battlefield commissions - in fiction

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Glesga_short_bloke, Oct 27, 2009.

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  1. This started of as a conversation about the recent Star Trek film. A friend moaned about the end of the film - where Kirk saves the day (natch) and is promoted to Captain of the Enterprise

    She moaned that it was "unrealistic". Which is saying something considering its a Star Trek film?!

    I've countered that not only is it a plot device but it's not a new one.

    * Sharpe: battlefield commission to Ensign. Over time he's brevetted to several ranks and ends up as a brevetted LtColonel
    * Empire Strikes Back - Captain Piett is field promoted by Vader to Admiral
    * Starship Troopers - Rico is field promoted through 3 non-com ranks before making Lieutenant
    * Forever War by Joe Haldeman - Mandella is promoted from Private through to Major
    * Hornblower commanded a ship as an Acting Lieutenant

    But there's real life evidence too. Sadly all that springs to mind is Audie Murphy - brevetted through numerous ranks and finally confirmed as Lt

    Can you chaps add to my list? And yes, I am bored!


    I've asked this same question in the Military history section to add some factual weight
     
  2. What is the actual meaning of brevetted?
    is it like temporary awaiting confirmation?
     
  3. Treat it as 'acting, unpaid'.
     
  4. A 'signal' had been sent back to London saying that Wellington (or whoever) wanted to promote x,y,z to be Captains in the following regiment(s). London then decided if they agreed or not and the appropriate Commission was sent back out to the local Commanders to be passed on to the lucky man/men. In the meantime they acted as whatever rank they had been brevetted to in their Regiments, but their pensions and the sale of their Commission (if they died in the meantime) was worked out from their official rank and not the brevet.

    I believe that's how it worked anyway. I read a quote from Wellington that "they won't let me make a man a Corporal in this damn Army", although that may have been in Sharpe...
     
  5. Two that I can recall: Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy the American tank sergeant is promoted to 2-Lt during the war in Germany.

    Second, film based on fact so who knows, The Longest Day - American engineer Sergeant promoted to 2-Lt for breaching the defences; is an officer for about two minutes before being killed.
     
  6. On the real life side of things did Custer not promote himself to General by forging a signature on another General's headed paper? Or was that just in the film, 'Custer's Last Stand'?
     
  7. Tunes of Glory. Alec Guinness as Major Jock Sinclair, DSO, MM. Guinness believed the performance to be among his best. Reminds me of Scotland, I feel cold just watching it!