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Old 22nd February 2016, 12:01   #106
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Another great classic that I forgot to mention in my previous post is "The Great Escape".Starring Attenborough, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson this movie is on the lives of allied POWs who plan a daring escape form a German camp considered to be a fortress.
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Old 29th February 2016, 09:38   #107
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........... who came to a sticky end at the hands of the Gestapo! - biography by, among others, Coulson Thomas "Mata Hari: Courtesan and Spy".
Sincere apologies for the above error - Mata Hari was tried and executed by the British and French forces, accused of spying for the Germans. This was in 1917, during the First World War and there was no Gestapo under the Kaiser. But she was a glamorous night-club dancer in Paris and and used this setting for her espionage work! Sorry once again.

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Old 13th August 2016, 13:15   #108
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Thank you Mayankk for guiding me to this forum. this thread has some very useful information and interesting comments. it is surprising that India's contribution in WW-2 has been largely forgotten or willfully ignored. People would be surprised to learn that India contributed almost 2.5 millions soldiers for WW-2 as British india army. This number is almost twice the size of current Indian army. The british india army fought in almost all the theatre of wars like europe, north africa, Middle-east,Indo-Malay region and South east asia. one of the most fiercest battles of fortitude outside europe were fought in the Burma and Kohima and its sad that this generation doesnt know about it.

One of the most compelling reason that the India's contribution to WW2 has not been covered in our history books is that during this time the nationalist temper was at its peak and the Indian political heirarchy was against the war. Though british were able to garner support from Indian political masses during the later stage of war to allow them to carry on with the war without looking over the shoulder for unrest in India. However the complete apathy towards a momentous world event is unforgivable.

it also brought to the point that even if as indian we would not like to emphasise on the WW2 as it would undermine the political awakening at that time and Indian leaders have disassociated themselves from the war saying that the war is between the Nazi and imperialist forces; one can not escape the fact that the affects of war on Indian subconscious have also been erased much to own disadvantage. Case in point is the Famine of Bengal in 1943. the man made famine is one of the largest in recent history and should have been highlighted at each forum. however since the famine was a byproduct of WW2 , it has been allowed to fade away in oblivion much to the dismay. i dont recollect a main stream film by indian director on this debatable topic. even if some regional cinema has made some movie, the effect is minimal.

i think most of the greatest movies and books of WW2 and WW1 have been covered in the thread. However i wish to recommend 'Rommel- A Desert Fox' as a must read. the book is not without its shortcoming, especially the hurried pace during the later stage and an apparent bias of writer against Rommel. the greatness of the Rommel can be gauged from the fact that despite being a total biased against him in the book, you would end up marvelling the tactical acumen of the genius of Rommel. an infantry officer who changed the tactics of armoured warfare

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Old 25th August 2018, 14:20   #109
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Phew, just finished going over 13 episode of World War II in colour discovery/netflix series over five days. Total 11+ hours of viewing.

I have had fascination with World War II since childhood, perhaps due to reading scores of commando comics, I have watched majority of movies coming out of Hollywood on the war and read quite a few books including the comprehensive one by William L Shirer. I also spent a full year discussing the various operations at Wellington, but watching this series have left an impact bigger than any of the previous endeavours.

What the series covers brilliantly:-
- Truthful and crisp narration of events, no opinions and extrapolations - unbiased to a large extent.
- Chronological sequence of events, no matter what and how much you read and see, its very difficult to build a clear picture of events as they unfolded during those years.
- Covers the scale of operations - number of area, men, guns, tanks, aircraft, ships et al involved in various operations - some of them were really humongous.
- Colossal scale of death and destruction.
- All the major personalities, well almost, involved in various events.
- A little inference while watching will give a good idea of the technological prowess and administrative and leadership capabilities of the warring nations.

Some negatives, very small in my view:-
- Repetition of visual shots, perhaps necessary due to inadequate footage.
- Operations in eastern Europe/Balkans not fully covered.

I have always wondered if Allies could have done more towards saving Jews. Did they put in adequate pressure on Nazi's or could they have devoted some war effort earlier on towards destruction of those camps, they surely knew about them. I think I did find a plausible answer.
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Old 26th August 2018, 09:27   #110
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What gentlemanliness? That existed only when people of same culture fought each other, specifically in Europe. For example, when Europeans fought each other, they had the concept of parole, treating each other's officers with respect. That is it. It was mainly because all their royalty were kind of inter-related. But when people of different culture fought each other, there was no gentlemanliness in any war, any time. During the crusades the same Europeans ate their enemies in order to intimidate them. Same Europeans committed genocide all over south america.

True that Samurai - I'd just like to add that as children our granny used to read (in Bengali) to us from our epics. I remember the instances where battle (as she read) would commence at daybreak (with the sounding of horns & cymbals !) & cease at dusk. After which (and this is the part I found intriguing!) there would be exchange of visits between the two camps & even sharing of food items!

Now, if true, that kind of gentlemanliness would need some beating!
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Old 26th August 2018, 09:42   #111
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For those who like a little fiction, I've discovered a TV Series called "The Man in The High Castle".

It's a US centric drama based on a 1962 book titled "The Man in The High Castle" that depicts an alternate history where the Axis Powers had won the World War II and had conquered the United States and of course most of the World.

The US, as per the series, is divided into two parts where 2/3rds is ruled by the Greater Nazi Reich and the Japanese rule the remaining portion of the US - particularly the states along the West Coast - referred to as the Pacific States.

It's high drama and obviously fiction. But it's a great show and definitely worth a watch.

Pick up the book, if you'd read rather than watch a TV show.

P.S. The show is available on Amazon Prime.

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Old 26th August 2018, 10:10   #112
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Wow, did not know this thread exists.
Found this book in my father's book case. Bought in Feb 1983.

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We also have Rise & Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer but have not managed to go through this tome of 1000+ pages yet.
Maybe someday.

A few WW2 movies that we grew up watching are

Von Ryan's Express
Stalag 17
The Longest Day
The Scarlet and the Black
Patton
Tora Tora Tora

I may be one of the few who enjoyed Tom Cruise's Valkyrie.

Edit - I am unable to rotate the photo. Sorry for that.

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Old 28th August 2018, 17:18   #113
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There are very few books that have the India connection discussed, be it fiction or non fiction. Some of the books in my bookcases that have the India element of WW II and I've enjoyed are the following -

- Now the hell will start by Brendan Koerner.
It is set in the eastern theater, more precisely in Assam, and depicts the US war effort in the region in building the Stilwell Road. Also brings out the racial element prevalent in the US army of that time and their treatment of the black soldiers. Its more of a human drama than actual war history, but nevertheless interesting.

- The Burma Road by Donovan Webster.
As the name suggests, it has the detailed accounts of allied thrust into Burma against the Japanese through North East India. Detailing the hardship in moving an army through the jungles, mud and malaria.

- Road of Bones by Fergal Keane.
Again set in the same area, it has the details of the attack into India and the allied counter attack around Kohima. The war was brutal as ever here which has been captured very well in the book.
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Old 30th August 2018, 21:53   #114
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Posting some images from an exhibition in Delhi.
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Old 30th August 2018, 22:15   #115
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Wow, did not know this thread exists.
Found this book in my father's book case. Bought in Feb 1983.
I purchased exactly this book in 1983 too!!
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Old 30th August 2018, 22:29   #116
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We also have Rise & Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer but have not managed to go through this tome of 1000+ pages yet.
Maybe someday.
I read it when I was 15. Very disturbing book, especially the part about medical experiment on the prisoners. Never wanted to read it again.
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Old 1st September 2018, 22:27   #117
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For those who like a little fiction, I've discovered a TV Series called "The Man in The High Castle".
It's a US centric drama based on a 1962 book titled "The Man in The High Castle" that ...........Pick up the book, if you'd read rather than watch a TV show.
P.S. The show is available on Amazon Prime.
For the same lovers of a little war fiction (but treated with the same tongue-in-cheek gravitas that Len Deighton brought to all his books) one might read his "SS-GB" set in post-war Britain after the Axis powers won the war. Fascinating.

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Old 1st September 2018, 23:00   #118
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Anyone come across a spectacular B/W footage of viaduct being uprooted by an earthquake bomb? It's shot from a Lancaster IIRC. Brilliantly captures the destructive force of bomb. had it downloaded in 2009 from a UK based website but recently my external HDD diee taking with her about 353GB of WW2 data :(

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Old 22nd September 2018, 11:29   #119
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Trivia - Progvev-T a Soviet tank equipped with a MiG-15 jet engine on its turret. Designed to clear mines from roads by blasting them with heat.

What an idea sir ji
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Old 22nd September 2018, 11:50   #120
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I read it when I was 15. Very disturbing book, especially the part about medical experiment on the prisoners. Never wanted to read it again.
A more modern and superbly researched set of (warning : don't drop them on your foot they're heavy) books on WW2 - by Antony Beevor. Must reads, all of them.

Though if you found Shirer tough going you'll find this guy even tougher to plow through
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