MacDonald, Charles Brown, Company Commander, Publisher: Burford
Books; 1 edition (December 1999), ISBN: 1580800386
MacDonald, Charles Brown, A Time for Trumpets, Publisher:
William Morrow & Co; Reprint edition (April 1997), ISBN: 0688151574
Wharton, William, A Midnight Clear, Publisher: Newmarket Press; (August
1996), ISBN: 1557042578
*Note that this book follows an I&R Platoon
during the Battle of the Bulge
Astor, Gerald, A Blood-Dimmed Tide: The Battle of the Bulge by
the Men Who Fought It, Publisher: Dell Pub Co; Reissue edition (December
1999), ISBN: 0440215749
The Bloody Forest, Publisher: Presidio Pr;
0 edition (August 15, 2000), ISBN: 0891416994
Rush, Robert S., Hell in Hürtgen Forest: The Ordeal and Triumph
of an American Infantry Regiment, Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas; (November
2001), ISBN: 0700611282
Ambrose, Stephen, CITIZEN SOLDIERS: THE U S ARMY FROM THE NORMANDY
BEACHES TO THE BULGE TO THE SURRENDER OF GERMANY, Publisher: Touchstone
Books; Reprint edition (September 1998), ISBN: 0684848015
D-DAY: JUNE 6, 1944: THE CLIMACTIC BATTLE OF
WORLD WAR II, Publisher: Touchstone Books; Reprint edition (June 1995),
Comrades: Brothers, Fathers, Heroes, Sons, Pals,
Publisher: Touchstone Books; (September 2000), ISBN: 0743200748
The Good Fight: How World War II Was Won,
Publisher: Atheneum; (April 3, 2001), ISBN: 0689843615
LONGEST DAY: THE CLASSIC EPIC OF D DAY, Publisher:
Touchstone Books; Reprint edition (May 1994), ISBN: 0671890913
The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two,
Publisher: New Press; Reprint edition (March 1997), ISBN: 1565843436
Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression,
Publisher: New Press; (November 2000), ISBN: 1565846567
*Not about WWII but gives a good background
to life during the Great Depression, which most soldiers in the ETO endured
prior to induction in the service.
Salter, Fred H., Recon Scout, Publisher: Ballantine Books;
(November 27, 2001), ISBN: 0345446933
*Note the book follows the 97th Recon Cavalry
Scouts in their exploits throughout the North African, Sicilian, and Italian
Blunt, Roscoe C., Foot Soldier: A Combat Infantryman's War in
Europe, Publisher: DaCapo Press; (December 24, 2001), ISBN: 0306810905
Roll Me over: An Infantryman's World War II,
Publisher: Ivy Books; (July 1997), ISBN: 0804116059
Too often living historians view movies as a gauge
on life during a period of history instead of a medium of entertainment.
The list below has been organized by several factors (1: material authenticity--is
the gear and uniforms correct?; 2, behavioral authenticity--do the actors
move and respond to fire properly?; 4, Historical Events--Are the historical
events and timeline accurate?; 3, entertainment factor--Would you enjoy
watching this movie even if it didn't meat all of the above mentioned criteria?).
With 1 star representing "Do not Recomend" and 5 stars represnting a "Highly
recommend." Movies, in themselves, should never serve as the only
means to researching any period of reenactment, but as inspiration to do
& Documentaries on WWII
A Midnight Clear 1992, Rated:
R, Studio: Columbia Tristar
Comments: This movie is based upon William
Wharton book by the same name and follows an I&R platoon from the 28th
Infnatry Division on the eve of the Ardennes Offensive. It is the
only movie which specifically highlights the work of an I&R Platoon
and for no other reason should be high on our viewing list.
-At least one jeep was a post-war variant and each jeep was armed with
only a .30 cal. BMG, which I&R vehicles generally did not have.
Bumper markings are way off base and generally I&R platoons were not
in the habit of laying com wire; however, this is not necessarily a hard
and fast rule.
-The movie, like the book stresses the breakdown of discipline and
the attempt by a young Sargeant to keep his unit focused on the mission
at hand. In many regards the actions of these soldiers could be very
-The movie is spot on with regards to how I&R Platoons were used,
especially the events leading up to the German breakthrough in the Ardennes.
The only problem comes about with the sequencing of events. This
event was suppose to take place on the eve of the Ardennes offensive, yet
they are celebrating Christmas prior to December 16, 1944 which is the
date that the German's launched their offensive. Christmas would
not take place for another 9 days and it is unlikely that they would celebrate
it that early.
-Great story line, although the book is
far better. Ethan Hawk gives a great performance as "Will Knot"
the platoon's sargeant. The movie is a bit depressing, but a good
The Longest Day 1962, Rated:
G, Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Comments: This movie is based upon Cornelius
Ryan's book by the same name and covers the Normandy landings from a variety
of view points. There are some great scenes including the confrontation
between the 4th ID’s divisional commander Gen. Raymond D. Barton (played
by Edmond O'Brien) and assistant divisional commander Gen. Theodore Roosevelt
Jr. (played by Henry Fonda). No other movie has delved into the role
the 4th ID played at Normandy better than this movie.
-Plenty of postwar gear, but also plenty of war dated material.
Many of the LCVP's used in this movie were one's left by allied forces
in Europe. Too much postwar garbage though, including postwar airborne
helmets, jeeps, etc...
-Terrible movement under fire, but considering it is G Rated and the
early 1960's it could have been far worse.
-Follows Cornelius Ryan's book fairly closely
and is especially mindful of the role that the British played in taking
the Orne R. bridge and securing the canal.
-I've seen this movie hundreds of times and still
enjoy it immensely. Even with all of its problems, the story line
is very comprehensive in its coverage of the Normandy landings. There
are so many great “dead” movie stars in this film, plus a few little known
characters like Sean Connery, before he made it big.
When Trumpets Fade 1998, Rated:
G, Studio: HBO Studios
Comments: This movie is follows a seasoned
veteran sargeant (played by Ron Eldard) from the 28th Inf. Div. during
the bloody campaign in the Hürtgen Forest.
-Gear is pretty my on the mark, with the exception of some German material.
-Probably one of the best examples of how not to use infantry in the
20th C. was what the Hürtgen Forest represented and this movie shows
the futility of outdated infantry tactics being ordered by senior commanders
where never even visited the front to inspect their troops situation first
-Pretty much right on target, especially the scenes involving the bloody
fighting in the Vossenack forest and the Kall trail are extremely explicit.
-When one sees this movie it is hard to believe
that only a few weeks after the events in the Hürtgen Forest took
plae the 28th ID and 4th ID would be back in it again within the dense
Belgian forests of the Ardennes. Great movie to watch.
Band of Brothers, Released 2002,
Rated: NR, Studio: HBO VIDEO
Comments: This is the epic 10 part HBO
mini series which followed much of Stephen Ambrose's book with the same
Saving Private Ryan, Released
1999, Rated: R, Studio: Dreamworks Skg, Starring: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon,
Director: Steven Spielberg
Comments: This is the movie which rekindled
serious interest in our country's involvement in WWII. Focus is on
a pieced together squad of Rangers and one poor sap from the 29th ID (Opum),
who have been detailed to find and retrieve a trooper in the 101st. Abn.
The trooper played by Matt Damon, lost three of his brothers in various
campaigns during WWII and he is the lone surviving son. Loosely based
on the Sullivan brothers, Albert Leo Sullivan, Francis Henry Sullivan,
George Thomas Sullivan, Joseph Eugene Sullivan, Madison Abel Sullivan,
who were all killed when their ship the USS Juneau was struck by several
Japanese torpedoes off Guadalcanal.
-Sticky Bombs? Yup! In a remote manual which most folks
can hardly find. Armor looked good, but German's (should I saw Poles/Russians/French/etc...)
are portrayed like concentration camp victims with their heads shaved.
-Never create a silhouette of oneself while on
patrol. Shadows are your friend.
-Aside from it taking place in Normandy during
the D-Day landings the fact that this kid lost several of his brothers
in different theaters is hard enough to believe, but to place a small detail
to retrieve his butt because General Marshall has a soft spot in his heart
for orphans is a bit much.
-Great story line, even if it is far fetched.
Giovanni Ribisi gives a stirring portrayal of the important role of medics
and corpsmen during WWII.
Pearl Harbor, Released 2001,
Rated PG-13, Starring: Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Director: Michael
Comments: This movie follows two characters
from their childhood in depression era Tennessee, through flight school,
then separation as one joins the RAF to fight in the Battle of Britain,
then to be reunited just in time to be one of a handful of pilots to bag
jap zeros on December 7th, 1941 only to be assigned to Jimmy Doolittle's
raid. There is also a love interest in this as well.
-Nothing like seeing the Japs bomb a Aegis cruiser only to get shot
down by BAR and .45 1911A1 weilding lunatics in a tower. Love those
nurses too! I always said that I prefer them out of uniform, but
not when on their duty station.
-Where to start...Hmmmmmm. Its a sure bet
that Cuba Gooding Jr. probably pissed off a few sailors on the moored ship
next to the Arizona, when he pounded its deck with that 20mm Oerlikon deck
gun while chasing that zero. There is also a better than average
chance that you will miss at least one target with a .45 1911A1 at ranges
exceeding 50 yards while wounded.
-If Saving Private ryan was a bit far fetched,
this one was out of the ball park. To have an individual travel trough
flight school in the 1930's, join the American Eagle Sqdrn. of the RAF
just in time to participate in the Battle of Britain, get shot down, then
be fished out and sent back by the French underground just in time to travel
to the United States, receive his duty station in time for the Japanese
to bomb Pearl Harbor on december 7th, 1941, then shoot down several zeros
in that engagement, only to be assigned to Jimmy Doolittle's raid. Is the
ultimate definition of "FAR FETCHED."
-Cinematography is good, but acting is pitiful
and drags what story line there is into the toilet.