Skip to comments.'Great Escape' PoWs remember comrades... and boo 'silly' Steve McQueen
Posted on 03/26/2009 5:49:43 AM PDT by DFG
It was film night in Stalag Luft III and the dwindling band of surviving PoWs was marking the 65th anniversary of the daring breakout by watching The Great Escape. Even though this is Hollywoods celebration of their story and ensured their enduring fame, it wasnt the Nazis they booed it was Steve McQueen and his motorbike.
We were not impressed when that film came out, said Reginald Cleaver, 86, a flight engineer who had been shot down over the Netherlands and who helped to make disguises for the escape. The bits about the way the tunnel was dug and how things started was quite accurate, but the later bits were nonsense.
The Americans played no part in the escape. To have Americans riding motorbikes was ridiculous.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...
“Kept them off British soil”? Yeah, it’s pretty hard to run a tank over a body of water. As I said on another post, but for the Channel, Hitler comes right into London. But you mention the Battle of Britain, “their finest hour”. “Their finest hour” was only made possible by a bunch of American workers putting in thousands of ‘their finest hours’ to manufacture the war machine products that carried Britain’s ass during the years in the war before our troops arrived. Their hours and their tax dollars, by the way. Read a book or two.
The RAF was the most seasoned & professional air force in the world at that time.
Recently read where the movie 'The Damn Busters' which first came out in 1954 is currently under production again. This was about the RAF raid on the dams in northern Germany in May 1943. Nineteen aircraft departed England on the raid & only 11 returned. All of the aircraft lost had no survivors. The raid however was successful.
The leader of the raid Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC,DFC, etc., etc. survived the raid ... and later was on a tour in the U.S.. He was asked by a reporter how many missions he had flown over enemy territory and he responded 174. That was when American aircrews were being rotated back to the U.S. after 25 or 30 missions. Guy Gibson returned to duty and was killed on a mission in September 1944.
To belittle Britain's WWII effort, especially the RAF, tells me you are one very ignorant individual ... a poster boy (or girl) for Americas fine educational system.
And America had Charles Lindbergh, Joseph Kennedy (a bigger appeaser than Chamberlain ever was) and Joseph Nye, and a unique advantage against Hitler of being across an even bigger body of water.
The Brits unfortunately did have Chamberlain and their share of pacifists. But they also had Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden.
They hid inside while Germans bombed the hell out of their cities from the air, only taking time for an occasional glance over their shoulders to the west to see if those ships from America were anywhere close to the horizon yet. Gimme a break.
You have heard of the Battle of Britain?
Whatever they're like now (or those not in Afghanistan or Iraq), it's hard to argue that 1939-1945 wasn't "their finest hour."
Oh, Geez, you’re going to include ‘fire-fighter’ in your list of ‘potentially life-threatening service’? You are just a picture of politically correct, liberal media driven cliches. The fact that you list ‘fire-fighter’ but don’t list ‘police officer’ exposes how influenced you are by the left, and it infects your logic in this entire thread.
Here is another story on the Great Escape from the Telegraph.
I was gonna post it last night but got sidetracked:-(
Anybody who has studied the war knows that Russia did the overwhelming share of heavy lifting against the Nazis. They had exponentially more casualties than we did and they killed exponentially more of Germany's (best) forces than we did.
We knew this even in 1943. If Omar Bradley is to be believed then the fact is that the only reason we invaded Sicily and Italy was because Stalin threatened to seek a seperate peace with Hitler if we didn't open a second front.
Not ready to invade France and not willing to face the full weight of the German war machine we committed hundred of thousands of troops to a battle that we felt was otherwise unnecessary.
I saw it as a comment from a man who was there and how the silliness of Steve McQueen riding off on a motorcycle seemed to make light of the situation.
My father's business partner (both of them RIP) was shot down over Germany and was 'saved' by the Gestapo from being killed by villagers with pitchforks. He spent a few years in a POW camp. He was deeply offended by Hogan's Heroes for making light of something that was very serious to him. He, and the British vet at the center of the discussion, had a perspective shaped by the reality of the situation, not by Hollywood's desire to snare a better audience for its shows.
I'm surprised a freeper would have such difficulty with that notion. There is no reason for the British vet to deliver a paean to American involvement in WW2 when discussing the Steve McQueen motorcycle scene of the Great Escape.
Lend Lease helped the Brits, no question, but not to win the Battle of Britain - the Hurricanes and Spitfires were entirely British designed, built and manned. Their radar networks were entirely of their own devising (and well ahead of anything America had at the time).
Britain could not have won the war without America. But they weren't losing when we came in, either. And there's no questioning their dedication or tenacity.
There's serious anti-Americanism in Britain, but these old vets aren't the ones to go after on that score - they know better than anyone what they owe to America, and unlike most of their younger compatriots, they put it on the line when it counted. I'd chalk it up to old resentments at that the Hollywoodization of their story - something even Americans can sympathize with.
Anybody who runs toward a fire instead of away, and does so to serve strangers does put himself in a life-threatening situation. You ever do it? Of course not but I bet you've stood on the sidelines often enough.
I don't list police officers? What do you think LEOs are?
It is duly noted that you do not claim to have volunteered for any of these dangerous jobs.
Look, dmz, I’m only making my posts against a back-drop of what I see as the continuing lack of appreciation for America’s contributions to the world, historically and currently. I’m tired of the criticisms, I’m tired of every issue being steered in such a way as to denigrate our country, I’m tired of our efforts and dollars being eagerly accepted (and sometimes demanded) by those overseas and within our borders, and then having them be so unappreciative of what’s given to them. Between the lines of this British vet’s comments is a tone I preceived to be illustrating a similar lack of appreciation. So I hammered on it.
Captain John McDermid was killed by a roadside bombing as he led a patrol of Afghan troops in the lawless Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan.
I have have yet to here how many times that great expert on cowardice, raptor29, has risked his life for his country.
“it is duly noted that you do not claim to have volunteered for any of these dangerous jobs.”
Pal, you have no clue about my background and the life I have led. But from the nature of your posts, I feel pretty comfortable that my resume would show more impressively than yours.
There was an average of 80,000 fire fighter line of duty injuries per year in the same period.
Yeah, it is a dangerous job.
If it were in my power to apologize for these statements by my fellow Americans, I would.
The remark "weak, soft, soon-to-be defeated asses" is especially egregious, and arrogant. The Brits were as brave and noble a people during WWII as have ever existed, anywhere.
Hey pal, let me know where you found the word ‘cowards’ in any of my posts here. Idiot.
Also, I make a broad, general characterization and you run a couple exceptions to the rule and figure that is a proper counter? Sorry, not here. Britain’s current military personnel are great and commendable people. Their country on the whole, has become a joke, a bunch of weak wusses who we’ll have to bail out of trouble again in the coming years.
Did a Brit run over your kitten when you were a little girl?
.... Their country on the whole, has become a joke, a bunch of weak wusses who well have to bail out of trouble again in the coming years.
Well, that was easy ....