Dunkirk, film by Christopher Nolan

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bandit99, Jan 13, 2018 at 13:57.


  1. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++

    Amazing film! Absolutely amazing! So much thought went into all the details. I know many don't like it due to lack of character development, storyline or dialogue but...dammit you are suppose to know a bit of history and if you do then the film immediately works for you, transports you, and is easy to understand and follow...

    I saw so many small details that most Hollywood directors/producers miss being more concern with glamor and glitter. One small detail struck me immediately: the size and age of the main actors. Soldiers in that era were small by today standards. Ever see those old ww2 propaganda films showing all the boys doing jumping jacks? They all looked underfed compared to our soldiers of today. And, the age and demeanor of the main characters were perfect. PERFECT! No 18-year old is going to give a damn about anything but getting home unless it was being shame by their defeat as one was - after he was safely back home.

    The air combat scenes were intense and the best we have seen in years and the pilots gave as good as they got but were not supermen like "Top Gun" or other Hollywood crap which continued to give realistic credence to the film.

    All-in-all, I thought it was perfect. The script, the acting, the casting and certainly the cinematography. How in the hell they managed to pull 300,000 troops off that beach was indeed a true miracle and is expressed extremely well in this film.
     
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  3. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    I too saw this when it first came out, LOVED IT! as a WW2 history buff, I well know the Dunkirk story and was very satisfied at the details of the film and the very life like portrayal of the events! Stunning. I only have one small gripe, that is the way the story bounces around between differing events with in the bigger story, one min a scene is day light, next it's dark and supposedly a different area, then back to day light, all in the same time frame! Makes a fellers head hurt trying to keep up! Other then that, a awesome film, one I am glad was done, and the topic is one that is sure to raise a few eye brows! Indeed, the greatest generation!

    Edit; @Bandit99, you pointed out the size of the men of that era, My Grand Dad was a Tank Commander through out the war from Normandy on, and was 5'6" and 150 pounds dripping wet! In pictures we have of him during the war, he was average in size with every one else! One tough S.O.B he was all through his life, he stood up when others turned their backs!
     
  4. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++

    @Ura-Ki "My Grand Dad was a Tank Commander through out the war from Normandy on...One tough S.O.B..."
    How those guys went to war in those under-gunned and under-armored Shermans against the Germany panzers I will never know. I realize they had the odds on their side but...not only tough but brave. I have been throughout Normandy and when I saw Omaha Beach the only thing I could think of was "How in the hell did they do it?" And, when you think of those Paratroopers dropping at night, scattered all to hell and back...
     
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  5. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Grand Dad went ashore in a M-26A1 with better armor, and a much better gun then the Medium Sherman's! He went in on D-Day+3 and stayed till the very end, closing out on the Autobahn in route to Salzburg when the Germans surrendered! Gramps had been a part of the U.S. Army study of Tank War Fare and helped develop tactics to go along with the new tank, and had started training at the Chrysler Tank Arsenal in Late '43 with the first prototypes! When they finally went ashore, there was noting the Germans had that could match those M-26's The Army had learned and learned well! In his own small way, Grand Dad helped write the book on modern Tank War Fighting that is still used to this day, something he was VERY proud of!

    His favorite story was how his crew managed to take out a King Tiger on the move from 2000 yards with a single shot! He also told how the German tanks were so big and heavy and slow, that if you managed to get the drop on one, you had all the advantages! He had many fun stories to share, thankfully, and with the help of the U.S. Army, we were able to record his memories so that they could be shared and passed on! Something we need to have done more of, and a lot earlier then now, Now that they are almost all gone!
     
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  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Can you give us a reference where we can read his stories? TIA.
     
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  7. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

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  8. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Yup, That's the Tank! I have a ton of photos and written notes Gramps kept in his Journal! We made copies for the Army and sent them to the National Tank Museum in Aberdeen along with several interviews that were done locally through the V.F.A. and my Dad! I have the video tapes ( Old school V.C.R.) and will see about putting them on disk ( which we need to do any way) and then figure out how to post them as video on line! I think every one would get a kick out of Gramps, and the notes and history are well worth experiencing! May need some help figuring out how to do some of this!

    Gramps always told how they had 10 rounds of "Special Medicine" for dealing with the rumored Super Heavies ( Maus Hybrid Super tank) and that because they hadn't see any, use them on the Tigers and Panthers they found to prevent the Germans from salvaging them and putting them to use!
     
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  9. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    [winkthumb] @Ura-Ki best to put all of the pics plus the videos on disks as soon as ya can, tape can degrade over time, VCRs are becoming more difficult to find, plus normal optical disks degrade too

    let us know if we can help with that project (y) (y)
     
  10. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++

    @Ura-Ki Being a WW2 nut, I find this really interesting! I thought that there were no Pershings in the European theater until 1945, certainly not on D-Day but you said specifically it was a M26-A1 not the E3 which went into production, although very limited (20 arrive Jan 1945, split btw 3rd & 9th Armor Div.), and being Gramps was with 'U.S. Army study of Tank Warfare" is it not possible he was driving a prototype? Imagine driving a prototype into battle against the legendary Panther V and Tigers! Geez Peas, talk about cojones! What I am saying is there is a huge story here and one that has not been told except to immediate family members and probably to some dark, dusty file cabinet belonging to the US Army. So, I second sec_monkey's recommendation and kindly request that you get those backups done, numerous backups as Gramps memories are pure gold. And, yes, let us know how we can help.

    The question I would like to have ask your grandfather since he work 'Study of Tank Warfare' is what took so damn long to field a tank that was as good as the panzers. I mean, I've read the history but would have like to hear a first hand account without all the covering up of backsides.

    Here's a good link I found...interesting stuff.
    Medium/Heavy Tank M26 Pershing - Tank Encyclopedia
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018 at 21:52
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  11. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    here is an M26 Super Pershing with redneck engineering, it appears only 1 was deployed to Europe, plus "a total of 310 T26E3 tanks [ redesignated M26 ] were eventually sent to Europe before VE Day, but only the 20 that arrived in January engaged in combat" ..

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Gramps was a part of a pre combat trials unit who had very specific training and instructions. They had an entire L.S.T. assigned to them and carried tons of supplies and ammo, as well as spare parts and bridging equipment and had ground troupes assigned for logistics and support, including several teams of the famed Red Ball Express to run fuel and supplies. They went ashore with 6 tanks, but I am not aware of their status as prototypes or standard tanks, BUT, Gramps stated numerous times that these tanks had the 90 mm gun, not the 76 mm!!! He also stated that these tanks had experimental Chrysler Engines, not FORD, so that may be something. Records in Aberdeen show the tanks produced as described, but no specifications beyond those records exist outside except for Gramps account. I will dig through his logs and other documents we have and see what I come up with. I hadn't really thought of it, but this info might be a game changer in the history books. Gramps records do show his deployment to Normandy and show his assignment and his C.O's name! Will keep you all up to speed. Just talked to my Dad and he and I will be converting to Disk A.S.A.P. and then go from there!
     
  13. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++

    "Gramps was a part of a pre combat trials unit who had very specific training and instructions. They had an entire L.S.T. assigned to them and carried tons of supplies and ammo, as well as spare parts and bridging equipment and had ground troupes assigned for logistics and support, including several teams of the famed Red Ball Express to run fuel and supplies. They went ashore with 6 tanks, but I am not aware of their status as prototypes or standard tanks, BUT, Gramps stated numerous times that these tanks had the 90 mm gun, not the 76 mm!!! He also stated that these tanks had experimental Chrysler Engines, not FORD..."

    I hope you do see how amazing this is - I mean - WOW! I think the 20 that are in the history books are NOT your Grandad's. I think his '6' (OMG! Only 6!) were exactly what he said "pre combat trials" and they had to have their own LST because their logistics was completely different.

    I did find this and it makes me wonder if this is what Grandad was tossing around Europe, "In summer 1944, Chrysler Engineering, part of the Chrysler Corporation, did a trial installation of the heavy tank T26E1’s 90mm main gun armed turret onto the hull of a second-generation M3 medium tank (M4?)" What do you think? Chrysler motor, 90mm gun, the old reliable M4 chassis...this makes sense and also why there were only 6. I need to dig more. This had a larger turret than the standard Sherman to accommodate the 90mm gun. This was part of the evolution to the M26...but what I don't understand is why they didn't move to production on this so need to dig some more but I think it was a matter of they thought the Sherman, which in truth was an Infantry Tank, would mostly be facing Anti-tank guns, Assault guns and Tank Destroyers as most of the Panthers, Tigers and upgraded PzIVs were on the Eastern Front so...so keep up Sherman production and out produce the Nazi buggers. Later, Marshall and Eisenhower got involved and demanded and got the M26.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018 at 1:39
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  14. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    @Bandit99 ya might be onto somethin .. (y) (y)

    recorded history indicates they built 1 prototype in 1944 rather than 6.

    "A single prototype of a T26 turret mounted on an M4A3 chassis was built by Chrysler in the summer of 1944, but did not progress into production"

    Perhaps they were T26E1s 10 of which were produced Feb–May 1944 ..

    Code:
    T26E1 90 mm M3 4 torsion bar Torqmatic GAF 24 Feb–May 1944 10 Prototype model selected for full production after testing
    
    the numbers are close enough, it is plausible they might have been prototypes they only thing that does not match is the engine
     
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  15. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++

    @sec_monkey
    The engine to me seems to be the key as Gramps specifically stated "...these tanks had experimental Chrysler Engines"

    But, here are a few another clues,
    "Both Chrysler at Warren, MI and Fisher Body at Grand Blanc, MI built the large hatch M4A3 Sherman tanks starting in early1944 and continuing until the end of WWII." (This is off a Chrysler website)

    Also, the M4A4 Sherman motor was built by Chrysler (Chrysler A57 engine) while the M4A3 motor was built by Ford and "The M4A4 was largely supplied to the British (or kept stateside for training) , the US preferring the M4A3 with the more conventional Ford GAA V8 engine" Why? Probably logistics. But, what I am saying here is Chrysler built not only the M4A3 (using Ford engine) but the M4A4 (using their A57 engine) so... (the M4A4 chassis was a bit bigger than the M4A3 to accommodate the Chrysler engine)

    So, the 10 you found (below) production date would make them ready for experimental deployment by D-Day but I am betting they were on the M4 chassis which makes sense especially since Chrysler built these experimental T26E1s, the M4A4 and Gramps said they "had experimental Chrysler Engines" which would be the A57 engine. So, this all makes sense!

    'T26E1 90 mm M3 4 torsion bar Torqmatic GAF 24 Feb–May 1944 10 Prototype model selected for full production after testing"

    I am saying 6 of these 10 T26E1s were on the LST that took Ura-Ki's granddad to the Normandy beaches. Furthermore, this is NOT in the History books because these T26E1s beat the known 20 T26E3s that were shipped to Europe by 6-8 months plus they actually saw combat during that time period. That's my findings, it makes sense and I am sticking to it. :) LOL!

    @Ura-Ki what division was your grandfather in? What would be almost conclusive is if he was not in the 3rd or 9th Armor Division.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018 at 1:37
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  16. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    My dad drove a Sherman, He was in the 8th Armored amphibious division of the 3rd Army
    What exact model I don't have that information.
     
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  17. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    @Bandit99 jus about everything ya said is plausible (y) (y) the only thing that does not match is the engine.

    The 10 prototypes supposedly had a Ford GAF engine.

    The M4A4 did have a Chrysler A57 Multibank engine which was made up of 5 6cyl Chrysler engines joined together into a large n heavy 30cyl engine.

    [​IMG]

    most of the M4A4s with Chrysler A57 Multibank engines were supplied to Allied countries under Lend-Lease
     
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  18. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++

    @sec_monkey "jus about everything ya said is plausible (y) (y) the only thing that does not match is the engine."

    Yep! I realize that but consider WHERE those 10 prototypes were made...Yep, that's right, at the plant where in the near future Chrysler started cranking out the M4A4 and the A57 engine. We know it HAD to be a M4A4 chassis if it had the big Chrysler A57 engine because that motor would not fit in the M4A3. And, Gramps was very specific about it having the 90mm gun and the experimental Chrysler engine...which is one of the reasons they carried all their own spares because all the M4A3 in theater had the Ford engine.

    So, I am saying while it says M4A3 (actually it say M3 which in this case is the same thing), I am willing to bet it was referred to at that time as a M4A3 2nd generation chassis - meaning - the M4A4 which so happens was also built by Chrysler.

    1. They had to be built in time for 6 June 1944 D-Day? Yes, 10 each T26E1s (no record of anything else being built in time)
    2. They had to have 90mm gun? Yes, those T26E1s had an enlarged turret to support the heavy gun.
    3. Chrysler A57 engine? Gramps said yes, which also means it was a M4A4 chassis which was also built by Chrysler.

    Ask yourself this: If you were building a prototype during wartime and you added a heavier gun, heavier shells, and a heavier turret would you not use your prototype motor which had more horsepower and was right there in the same plant? You would. You went from a medium to a heavy tank so you needed all the horsepower you could get.

    This fits too well... The history records are wrong. Those 10 had the Chrysler A57 engine or at least six (6) of them did and they were deployed to be combat tested. Furthermore, there was nothing else built before that with a 90mm gun because it had to have the special turret so it had to be them. It had to be!

    Still waiting to hear from @Ura-Ki to see if he knows what division he's grandfather was in. If it was the 2nd Armor Division then I think we have a BINGO! 2nd Armor arrived on 9 June (D-Day+3) which is when Gramps said he went ashore. The 3rd Armor Division (which would get half of the 20 T26E3 in Jan/Feb 1945) didn't come ashore until 23 June...and 9th Armor (who would get the other half) came late July or later; I didn't look up past July...

    I wonder how those six tanks made out mechanically in the 11 months before the end of the war...Hell, I would like to know their whole story, where were they...I bet they surprised the hell out of the Germans with that 90mm which was as good as the German 88mm

    BTW did you read where the troops loved those big Chrysler motors as they would move the tank even if 12 of the cylinders weren't working.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018 at 19:18
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  19. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    [winkthumb] [winkthumb] @Bandit99

    the Ford engines produced 450–500 hp while the Chrysler A57 engine only produced 370 hp

    perhaps @Ura-Ki s grandfather trained on M4A4s with Chrysler A57 engines then transitioned to T26E1s or other early M26s jus prior to operation Overlord


    The T26E1s, T26E3s, M26s plus plus were far superior compared to the M4 Shermans however even with 450–500 hp they were seriously underpowered n only had a range of about 90-100 miles.

    their biggest issue [ meaning the entire T26E1, T26E3, M26, .. family ] was arguably their power to weight ratio, it seems unlikely they would have used the A57 which was probably larger, heavier n more complex than the Ford GAN n GAF engines but [dunno]

    being able to run on less than half the cyl is an advantage however that would drop the hp output by 50-60%, perhaps more, great in an emergency nonetheless
     
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  20. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    From the notes; M26 tank had a X24 (designation not listed) gas engine made by Chrysler, displacement unknown. 2 V-12 engines one mounted inverted atop the other, crankshaft geared to each other and driving a common outputshaft to the transmition, HP was de rated to 700 hp, and then de rated again to 570 hp to prolong trans life! Road speeds were up to 34 mph, and combat range on internal fuel was 110 miles with standard fuel, capacity not listed. The trans it' self, was a strengthend version of the M4 Sherman! Type un listed
    The Gun is listed as 90 MM L-4 long tube with ammo in one piece, total load out was 50 rounds, and a combat over load of 68 rounds could be carried. Combat range of the 90 MM shells with the G-43mk-5 gyro stabilised sight was 2600 meters stationary, and 2300 meters on the move at speeds up to 8 mph. The sight was finicky and required constant maintenance to keep it stabilised, otherwise it was used in the static setting. Best used and most accurate was in hull down tube centered over the hull at no more then 11 Deg off set. Armor penetration was up to 30 inches strait on, and up to 24 inches at a -25 deg angle. Cramps noted that they hit a tiger 1 at a distance of 1300 meters and penetrated through both sides of the hull through 4 road wheels just below the top fender line! I had to look up the armor of the tiger1, it shows 33mm times 2+ the unknown dems of the 4 road wheels! Also unknown was internal damages and what effect they had on the through shot. Frontal hits on a tiger 2 were 3 rounds fired, one round cleansing off the top of the frontal plate and jamming the turret ring, second round penetrated part way, but deflected up into the mantlet and took off a good sized chunk, third round penetrated beside the bow gun and was found wedged in the gun carrige basket having passed through the top of the engine!

    Gramps was in the 2nd armored, 7 provisional June 9th and marshled inland to await orders. The first orders were to move out and turn north to provide a road block to counter the expected break out of German armor held to the north, the armor never came south, and on D+12 the division orderd a cross country move to secure a dike road and crossing to prevent the Germans from moving armor and keep from flooding the northern area. When the 3rd was orderd to mount it's offensive south to cut off the southern german break out, the 2nd was held in reserve as a blocking force to the north to prevent the northern armor from running around to the south! Total number of tanks deployed were 6!
    Will list more later!
     
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  21. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++

    @sec_monkey

    "the Ford engines produced 450–500 hp while the Chrysler A57 engine only produced 370 hp"
    Yeah, I had them reversed in my head but the main point is the A57 was handy right there where the T26E1s were built and were prototype which fits Gramps words to a 'T'. And, apparently they were extremely reliable but complex...

    "...grandfather trained on M4A4s with Chrysler A57 engines then transitioned to T26E1s..."
    Possible. I even consider he's memory might not be correct because I know mine isn't at times recalling hairy events in my life but...but this was one of the biggest if not the biggest event in the 20th century and he was special in a million man invasion so some of these things will be remembered in detailed and a motor to a tanker is his life so I'm betting while his memory might have faded on some things the motor and gun he remembered clearly.

    "...were seriously underpowered n only had a range of about 90-100 miles."
    No, you are right there but that was the best they could do so...traded weight for power/speed so they could carry the heavier gun.
    Actually, this is why the Americans went with the tank destroyer (big gun with light armor) until later in the war.

    "it seems unlikely they would have used the A57 which was probably larger, heavier n more complex than the Ford GAN"
    Granted but it was a Chrysler factory and they were tasked with building the M4A4 which came with the A57 so they took one and stuck a heavier turret on it to allow the 90mm and sent it to war...What gets me is they sent it to war - I mean - it's a glass tank with only the parts it could carry to keep it going.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018 at 20:20
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