|August 29th, 2004|
1. Kelly's Heroes. One of the few movies that actually shows all the aspects of small unit operations, including requisitioning supplies, getting intelligence, recon, artillery support, armor support, combat engineer support and NEGOTIATION!
2. Gettysburg. Shows how the battle developed tactically -- this was lacking in Gods and Generals. Read the book (Killer Angels).
3. Master and Commander. Shows how leadership develops -- contrast two of the midshipmen.
4. Patton. Of course -- the Patron Saint of Armor! Too bad they had to have that back-stabbing Omar Bradley as an advisor to the movie (Patton got even, though -- Karl Malden played Bradley!).
5. To End All Wars. Japanese prison camp in Burma -- great acting from the (mostly) european actors and the Kurosawa-trained Japanese actors. Read the book (In the Valley of the River Kwai).
6. Sniper. Pretty good description of the sniper craft (REAL snipers use bolt action!) -- the guy with the PSG1 was really irritating (and unrealistic), though.
7. Enemy at the Gates. Pretty good description of the sniper craft -- too bad it had to be based on a Soviet propaganda invention.
8. The Light Horsemen. Attack on Beersheeba in WWI by the Australian light horse -- little known, but pivotal battle.
9. Thin Red Line. Gives a good depiction of the stresses and confusion of combat. Read the book!
10. Saving Private Ryan. Good attention to detail -- I liked how the German MG42s are smoking in the background after they storm the German machine gun nest -- never saw that in another movie.
11. Gallipoli. Shows how politicians (and incompetent generals) can really waste a lot of lives.
12. Last of the Mohicans. Good fieldcraft, good marksmanship, and great ambush. Read the book!
13. The 13th Warrior. Leadership! Read the book (Beowulf the Warrior, not the Michael Crichton one).
14. Crimson Tide. Gene Hackman is great in his depiction of a nuclear sub commander.
15. Apocalypse Now! Not really a war movie -- you will realize this if you READ THE BOOK before you watch it again (Heart of Darkness).
16. We Were Soldiers. My biggest disappointment was they didn't dedicate the movie to Lt. Rick Rescorla (who died in 9/11 before the movie was released), nor was his character shown in the movie. If you READ THE BOOK! you will see that he was one of the pivotal leaders who kept LZ X-ray from becoming the second "Little Bighorn" for the 7CAV. Many Morgan Stanley employees and their families have him to thank for their lives on 9/11.
"He weren't no saint, but on Judgement day I'll take my chance with Jim
Instead of some pious gentlemen who wouldn't sit next to him.
He saw his duty then and there and went for it there and then,
and God ain't gonna be too hard on a man that died for men".
from Jim Bludsoe, by John Hay