Glimpses of "Reality" through Films, Books, News Media and so on.

I have just watched the film "A Walk In The Sun" which ISTR was described by WW2 veterans as being (at least in some respects) a fair representation of infantry in combat. It depicts a fighting patrol with the objective of capturing a farmhouse and destroying a bridge. Now some of it is fairly 'hollywood' (firing from the hip at a a distance and so on) and for the life of me I can't think of where I saw or read the assertion that WW2 vets found it realistic but having watched it I can imagine that it is a fair portrayal of the alternation between fighting (with one set of stresses) and waiting (with another set of stresses). Another aspect is the uncertainty and changes in expectation (that the leaders in particular) are subject to as the patrol continues and the COC is impacted by physical and mental injuries.

Now "A Walk In the Sun" is fiction but films like The Battle of San Pietro are not and are specifically intended to convey what combat is like. How much an actual documentary like San Pietro actually gets across and also how much of it is "real" (as San Pietro is subject to a controversy about how much of the combat is actual combat) but watching the GIs adavance up the hill in the mist in San Pietro I was struck by how much the look down at their feet. For them, avoiding falling over is as least a big a prority as locating the enemy. For some reason this put me in mind of a news clip of an Israeli Soldier trying to walk up a pile of rubble that used to be a wall in Yasser Arafats house during a raid (on video but better quality than the Falklands do maybe the late 80's? @loofkar? ) He was almost totally absorbed in not falling over. Compare and contrast that with the propganda footage of the Red Army storming the Reichstag where they are dashing around on the rubble like greyhounds.

Basically, I suppose I am trying to ask for other examples that people have tucked away in the heads where they have unexpectedly come across something that by accident or design lets you see the reality of....I'm not sure what exactly. Combat seems a bit pretentious but for want of a better word or phrase thats what I'll use for the moment.

To kick off I'll try and find all of the above and put them in a couple of posts.
 
I have just watched the film "A Walk In The Sun" which ISTR was described by WW2 veterans as being (at least in some respects) a fair representation of infantry in combat. It depicts a fighting patrol with the objective of capturing a farmhouse and destroying a bridge. Now some of it is fairly 'hollywood' (firing from the hip at a a distance and so on) and for the life of me I can't think of where I saw or read the assertion that WW2 vets found it realistic but having watched it I can imagine that it is a fair portrayal of the alternation between fighting (with one set of stresses) and waiting (with another set of stresses). Another aspect is the uncertainty and changes in expectation (that the leaders in particular) are subject to as the patrol continues and the COC is impacted by physical and mental injuries.

Now "A Walk In the Sun" is fiction but films like The Battle of San Pietro are not and are specifically intended to convey what combat is like. How much an actual documentary like San Pietro actually gets across and also how much of it is "real" (as San Pietro is subject to a controversy about how much of the combat is actual combat) but watching the GIs adavance up the hill in the mist in San Pietro I was struck by how much the look down at their feet. For them, avoiding falling over is as least a big a prority as locating the enemy. For some reason this put me in mind of a news clip of an Israeli Soldier trying to walk up a pile of rubble that used to be a wall in Yasser Arafats house during a raid (on video but better quality than the Falklands do maybe the late 80's? @loofkar? ) He was almost totally absorbed in not falling over. Compare and contrast that with the propganda footage of the Red Army storming the Reichstag where they are dashing around on the rubble like greyhounds.

Basically, I suppose I am trying to ask for other examples that people have tucked away in the heads where they have unexpectedly come across something that by accident or design lets you see the reality of....I'm not sure what exactly. Combat seems a bit pretentious but for want of a better word or phrase thats what I'll use for the moment.

To kick off I'll try and find all of the above and put them in a couple of posts.
This? Entering the Palestinian Authority HQ in Ramallah in 2002.

1567858843730.png
 
PLA's 139th Division, Op Blue Sword B on the Vietnam-Yunnan border, 1986.



Infantry combat is much the same everywhere.
 
I have just watched the film "A Walk In The Sun" which ISTR was described by WW2 veterans as being (at least in some respects) a fair representation of infantry in combat. It depicts a fighting patrol with the objective of capturing a farmhouse and destroying a bridge. Now some of it is fairly 'hollywood' (firing from the hip at a a distance and so on) and for the life of me I can't think of where I saw or read the assertion that WW2 vets found it realistic but having watched it I can imagine that it is a fair portrayal of the alternation between fighting (with one set of stresses) and waiting (with another set of stresses). Another aspect is the uncertainty and changes in expectation (that the leaders in particular) are subject to as the patrol continues and the COC is impacted by physical and mental injuries.

Now "A Walk In the Sun" is fiction but films like The Battle of San Pietro are not and are specifically intended to convey what combat is like. How much an actual documentary like San Pietro actually gets across and also how much of it is "real" (as San Pietro is subject to a controversy about how much of the combat is actual combat) but watching the GIs adavance up the hill in the mist in San Pietro I was struck by how much the look down at their feet. For them, avoiding falling over is as least a big a prority as locating the enemy. For some reason this put me in mind of a news clip of an Israeli Soldier trying to walk up a pile of rubble that used to be a wall in Yasser Arafats house during a raid (on video but better quality than the Falklands do maybe the late 80's? @loofkar? ) He was almost totally absorbed in not falling over. Compare and contrast that with the propganda footage of the Red Army storming the Reichstag where they are dashing around on the rubble like greyhounds.

Basically, I suppose I am trying to ask for other examples that people have tucked away in the heads where they have unexpectedly come across something that by accident or design lets you see the reality of....I'm not sure what exactly. Combat seems a bit pretentious but for want of a better word or phrase thats what I'll use for the moment.

To kick off I'll try and find all of the above and put them in a couple of posts.
If I have understood properly what you're getting at I should recommend watching "Waltz with Bashir" an autobiographical film made by an Israeli filmaker who was doing his draft service in the IDF at the time of the first Lebanon war in 1982 (which I also participated in). His team used animation and some of the scenes and little touches are incredibly evocative.

Casevac POV from an M113 commander hatch. - how many times have you looked down and seen the sight of your feet on the seat and bods lying around like this (not usually wounded like this......)

bashir-175_resize.jpg


A Beirut street
1567866216895.png


tedium, heat, combat rations, backgammon
1567866282924.png
 
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I have just watched the film "A Walk In The Sun" which ISTR was described by WW2 veterans as being (at least in some respects) a fair representation of infantry in combat. It depicts a fighting patrol with the objective of capturing a farmhouse and destroying a bridge. Now some of it is fairly 'hollywood' (firing from the hip at a a distance and so on) and for the life of me I can't think of where I saw or read the assertion that WW2 vets found it realistic but having watched it I can imagine that it is a fair portrayal of the alternation between fighting (with one set of stresses) and waiting (with another set of stresses). Another aspect is the uncertainty and changes in expectation (that the leaders in particular) are subject to as the patrol continues and the COC is impacted by physical and mental injuries.

Now "A Walk In the Sun" is fiction but films like The Battle of San Pietro are not and are specifically intended to convey what combat is like. How much an actual documentary like San Pietro actually gets across and also how much of it is "real" (as San Pietro is subject to a controversy about how much of the combat is actual combat) but watching the GIs adavance up the hill in the mist in San Pietro I was struck by how much the look down at their feet. For them, avoiding falling over is as least a big a prority as locating the enemy. For some reason this put me in mind of a news clip of an Israeli Soldier trying to walk up a pile of rubble that used to be a wall in Yasser Arafats house during a raid (on video but better quality than the Falklands do maybe the late 80's? @loofkar? ) He was almost totally absorbed in not falling over. Compare and contrast that with the propganda footage of the Red Army storming the Reichstag where they are dashing around on the rubble like greyhounds.

Basically, I suppose I am trying to ask for other examples that people have tucked away in the heads where they have unexpectedly come across something that by accident or design lets you see the reality of....I'm not sure what exactly. Combat seems a bit pretentious but for want of a better word or phrase thats what I'll use for the moment.

To kick off I'll try and find all of the above and put them in a couple of posts.
Interesting thread. Although not as "exciting" as a film, the image that immediately came to mind when I read your post was one that I have always felt captures the true impact of close combat on a human being better than any other I have come across. It is by a well known USMC combat artist in WWII who was on Pelelui, which had the highest casualty rate of any battle in the Pacific Theater.

PhotoPictureResizer_190907_103004370-500x644.jpg
 
Firstly, thank you Gents for taking this seriously. I'll acknowledge now that its entirely possible that I'm chasing a category of things which is so small as to render it pointless. If so, no matter, the thread can disappear into the bowels of the site and be forgotten. What I am thinking of is the "accidental" documentation or depiction of things rather than the deliberate. As I say this might be entirely in my own head.

All the above are deliberate rather than accidental. I'm not trying to dismiss them, its just that if I wanted to find out about how troops felt about serving in the Israeli forces during their Ops in Lebanon "Waltz with Bashir" would be high up the list and rightly so.

The painting @jumpinjarhead has posted is attempting to show me the effect but its multi-layered the two guys in the front are 'out of play' for the moment but the two behind are getting on with things (are they consulting a map?). It reminds me of the "Gassed" where the foreground is representing men dealing with horrendous life altering injuries but in the backgrougnd there comrades are having a game of soccer. Both those background activities have been carefully placed there by the artists.



Similarly, (but again deliberately) in the book "Goose Green" there is a description of of some Paras having a brew while discussing things (tax bills?) while the background noise is provided by another company preforming a deliberate attack a few hundred meters away.

@smartascarrots contribution is also deliberate but I havent had time to watch it all yet anyway so I can't comment on the content. It does remind me of reading Hans Rosling's book "Factfulness" which I recently finished. There is a bit where he describes being in Vietnam and his companion takes him to see the memorial to the "Vietnam War" (the one we think of). It turns out to be very small which surprises him, the monument to the war against the French is bigger but the biggets of all is the one relating to fighting the Chinese.

Perhaps this clarifies things (or not) but I'd encourage anyone to contribute anything they think is worthwhile and emphasise that I wasn't specifically concerned with Infantry Combat. Anyway if the thread doesn't serve my function perhaps we can useit for something else. It's an ARRSE tradition.
 
Firstly, thank you Gents for taking this seriously. I'll acknowledge now that its entirely possible that I'm chasing a category of things which is so small as to render it pointless. If so, no matter, the thread can disappear into the bowels of the site and be forgotten. What I am thinking of is the "accidental" documentation or depiction of things rather than the deliberate. As I say this might be entirely in my own head.

All the above are deliberate rather than accidental. I'm not trying to dismiss them, its just that if I wanted to find out about how troops felt about serving in the Israeli forces during their Ops in Lebanon "Waltz with Bashir" would be high up the list and rightly so.

The painting @jumpinjarhead has posted is attempting to show me the effect but its multi-layered the two guys in the front are 'out of play' for the moment but the two behind are getting on with things (are they consulting a map?). It reminds me of the "Gassed" where the foreground is representing men dealing with horrendous life altering injuries but in the backgrougnd there comrades are having a game of soccer. Both those background activities have been carefully placed there by the artists.



Similarly, (but again deliberately) in the book "Goose Green" there is a description of of some Paras having a brew while discussing things (tax bills?) while the background noise is provided by another company preforming a deliberate attack a few hundred meters away.

@smartascarrots contribution is also deliberate but I havent had time to watch it all yet anyway so I can't comment on the content. It does remind me of reading Hans Rosling's book "Factfulness" which I recently finished. There is a bit where he describes being in Vietnam and his companion takes him to see the memorial to the "Vietnam War" (the one we think of). It turns out to be very small which surprises him, the monument to the war against the French is bigger but the biggets of all is the one relating to fighting the Chinese.

Perhaps this clarifies things (or not) but I'd encourage anyone to contribute anything they think is worthwhile and emphasise that I wasn't specifically concerned with Infantry Combat. Anyway if the thread doesn't serve my function perhaps we can useit for something else. It's an ARRSE tradition.
Thanks for the clarification. I had missed your nuance. Apologies.
 
A bit wooden in places yet very detailed due to actual Italian campaign vets is the Story of GI Joe, tossing grenades to the point man, use of mules for kia recovery, turkey being found for his men with the subtle shifting of his Thomson
a good companion film to the Texas divisions film
Attack with Jack Palance has one of the best opening scene of a resting outfit off the line. Hollywood could make them good when they listened to the veterans advising them.
 

Awol

LE
Interesting thread. Although not as "exciting" as a film, the image that immediately came to mind when I read your post was one that I have always felt captures the true impact of close combat on a human being better than any other I have come across. It is by a well known USMC combat artist in WWII who was on Pelelui, which had the highest casualty rate of any battle in the Pacific Theater.

View attachment 415669
In Eugene Sledge's book about Peleliu and Okinawa he was up on a muddy ridge in feet of mud and soaking wet, in pouring rain. Had been there for days in absolute misery fending off relentless Japanese attacks when he suddenly slipped, slid down the slope and ended up almost submerged in a liquid morass of rancid, decaying human flesh, millions of maggots and the ubiquitous mud.

How such men lived productive, almost normal lives after such things, I have absolutely no idea, but they did.
 
Thanks for the clarification. I had missed your nuance. Apologies.
More likely I hadn't explained myself properly.

Actually, replying to you has put me in mind of another example. It is a news report but you get an insight into how things were done.
The link below shows my reaction to seeing it then you can press on back to actual video further up the thread.

LINK
 
A bit wooden in places yet very detailed due to actual Italian campaign vets is the Story of GI Joe, tossing grenades to the point man, use of mules for kia recovery, turkey being found for his men with the subtle shifting of his Thomson
a good companion film to the Texas divisions film
Attack with Jack Palance has one of the best opening scene of a resting outfit off the line. Hollywood could make them good when they listened to the veterans advising them.
Palance was great in that film. A very under-rated actor.
 
I wish I could find a snap that my late father had from his time in WWII in the Pacific. It depicted his mates eating chow during a lull in the fighting using a log as a makeshift table. To their immediate rear (within arm's reach) was a stack of badly damaged corpses of Japanese soldiers.
 
I am not entirely sure that I have 'got' the OP but it brought to mind film of the lad getting off an LCI at, I think, Sword Beach, on D-Day. He had a bicycle, and was trying to get it down into about 4' of water, without tipping off the narrow gangway. One of the most important days in human history but, for the lad, for a few moments, a personal challenge which likely took all his attention off where he was. Just a bloke, facing a specific issue, with the unconscious pressures involved - I must not fall in, mustn't lose the bike, have to keep my kit dry, etc. The whole event being built up of individual trials, mundane but important.
_20190907_175938.JPG
 
If I have understood what you're getting at properly I should recommend watching "Waltz with Bashir" an autobiographical film made by an Israeli filmaker who was doing his draft service in the IDF at the time of the first Lebanon war in 1982 (which I also participated in). His team used animation and some of the scenes and little touches are incredibly evocative.

Casevac POV from an M113 commander hatch. - how many times have you looked down and seen the sight of your feet on the seat and bods lying around like this (not usually wounded like this......)

View attachment 415665

A Beirut street
View attachment 415666

tedium, heat, combat rations, backgammon
View attachment 415667
Brilliant film that (and the similar Persepolis/Iran) wonder if anything in the same genre could ever be produced about the current ongoing Syrian situation because they do convey a very evocative feel.

@jumpinjarhead - I did an oil compostion including a copy of 'Thousand yard stare' whilst doing A Level Art - I'd forgotten just how dynamic some of Kerr Eby's drawings are.

Apologies to @CutLunchCommando as I recall there's a dedicated thread somewhere for artworks rather than film.
 
Brilliant film that (and the similar Persepolis/Iran) wonder if anything in the same genre could ever be produced about the current ongoing Syrian situation because they do convey a very evocative feel.

@jumpinjarhead - I did an oil compostion including a copy of 'Thousand yard stare' whilst doing A Level Art - I'd forgotten just how dynamic some of Kerr Eby's drawings are.

Apologies to @CutLunchCommando as I recall there's a dedicated thread somewhere for artworks rather than film.
No need to apologise @paddyplanty. As I say I think there is a strong possibility my original objective might only exist in my head.
I am not entirely sure that I have 'got' the OP but it brought to mind film of the lad getting off an LCI at, I think, Sword Beach, on D-Day. He had a bicycle, and was trying to get it down into about 4' of water, without tipping off the narrow gangway. One of the most important days in human history but, for the lad, for a few moments, a personal challenge which likely took all his attention off where he was. Just a bloke, facing a specific issue, with the unconscious pressures involved - I must not fall in, mustn't lose the bike, have to keep my kit dry, etc. The whole event being built up of individual trials, mundane but important.
View attachment 415698
Thats not too far from the mark actually.

I'll have another go at clarification. When I was at Combat Polytechnic (Dettingen Company) our Platoon Commander had a show reel of things he'd culled from popular films that were intended to make us think about Leadership. The only thing that I can remember from it was the sequence introducing 'Lootenant Dan' in Forrest Gump. I suppose if there is an ideal outcome for this thread we would have a sequence of things that you could show to a recruit that would demonstrate that for one thing he doesn't need to (and sometimes won't be able to) move like something out of a kung fu movie to still be contributing.

ETA Mundane but important as @Red Hander says.
 
Interesting thread. Although not as "exciting" as a film, the image that immediately came to mind when I read your post was one that I have always felt captures the true impact of close combat on a human being better than any other I have come across. It is by a well known USMC combat artist in WWII who was on Pelelui, which had the highest casualty rate of any battle in the Pacific Theater.

View attachment 415669
It's the eyes that do it.
 
Palance was great in that film. A very under-rated actor.
That scene with Jack Palance,nerves shredded after another close contact 'You go first,we'll back you up',sitting on floor trying to light cigarette.Company joker says something to lighten occasion.....'BEAT IT!!!'
 
Brilliant film that (and the similar Persepolis/Iran) wonder if anything in the same genre could ever be produced about the current ongoing Syrian situation because they do convey a very evocative feel.
What makes the Syrian story different from other conflicts mentioned in this thread so far is that video/go pro/smart phone cameras have been used to record it, with soundtrack, on a widespread basis.
Unfortunately a lot was apparently lost when You Tube introduced algorithms to reduce violent/political content.
With so much footage being filmed by so many individuals, a lot more was going to end up being seen than perhaps was intended.
As far as accidental goes, "commander" screaming at biff jihadis during attacks (I'll try and find the footage of a notable example, which was found on a dead jihadi's gopro), an ISIS failed propoganda attempt at a farewell vid for a VBIED driver in which it's transparently clear that the commander (who appears along with the driver) is a cynical scheming c*nt who has manipulated the extremely weak minded, not long married platoon idiot into topping himself with the vbied......

yer tiz - Abu Hajjar, the biff jihadi machine gunner - what a f*ckin menace:

 
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