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 ...
“The Americans played no part in the escape.”
Pal, the only reason ANY of you ‘escaped’ was due to America’s involvement. And by the way, we made the movie, so we’ll put Steve McQueen in there if we feel like it, and you can deal with it. You would have long since been dead in a Hitler camp.
The movie would never have had success without glameration and Hollywood big name actors, I just saw it awhile ago on TCM.
I saw a special on the making of the movie. It said that 98% of the movie was accurate and thet athe Steve McQueen movie scene was put in for one reason.
Steve was the hottest actor at the time and he loved motorcycles- that is how they got him to be in movie by writng that scene in for him
It was a Limey bike. WTF do they want ?
Pal, the only reason ANY of you escaped was due to Americas involvement.
LOL. And that has what to do with the accuracy of the movie?
But the Brits did such a great job escaping Hitler during the invasion of France.
Heck, I was late getting out of the house TODAY because I was watching it.
“It was a Limey bike. WTF do they want ?”
Actually it was a 50s era Limey bike disguised as a 60s era German bike disguised as a 40 era German bike.
Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.
Picking a fight with British airmen who risked their lives in WW2 and suffered in captivity ill becomes you.
The movie was Hollywood. By Hollywood standards, they kept fairly close to the facts. But they really wanted McQueen, and that completely bogus scene is how they got him.
The Americans played no part in the escape. To have Americans riding motorbikes was ridiculous.Bite me Limey.
ps bitter brit: Monty was a vacillating moron. His stupidity caused the war to last months longer than necessary. And is solely responsible for ten of thousands of American deaths.He was the worst Commanding General in all of history. So .. suck on that!
The statement is completely accurate in the broad sense. For any of them to in any way discount America’s involvement in that war is a disgrace, and I’m tired of us just allowing every negative statement to go unchallenged. The proper statement by this clown would have been something along the lines of, “Well, the motorcycle scene was a little much and didn’t happen, but on the whole, the movie was pretty accurate. And also, thank God the Americans were there, saving our weak, soft, soon-to-be defeated asses from certain defeat and takeover by Hitler’s army.”
The tone of this guy’s comment, to have any negative whatsoever towards America is more of the same crap that we hear all over this country. So screw them.
They escaped - no scare quotes - by their own efforts. America truly had nothing to do with it. You appear to be off your head.
And Great Britain ‘escaped’ the power of Nazi Germany by dint of the power of the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. Is it your contention that America conferred these upon Great Britain? If so, I have news for you - the British created them.
America didn’t join the war until long after Hitler had given up on Operation Seelowe - the invasion of Britain. Don’t like it? Tough, those are the facts.
And America didn’t join the war to save Britain, or even Poland. America joined the war after being attacked at Pearl Harbor. Don’t like it? Too bad: history is not on your side.
The motorcycle that McQueen rides is a modified Triumph TR6 Trophy and did not exist in WWII. McQueen attempted the jump across the border fence but crashed. Bud Ekins performed the barbed wire leap stunt and was a Triumph dealer. Triumph was McQueen’s favorite motorcycle. Bud Ekins later doubled for McQueen in “Bullitt” and did a lot of the motorcycle riding for “CHIPs”. McQueen’s motorcycle is the same model that Fonzie rode in “Happy Days”.
The British fought with great heroism for YEARS before America joined the fight. 1939. 1940. 1941. 3 years without America.
Only a flaming ass would describe them as “weak, soft, soon-to-be defeated”.
They are also with us in Afghanistan. Unlike the other Europeans, they FIGHT. Your comments are obscene.
If he was there and said the Americans played no part in the escape, so be it. I don't think he's denigrating America's part in the overall war, just this escape and Hollywood's portrayal.
Similar to John Wayne's larger-than-life characters and actions in WWII movies. It's Hollywood, it's entertainment.
Wow. Talk about revisionist history!
Baloney. They had Neville Chamberlain in office, and were a bunch of ‘head-in-the-sand’ wusses whose unique advantage against Hitler was being across a body of water. Otherwise, they would have gone down as meekly as France. 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.
And today, Britain is a bunch of weak wusses who have allowed the Muslims to once again put them in jeopardy, where once again we will likely have to come and bail them out. Your lack of knowledge and perspective ‘is obscene’.
You are one amazing stupid person. Obama supporter, I presume?
I don’t have any proof. That is just what is stated in the IMDB trivia section for the movie.
Over 150 British soldiers have died in Afghanistan alone since 9/11, simply because the Brits stood with the Americans.
Would you like to make these comments directly to the mothers of those young men?
Your comments are graceless and disgusting.
Please send back the $34+ Billion that we gave to your country. I think that would be close to a half trillion in today’s dollars. The blood we spilled to save your hides is priceless.
“The sound of a vertical twin is like nothing else”
True, However the sound of a 360 twin is one heck of a lot different from 180 degree twin. Most (not all) British twins were 360 and most(not all) Japanese twins were 180
But I know, everyone is an expert.
Btit bike collector
Yeah, Obama supporters are generally found sticking up for the U.S. Military and their historical contributions to the safety of the world. Nice response. Hitler’s tanks roll right into London but for that body of water keeping them from doing so. So pardon me if I don’t attach any great significance to the British being able to hold out longer, even when most of their military supplies were coming from the United States as we risked our asses against the German subs to transport them across the Altantic. And for you to argue in any way that they would have been able to hold out much longer without U.S. involvement is clownish logic. Get a grip. Our military was the singular reason that continent was not overrun by Hitler. Period.
Yada, yada, yada.
But Garner and McQueen were added for the benefit of American audiences...
Really don’t know much history, do you? Others here have said it...you sound like a pompous ass.
Would you like to tell that to the parents of the 150 British soldiers who have died in Afghanistan? I'm willing to bet that you've never risked your live in Afghanistan, but you call them "weak wusses"?
Your comments are disgusting.
I spent 25 years in the US Air Force. I flew over Iraq with Brits taking full part. I’ve been to Afghanistan, where the Brits are fighting.
In 25 years, I didn’t meet anyone who felt the need to ‘stick up for’ the US military by attacking the British one.
Dear God, you are an idiot.
Ever heard of a little thing called the Battle of Britain? Summer of 1940? “Their finest hour” and all that? That was a year and a half before we got into the war.
Could the UK have won WWII if we’d never gotten involved? I don’t know. The point is, they had fought the Nazis to a standstill and kept them off British soil far before we Americans ever declared war on Hitler. And if you think for one second that Winston Churchill and the British of the 1940s would have “gone down as meekly as France,” then truly, your stupidity may not be curable.
As a point of interest, how many times have you risked your life in Afghanistan? Since you call the 150 British soldiers who died there "cowards", you must an expert on courage.
So we go back to the original post, countering a back-handed slap at “the Americans” not being involved in the ‘Great Escape’, uttered by a British vet. My position was and is correct, that it is getting real old listening to every anti-American, anti-U.S. military statement being made on such a regular basis. This guy’s comment was just more of the same, with the underlying notion being a lack of proper recognition for the U.S. Military’s contribution to WWII. He’s not even alive today but for our military. Which is my original point, his own “escape” was facilitated by our military and our citizenry’s contributions to their war effort.
The British soldier who died in an explosion in Afghanistan was killed days before he was due to return to the UK for a family visit has been named today as Private Peter Cowton, 25, from Basingstoke.
Private Cowton died in Helmand province on Tuesday, the Ministry of Defence said today.
His parents, Karen and Robin Rolfe, said in a statement: "Peter was proud to serve his country."
A USAF salute to a brave man.
As for knowledge about WW2, my eight year old has a clearer picture of who did what (not kidding).
“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.