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Normandy '44: The Battle Beyond D-Day

Messages: 1 - 6 of 6
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Leah (U16088756) on Saturday, 7th June 2014

    I appreciate the airing of this particular programme. I'm American, and I've been reading about WWII since I was a teenager, and when I came to this country I was thrilled to actually see some of the places history books mention.

    The only thing I didn't like was the remark about how much of the story of D-Day mentions American contributions, and the British contribution was seen as trivial or 'an amateurish sideshow'. If a person concentrates their reading and viewing on books or movies produced by Americans, then of course we will maximize our part because these books and movies are produced with Americans in mind, and we know our part of the story better.

    There is also, in part the differences in our culture. Americans don't usually have a problem pointing out our successes and contributions, and we don't generally excel in the habits of reticence, reserve and understatement. I'm not saying we shouldn't be more modest, but our version of personal modesty and reserve is slightly different, which can be puzzling to all concerned if not discerned properly.

    Never in all the time I've been reading about WWII did I think the British contributions to the war were trivial. In fact, I always thought the British people were incredibly brave and resourceful, and the armed forces fought very hard and well. I am looking forward to watching more television programmes like this one and learning more about WWII from the British perspective. Once again, thank you for airing this!

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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Portly (U1381981) ** on Saturday, 7th June 2014

    I also thought that the comment about D-Day being reported mainly from the US perspective was unnecessary.

    The programme did make the much better point that most of the coverage of D-Day is about the landings, which were only the start of a very tough military campaign in Northern France. It's probably true that this has been under-reported.

    Although there has been huge coverage of World War II over the succeeding decades, such coverage has focussed on a comparatively limited number of famous episodes such as the D-Day landings, the evacuation of Dunkirk and so-on. Many other highly significant events occurred that are never mentioned.

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  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Chris Rogers (U10129711) on Saturday, 7th June 2014

    The only thing I didn't like was the remark about how much of the story of D-Day mentions American contributions, and the British contribution was seen as trivial or 'an amateurish sideshow' 

    Seconded. Overall this was a solid programme that taught me a couple of new things, and I know a fair bit about the subject. The emphasis on logistics was informative, despite the odd lack of mention of the PLUTO system, for example.

    One small criticism: Holland described the build quality of the MG42 and Bren machine guns as evidence of a “difference in doctrine” of the two sides; in fact this was merely an example of the classic problem of ‘the best is the enemy of good enough’ when it comes to the design of a tool.

    The actual evidence of a doctrinal difference in German and Allied infantry tactics is found in their use. To the Germans, the machine gun was the heart of the infantry squad, with the riflemen simply supporting it. This in part led to the kind of reliance on fixed positions that was mentioned. The Allies on the other hand saw the machine gun as merely support to the riflemen, and as such were more flexible in combat.

    Incidentally, the fact that the barrel change of the MG42 was its main weakness was of course seen in the ambush sequence in Saving Private Ryan.

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  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by martingodliman (U13761957) on Saturday, 7th June 2014

    I did notice the remark and thought there wasn't any real need for it except perhaps in context with Hollywood filmmakers.
    Real history has it all recorded and for those that are interested they know who did what, like who really captured ered the enigma machine smiley - smiley
    Also there are an awful lot of amature nerdy historians out there who know some incredible minutiae, I know few.

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  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Chris Rogers (U10129711) on Saturday, 7th June 2014

    Hmm, was that a little dig at me? Not sure why - my point is perfectly valid; the script was wrong in the specific respect I mention, and if you didn't know it, fine, but I did. D-day was built on nerdy amateurs in many ways, maybe you might try to respect that if nothing else.

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  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by nosmokewithoutfire (U15472392) on Saturday, 7th June 2014

    I appreciate the airing of this particular programme. I'm American, and I've been reading about WWII since I was a teenager, and when I came to this country I was thrilled to actually see some of the places history books mention.

    The only thing I didn't like was the remark about how much of the story of D-Day mentions American contributions, and the British contribution was seen as trivial or 'an amateurish sideshow'. If a person concentrates their reading and viewing on books or movies produced by Americans, then of course we will maximize our part because these books and movies are produced with Americans in mind, and we know our part of the story better.

    There is also, in part the differences in our culture. Americans don't usually have a problem pointing out our successes and contributions, and we don't generally excel in the habits of reticence, reserve and understatement. I'm not saying we shouldn't be more modest, but our version of personal modesty and reserve is slightly different, which can be puzzling to all concerned if not discerned properly.

    Never in all the time I've been reading about WWII did I think the British contributions to the war were trivial. In fact, I always thought the British people were incredibly brave and resourceful, and the armed forces fought very hard and well. I am looking forward to watching more television programmes like this one and learning more about WWII from the British perspective. Once again, thank you for airing this! 
    The film about the breaking of the Enigma code with no mention that it was the Brits who broke it springs to mind regarding american modesty.

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