There was no sobbing or squealing, and Merlin was magnificent.

Following my original post on Dunkirk, I have now seen the movie (twice).  I am pleased to report that not only was there no sobbing in the theater, but there was no squealing when Harry Styles came on screen.

It is really astounding to think that Mehera Bonner at Marie Claire watched the movie, and instead of feeling empathy for the men (and a few women) undergoing such an ordeal, felt envy for men:

…to me, Dunkirk felt like an excuse for men to celebrate maleness—which apparently they don’t get to do enough.

As I noted I ended up watching the movie twice.  The first time I went with my wife.  After my wife described the movie our daughter asked if I would take her to see it too.  My wife had in the meantime read about the process the filmmakers used to shoot the aerial scenes in IMAX, and this made me decide to watch it the second time in an IMAX theater.  As USA Today explains in How Christopher Nolan shot those amazing aerial ‘Dunkirk’ dogfights:

“I would be on the ground waving (them off),” says Nolan. “Craig would run the camera and fly the plane. They would do a half-hour sortie, come back and we’d look at the tape.”

IMAX cameras allow for only three-and-a-half minutes of film shooting at one time, so the process was drawn out  — each short shoot required a landing, review and film reloading.

“There were literally hundreds of take-off and landings. Up and down. Reload and shoot,” says Hosking

I’m not sure I noticed a big visual difference between the regular theater and IMAX, but the sound was much better in the IMAX theater.  Either way, the entire movie is excellent, and the Spitfire scenes are truly magnificent.

One aspect of the movie shatters the normal pattern, and is especially unusual if your frame of reference is Christian movies.  One of the protagonists (Mr. Dawson) is a father, and yet his character is portrayed entirely positively.  There is no reference to God, but otherwise in word and deed he is the archetypal Christian father.  He is a courageous and wise leader who not only cares for the survival needs of the men he rescues, twice he also steps in to defend individual men’s dignity when their courage is questioned.  While this kind of positive portrayal of a father sadly can’t be permitted in Christian movies, at least some secular film makers are still willing to buck the feminist anti father narrative.

At one point Dawson makes a reference to one of my other favorite characters in the movie.  Dawson recognizes the Spitfires without having to turn to look at them, telling his son:

Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. Sweetest sound you could hear out here.

Indeed it was a sweet sound.

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79 Responses to There was no sobbing or squealing, and Merlin was magnificent.

  1. Gunner Q says:

    “…At least some secular film makers are still willing to buck the feminist anti father narrative.”

    Heh, “buck”. Manly movies are consistently profitable but Hollywood has decided it prefers convergence to cash. The mind boggles.

  2. ar10308 says:

    The sound editing of that movie was quite incredible.

    The Spitfire’s sounded beautiful, while the divebombing sound of the Stuka was downright soul-shaking. I’ve heard that sound used in many places, but never did it have even a fraction of the deep emotional impact it would have had if you were actually on the receiving end of it as it did in the Dunkirk.

    After experiencing that, I can understand that a soldier would carry a primal fear of that sound for the rest of his life.

  3. earlthomas786 says:

    It is really astounding to think that Mehera Bonner at Marie Claire watched the movie, and instead of feeling empathy for the men (and a few women) undergoing such an ordeal, felt envy for men

    If you are full of envy in yourself…how can you have empathy for others?

  4. The Question says:

    “There is no reference to God, but otherwise in word and deed he is the archetypal Christian father.”

    Which is why a lot of lefties hated the film – not because of what it said explicitly, but because of what it said implicitly.

    This also an example of great art conveying values, rather than values conveying art as we see so much in the Kosher Christian Pop Culture.

  5. Pingback: There was no sobbing or squealing, and Merlin was magnificent. | @the_arv

  6. Pingback: Does this mean there wasn’t any sobbing? | Dalrock

  7. Emperor Constantine says:

    Dalrock said:
    “It is really astounding to think that Mehera Bonner at Marie Claire watched the movie, and instead of feeling empathy for the men (and a few women) undergoing such an ordeal, felt envy for men”

    Female solipsism, un-regulated by a dominant male family member or husband, is a bottomless abyss.

  8. rugby11 says:

    I love this post and film because it’s how I used to connect with my dad when he wasn’t being violent film was my mirror into the chambers of his heart. The Arial scene are beautiful.

  9. thedeti says:

    “My wife had in the meantime read about the process the filmmakers used to shoot the areal scenes in IMAX,”

    “areal” = aerial?

    [D: Doh! Thanks. Fixed.]

  10. Dalrock says:

    I found this on youtube:

  11. rugby11 says:

    Dalrock

    Track 10

  12. Opus says:

    All British movies are Christian movies though some have added sins.

    I remain amazed that America likes this movie so much that even yesterday (Sunday) and in its third week of release it led the pack at the box-office.

    I am motivated tomorrow to view Dunkirk at the Waterloo Imax – never been to an IMAX. Not all parts of London by the way are named after battles yet a Dunkirk would be inspiring.

    They had a Spitfire exhibited in the centre of town a few years ago and I was surprised at just how small it seemed to be. Even as a child they used to fly over-head on sortie from Biggin Hill – I was very very young then but old enough to be told exactly what was flying. Naturally, I then believed everything my parents told me, even though as I now suspect the Spitfires had been retired, replaced by Hunters or Lightnings or Buccaneers.

    I will add: the Battle of Britain pilots (Spitfires and Hurricanes) flew (inter-alia) from the airfield at West Malling (now a business park and very flat). The pilots lived in and drank in a cellar in a country house a mile or so away the name of which now escapes met. In my twenties for some reason I also now forget, myself and a group of young wanna-be lawyers spent the evening in the said cellar bar. On the walls were left the graffiti of the brave pilots. As I recall, the graffiti was quite extraordinary but that is to not unexpected when you know that the next day not all of you will once again congregate together in that same bar.

    I was a teenager when I came across the following graffiti on an internal wall of a public building: ‘Promise to Joan’ and the date – 1944 – had been added. I have since then long puzzled what the promise to Joan might have been. Naturally in my mind the promisor was a serving soldier and Joan his sweet-heart. It now occurs to me that he and perhaps even Joan might have been American.

  13. Dalrock says:

    @Rugby11

    I love this post and film because it’s how I used to connect with my dad when he wasn’t being violent film was my mirror into the chambers of his heart. The Arial scene are beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing that. I thought a fair amount about my own father after watching the movie, and suggested he watch it. Interestingly although my father was a Navy pilot, it was Dawson that reminded me of my father the most.

    Also, the video you posted where the director talked about why he kept the dialog limited was very interesting. The general sparsity of dialog was something I talked about with our daughter on the drive home. While I’ve known a few exceptions, most men I know are comfortable working together in silence for significant periods of time. It isn’t that speaking is unwelcome, just that it isn’t always needed. I thought the movie did a phenomenal job portraying that. I suspect the lack of chatter as filler was another aspect that drove the feminist nuts.

  14. Lost Patrol says:

    Nice video to include a Spitfire literally spitting fire!

    Well done Dalrock highlighting the actions and decorum of the father. The filmmaker crafted a story of a quality family and embedded it without fanfare. A family that had both opportunity and a good reason to let someone else deal with the problem, but couldn’t see themselves staying on the sideline.

    The son is obviously a chip off the old block, showing his own mettle throughout as he capably backs up Dad’s play and shows the same regard for other men in extremis as his father, then ensures that recognition and honor go to someone outside the family. Evidence of this family’s broader positive influence is shown by the lad that is so motivated by, and confident in the father and son that he piles in with them.

    A movie showing men that inspire. How much longer can a bold director get away with that?

  15. Jeff Strand says:

    I just can’t force myself to watch the movie. I would get too angry at the Allied troops, knowing from the benefit of hindsight that they were fighting for the wrong side…and how badly they screwed us over today.

    I talked to my mom about this, as my father (deceased for 20 years now) fought in the war. My mom’s in her early 90’s now, but her mind is still pretty sharp. I asked her if she realized what the so-called “Greatest Generation” had done…and did she now bitterly regret it. She said yes, she does now. But at the time, people were too gullible and just did what the govt told them. They were easily deceived and used as pawns to bring about the triumph of cultural Marxism that we have all witnessed.

    Hitler was an obstacle to the Marxists, and hence had to be destroyed. And these crooks used American boys to do so, by deceiving them into believing they were fighting for “freedom”. Just as they deceived them into believing they were fighting to “make the world safe for democracy” in the prior world war.

    It’s all so enraging!

    So I just can’t make myself watch the movie.

  16. El says:

    One of our daughters is a very big history buff as am I, so we saw the film together in IMAX since 2D was sold out. We were glad we saw it that way as we both enjoyed it.

  17. earl says:

    Hitler was an obstacle to the Marxists, and hence had to be destroyed.

    All the major political ethos in the World Wars took God out of the picture and made the state a god…reducing humanity to cogs in the war machine to determine which god was going to win. There was no good guy…and it wouldn’t have been favorable outcome no matter who won.

  18. Probably the best movie I’ve seen in thirty years. The best of the best.

    The quiet determination of the father. His sense of justice and right at the loss of the boy. His care for the shell shocked soldier. That was an amazing bit of screenwriting-acting-directing.

    My sons are yet too young to appreciate the movie. I intend to show it to them as an example of all the various forms of gallantry and courage a man can demonstrate to the world.

  19. rugby11 says:

    “While I’ve known a few exceptions, most men I know are comfortable working together in silence for significant periods of time. It isn’t that speaking is unwelcome, just that it isn’t always needed. I thought the movie did a phenomenal job portraying that.”

  20. Pingback: There was no sobbing or squealing, and Merlin was magnificent. | Reaction Times

  21. Jay Karknee says:

    Thanks for the review but I will not, indeed cannot, watch this movie. To be reminded of what it was like for them, to see what they endured, all so their grandchildren could give the country away to Pakistanis is simply too demoralizing.

  22. rugby11 says:

    Men do…

    “I know are comfortable working together in silence for significant periods of time. It isn’t that speaking is unwelcome, just that it isn’t always needed.”

  23. Gunner Q says:

    Jay Karknee @ 4:11 pm:
    “Thanks for the review but I will not, indeed cannot, watch this movie. To be reminded of what it was like for them, to see what they endured, all so their grandchildren could give the country away to Pakistanis is simply too demoralizing.”

    They fought the battles God gave them in order to make them into the men He wanted. God is doing the same for us today. I envy them because their enemies wore uniforms and understood honor.

    On the bright side, our enemies today think a sophisticated terrorist attack is driving on the sidewalk. The Jerries and Japs were cut from tougher cloth.

  24. Jeff Strand says:

    Earl: “All the major political ethos in the World Wars took God out of the picture and made the state a god…reducing humanity to cogs in the war machine to determine which god was going to win. There was no good guy…and it wouldn’t have been favorable outcome no matter who won.”

    Disagree. Our major allies, the Soviets, were militant atheists and embodied the spirit of antichrist. Hence why Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 referred to “the errors of Russia” with tears in her eyes, as she prophesied the tremendous suffering and persecution the Church would undergo at the hands of the Communists. The Nazis, by way of contrast, did not even merit a mention from her. So from the point of view of God and Holy Mother Church, there’s no doubt that General Patton was right…when at war’s end he stated in his diaries that the American people had been deceived, and that we had fought on the wrong side. He was assassinated shortly thereafter, before he could make good on his threat to return to the States and “tell the American people the truth about this war.”

    Did you know that Hitler’s Germany used taxpayer money to support the Catholic and Lutheran churches in Germany? And assigned chaplains to all their military units? That the very motto of the
    German Heer (army) was Gott Mit Uns, i.e. “God is with us”? That volunteers came from all over Europe to enlist in the Waffen SS, so they could join in the great European Crusade against Bolshevism?

    Did you know that within Hitler’s first few years in power, the abortion rate in Germany fell by about 90% and the suicide rate did likewise? And all the pornography, homosexuality, drug use, and prostitution that Berlin had been famous (or should I say notorious) for during the Weimar years was wiped out almost overnight? Furthermore, cultural Marxists such as the Frankfurt School were expelled from the country (we stupidly took them in, and they proceeded to set up shop at Columbia University and immediately began to implement their cultural revolution of the overthrow of antiquated, Christian values. In this, we can say with hindsight, they were phenomenally successful)

    In the Third Reich, families were encouraged and motherhood was celebrated and encouraged, while feminism was suppressed. Newlyweds were given large interest-free loans they could use to start a family or buy a house – the loan principal was reduced by 25% for each child they had, so after 4 kids the loan was forgiven. The workers and middle class were honored, and tradesman and laborers were gifted with week long cruises (along with their families) for free!

    And you’re gonna sit here and tell me there were “no good guys”? Are you high on crack?

    To learn the real facts, start with the book “The Myth of German Villainy” by Benton Bradbury. It is available on Amazon in Kindle format for a screaming deal of just three bucks!

  25. earl says:

    And you’re gonna sit here and tell me there were “no good guys”? Are you high on crack?

    No…the Catholic church denounced Nazism along with Communism and Fascism. Nazi Germany was no moral traditionalist paradise the propagandists want to paint it as…there were plenty of Catholic martyrs at the hands of Nazis just like the Communists.

  26. Jeff Strand says:

    Earl, we will have to agree to disagree. But if you feel like having an opesn mind, check out the book I recommmded. What you got to lose…it’s 3 bucks!

    Btw, the Vatican declared itself neutral in WWII, just as it did in the Great War. But I don’t have any doubt that the Church’s sympathies ran more toward the Axis side, since they were the ones to heroically take up arms against the greatest enemy Holy Mother Church has ever faced – the Bolsheviks. This was especially proven once hostilities had ended, when the Vatican helped many former Nazis (especially SS members) escape from the Allies and smuggled them into places like Argentina. I’m so proud of the Church for having defied the New World Order and done this.

    Interestingly, in the Civil War it was similar in that while the Vatican was officially neutral, Pope Pius IX himself was not at all discreet about his open sympathies for the Confederacy. To the point that when Confederate President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned after the war, His Holiness personally sent him a crown of thorns! Wow!

    Amazing to realize there actually was a time when the Church wasn’t completely cucked!

  27. Novaseeker says:

    Hey Jeff —

    We’re not Nazis here, just to be clear. And none of us, including the blog host (I am fairly certain) want to be associated with Nazis, because we aren’t Nazis ourselves. This isn’t the place for this — that discourse of yours should be on a blog where most people share your beliefs and are Nazis.

  28. earl says:

    Btw, the Vatican declared itself neutral in WWII, just as it did in the Great War.

    In that it didn’t back any of the powers…however Pope Pius XI had three encyclicals why the church couldn’t support any of them.

    Two Popes served through the Nazi period: Pope Pius XI (1922–1939) and Pope Pius XII (1939–1958). The Holy See strongly criticized Nazism through the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s, with Cardinal Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII) being a particularly outspoken critic.[5] In 1933, Vatican signed a Concordat with Germany, hoping to protect the rights of Catholics under the Nazi government. The terms of the Treaty were not kept by Hitler. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica: “From 1933 to 1936 [Pius XI] wrote several protests against the Third Reich, and his attitude toward fascist Italy changed dramatically after Nazi racial policies were introduced into Italy in 1938.”[6]

    Pius XI offered three encyclicals against the rising tide of European totalitarianism: Non abbiamo bisogno (1931; “We Do Not Need to Acquaint You” —against Italian Fascism); Mit brennender Sorge (1937; “With Deep Anxiety” —against Nazism) and Divini redemptoris (1937; “Divine Redeemer” —against atheist Communism). “Non abbiamo bisogno” directly challenged Italian fascism as a “pagan” movement which “snatches the young from the Church and from Jesus Christ, and which inculcates in its own young people hatred, violence and irreverence.”[7] Pius XI also challenged the extremist nationalism of the Action Francaise movement and anti-semitism in the United States.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pius_XII_and_the_Holocaust

  29. Jeff Strand says:

    Earl,

    One last thing. You just glossed over the point I made about the abortion rate in Germany falling by 90% within the first few years Hitler was in power. I’m not making that up, research it yourself.

    No props or credit for that? You say Nazi Germany was not a “moral traditionalist paradise”, and I agree there’s no paradise this side of Heaven. But reducing the abortion rate by 90 FREAKIN PERCENT in less than 5 years? Is this not unprecedented in the West in modern times? How could such an amazing feat fail to garner the approval of the Almighty for the govt that achieved it? (And the suicide rate – sky high in Germany during Weimar and the Great Depression years – also plummeted in a similarly dramatic fashion, as soon as the Nazis took power)

    We’ve been lied to. Just as General George Patton said.

  30. Jeff Strand says:

    Earl,

    You can’t trust anything written on Wikipedia regarding these issues. In Israel, they run seminars were they teach volunteers how to edit Wikipedia to be favorable to the Jewish point of view. You can find YouTube vids showing these workshops. Wikipedia is not an objective source. Most college level courses forbid students from referencing Wikipedia in their term papers, for just this reason.

    Having said that, I don’t disagree that Pius XI would say he could not support Hitler’s govt as an ideal Catholic form of government…because it does not follow the dogma of “Christus Rex”, where civil society subordinates itself to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Fine. I admit that.

    But just realize, that the Church would also condemn the American form of govt…even back then in the “innocent days” of the first half of the 20th century. This is because the American govt is based and founded on the separation of church and state, a doctrine which Pope St. Pius X called “a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error.”

    Yet, do you spend a lot of your day worried that our doctrine of separation of church and state was condemned by the Church (esp by St Pius X)? And do you feel that any day now, our govt will repudiate this doctrine and pledge to only pass laws in accordance with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church? Then why hold Nazi Germany to a different standard? Yes, the Nazi form of govt was technically illicit according to Catholic teaching – but so has been every Western govt since the Middle Ages ended! And this includes the American form of govt – from 1787 to today!

  31. earl says:

    You just glossed over the point I made about the abortion rate in Germany falling by 90% within the first few years Hitler was in power.

    And you glossed over the half-truth…they gave incentives for the ‘Aryan’ women to not abort, while forcing those they felt inferior to abort and take contraceptives. You can’t shine the turd on White Guy Socialism.

    It’s on Page 111

    http://www.academia.edu/1378119/Abortion_and_Womens_Legal_Personhood_in_Germany_A_Contribution_to_the_Feminist_Theory_of_the_State

  32. Jeff Strand says:

    Nova: “We’re not Nazis here, just to be clear. And none of us, including the blog host (I am fairly certain) want to be associated with Nazis, because we aren’t Nazis ourselves. This isn’t the place for this — that discourse of yours should be on a blog where most people share your beliefs and are Nazis.”

    I don’t know what you mean by people “who are Nazis”. I know that I am a registered Republican, so I’m not in such a category. But I think it’s important we study history objectively and attempt to learn from it…don’t you? People can politely disagree, as Earl and I have done. If you can’t accept that, you’re going to have a hard time on the interwebs!

    P.S. I wonder if you consider General George Patton “a Nazi”. As I remarked earlier, it’s in the historical record that in his diary and his letters home to his wife after the war ended, Patton said that we fought on the wrong side, and that we should have armed the Germans to fight with us against the Russians. Were you not taught this in school? And are you not curious to learn why Patton would form such a remarkable opinion, within months of the guns falling silent?

    P.P.S. It’s considered bad form to attempt to speak for the blog host when you are writing in the comments section. Just speak for yourself. That’s all there is to it.

  33. Jeff Strand says:

    Earl,

    You do realize no one in academia can write a paper that’s objectively fair and unbiased against Nazi Germany and keep his job? I mean, tell me you’re not that naive.

    Now having said that, I agree that abortion was kept freely available for Jewish women. And that a eugenics program was put in place, which culminated in the forced euthanasia “T-4” program that ran for 2 years (1939 to 1941).

    Having said that, you again have to put things in context and judge with a fair standard. Hitler modeled his eugenics policies on American ones – the mentally retarded and undesirables were routinely forcibly sterilized here in this country back in those days. One American judge famously ruled, “Three generations of morons are enough” as he sentenced a retarded young woman to be sterilized. How often do you go around hanging your head in shame and condemning America for that?

    As for the T-4 program, yes it would qualify as a form of murder under Catholic dogma. I don’t deny it. But take note – when the Catholic and Lutheran churches strenuously condemned the program, Hitler shut it down. And this, at the height of his power, in 1941, with his armies victorious all over Europe! He didn’t want to take on the churches, so he caved. And the program was never restarted.

    Now I ask you, can you imagine such a scenario here? A POTUS immediately ending, say, legalized abortions BECAUSE OF OBJECTIONS FROM THE CHURCHES? Not in a million years, and you know it!

    Lastly, none of this changes the statement of fact that the German abortion rate fell by 90% within a few years of Hitler coming to power. And this is unprecedented in the modern West.

    Other than that, you can have the last word. I have to go spend some evening quality time with the wife and kids. But again, check out that book I recommended. At least go to the Amazon page and read some of the reviews. From your history of comments, I know you’re a smart guy Earl. I think you would enjoy the book. It’s written by a US Naval officer and fighter pilot who was in the USN from 1955 to 1975. Very interesting book, I assure you.

    Peace out and God Bless!

  34. evilwhitemalempire says:

    “no sobbing in the theater”
    ——————-
    No ‘sobbing’ but who could not shed at least one tear at the scene with all those private boats coming to shore at once?
    Those who have seen the movie know the part I’m talking about.

  35. earl says:

    Lastly, none of this changes the statement of fact that the German abortion rate fell by 90% within a few years of Hitler coming to power. And this is unprecedented in the modern West.

    Wrong, look into this particular country.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Poland

  36. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    In the Third Reich, families were encouraged and motherhood was celebrated and encouraged, while feminism was suppressed.

    The 1937 dystopian novel, Swatika Night, argues that Nazi Germany’s defining aspect was not its anti-Semitism but its patriarchy. The book was later reprinted by The Feminist Press: https://www.amazon.com/Swastika-Night-Katharine-Burdekin/dp/0935312560

    The story takes place 600 years after Hitler conquered most of the world. Society has reverted to a kind of Spartan system, led by the SS Knights, a ruling warrior class. (Asia is ruled by Japanese Samurai.)

    Women live apart from men, their heads shaven to prevent them from being attractive to men. For a man to love a woman is disgraceful, because they are inferior beings lacking souls. Only men have souls. As in Sparta, male warrior bonding and friendship are noble values.

    Women’s only purpose is to breed children. As in Sparta, at an early age, boys are removed from their mothers and raised by men.

    In the Nazi religion, the god Odin sent his only son, Hitler, to save mankind. Hitler was the only mortal man not born of woman. (Being born of woman is disgraceful, a form of original sin.) Rather, Hitler exploded from the head of Odin (much like Athena in Greek mythology).

    There are Christians in the book, a lowly servant class hated for their effeminate religion.

    Swastika Night is, of course, a condemnation of patriarchy (as seen by feminists).

  37. Spike says:

    Reading your article this morning made me think of what a contrast your (Dalrock’s) review is with as opposed to Mehera Bonner’s spiteful piece. This is a difference in a culture of beauty versus a culture of ugliness.
    Regarding the character Mr Dawson, I see a lot of fathers do exactly that: they aren’t necessarily Christian, but they certainly fit the Criterion of what a Christian father should be. It may be possible that men like Dawson were archetypes of Christian culture, whereas the modern portrayals of fathers belong to the culture of cultural marxism.

  38. Dalrock says:

    Novaseeker is right. Kindly knock off the NAZI crap.

  39. Jeff Strand says:

    Rollo Tomassi: “OT, but more than a little relevant:
    http://thefederalistpapers.org/us/us-marines-test-male-squads-mixed-gender-ones-results

    That is a big, steaming helping of red pill right there! No doubt will result in some serious triggering…

  40. Snowy says:

    The Merlin engine never sounds like it’s working hard at all, even with increased revs. It’s beautiful. Little wonder the allies found comfort in its sound. Very nice.

  41. BillyS says:

    The US should have let Hitler and Stalin bloody each other. Same mistake as WWI carried forward.

    Earl is right, no good guys. Though the RCC has had it’s own issues supporting bad leaders in it’s history, as has any human religious organization. They are not unique.

  42. The Question says:

    @Dalrock

    Since we’re on the topic of WW2 planes (Spitfire) thought you might get a kick out of this photo I managed to get at a local air show a few months ago.

    In order (top to bottom) B-17, Curtiss Helldiver (pretty sure), P-51 Mustang, and one of only two Japanese Zeroes in the world still in flying condition.

    It was a rare privilege to have them flying overhead together like that.

    In a few weeks I’ll be there for when they haul out their Spitfire.

  43. The Rolls-Royce Merlin engine was quite possibly the best engine that the US and Allies had; the North American P-51 ‘Mustang’ didn’t become the legendary fighter aircraft it became until the underpowered Allison engine (which was also prone to catch fire) that was used in the early A and B models was replaced by the Packard-built Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. The Merlin-engined P-51B’s and bubble-canopied ‘D’ models were like thoroughbred race horses compared with the clunky old Allison-engined models.
    As fine a design as the twin-engine P-38 ‘Lightning’ was, it also used the Allison engine; I always wonder what its performance (as spectacular as it was) would have been like if the Allison engines had also been replaced with Merlins. It’s quite possible that a Merlin-engined Lightning could have been competition with the early jets…

  44. Splashman says:

    @Question, nice pic. BTW, the second from top is an F6F Hellcat (Helldiver looks like this. Above the Zeke/Zero is an F4U Corsair.

  45. Splashman says:

    Whoops, messed up the link. Helldiver pic here.

  46. Splashman says:

    Heh, not sure why a-href isn’t working for me. Try this: http://www.militaryaircrafthistorian.com/images/HelldiverHowardBank.jpg

  47. SkylerWurden says:

    I thought it was going to be terrible, but it was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. I think the most striking moment was (POSSIBLE SPOILERS) the forgiveness shown by the father, and especially the son, to Cilian Murphy’s character. The son “lying” to him about the boy was one of the most touching and creative acts of fraternal love I’ve seen. It was a perfect display of the Christian ethic of forgiveness and humility in the face of wrongdoing.

    There was no sobbing, but that scene did bring a tear to my eyes. Just a very powerful moment that was very simple in execution but had so much depth of emotion. Whoever played the son in that movie did a real awesome job through the whole thing, but the struggle and then acceptance in that ome moment was… well… powerful. There’s just no better word to describe it.

    As for the Spitfires:

    “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”
    -Winston Churchill

  48. Adam says:

    The first aircraft is a B-25 Mitchell. not a B-17.

    I am a war movie buff, have been all my life. Dalrock’s views on this film are heartening, as is the fact that it was made in the current climate of fear. But I too cannot bring myself to watch it for the same reasons that others have stated here.

  49. Snowy says:

    Some really good info on the Spitfire at this link:

    https://www.raf.mod.uk/bbmf/theaircraft/spitfirehistory.cfm

    Over 20,000 planes built over 12 years.

    At the end of development: an engine producing more than twice the power of the original; maximum takeoff weight and rate of climb doubled; firepower increased by factor of five; maximum speed increased by a third…all using essentially the same airframe.

    Not bad at all.

  50. Snowy says:

    Nice photo, Dalrock. It’s great that you now have them all correctly identified. I’ll bet you’re looking forward to seeing / hearing the Spitfire.

  51. The Question says:

    Cripes, serves me right for posting the photo that late at night – why was I thinking of the Flying Fortress?

  52. feeriker says:

    The US should have let Hitler and Stalin bloody each other. Same mistake as WWI carried forward.

    Yes, that would have been the most preferable scenario: let two of the three biggest mass murderers of the modern era (Stalin and Hitler [Mao Tse Tung was the third], with Hitler most decidedly the piker of the three in terms of numbers murdered) duke it out until both were broken to the point of collapse. If Hier had thought to ask the Japanese to attack Russia in the east, forcing Stalin to fight a two-front war, the mutual collapse might have come sooner.

    As far as repeating/continuing World War I’s mistakes goes, that’s a given; World War II was, after all, really just World War I, Part II after a 21-year hiatus.

  53. The Question says:

    This is the Spitfire that they’ll be flying here in a few weeks.

  54. Jeff Strand says:

    Back in college one of my professors related how he had taken part in a re-build project on a P-51. This was back in the 60s. Anyway, the owner was some rich idiot with more money than brains. He paid to have the plane meticulously restored. For my prof and the others who worked on the project, it was a labor of love.

    Finally the project was complete and the owner came to get the airplane. Being an idiot, he didn’t bother to get any flight instruction in a Mustang, and he had never flown one. As he taxied it out for takeoff, my prof and the rest of he guys who had worked on it all lined up to watch him takeoff.

    What the owner didn’t realize is that the engine was so powerful and has so much torque, that at full power and very slow speed on the ground the airplane is uncontrollable. The correct technique is to bring in the power slowly, allowing the increasing speed to bring up rudder effectiveness, as you gradually come up to full power.

    The owner, however, went to full power right at the start of takeoff. The plane immediately went off the runway, and ended up balled up in a ditch. Total write off. My prof said he and the team who restored it saw the whole thing. Their emotions, after having spent months re-building the thing to a pristine state, can only be imagined.

    Sometimes having lots of money doesn’t mean you have common sense!

  55. Dalrock says:

    Great shot The Question. I see that your camera managed to stop the props. My personal favorite of the group is the F4U. Like the later jet with the same F4 designation (Phantom), it managed to be so goofy that it somehow looks elegant.

  56. 7824 says:

    Jeff Strand, go back to Stormfront.

    Anyone who thinks Hitler was pro-life is insane or deluded.

    Hitler wanted to increase the birthrate of healthy “Aryan” people (hence his opposition to “Aryan abortion” while murdering and aborting all groups he deemed inferior else, including the disable, Slavs, Jews, Gypsies.

    Here is a statement by Hitler on the Poles:
    “They may use contraceptives or practice abortion–the more the better. In view of the large families of the native population, it could only suit us if girls and women there had as many abortions as possible. Active trade in contraceptives ought to be actually encouraged in the Eastern territories, as we could not possibly have the slightest interest in increasing the non-Germanic population.”
    -Hitler

    http://www.cpforlife.org/the-nazis-and-abortion

  57. 7824 says:

    I found another good read about Hitler and abortion. I known the author of this piece personally:

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/prolife/nazipopu.txt

  58. Jeff Strand says:

    7824,

    Can you not read? Dalrock has asked that the subject be dropped. Show some respect for him as the blog owner and comply with his request, as everyone else has.

  59. Jeff Strand says:

    Oh, forgot to add this to my anecdote about the restored P-51.

    After the war, the military was selling off much of their war materiel to the public. Surplus P-51’s in working, flying condition were sold for $1500. I consulted an inflation calculator, and $1500 in 1945 equals $20,300 in 2016 dollars.

    Can you imagine? Getting a P-51 in flying condition for 20 grand??

    Ahhh, the opportunities….

  60. Anon says:

    feeriker,

    As far as repeating/continuing World War I’s mistakes goes, that’s a given; World War II was, after all, really just World War I, Part II after a 21-year hiatus.

    As time passes, it might eventually just be called ‘The Second Thirty-Year War’…

  61. PokeSalad says:

    A good book about the Battle of Britain, for those interested in that, is “Duel of Eagles.” The author, a Hurricane pilot during the battle, good-naturedly groused that it was unfair that the Spitfire got all the PR/press when there were actually more Hurricanes fighting the Luftwaffe LOL

  62. Gunner Q says:

    PokeSalad @ 11:57 am:
    “The author, a Hurricane pilot during the battle, good-naturedly groused that it was unfair that the Spitfire got all the PR/press when there were actually more Hurricanes fighting the Luftwaffe LOL”

    I bet he went on to be a bomber pilot. “We make history while the fighter pilots make movies but they get all the girls. What’s up with that?”

    *checks* He did! The Vickers Vildebeest. Even uglier than an A-10 Warthog.

  63. Allen says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing this movie. I saw the “Battle of Britain” in England as a boy when it came out in 1969. That movie was stupendous for it’s time. You felt like you were with them in the cockpit at times. One of the aspects that never left me was some of the audience members my father was speaking to after the movie. They were older men, in some cases speaking quite caustically about portions of the movie, in others laughing and having a high old time. Then one of the men rapped on his leg with his cane and a hollow thump ensued. My father later explained to me that the gentlemen flew for the RAF and the one had is legs shot off in that battle. They seemed so normal, but I had my first inkling of how so much could go unseen in a man.

  64. Jeff Strand says:

    Allen,

    Isn’t it strange? When I was a kid and a teenager, all the old codgers were WWII vets. Now they’re Vietnam vets!

    Time marches on.

  65. The Question says:

    @Dalrock

    Thanks, I actually got that shot from video I recorded of the flights. My wordpress plan won’t let me upload the video to my site to link it here, otherwise I’d post it, but it was amazing footage. During one of the flights they had the P-51 and the Corsair chasing after the Japanese Zero, and it left a very eerie feeling in my gut. My friends and I observed that the last time those planes were in the sky together like that was in 1945, at the earliest, and they were trying to shoot each other out of the sky.

    Just for fun, here is another rare plane they have here, a restored German Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, the only rocket-powered fighter aircraft….right next to their V-2 Rocket on display.

  66. tsotha says:

    If Hier had thought to ask the Japanese to attack Russia in the east, forcing Stalin to fight a two-front war, the mutual collapse might have come sooner.

    Not only did the Germans ask the Japanese to attack Russia, it was central to the German diplomatic strategy and the major reason Germany declared war on the US after Pearl Harbor. The Germans had suffered a massive Russian counterattack just two days before Japan bombed Pearl harbor, and they were desperate to regain the offensive. The Japanese made vague promises about attacking Vladivostok, but really they never had any intention of doing so and were simply using the Germans distract the US.

    If Hitler had refused to declare war on the US, there’s a good chance public opinion would have kept us out of Europe for years as we dealt with Japan. In retrospect what he should have done is publicly denounced Japan and offered assistance “as circumstances allow”.

  67. Gunner Q says:

    tsotha @ 6:10 pm:
    “If Hitler had refused to declare war on the US, there’s a good chance public opinion would have kept us out of Europe for years as we dealt with Japan.”

    It wasn’t that simple. FDR was a total hawk and tried to provoke war with shenanigans like the Lend-Lease Act and transporting military supplies to the UK on civilian ships. By the time Pearl Harbor happened, it was fairly obvious the US gov’t was doing everything short of pulling triggers against Germany. Hitler was going to lose anyway if he didn’t stop our “peacetime” participation so when forced to choose between losing Japan as an ally and getting to sink our military aid, yeah.

    His gamble was probably that we’d fight Japan first, which was likely because only Japan had actually killed Americans on American soil, and he’d be done in Europe soon. Would we have invaded Europe after an exhausting Pacific campaign when our European allies had already fallen, or would we declare a truce against an enemy that had never actually attacked us?

    But FDR turned out to be a Christ-hating globalist and prioritized conquering Europe in order to set up the United Nations. Also, USA managed to fight a global two-front war. That was rather unexpected; remember we weren’t ranked as a superpower until WW2.

  68. Jeff Strand says:

    Gunner,

    Good points. It’s similar to when people say “Hitler shouldn’t have invaded Russia – didn’t he learn from Napoleon’s catastrophic campaign of 1812? What was he thinking!”

    What they don’t realize was that Hitler’s attack to the east was a preventive war, and we now know for a fact (since Soviet archives have been released) that Stalin was preparing to attack to the west…and Hitler preempted him by literally 2 weeks. That’s why all the Soviet troops and planes were bunched up at the border, and the trenches and anti-tank obstacles and other defensive preps had all been removed.

    For all the details, see the book “Icebreaker”.

  69. earl says:

    But FDR turned out to be a Christ-hating globalist and prioritized conquering Europe in order to set up the United Nations.

    Which is why the US wasn’t a good guy in the war either. FDR the socialist had quite the affinity for Stalin. Plus there was always some rumblings that there was already communists in DC…although I think they went by a different name, democratic socialists.

  70. They Call Me Tom says:

    I’ve always put Nolan as one of those directors who is more traditional in his values than his peers. Even Memento, which is more about the dangers of moral relatavism than a celebration of it in my opinion.

    Dunkirk is much like Sparta at the hot gates, and I was simply glad that a movie was made that might inspire millenials to read further. I graduated in the 90s, and even then, the education of World War II was pretty deficient. And I didn’t really grasp it until I’d done some reading on WW2 after college.

  71. tsotha says:

    It wasn’t that simple. FDR was a total hawk and tried to provoke war with shenanigans like the Lend-Lease Act and transporting military supplies to the UK on civilian ships.

    There had been a low level naval war going on between Germany and the US for years, and it would have stayed at that level as long as the Germans were willing to ignore a certain amount of provocation. FDR was certainly desperate to get the US involved, but he had considerable domestic opposition. With war declared against Japan, he couldn’t very well go to Congress and say “Hey, now that we’re in a big war, let’s get into a second one.” He would have been crucified, politically.

    But FDR turned out to be a Christ-hating globalist and prioritized conquering Europe in order to set up the United Nations. Also, USA managed to fight a global two-front war. That was rather unexpected; remember we weren’t ranked as a superpower until WW2.

    Finishing the fight in Europe, where we had lots of allies, made strategic sense. Fighting a two-front war is all about freezing one front in place with minimum expenditure of effort and prosecuting the second to victory with everything you have. Besides, by mid-’41 FDR and Churchill were worried the Russians would crush the Germans and Europe would simply trade one poisonous authoritarian ideology for another.

  72. Opus says:

    My cinematic visit to Dunkirk has been deferred.

    Whatever the merits or de-merits of the above expressed views as to the Germans and the British it seems to me that the most basic of observations is missing: namely concerning British policy towards Europe. Since at least the time of Bonaparte, British policy has been to keep Europe weaker than it might otherwise be, that is to say Britain will not tolerate an over-mighty France or an over-mighty Germany. It is that which persuaded Prime Minister Chamberlain to declare war on Germany in September 1939 – a sort of British Monroe doctrine. More recently that same policy saw Britain keen to enter the European Union and its predecessor the EEC and with the aim of defusing Franco-German might. I am afraid that has proved no more successful than fighting WW2.

  73. Tam the Bam says:

    “Indeed it was a sweet sound.”
    Couple of Supermarine-like jobs floated low and slow in echelon over a recently-deceased relatives’ house I was tackling the embarrassingly overgrown garden of, a few weeks back. Probably from Farnborough or off to So’ton. Not a connoisseur, despite dad and grandads being in the trade, so to speak, so don’t know what marque but knew instantly, in my bones, without looking up from the accursed spiky berberis hedge. Surprised they can still get them to fly. But there’s something organic and transcendent about that throttled-back grumble not apparent in the Lancs and so on the old man used to crew (61 Sq).
    That sound, in that airframe. Somebody got it just right (with a sliderule). For a racing machine turned weapon of death, it’s quite exhilarating for people of my age, like the family dog on guard. Comfy.
    We had some gin in the blazing sunshine and toasted the relative (worked at Bletchley, typing pool for Overlord later; very keen on gin, Park Drive and crosswords).

  74. Magus says:

    This review lead me curious if you’d seen Hacksaw Ridge. Searched the archive and, indeed, you have.

    We’ve been rather lucky recently to get these two movies (relatively) close together. I love a good war movie, but these two were something really special.

  75. Opus says:

    Today I went into Waterloo and purchased a ticket for the 12,30pm showing of Dunkirk on the IMAX screen. The IMAX had been built over a piece of 60s non-planning – a submerged Circus (or as you would say, Circle) – and thus ideal for the IMAX cinema. Vagrants had lived under the eaves off the circus in their makeshift homes known as Cardboard City – that was in the early days of Mrs Thatcher – and I mentioned to the girl serving me in the IMAX cafe that that had been the last time I had been on this piece of real estate – she looked at me blankly, for the early eighties were as remote to her in time as was Dunkirk for me.

    Before the screening it was announced by the Usherette that not only was IMAX Warterloo the largest screen in the country but there were in Great Britain just three IMAX copies of the movie. Having now seen IMAX I tend to think that there is little benefit in the added height and that the more conventional widescreen is as, if not, more effective. It was very loud and even so I was surprised that I had to strain to catch the dialogue – and not just those regional accents; Scottish, west country – that inhabit the film. In short the sound was awful as was the music. Zimmer’s score may be effective in its cinematic context but that does not exonerate him from the charges of banality and plagiarism (the Elgar). I find him guilty as charged.

    Having paid £16.00 and it being my first and surely last visit to an IMAX I watched all the end credits. I learned that a half dozen or more of the ‘little boats’ recreated their earlier heroics – a nice touch. I also noted the usual exoneration that the story although centered around Dunkirk was entirely fictional as to person and incident. If one ignores its WW2 setting one thus might see the movie as a screen-fest for Claustrophobophiles. It does not to my kind have the human interest of the 1958 version and that partly because it lacks a leading man (1958 had John Mills – a British equivalent of say Tom Hanks) whose story follows him, first fighting through France with a few men and then at Dunkirk and then crossing the channel. He may have been a little too old for the role but the 1958 gained in cinematic conviction what it lacked in youth – one rooted for Mills which in the confusion of the multitude of similarly dressed soldiers of the 2017, one didn’t. 1958s ‘little boat’ skipper was played by Bernard Lee (better known as ‘M’); he *spoiler alert* is killed on the beach at Dunkirk.

    The three time periods which are announced at the beginning of the 2017 version seemed to me to be entirely unconvincing and one never gained any sense of the endless trips made by the ‘little boats’ nor was their any sense that no less than 400,000 men were rescued.

    Amongst the anachronisms I think it entirely right (because otherwise you would notice it) that no one was smoking and that the haircuts were wrong for 1940. I was equally surprised that early on we see two African’s who are apparently French soldiers – but surely not Algerians. I was also surprised to see that the seat covers in the train (at the end) looked suspiciously like standard British Rail issue from the early 1990s – and why having got within sight of Dover does one ‘little boat’ then wander down the coast with its passengers a few hundred miles to Dorset?.

    It was however well-acted and Mark Rylance must surely be a potential Oscar nominee for Best Actor in a Supporting Role next year.

    Before the screening we endured some adverts and I think I now understand what Dalrock means when he observes how fathers and middle-aged white men are portrayed in adverts – I don’t have a television – that is to say as bungling oafs whereas the multi-coloured other men and women are seen as lively and intelligent. The racial mix in the adverts incidentally bore no resemblance to the racial make-up of the audience of upwards of 150 at the 12.30pm screening. I was shocked to see however that my countrymen and women had carpeted the floor with popcorn – a regrettable American import which was not available when I was of cinema going age.

    If I did not care for the movie my reasons for that are not those of Ms Bonner.

  76. Opus says:

    It is now nearly three weeks since I saw the movie. Perhaps my above views were somewhat too harsh for I must confess many of the scenes have stayed vividly etched in my memory (in a good way). In the light of Hurricane Harvey and the Cajun’ Navy it is worth noticing (which the film fails to bring out) that no less than seven hundred small craft and on multiple journeys made the crossings to Dunkirk.

    By my rough calculation Dunkirk has been viewed so far by about fourteen per cent of the (native) British population which for a film not aimed at children or teenagers – the main cinema-going demographic – and for an event not in the memory of all but a few still living, strikes me as remarkable.

  77. The Question says:

    @Dalrock

    Finally got to see it flying in the air.

    “Indeed it was a sweet sound.”

    Indeed it was.

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