We shall defend our Island

Churchill studies reports of the action that day with Vice Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, 28 August 1940, © IWM (H 3508)

I almost never, as you know, talk about current movies. That’s mostly because they don’t interest me, very occasionally I’ll watch one, although, in truth, it’s more often that I’ll try to, and either fall asleep or get bored out of my mind and give up.

But there is one opening today that I do want very much to see. You see, I was raised by the guys that fought World War Two, the ones we sometimes call ‘The Greatest Generation’ and not unjustly. That’s true in America, and it’s arguably even more true in the UK. Remember, their war started on 1 September 1939, ours not until 7 December 1941. For two years the Empire held the line, worldwide, pretty much alone.

During all this time until Barbarossa went in on 22 June 1941, Germany and the Soviet Union had the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact guaranteeing peace between them.

In April of 1940 the Germans executed  Operation Weserübung, the conquest of Norway, and then in May came the Battle of France. The Allies despite having numerical superiority were surprised terribly by the German tactics, often referred to as Blitzkrieg, a style of campaign first executed by General Sherman in the US Civil War and popularised by JFC Fuller and Basil Liddel-Hart. As executed by Guderian and Rommel it was devastating. As the campaign developed the British Expeditionary Force and elements of the French army were trapped in and around Dunkirk. In an epic of improvisation and sheer bravery the Royal Navy, covered by the Royal Air Force and with the assistance of hundreds of small civilian craft managed to extricate over 300,000 members of that force.

That’s what the movie opening today is about. It is titled Dunkirk and promises to be an epic. Here is one of the trailers

The Prime Minister famously said that wars are not won by evacuations, and he is, of course, correct. But in this case, it was a very great moral victory, and besides, without it, there would have been almost no regular forces to defend Britain itself.

I imagine you have heard as I have that a singularly stupid twit, named Brian Truitt writing a review in USA Today, has said this:

The trio of timelines can be jarring as you figure out how they all fit, and the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color may rub some the wrong way.

He also managed to conflate Dunkirk with D Day, I don’t know, maybe because they both have a ‘D’ in them.

About all I can say is that he apparently slept through history, if he took any, and for that matter doesn’t understand how to run Google. We may safely, going forward, completely ignore anything he says. He’s actually too stupid to live, but not smart enough to die, so he will, no doubt continue to waste oxygen and contribute his very own carbon footprint. Sad.

Here, from the International Churchill Society is Sir Winston’s speech, after Dunkirk.

The other film I very much want to see is connected viscerally to this, as well. Steven Hayward, writing in PowerLine tells us this:

Fortunately, another Churchill movie has finished production, Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman as Churchill, and focusing on the key period of the first weeks of Churchill’s premiership in 1940. Based on the trailer below, it looks not only that Oldman is a superior Churchill, but that it gets the key moment—the climactic events in the war cabinet of May 27-28 (which were unknown to the public until the 1980s)—exactly right. A couple of previous attempts, especially the HBO version of Finest Hour about ten years back, don’t get it right. (In addition to the brief evidence in the trailer, I’m pretty sure some sound friends of mine had significant input into the script.)

I haven’t heard from my friends that are Churchill experts about it, but maybe they will chime in as well. But judging by the trailer, this film, which opens in November, will be well worth our time. This trailer came out last week.

And so they did, in Churchill’s own words, ” until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”

“Bless ’em all, the long and the short and the tall.”

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12 Responses to We shall defend our Island

  1. Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to WriterBeat.com? There is no fege; I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our community and I enjoyed reading your work. I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. If “OK” please let me know via email.

    Autumn
    AutumnCote@WriterBeat.com

    Like

    • NEO says:

      Of course, and sorry about the delay, for some unknown reason it ended up in my spam folder.

      Like

  2. the unit says:

    Oh yeah, him. The guy the community agitator thought removing his bust would erase him from our memory and history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Yep, and the very moment when he killed his acceptance with many of us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Obama should have been grateful for the price paid before him so that he had the opportunity to become ‘The One’. Even Swami was smart enough to know, as one of the criticisms against him was “Not only he did not oppose British rule but also sometimes used to praise it.”

        Like

  3. Yes, looking forward to seeing this movie! Just hope they do historical and moral justice here?

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      From the trailer, it looks like they came close, Thank God.

      Like

      • We shall see! 🙂 The West has lost its spiritual and moral edge to say the least!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Btw, my take on the movie is combat type action foremost, but historically lite. Not bad, but could have been better!

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Sounds fair, compared to what I have read. I’ll try to find it this weekend.

      Like

      • Yes, of course as a Brit, and a historical guy, I am going to be critical, maybe a C – to me?

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yeah, I tend to be much the same. But for this day and age, well C- is well above average. Sad though, it’s a great subject.

          Like

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