Last Heroes Chanel 4 + 1

#3
Why is it must see?
It appears to be a massive miss of an open goal.
Lots of genuine vets, telling heroic stories studded with clips of random explosions and slow motion blank MG42 fire.
Given the caliber of the people being interviewed should have been excellent, was quite poor.
 
#4
Am watching my recorded version and am not sure it is editorially correct. They seems to be crediting membership of British Army Units to vets with Canadian or US accents. Maybe I read it wrong!.
Timeteam on earlier and from the Somme was very interesting. To see them pull parts of a huge RE (Livens) invented flame-thrower out of the earth was fascinating viewing.
 
#5
I watched it last night and found the interviews with the veterans absorbing and sometimes very moving. The images they describe are all the viewer needs to know..to see random explosions and machine guns etc was just a waste of time and is another example of dumbing down where the viewer doesnt have to think for themselves. That part I found disappointing and they should have focused more on the veterans stories. Also I noticed some of the archive footage inaccurate for instance one scene of the beach landings was actually the practice landings at Slapton Sands in South Devon.

I wonder how the current conflicts wil be portrayed in 70 years time?
 
#6
Am watching my recorded version and am not sure it is editorially correct. They seems to be crediting membership of British Army Units to vets with Canadian or US accents. Maybe I read it wrong!.
Timeteam on earlier and from the Somme was very interesting. To see them pull parts of a huge RE (Livens) invented flame-thrower out of the earth was fascinating viewing.
Noticed that too, but then one of the 'North American' speakers spoke of his Jocks, so maybe he was attached or maybe he emigrated after the war.
 

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#7
Am watching my recorded version and am not sure it is editorially correct. They seems to be crediting membership of British Army Units to vets with Canadian or US accents. Maybe I read it wrong!.
Timeteam on earlier and from the Somme was very interesting. To see them pull parts of a huge RE (Livens) invented flame-thrower out of the earth was fascinating viewing.
Noticed that too, but then one of the 'North American' speakers spoke of his Jocks, so maybe he was attached or maybe he emigrated after the war.
Yep, noticed that also, but I remember reading somewhere that a lot of Canadian subalterns were transferred to British units because of the shortage of subalterns, perhaps that was their route.
 
#9
Yep, noticed that also, but I remember reading somewhere that a lot of Canadian subalterns were transferred to British units because of the shortage of subalterns, perhaps that was their route.
The CANLOAN scheme

CANLOAN Army Officers Association

In the fall of 1943, a scheme was devised whereby Canadian Infantry Officers could volunteer to serve with Regiments of the British Army. This came about due to the many campaigns fought by the British Army, half way around the world, which resulted in a shortage of junior officers, while the invasion of North-West Europe was imminent.

The Canadian Army at this time had a surplus of officers, due in part to the disbanding of two Home Defence divisions, and also to the fact that the Canadian Army was fighting on one front only, in Italy. Officer training continued and it was discovered that Canada had more officers than could be employed in active battalions, at this time, with the result that many were cooling their heels in Reinforcement Units, Depots, and Training Centres.

The Canadian Government offered to loan junior officers to the British Army on a voluntary basis, under the code name "CANLOAN". They were attached for all purposes except pay and given special serial numbers with the prefix "CDN".

Six hundred and twenty three (623) Infantry Officers, together with fifty (50) Ordnance Officers, whom the Royal Army Ordnance Corps were anxious to have, volunteered and served under the CANLOAN scheme, a total of six hundred and seventy-three (673) in all. While the majority were Junior Officers, Captains were included on the basis of one for every seven Lieutenants. Some officers with higher ranks reverted and some from other arms of the service transferred to Infantry, in order that they could get in on this promise of early action.

In the early spring of 1944 all officers who volunteered were interviewed by a special Selection Board, and on acceptance were sent to A-34 Special Officers' Training Centre, Sussex, NB, where they underwent a short refresher course, while the necessary preparations for overseas service were speedily completed. During this phase they were under the command of Brig. Milton F. Gregg VC, MC, who, because of his continued keen interest in the welfare of all CANLOAN, is regarded as their Colonel-in-Chief and became Honorary President of the post-war CANLOAN Army Officers' Association. From Sussex they proceeded overseas in drafts of from fifty to two hundred, the first draft arriving on April 7th, 1944 and the remainder following in short order. They were immediately posted to British regiments, as far as possible to the British Regiment, if any, to which their Canadian Regiment was affiliated.

CANLOAN Officers took part in the bitter fighting in North-West Europe in 1944-45, many landing with the Airborne Forces on D-1, and with the seaborne assault on the Normandy beaches, and some surviving through the final battles in Germany. A few served with British Regiments in Italy, and, although the plan was for service in North-West Europe and the Mediterranean only, a number volunteered for other theatres with a few eventually serving in South-East Asia. Some, after being wounded, were returned to duty through the reinforcement stream and were posted to new units; thus many served with two or more regiments and formations. They received normal wartime (temporary) promotion within their British units, some becoming Company Commanders and in at least one case, CO of his battalion. While with the British regiments they wore normal British unit and formation badges and shoulder patches plus the "Canada" shoulder flash.
There was a similiar programme under which Union Defence Force (South African) junior officers were loaned to British Army units in the Mediterranean theatre (and a few in North-West Europe), for basically the same reasons. Unlike the Canadians some were attached to armoured and artillery units. I don't know accurate figures on this there but something like 400 officers were seconded to the Army. At one stage there were six South African officers in 6th Bn Gordon Highlanders in Italy. Lt G R Norton MM was awarded the VC while serving with 1st/4th Bn Hampshire Regt at the Gothic Line in August 1944.

Obituary: Captain Gerard Norton, VC | UK news | The Guardian

Some of the UDF officers were attached to Commando and other specialist units, here is an article on that to which I have made some notes in square brackets:

EASTERN CAPE Newsletter - No 53 Febuary 2009 - South African Military History Society - Title page

Around 100 South Africans, almost all officers, volunteered for secondment to the British Forces and were employed in some of these Special Forces.[ This refers to the British Army; many more South Africans were seconded to the RAF, Royal Navy and Royal Marines ] At least four served with the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), one of them as the 2IC and another winning the MC. Ten served with the Raiding Support Regiment (RSR) and three with the Special Air Service (SAS). There was one with Popski's Private Army (PPA) [Lt A. A. Reeve-Walker, OC S Patrol during 1944]and a considerable number were in the Special Operations Executive (SOE), mostly with Force 133 or No 1 Special Force. These were dropped behind enemy lines by parachute or inserted by kayak for missions of up to five months at a time. Mostly, they operated in Greece and the Balkans [ Force 133 and Force 266], as well as in Northern Italy [No 1 Special Force]. A South African in the Special Boat Squadron (SBS) was the first Allied soldier to enter Pireaus since its fall to the Germans three years earlier.[This was Lt. Keith Balsillie of S Detachment] Another, Major Adrian Hope, was killed while operating with partisans behind the German lines in Northern Italy. Seventy-four South Africans were seconded to the Royal Marines during the war and one of them, Major Gideon Jacobs, as part of Force 136, parachuted onto the island of Sumatra with only four NCOs to accept the surrender of 80,000 Japanese. He was awarded the OBE. Only two South Africans wrote books on their experiences in these Special Forces. [These were Maj Jacobs whose book Prelude to the Monsoon I have not read, and Major Jack Gage of the RSR whose book Greek Adventure I have in pdf format]
There is more on the link.

I have been able to identify at least 39 UDF officers who were killed or died while attached to the British Army; there may be more. This is not counting South Africans who had attested directly into the British forces.



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#10
I think the jist was trying too hard to merge Saving Private Ryan with World at War, it wasn't really neseccary, however it's target audience was young civvies to make them take a closer look at what the Old Codgers amongst us did 70 odd yrs ago.
 

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