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  • The Exorcist
    replied
    Originally posted by Pappy View Post
    However it was not. So their statements could impossibly be true, but did they reflect on this?

    /Pappy
    Well said!
    Your right, and come to think of it, I won't be bothering to see any more movies about this Front. Not that many have been made, but the whole endless controversy that has been snapping back and forth for ten damn years.... the whole thing is too sour now to get me interested in it again.

    Showing any interest in this, even to the point of renting a disk, would seem like taking a side to some people... and remind me of threads like this.
    Why bother?

    Leave a comment:


  • Pappy
    replied
    Originally posted by Golikov View Post

    (...) I've been trying, for 30 years, to convince people of the caricatural, biased nature of the western regard for USSR in WWII.
    Sometimes I think that I should simply give up : let them think what they want, after all it's their problem. As instructed people, we know what the truth is, there is no point in wasting time trying to convince those who think the other way.
    Yeah going into East/West perspectives is a waste of time. Its like discussion Palestine/Israel or Christ/Muhammed. Better to leave them alone.

    Off topic though I had to drop in. It reminded me of two friends I had. One righter and one lefter. I had to listen to them for like 10 years. It was quite interesting as both constantly argued pointing out the other ones faults. If this was to be from their individual perspectives, the world would be perfect and problem free as none of them could admit that there was any problems with their own beliefs.

    However it was not. So their statements could impossibly be true, but did they reflect on this?

    /Pappy

    Leave a comment:


  • zatachan
    replied
    Originally posted by ShAA View Post
    That's very good for a start, carry on!

    Do you live in Germany or are you of a person of German descent living in another country? Nowadays cultural identity may mean many things, that's why I wanted to elaborate. I might actually be more genetically German myself than many of those who call themselves German but culturally I'm Russian through and through.
    Thank you, ShAA!

    No, I don't live in Germany, just close by and even though I have some distant German ancestors I'm not really of German descent; but my native tongue is German and my research/study background is mainly focused on German historiography.

    That's an interesting idea but honestly I don't think this was the authors' intention. In my opinion, they wanted to show individual experiences of German soldiers at the frontline, amplified by the extreme conditions of that battle. But here comes the old problem - while being true to reality on the individual level, it misses out a lot on a broader scale. The film is making one believe the "microcosm" of Landsers' lives was a real reflection of the "broader" picture which was not the case. They might as well show the happy athletes from "Olympia" to illustrate the life in the Third Reich and this would be perfectly true, only from the athletes' point of view.
    I agree with that. Maybe the discrepancy of our opinions stems from the fact that I for one have no clue what the intentions of the author really were; I can only judge by what I see and assume that the way I perceived it might be similar to how others did with approx. the same cultural background. (Btw, I wouldn't say one thing (i.e. giving a face to Russians) doesn't exclude the other (showing individual experiences) - I didn't even mean to imply that humanising anyone was the primary goal of the film. More of a side effect, maybe.)
    I agree with you that in the end the film shows examples which (mostly) fail to reflect reality. But like I said above it should be kept in mind that the film's not very new anymore and back then the perception of the war between Germany and the CCCP had been quite different - German research "landscape" changed and evolved a lot in the past 10-20 years (for the better, apparently!).

    Leave a comment:


  • ShAA
    replied
    Originally posted by zatachan View Post
    Re: Stalingrad (Ger. 1993)

    I hope it is not too bold of me to chip in here as a first post (and dig up a not so fresh thread, too).
    That's very good for a start, carry on!

    I come from a German-ish background and have seen the film a few times so I might offer a few inputs from a different cultural background.
    Do you live in Germany or are you of a person of German descent living in another country? Nowadays cultural identity may mean many things, that's why I wanted to elaborate. I might actually be more genetically German myself than many of those who call themselves German but culturally I'm Russian through and through.

    I don't think the film's aim ever was to prove that the German army fought for a just cause in the CCCP; and it was probably less trying to "humanise" the German soldiers - after all it's a German film - than to give a face to the Soviets and make them individuals (that might sound awefully silly, but keep in mind that the Red Army was and is often depicted as 'hordes' rather than individual humans).
    That's an interesting idea but honestly I don't think this was the authors' intention. In my opinion, they wanted to show individual experiences of German soldiers at the frontline, amplified by the extreme conditions of that battle. But here comes the old problem - while being true to reality on the individual level, it misses out a lot on a broader scale. The film is making one believe the "microcosm" of Landsers' lives was a real reflection of the "broader" picture which was not the case. They might as well show the happy athletes from "Olympia" to illustrate the life in the Third Reich and this would be perfectly true, only from the athletes' point of view.

    Now I don't think the film is all that great either - but if I had to chose between this and 'Enemy at the Gates' my choice clearly would not be the latter... (hey, at least the Russians don't speak English!)
    This is where I would wholeheartedly agree with you. It's better to watch the German version than the one saying "we thought you were a dumb Orcish horde but this film was a great breakthrough cause it showed Russians acting like a dumb evil Orcish horde speaking English and actually some of them looked like Jude Law, so it's not as bad as you think".

    Leave a comment:


  • zatachan
    replied
    Re: Stalingrad (Ger. 1993)

    I hope it is not too bold of me to chip in here as a first post (and dig up a not so fresh thread, too).
    I come from a German-ish background and have seen the film a few times so I might offer a few inputs from a different cultural background.

    I don't think the film's aim ever was to prove that the German army fought for a just cause in the CCCP; and it was probably less trying to "humanise" the German soldiers - after all it's a German film - than to give a face to the Soviets and make them individuals (that might sound awefully silly, but keep in mind that the Red Army was and is often depicted as 'hordes' rather than individual humans). Considering the scenes of executions of Russian civilians the film went quite far even; certainly it was the nasty nazi officer who forced reluctant soldiers to carry out the execution (which cannot really be considered historically accurate) but it shouldn't be forgotten that this film was made before the Wehrmachtsausstellung threatened to overthrow the image of a 'clean Wehrmacht'.

    In this sense the film probably isn't the worst first impression (for German viewers) of what the war in the east was like - even if it chooses to ignore the ideological background and doesn't ask, like mentioned above, why the Germans were there in the first place.
    Now I don't think the film is all that great either - but if I had to chose between this and 'Enemy at the Gates' my choice clearly would not be the latter... (hey, at least the Russians don't speak English!)

    Leave a comment:


  • Golikov
    replied
    Originally posted by ShAA View Post
    It's interesting whether such people take the idea of a military invasion for "saving the world from Communism" from Hitler directly or it's a modern retrospect view of this in the light of modern-day "humanitarian invasions for freedom"..
    Indeed there is some kind of similitude between these concepts. A war must always start from a "just cause"...


    Originally posted by ShAA View Post
    I have to say this is an opinion shared by many Russians these days. The people have got so tired of being lied to for so many years that they are ready to believe any different opinion out of distrust to the official history and sometimes out of sheer spite. "Everything was a lie, so the Germans were right".
    I think it's not so difficult to answer to that kind of assessments : if we consider the testimonies of veterans, when asked for what they fight, beyond defending Communism ot Stalin, there is always the idea of defending the motherland. So beyond all possible lies, there always remains the crude reality of people assassinated, a truth that fighters found right before their eyes, at every corner. So no, the Germans couldn't have been right, even for those people who distrust the USSR.


    Originally posted by ShAA View Post
    Frankly, I don't have any hopes for this movie - the director has become notorious for his liberal treatment of historical facts.
    What a pity... I had such hopes of someone finally making a modern Stalingrad movie with a high historic-reality level ;(

    Leave a comment:


  • ShAA
    replied
    Originally posted by Golikov View Post
    Sharposhnikov : thank you for the precisions.
    ShAA : you're right. I'm tired of seeing here and there tries for attenuating the horror of the German invasion. Because what starts with attenuation could turn one day to justification. Although it's certainly not true to say that every landser was murder-driven, it's ridiculous to use that fact as a ground for justification to the "crusade" in the east.
    It's interesting whether such people take the idea of a military invasion for "saving the world from Communism" from Hitler directly or it's a modern retrospect view of this in the light of modern-day "humanitarian invasions for freedom".

    Then let's better be constructive : forget (but not forgive) the past disasters in movies, and look at the future. The 2001 Stalingrad was awful, that is a fact. But we can no longer do anything but complain about it. I'm living in France and I've been trying, for 30 years, to convince people of the caricatural, biased nature of the western regard for USSR in WWII.
    Sometimes I think that I should simply give up : let them think what they want, after all it's their problem. As instructed people, we know what the truth is, there is no point in wasting time trying to convince those who think the other way.
    I have to say this is an opinion shared by many Russians these days. The people have got so tired of being lied to for so many years that they are ready to believe any different opinion out of distrust to the official history and sometimes out of sheer spite. "Everything was a lie, so the Germans were right".

    Yes, the 2001 Stalingrad movie was yet another caricature. That's the past. But now, there is a new Stalingrad movie to come for the 70th anniversary of the battle : that of Fedor Bondarchuk (realisator of '9th Company', among other blockbusters). Shooting will start in september this year. So, let's better think about that, and see what can be done for having at last a decent, recent movie about that subject ! If anyone has any info about it, or knows someone involved in the project, let him speak...
    Frankly, I don't have any hopes for this movie - the director has become notorious for his liberal treatment of historical facts.

    Leave a comment:


  • Golikov
    replied
    Sharposhnikov : thank you for the precisions.
    ShAA : you're right. I'm tired of seeing here and there tries for attenuating the horror of the German invasion. Because what starts with attenuation could turn one day to justification. Although it's certainly not true to say that every landser was murder-driven, it's ridiculous to use that fact as a ground for justification to the "crusade" in the east.

    Then let's better be constructive : forget (but not forgive) the past disasters in movies, and look at the future. The 2001 Stalingrad was awful, that is a fact. But we can no longer do anything but complain about it. I'm living in France and I've been trying, for 30 years, to convince people of the caricatural, biased nature of the western regard for USSR in WWII.
    Sometimes I think that I should simply give up : let them think what they want, after all it's their problem. As instructed people, we know what the truth is, there is no point in wasting time trying to convince those who think the other way.

    Yes, the 2001 Stalingrad movie was yet another caricature. That's the past. But now, there is a new Stalingrad movie to come for the 70th anniversary of the battle : that of Fedor Bondarchuk (realisator of '9th Company', among other blockbusters). Shooting will start in september this year. So, let's better think about that, and see what can be done for having at last a decent, recent movie about that subject ! If anyone has any info about it, or knows someone involved in the project, let him speak...

    Leave a comment:


  • ShAA
    replied
    Originally posted by american1975 View Post
    No, I do not at all. The USSR was a tremendous achievement, but it was built on the suffering and oppression of the entire population.
    Ah, I see. Now this is a valid reason to cheer for the totally apolitical simple German landsers just doing their soldiers' job... of inflicting much more suffering and oppression upon this population.

    Leave a comment:


  • american1975
    replied
    Originally posted by bricklayer View Post
    His point is that he is emotionally stunted and so his sense of self-worth demands he look down on everything Russian/Eastern European.
    No, I do not at all. The USSR was a tremendous achievement, but it was built on the suffering and oppression of the entire population.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sharposhnikov
    replied
    Just a few more words about the 'Retreat-Blocking Units' and 'Punishment (Penal) Units'. First, there were units designated by the Red Army as Retreating Blocking in 1941. Second, there were Rear Area Security units in the form of NKVD Border Regiments from 26 June 1941 on - the Border Detachments, by order and doctrine, fell back from the original National frontier to form them in the rear areas of the active army. NONE of these units were designed or, as far as the archives indicate, ordered to fire on retreating units: they were to round up stragglers and individuals who had gotten separated from their commands and get them back under control of the military chain of command, and provide security for the rear areas of the Red Army.
    Stalin's Order 227 specified the formation of 'straf' (punitive, not penal) units, but two things should be noted, now that the entire text of that order is available: first, they were copied from GERMAN practice dating back to WWI, and second, they were not for ordinary soldiers, they were for NCOs and officers who had ordered or failed to stop unauthorized retreats. As Egorka's quote showed, the great majority of people stopped were returned to units. Those sent to the Straf battalions or companies were in every case given a chance to be restored to full rank and privileges after they finished their sentence. To be sure, the use of the straf units in some of the most dangerous missions of the front meant that many did not survive, but that was true of any soldier in the front lines of any army in the war. Even in the 'comfortable' US Army, to be in a rifle company meant that, in Northwestern Europe in 1944-45, at the end of 90 days you were statistically either dead, wounded, or became a psychiatric casualty - not very much different from the casualty rates in the Straf units!

    Leave a comment:


  • bricklayer
    replied
    Originally posted by ShAA View Post
    And your point is?
    His point is that he is emotionally stunted and so his sense of self-worth demands he look down on everything Russian/Eastern European.

    Leave a comment:


  • ShAA
    replied
    Originally posted by american1975 View Post
    If the German soldiers had bothered to read the liberal "Stalin Constitution" of 1936, and realized how happy and free citizens of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were, they would have surely laid down their arms and gone home
    And your point is?

    Leave a comment:


  • american1975
    replied
    Originally posted by ShAA View Post
    There are dozens of Russian movies about Stalingrad.

    Here's my post with just a few of them.

    http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...01&postcount=7

    As for the German movie, I've seen it and it didn't seem that great to me. The director seemed to forget to address the most important aspect - why did they get there and why did they fight that injust war for Hitler to the end. And this portrayal of "conscious" German soldiers, doing little things to help those around them but somehow being unable to realise the fact they are part of a huge enslavement and genocide machine is kind of insincere. Looks like an attempt of the Germans to "humanise" them and subtly put forth the old apologist idea of "they were just following orders".
    If the German soldiers had bothered to read the liberal "Stalin Constitution" of 1936, and realized how happy and free citizens of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were, they would have surely laid down their arms and gone home

    Leave a comment:


  • ShAA
    replied
    Originally posted by b.moynahan View Post
    I am writing a book on Leningrad between 1934 and 1942, and am most interested in getting fine detail on the Nevsky Bridgehead in its first phase from the autumn of 1941 to its loss to the Germans in spring 1942.
    There's a lot of info on this, but it's nearly all in Russian. Of the English-language sources, an obvious recommendation would be D. Glanz "The Siege of Leningrad 1941-1944: 900 days of terror" and if you need a greater emphasis on individual histories, M. Jones visited the sites and had personal conversations with many veterans to write his book "Leningrad: State of Siege".

    I have visited the site and have been to the museum, so have some grasp of the terrain and the units involved. However, I lack individual detail - such as diaries, letters or comments made by Russians who fought there (tho I have seen some German diaries),
    Check out this site, I've made the link search for "Nevsky Bridgehead" http://www.iremember.ru/search.html?...87%D0%BE%D0%BA

    but you'll have to translate the individual memoirs.

    an idea of the pace of attacks and casualties,
    Well, it differed, but the most fierce attacks were up to the end of 1941, when soldiers attacked up to 15 times a day only to gain a couple of enemy trenches and to be thrown back.

    the conditions (were the bunkers dug into the river bank the only safe spots?
    In all fairness there were no really safe spots as the bridgehead was very closely observed by the Germans every day and night. Whenever high caliber artillery worked or 1-ton airbombs were dropped the wooden walls of dugouts were of little use. Still, some of the bunkers, mainly those which were located by the river bank, survived.

    did it seem a death sentence when the ice began to break up?).
    It was, and the command of the 86th Division kept sending reinforcements to the 330th Regiment which were halved already by the time they managed to cross the river. On April 27 the regimental Chief of Staff Major Sokolov managed to swim across the river with the last reports and the unit's documents. He was the last one to get back to Nevskaya Dubrovka.

    I was most interested to see the note on troops being sent in without arms and ammunition: does anyone have anything else of that sort? Or of sources of which I am unaware? I would be most grateful if it could be posted here or by email Many thanks. Brian Moynahan
    Haven't heard it has ever happened there but the veterans' memoirs are full of such stories. However, practically of such stories has any firsthand evidence - normally "I've heard they were sent without rifles" or "A German soldier told me in a conversation and I'm sure it's true".

    Leave a comment:

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