Waterloo the Film... Opinions?

#1
After having just read '4 Days in June' by Iain Gale I have ordered Waterloo through Amazon, saw it many, many moons ago as a carpet commando so don't remember too much! who has seen it and does anyone have an opinion on the film, does it reflect the exact events of the day etc. looking forward to seeing if it shows the magnificent effort of the Guards holding onto Hougoumont with the same grit and determination, heroism and all out British fortitude as the book shows...




Gundulph




'
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#2
I seem to remember the usual technical errors such as exploding canon balls but it did seem to be a good film. Probably because we killed lots of Froggies and they had no say in the film!
 
#3
i have it in my DVD collection, its one of my faves

historically its not too bad and the battle scenes are spectacular with the literal cast of thousands, in this day and age they would skimp with CGI.
the only thing missing in my opinion was a lack of riflemen to be seen.

Rod Steiger is unexpectadly good as bony and Christopher Plummer has the nose for his part.

there must have been a shortage of muzzle loaders for the extras, if you look carefully some of the red-coats are using bolt actions to get the blank out :)
 
#4
ugly said:
I seem to remember the usual technical errors such as exploding canon balls but it did seem to be a good film. Probably because we killed lots of Froggies and they had no say in the film!
! If it didn't show 'exploding' cannon balls it would be a bit weird ugly! the Battle was in 1815, H.E. cannon balls (Case) were common place alongside solid shot , canister, carcass (incendiary) and chain...


Gundulph...




'
 
#5
Henry Shrapnel

After the effective use of the Shrapnel shell in the battle against the occupying French troops at Vimeiro, Portugal (21 Aug 1808), General Arthur Wellesley wanted the weapon's design kept secret. Although he regretted depriving the inventor of his due recognition, he suggested the

... ingenuity and the science which he has proved he possesses by the great perfection to which he has brought this invention ...

should in itself be sufficient reward. (Dictionary of National Biography)

Shapnel shells were widely employed in various other military operations during the following years, including the British victory by Wellington over Napoleon at Waterloo (1815). Yet, he was never effectively recompensed for his own expenditures. In fact, when he asked the Board of Ordinance in Sep 1813, he was told there were no funds available for a merit reward. However, the following year, the government granted him a modest pension in addition to his service pay.
http://www.todayinsci.com/S/Shrapnel_Henry/ShrapnelHenry.htm
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#6
Gundulph said:
ugly said:
I seem to remember the usual technical errors such as exploding canon balls but it did seem to be a good film. Probably because we killed lots of Froggies and they had no say in the film!
! If it didn't show 'exploding' cannon balls it would be a bit weird ugly! the Battle was in 1815, H.E. cannon balls were common place alongside solid shot , canister, incendiary and chain...


Gundulph...

'
You sure about that? Just that when Dusty lad did his war walks and Waterloo was done the delay in kick off from first light to nearly noon was attributed to Napoleon (typical gunner meglamaniac) wanting to wait for the ground to dry out so his balls would bounce through the squares and not a soggy squelch in front. The film seemed to show every canon shot exploding and no ricocheting ball!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#7
Good old Google:
Did cannonballs explode?

In movies showing battles from the Civil War and earlier conflicts, cannon-fired projectiles inevitably send up dirt and smoke and flailing stuntmen upon impact. It makes a nice visual and is probably easier to stage than an iron ball bouncing murderously through a division.

In reality, an array of both exploding and solid projectiles were used in the Civil War and for centuries before, but solid shot predominated until around the1850s.

The earliest cannons, developed in 1300s, fired nothing but solid objects -- stone balls. The following century weapons makers did develop hollow iron balls filled with gunpowder and fitted with a fuse that had to be lit just before firing. But the difficulty in handling these primitive time bombs and in getting them to explode at the target made them both dangerous and unreliable. To minimize the danger of their blowing up in the cannon's barrel, these lit-fuse balls were used mainly in quick-loading, wide-bore, stubby-barreled cannons called howitzers or with drop-and-fire "mortars," which looked like the World War II-era weapon of the same name only much larger.

Over the centuries, weapons makers devised a great variety of solid-shot combinations and techniques. The one-two punch of stone and iron balls spelled doom for castle walls. At close range, cannons were often used like sawed-off shotguns to fire bunches of smaller balls, devastating to troops massed on level ground. At sea, ships often fired iron bars, chains and small balls to take down masts and rigging. Another trick was to heat a cannonball red hot in hopes of igniting a fire on deck or, better yet, landing one in the enemy ship's magazine. Blasting a hole through the hull of the enemy ship by firing into the water normally didn't work, however. The ball would skip off the surface.

Elongated solid projectiles called bolts were developed for use with rifled cannons, which had a spiral groove cut on the inside of the barrel to start the projectile spinning and improve accuracy. But round balls were the most common solid shot used in the Civil War, and those are what you see today welded into a pyramid shape and set next to a cannon in a town square.

Sources: Daniel A. Lindley and Keir Lieber, both Notre Dame assistant professors of government/political science;
Dennis Showalter, professor of history, Colorado College;
 
#8
ugly said:
Gundulph said:
ugly said:
I seem to remember the usual technical errors such as exploding canon balls but it did seem to be a good film. Probably because we killed lots of Froggies and they had no say in the film!
! If it didn't show 'exploding' cannon balls it would be a bit weird ugly! the Battle was in 1815, H.E. cannon balls were common place alongside solid shot , canister, incendiary and chain...


Gundulph...

'
You sure about that? Just that when Dusty lad did his war walks and Waterloo was done the delay in kick off from first light to nearly noon was attributed to Napoleon (typical gunner meglamaniac) wanting to wait for the ground to dry out so his balls would bounce through the squares and not a soggy squelch in front. The film seemed to show every canon shot exploding and no ricocheting ball!
Solid Shot (round shot) was used to very good effect as it drove bloody great gaps through tightly packed 'columns' imagine a great big solid ball of metal flying towards you at 800 miles an hour! it would literally dismember and then dismember again and again as it bounced or was deflected through the ranks!
 
#9
pre computer generated graphics days they are stuck with flash/bang/smoke effects only,

i agree in the movie it needed big lumps of iron scything through the squares for realism, but a little to difficult for a 1970 movie maker i think.

the only desent part of the patriot movie was when a solid shot removed a rebels head in the line,
good that bit.
 
#10
Isnt there a scene in that Mel Gibson tripe 'the patriot' where a solid shot proceeds through the ranks of the pesky colonials? Dismembering several of them in one go if i remember correctly.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#11
Thats my point the battle was delayed so the shot would skip through the squares and the film shows explosions where there wouldnt have been. A bit like A team and Hollywood grenades blowing up with huge effects!
Still it seems to be a good film, I have a copy here and I must rewatch it!
 
#12
suits_U said:
Isnt there a scene in that Mel Gibson tripe 'the patriot' where a solid shot proceeds through the ranks of the pesky colonials? Dismembering several of them in one go if i remember correctly.
yes, that was done be computer generated imagery, not something they had when they made waterloo in 1970
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#13
Everything that I have pulled out so far shows that only Howitzers and mortars using exploding shells before 1837.
 
#14
Really?

When did this CGI stuff come out then :D

Yes Drstealth I realise that, I was merely pointing out an example on the whole HE/solid shot discussion.
Anyway its a good film (Waterloo that is)
 
#15
ugly, google Henry Shrapnel,

he was the original inventer of the exploding shell, abit as primative as it was.

Spherical case shot was an attempt to carry the effectiveness of grape and canister beyond its previous range, by means of a bursting shell. It was the forerunner of the shrapnel used so much in World War I and was invented by Lt. Henry Shrapnel, of the British Army, in 1784. There had been previous attempts to produce a projectile of this kind, such as the German Zimmerman's "hail shot" of 1573—case shot with a bursting charge and a primitive time fuse, however, Henry Shrapnel's invention was the first air-bursting case shot which, in technical words, "imparted directional velocity" to the bullets it contained. Henry Shrapnel's new shell was first used against the French in 1808, but was not called by its inventor's name until 1852.
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blshrapnel.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Shrapnel

http://riv.co.nz/rnza/hist/shrap/



Shrapnel's original projectile showing balls mixed with the powder burster. Friction between the two caused prematures. Invented by Shrapnel in 1784 and finally approved for service in 1803.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#16
Yes agreed and thanks for that DS, however Shrapnel and HE round ball are two different shells and although Shrapnel was approved, Cannister was in more common use to 350 yards. I believe that may be the reason behind shrapnel as you could fuze it for further out but its still not HE which was mainly restricted to Mortars etc till 1837 ish. Funnily enough the frogs claim that as their invention.
The Mortar rounds and shrapnel would explode above the troops (definetly shrapnel) and the film showed all if I recall blowing on contact with the floor amongst the troops. Just a special effects limtation of its age!
 
#17
Waterloo. Look out for wristwatches and bolt action rifles.

More interestingly perhaps - look out for the breaking squares. The Russian Army provided the extras and this included a cavalry division which was used for the scenes where the British Army come under attack from the French Cavalry. The Russian Conscripts were told not to move and the cavalry would simply ride around them. Unfortunately the charging horses were so intimidating that a number of squares just broke and ran for it. You can see this in some of the aerial shots with infantry men streaming away.

And this was only mean to be acting. Must have been fairly grim for real. So hats off again to the British Infantry of the time.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#19
I'm glad youy explained that I was going to put it on and look for death rays, grenade launchers, dpm, flamethrowers I could keep going but you saved me the effort!
 
#20
I think you are asking the wrong question, Ugly. I am sure you know but HE is High Explosive and gunpowder is not. So if you search for first HE shell you will get a latter date.

Ball, solid metal or stone shot used to cut through ranks of breach walls depending on size.

Case/canister AP shot came in a number of types depending on gun and universally used at closer range. Range would also depend on size of gun.

Shell, common shell, spherical shell and shrapnel are all exploding shot with a fuse that it cut to range and lit by the cannon firing. Capt Shrapnel RA perfected the design and made British artillery very effective. Shell tended to be used in howitzer (normally one per bty) but with the introduction of shrapnel shell normal gun could fire it.



Spherical Case (The Shrapnel Shell)
One type of ammunition for smooth bore cannon which was of significant value is Spherical Case ("Shrapnel"), developed by General Henry Shrapnel (1761-1842) of the British Army. It was in common use by the early 1800's
http://shrapnel.quickseek.com/
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top