave them to German families. Hitler planned to eliminate the Polish race by 1975, through sterilization.
“If you remember the movie Enemy at the Gates a lot of the Soviet snipers were trained by the Germans in the 30s as well.”
Absolutely; one hand washed the other. They also designed many Soviet planes.
During the Invasion of Poland in 1939 the fortress was defended for 4 days by a small garrison of four infantry battalions and two tank companies under Gen. Konstanty Plisowski against the XIX Panzer Corps of Gen. Heinz Guderian. After four days of heavy fighting the Polish forces withdrew southwards on September 17.
On 17 September 1939 the Soviet Union invaded Poland in accordance with the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact and occupied the Eastern part of Poland including the Brest Fortress.
“Katyn” by Andrzej Wajda is another excellent movie.
I always remember from “The World at War” when they quoted a German General in the early days of the war when it appeared that the Nazis were unstoppable.
He said this war was like an elephant fighting ants, the elephants will kill millions of ants, but eventually the sheer number of ants will end up eating the elephant down to the bone.
Bump for later.
Not sure that was wise, but the Russians eventually pushed the Germans all the way back to Berlin WITH American industrial might behind them.
That's how it was done. Without us providing them the "stuff" they were all going to be dead.
BTW, I doubt anyone in the USA thought of Stalin as a warm and cuddly guy. The New York Times officially disbelieved his wet work in Ukraine. On the other hand the Ukrainians quickly discovered Nazis couldn't be trusted.
BTW, I'm not without personal information about how the Germans raised troops in the Baltic states ~ wasn't all that much friendship in that, but they offered "pro pay" for guys who would volunteer for the SS (as distinct from just being stuck in the regular German army).
Some took if. Some didn't.
Again, there's not a single thing the Germans did in WWII that was honorable.
Excellent film, Hollywood has nothing on this.
Thank you so much.
What’s interesting is that it wasn’t the first time the Germans fought for the Fortress, in 1939 it was in Polish hands, and the Poles fought the Germans for four days at the fortress before finally retreating.
"I am amazed to see this piece of BOLSHEVIK RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA in FR."The movie is recent production and not Soviet. It is vastly different from Soviet-era cinema.
"Give a look at Enemy at the gates - And learn Americans, how the Politk Commissars and Nikita Krushev dealt with the brave bolshevik soldiers..."Enemy at the Gates takes considerable liberties with historical accuracy. The scene with the megaphones is an exaggeration of how zagradotryads really worked. And Chruschev never played a major role at Stalingrad. He was only put there by Hollywood because he is a "recognizable Russian leader" to the American audience.
"Go see DEFIANCE to see real heroes, Belorussia's Jews fighting for their lives"While a great movie, Defiance also does take some liberties with history. Do some research on the Jewish partisans in Belorus. BTW, I'm Jewish.
“Not sure that was wise, but the Russians eventually pushed the Germans all the way back to Berlin WITH American industrial might behind them.”
I’m sure the Chinese, Vietnamese, Burmese, Koreans, and Philippinos take great comfort in the Soviet accomplishments on the Eastern Front. Stalin’s inactivity in the Far East cost them millions of lives.
The Baltic states fought for the Axis out of fear of Stalin. Being barely twenty years old themselves, and carved from Tsarist Russian territory, the Winter War (in which no Western allies helped Finland) showed them what was in store for them. Imagine the message sent to Eastern Europe when the US allied itself with Stalin; European countries saw what Stalin’s henchmen had done in Spain in 1936 - 1939, killing a dozen bishops and thousands of priests. They had no illusions as to what they were facing; the Axis had no problem attracting whole nations to their cause (without invading them). Look at the ethnic makeup of the Axis army that surrendered in Stalingrad; a lot of Italian & Romanian troops in there.
The Germans didn’t conscript foreigners into their army; they were allowed to join the SS (not forced), where they could fight alongside Germans who were too young for the German army (the German army had dibs on military-age Germans). Even France had volunteers for SS units.
The ugly truth is that what you refer to as “Germany” was in fact “the Axis”. Many people in Europe preferred Nazism to Bolshevism, and the idea that Germany forced all of these people to do bad things is absurd; they were acting in their own perceived self-interests.
"Many minorities in the Soviet Union (especially Ukrainians) greeted the Axis as liberators; Russia admitted in the last five years that they deliberately sent troops behind the lines to stir up the Germans, causing retaliations against the Soviet civilians to drive them back into the Soviet fold (and it worked)Its more complicated. Initially the Germans were greeted as liberators. Later in the war, when it was apparent they would treat the local Slav population only slightly better, if not worse, than Stalin, and not give these people self-determination as German propaganda initially promised (as some naive anti-Communist nationalists initially hoped) then support for Germans had faded. The Ukrainian nationalist figure Stepan Bandera initially acted in concert with the Nazis against the Soviets but later in the war fought against both Nazis AND Soviets. The local Eastern European populations also often quite willingly participated in persecution and mass extermination of Jews. Both due to traditional grass-roots antisemitism and due to the perception that Jews were firmly allied with Bolshevik oppressors (many early Communists and Bolshevik Commisars were ethnically Jewish.) Historical reality is complicated, despite efforst to present it as black vs. white. History will always get written by the winners.
The Soviets admitted destroying any goodwill between their citizens and the Germans; they were very specific in how they did it, and they started immediately after losing territory.
I don’t see the extermination program as a military matter as much as an internal policy; it pre-dated the war, and was simply extended into occupied territory.
"The Soviets admitted destroying any goodwill between their citizens and the Germans; they were very specific in how they did it, and they started immediately after losing territory."Not that there was a lot of goodwill to destroy. The Germans were never interested in the local Slav population to be free, or even rule them in the manner the British empire ruled its colonies. They had no use for the native population except as laborers. The plan was to colonize these territories with German population and only sustain enough original inhabitants to provide a servant/laborer class. Some of the anti-Communists nationalists, who initially welcomed the Germans with open arms, began to realize it by 1943. Many of the Jews who remained in the occupied territories, thought that stories of German extermination were Soviet propaganda. "The Germans are civilized Europeans, they wouldn't do that". "Why, I remember the Germans from WWI (when they briefly occupied Ukraine, they weren't like that". So they stayed behind. Sadly, they were very much wrong.
I bet many a lad has cut his teeth on those!
Regarding Germany and their Axis allies in the Baltics and Northern Europe, people were given several choices regarding enlistment ~ join, go hide somewhere, jump in the ocean. I know a fellow who actually swam out as far as he could go in the North Sea to escape induction in the Wehrmacht. He was picked up by the Brits who patrolled the area constantly looking for such folks (who had plenty of useful intelligence about German military positions and actions). He served in an "all Dutch" ALLIED BATTALION.
I've met other people who report that their fathers were induced to join the SS through the simple expedient of getting paid ~ whereas they'd served without pay in the regular army.
What I think you need to do is get your nose out of the neo-nazi fairy tales and turn to more authoritative sources ~ e.g. people who were members of Axis military units. It's not hard. The country is full of 'em.
I'd move fast though since they're all at least in their late 80s, with many now in their 90s.
*Hitler was evil; Stalin was worse. Ask the Poles, Ukrainians, and others that lived under him; *
Yeah. They were the lucky ones.
Hitler planned to depopulate everything West of the Urals.
And by “depopulate”, I mean murder.
So please continue with your thoughts.
No he wasn’t. People could actually *live* under Stalin if they kept their head down.
Ah, the physics of cantilevered hemispheres ... I remember them well.
The thing is, Hitler greatly admired Stalin and some suggest had the Nazis won, he would have kept Stalin on as the leader of a Puppet Regime beyond the Urals, because he figured he was ruthless enough to keep them in line.
Of course, Stalin would have probably refused.
The fortress had no warning when the Axis invaded on 22 June 1941, and became the site of the first major fighting between Soviet forces and the Wehrmacht which surrounded the fortress. From the first minutes of the invasion, Brest and Brest Fortress were bombed and shelled by the German Wehrmacht. The initial bombardment took the unprepared fortress by surprise, inflicting heavy material and personnel casualties. Fierce battles were fought at the border, in the town of Brest and in the fortress itself. The first German assault on the fortress took place half an hour after the bombardment started; the surprised Soviet defenders were unable to form a solid front and instead defended isolated strongpointsthe most important of which was the fortress itself. Some managed to escape the fortress; most were trapped inside by the encircling German forces. Despite their surprise, the subsequent attempt by the Germans to quickly take the fortress with infantry stalled, and the Germans started a lengthy siege. Regarding the fights around Eastern Fort, that was taken only on June 30, 1941, the commander of the 45th Infantry Division General Fritz Schlieper wrote to the High Command in his detailed report:
“It was impossible to advance here with only infantry at our disposal because the highly-organised rifle and machine-gun fire from the deep gun emplacements and horse-shoe-shaped yard cut down anyone who approached. There was only one solution - to force the Soviets to capitulate through hunger and thirst. We were ready to use any means available to exhaust them... Our offers to give themselves up were unsuccessful...”
Although the Soviet soldiers in the opening hours of the battle were stunned by the surprise attack of the heavily outnumbering enemy, being short of supplies and cut off from the outside world, they held out much longer than the Germans expected. . The Germans deployed various powerful guns, rocket mortars 15 cm Nebelwerfer 41, resorted to tear gas and flame throwers but could not break Soviet resistance. The civilians inside the fortress looked after the wounded, reloaded the machine-gun discs and belts with cartridges and even took up rifles to help defend the fortress. Children brought ammunition and food supplies from half destroyed supply depots, searched for and brought weapons and watched enemy movements.
Schlieper wrote in his detailed report that:
“the 81st Combat Engineer Battalion was given the task of blowing up a building on the Central Island ... in order to put an end to the Russian flanking fire on the North Island. Explosives were lowered from the roof of the building towards the windows, then the fuses were lit. When they exploded, we could hear the Soviet soldiers screaming and groaning, but they continued to fight.”
Chaplain Rudolf Gschöpf wrote:
“We only gradually managed to take one defensive position after another as a result of stubborn fighting. The garrison of the so-called “Officers’ House” on the Central Island only ceased to exist with the building itself ... The resistance continued until the walls of the building were destroyed and razed to the ground by more powerful explosions”.
On 24 June, with Germans having taken parts of the fortress, the remaining Soviet troops were able to link up and coordinate their actions under the command of Major Ivan Zubachov; his second in command was political commissar Yefim Fomin. On 26 June the Soviet forces tried to break out from the siege but were unsuccessful and sustained heavy casualties. On 27 June, after a week of assault, the Germans began to use 540 millimeter artillery which fired 1.25 tonne shells and two 600-millimeter guns Karl-Gerät which fired concrete-piercing shells weighing over 2 tonnes. Shells from the 600-millimeter guns formed craters 30 meters wide and inflicted gruesome injuries on the defenders, including ruptured lungs of defenders hidden deep within the fortress from the concussive force of the explosions. On 29 June-30 June Germans launched a major assault, which penetrated deep into the fortress and resulted in the capture of both Zubachov and Fomin. Zubachov was sent to a concentration camp in line with the Nazi policy of extermination of Soviet prisoners of war and would die there; Yefim Fomin was executed on spot for being a commissar and a Jew.
German soldiers in the Citadel in June 1941
Late on the 30th of June the division received the order to abandon Brest. Early on the 1st of July we paid tribute to the perished in the Division cemetery that was laid out on the eve The main units of the Division abandoned Brest on the 2nd of July 1941.
The 45th divisional after-action report of June 30, 1941 related:
“The division took 7000 prisoners, including 100 officers. German losses were 482 killed, including 32 officers, and over 1000 wounded”.
The magnitude of these losses can be judged by the fact that the total German losses on the Eastern front up to 30 June 1941 amounted to 8886 killed. The citadel of Brest therefore accounted for over 5 percent of all fatal casualties.
After nine days of fierce fighting the Germans had captured most of the fortress. It meant that the strategic objective was accomplished with a considerable delay and losses. The German High Command demanded General Fritz Schlieper present a detailed report regarding combats by Brest 2230 June 1941. It was made on July 8, 1941. A copy was found in the archive of the 45th Infantry Division, that was captured by the Red Army by Livny, Russia in March 1942.
To be fair, the date June 30, 1941 as the end of the battle for the Brest Fortress is not quite correct. Even after the fortress was declared as captured, and with the front lines hundreds of kilometers eastward, surviving cells of resistance were not put down by the Germans for several more months. Fighting still continued in isolated pockets, primarily underground in the old dungeons, in the Citadel and the Kobrin Fortification. From late June until the very end of July rifle fire and short bursts of machine-gun fire continued to ring out from basements and half-destroyed dungeons with small groups and individual soldiers inside. The actual front had by then already moved about 300 miles (480 km) east. During the last days, the remaining defenders made inscriptions on the walls. They said:
“We’ll die but we’ll not leave the fortress”. “I’m dying but I won’t surrender. Farewell, Motherland. 20.VII.41.”
Major Pyotr Gavrilov, one of the best known defenders of Brest (later decorated for it as Hero of the Soviet Union) was captured only on 23 July. There were reports that isolated defenders were weeded out by Germans as late as in August when Hitler and Mussolini visited the fortress with heavy security to protect them from remaining defenders. It is claimed that a stone Hitler picked up from the remains of a bridge was found in his office at the 3rd Reich’s headquarters after the war To eliminate last pockets of resistance German High Command had given orders that the fortress cellars be flooded with water from the Bug River.
It’s understandable to an extent as to why Churchill was in the wilderness in the mid-30s with regards to Hitler.
I think there was a sizable segment of the British population who figured at least Hitler would serve as a buffer against Bolshevism, which at that time was the bigger fear of most. Even in Mein Kampf, Hitler stated a desire to forge an alliance with Britain. The difficulty however was in that he wanted no such alliance with France, and this required driving a wedge between France and Britain. To Chamberlain’s credit, he would not allow this to happen.
“Of course the story has been romanticized and turned into a legend.”
CORRECTION: Romanticized, SANITIZED, and turned into a legend.
The Russians were occupiers in Brest at that time, and the Brest East Fortress was a center of NKVD Border troops committing atrocities against the Poles, and even other Soviet Units, as Stalin’s enforcers.
A pretty significant percentage of people in the Baltic were ethnic Germans and spoke German as their 1st language. In 1941 as the Nazis were on a roll, it probably did not take a hard sell to sign them up in the German army.
The same trick was clumsily tried against Finland and all the Soviets ended up with was the Skolt homeland.
Now, regarding the Skolt, I see Swedes, Danes, Dutch, Scots, Norwegians, Poles, Estonians, Litnuanians, Latvians, and Germans ON OTHER LAND ONCE CLAIMED BY THE SKOLT, and there's no sign any of them have an intention of leaving.
If you want me to buy into the division and occupation of the Skolt homeland, then you have to buy into the idea that there's a battle here between Russian soldiers and German soldiers, and it was gruesome ~ most likely way beyond our understanding of what gruesome means.
It's ENTERTAINMENT as well as an examination of human perseverence in the face of adversity. To a degree it's on the order of looking into David facing off against Goliath ~ which is a totally different sort of story than the Philistines facing off against the Hebrew nation.
Someday we'll get a better story than the one about the Skolt narrowly escaping from the Indo-European cannibal tribe plodding around in the snow. There might even be such a story with meaning ~ I'm thinking here of the time the Swedes transported nearly the whole nation to America and abandoned them in the wilderness. Now that's meaning ~
The Germans imagined their ancestors to have arisen in the Baltic region ~ more likely they originated along the Danube though, but even earlier in the Western European "Ice Age Refugia" which is located just SW of the Pyrenees.
The Medieval use of German throughout the region was quickly squashed by the Swedish breakout in the late 1500s and early 1600s. They did kill a whopping huge load of Germans ~ so many in fact that virtually the entire male population had to be replaced with immigrants from other European countries at the conclusion of the 30 years war. That one item, in fact, resulted in a total ethnic replacement of the German population in the various German speaking states.
It would be like jacking up your car and driving a new one under it then driving around in that one.
I saw that one. Great.
Historically Western Europe wanted the buffer between themselves and Russia; the whole dynamic changed when the buffer started acting like a nation, and a modern industrialized one at that. The creation of Germany, a few years after the Austro-Prussian war (in which Prussia assumed leadership of the German states in Austria’s place), created an environment in which France, Britain, and Russia had to deal with a new power in Europe. One hundred years after bringing Germany to its knees in the First World War, Germany is now the head of the European Union.
The wedge between France & Britain was never more obvious than the French lack of enthusiam (to put it mildly) for a second war. The first Allied troops landing in N. Africa couldn’t be British, and even Americans that landed were gunned down by French troops determined to preserve their neutrality.
“What I think you need to do is get your nose out of the neo-nazi fairy tales and turn to more authoritative sources”
That’s very intelligent. You’ll believe what you want to believe; “authoritative” must mean they agree with your worldview.
The Ukrainians in the 1940s remembered Stalin’s murders of the 1930s; there would have been goodwill towards Martians if they showed up. These were people who knew Stalin, and preferred anything else. Until German reprisals drove them away, they were better off (unless you belonged to any group, including Jews, that were being murdered west of there).
Stalin had no use for them except as laborers as well.
Try to find a ‘Torpedo bombers’. Another nice Russian WWII movie on youtube.
The “Two-Ton Bomb” scene was pretty intense.
I am well aware of Soviet atrocities against Poles...I tried however not to let that knowledge detract from the film, these were men who were defending their country, and their families, these were men, who like the Germans, did not choose their leaders, but whose only choice to survive was to serve those leaders, and follow orders. And I don’t mean by that the “I was only following orders” as a defense. The members of the NKVD and the SS, who carried out the terrible crimes committed by both regimes, volunteered to be part of those acts. I am referring more to the common soldier of the Red Army who was fighting for the “Rodina”, and not for Stalin and the Communist Party.
wow you are right. just watched it. incredible