Posts tagged WW2
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot

I’m sure the pitch Robert D. Krzykowski, the writer-director of The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, made for his debut feature hinged a lot on the title. The second half of the pitch, where Krzykowski turned the tables must have been the harder sell. But this film is very much about the titular ‘Man’ and because of it, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then Bigfoot is an unexpected and utter joy.

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Arnhem: Ten Days in the Cauldron by Iain Ballantyne

In September 1944, 10,000 airborne soldiers were dropped 64 miles behind the German lines and were required to hold the vital bridges at Arnhem. What would happen would go down in legend. Iain Ballantyne crafts a breathless look at the men on the ground and the civilians who found the war entering every room in their homes.

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Normandy '44 by James Holland

D-Day can tend to be remembered by the beaches, the bocage and the Tigers. In his new history of the Normandy campaign, James Holland looks at the myths of the campaign and reminds us that without the incredible logistics machine supporting the tip of the spear, the liberation would never have gotten very far inland at all.

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Breakout at Stalingrad by Heinrich Gerlach

After 60 years languishing in the Russian State Military Archive, Heinrich Gerlach's novel of his experiences in Stalingrad is finally published.  Uncompromising and oppressive, Breakout at Stalingrad is a remarkable testament to the horror war and the affect on the men caught up in it.

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The Women Who Flew For Hitler by Clare Mulley

Clare Mulley's new biography looks at two incredible, yet very different women who were pinoneering Test Pilots for the Third Reich.  In The Women Who Flew For Hitler, Mulley looks at what drove these women in a male dominated flying world and the very different directions they chose under a Nazi flag.

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Dunkirk

Heroic failure is something that Britain has always done well.  With Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan has crafted an incredible film about an incredible event.  With that as his setting, Nolan may have made his best movie yet.

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The Plots Against Hitler by Danny Orbach

The men and women who resisted Hitler have been cast as heroes and villains of both the left and right.  The conspirators and their actions have been remembered in black and white, with the viewer choosing the colours with which to paint them.  In Danny Orbach’s new history of the resistance, The Plots Against Hitler, he very convincingly shows us that rather than pure saints or sinners, the complexity and contradictions of the conspirators makes them that most difficult of things to digest, human.

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Their Finest

Their Finest does that difficult thing of being funny about a period and reverential about it at the same time.  And above it all is Gemma Arterton.  Her performance is subtle, humorous, strong and committed.  Their Finest is one of those increasingly rare occasions where a film happily sits across generations and manages to please all.

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Airborne by Robert Radcliffe

I have loved Robert Radcliffe's previous five novels, to the point I even read one of them as an eBook.   Radcliffe’s new tale is his most ambitious yet.  Airborne is the first of trilogy of novels telling the tale of a boy caught between countries, in search of a father and who finds two; John Frost, godfather of the Parachute Regiment and Erwin Rommel, The Desert Fox.

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A Higher Call Missed

One of the defining moments of my young life happened on a raining autumn day in 1988 on a family holiday to London.  We visited Barnardo's, where my father had spent a brief period with his sister after they had been taken from their mother.  We sat in a dull office and a rather officious woman explained to my father that his father was a German POW named Herman.  A brief moment of shock and pain for my Dad, who was finally learning a truth about his life he had never known.

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