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Twelve O’Clock High 1949 war movie

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War Movies

While their planes were called Flying Fortress American bomber crew members were as vulnerable to enemy fire as any other pilot in World War 2, a simple fact that US Air Force learned the hard way when they entered the war in Europe. The crews were traumatized by the heavy losses and look of the mutilated bodies of their friends after they had to face the enemy fighters and anti-aircraft guns over the targets.


The 918th Bomb Group of US Air Force operates from Archbury airport in southern England, but their recent operations over Germany were just a long streak of bad luck. The crews are devastated by heavy losses among them and rarely they actually hit their targets. To make things worse their new orders force them to attack from lower altitude, which makes it even more dangerous. Brigadier General Frank Savage does not believe in luck, he sees the poor achievements of 918th as a symptom of poor leadership and takes over the command over the unit. His first steps are simple: he closes down the officers mess, brings back discipline and rigorous training. His crews are disgruntled and put requests to be transferred to another unit.

Twelve O’Clock High was one of the first war movies that actually showed the truth about American bombings of Germany - despite propaganda they were struggling with Luftwaffe and the crews were exhausted by the trauma of seeing their friends being killed or mutilated by enemy fire. Even the B-17 Flying Fortress, considered to be the best bomber of that part of the war wasn’t giving crew enough protection and not many of the airmen reached their minimum number of combat missions to go home. Twelve O’Clock High approached it from different angle - we see the drama behind those missions, but not the missions themselves, with special emphasis on the leadership and organization.


Notes

  • This film is frequently cited by surviving bomber crew members as the only accurate depiction from Hollywood of their life during the war.



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War movies

War movies blog - the best war movies in history (or sometimes the worst). We search the war movies from around the world - not only classic American war movies or British war movies, but also those less known or just less interesting films from other countries. Each of them presents the different face of the war - some concetrate on soldiers and most important battles in history, but others present the suffering of the civilians and the trauma of the men involved in the fighting.




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