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  • 1917 (movie)

    The plan is to go soon to see this movie on the big screen as opposed to waiting for its release on whatever streaming service.

    It has to be assumed if its 1917 then it has to be 3rd Ypres. However, I've noticed that the trailers seem to show a lot of chalk around the trenches which would suggest the Somme. I'm not sure the mud-bowl of 3rd Ypres would have been as severe if it had a chalk base. Then of course there may have been some minor actions in the Somme sector during that year. Its understood of course that the premise of the movie regarding the trap the Germans set is fictionalized. I won't let that spoil the enjoyment of the movie though as it looks like it will convey a realistic picture of what life was like fighting in such conditions (as well as the drama with the two main characters).

    There are already some sites with the fact vs fiction info but nothing regarding chalk/terrain conditions so I was wondering what people's thoughts might be.

    Edit--I neglected to mention a couple other biggies like Arras and Cambrai but the chalk issue is still the same (or at least I think it is).
    Last edited by Canuckster; 10 Jan 20, 12:08.

  • #2
    The Arras area is chalky, as is Cambrai

    The-great-seam-of-chalk.jpg

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    • #3
      It's a movie, people, not a time machine.
      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Canuckster View Post
        The plan is to go soon to see this movie on the big screen as opposed to waiting for its release on whatever streaming service.

        It has to be assumed if its 1917 then it has to be 3rd Ypres. However, I've noticed that the trailers seem to show a lot of chalk around the trenches which would suggest the Somme. I'm not sure the mud-bowl of 3rd Ypres would have been as severe if it had a chalk base. Then of course there may have been some minor actions in the Somme sector during that year. Its understood of course that the premise of the movie regarding the trap the Germans set is fictionalized. I won't let that spoil the enjoyment of the movie though as it looks like it will convey a realistic picture of what life was like fighting in such conditions (as well as the drama with the two main characters).

        There are already some sites with the fact vs fiction info but nothing regarding chalk/terrain conditions so I was wondering what people's thoughts might be.

        Edit--I neglected to mention a couple other biggies like Arras and Cambrai but the chalk issue is still the same (or at least I think it is).
        It should not be thought that the only actions in 1917 were through the mud of Passchendaele.
        "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
        Samuel Johnson.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Gooner View Post
          The Arras area is chalky, as is Cambrai
          I've only had time to go back through some of my reading material but from memory the Somme seems to be the only one where there is any mention of the terrain being chalky. The Somme's chalk terrain is one of the reasons the Germans were able to dig their bunkers etc so deep. The Somme seems to be the only sector where aerial photos show the outline of the trenches in white.

          One of the books mention the terrain of Ypres being "boggy" which helps explain why that battle is associated with mud.

          There is mention of tunneling through the chalk at Vimy Ridge so the troops could get to the German front lines as close as possible prior to attacking. I haven't found any mention of type of terrain yet on the rest of Arras or Cambrai.

          I can't make out the details on your map but perhaps it doesn't show the depth of the chalk in various areas and it was much closer to the surface at the Somme than elsewhere?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Canuckster View Post
            I can't make out the details on your map but perhaps it doesn't show the depth of the chalk in various areas and it was much closer to the surface at the Somme than elsewhere?
            Possibly.

            Certainly I can remember reading of chalky soil in the battles of Arras and Cambrai.

            Picardy

            carte_craie_pic_2006.jpg

            Cretaceous is derived from the Latin name of chalk

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            • #7
              I went to the cinema to see the film last night, but turned around and went back home instead. As I was standing in line, a group of re-enactors showed up and began acting like prepubescent boys for all the attention in the world. The "experts" then began to lecture others about what they were wearing. I simply left. I'll go another night, perhaps a very late showing when the children are all asleep.
              You'll live, only the best get killed.

              -General Charles de Gaulle

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              • #8
                Went to see it with a friend and enjoyed it. I thought it a good story.

                Was it great history? No, but I went to be entertained and was not concerned about 100% historical accuracy. One should never expect the latter from popular media.

                Regards,
                Dennis
                If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

                Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by asterix View Post
                  I went to the cinema to see the film last night, but turned around and went back home instead. As I was standing in line, a group of re-enactors showed up and began acting like prepubescent boys for all the attention in the world. The "experts" then began to lecture others about what they were wearing. I simply left. I'll go another night, perhaps a very late showing when the children are all asleep.
                  I would have done the same, and also been equally peeved if I had to listen to folks in the theatre whining about every inaccurate detail.

                  Regards,
                  Dennis
                  If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

                  Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by D1J1 View Post

                    I would have done the same, and also been equally peeved if I had to listen to folks in the theatre whining about every inaccurate detail.

                    Regards,
                    Dennis
                    I didn't detect any historical inaccuracy whatever (and I'm pedantic). It would be interesting to know what your self-appointed experts came up with.

                    I do have qualms about the basic premise of the plot but that's a different matter.
                    "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                    Samuel Johnson.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post

                      I didn't detect any historical inaccuracy whatever (and I'm pedantic). It would be interesting to know what your self-appointed experts came up with.

                      I do have qualms about the basic premise of the plot but that's a different matter.
                      You misunderstood me. I would have been peeved if I had to listen to "experts" harping in the theatre about every inaccuracy they saw. That did not happen, I only stated it would have ruined the experience for me.

                      Regards,
                      Dennis
                      If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

                      Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by D1J1 View Post

                        You misunderstood me. I would have been peeved if I had to listen to "experts" harping in the theatre about every inaccuracy they saw. That did not happen, I only stated it would have ruined the experience for me.

                        Regards,
                        Dennis
                        So your viewing of 1917 was undisturbed:- excellent. I was just curious to know what inacurracies there actually were,as I couldn't detect any.
                        "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                        Samuel Johnson.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post

                          So your viewing of 1917 was undisturbed:- excellent. I was just curious to know what inacurracies there actually were,as I couldn't detect any.
                          I am not expert enough to be cognizant of every detail. I certainly did not see any major errors though.

                          Regards,
                          Dennis
                          If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

                          Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

                          Comment

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