Historical Naval actions that would make good movies?

Discussions on naval-war movies, films and games.
Orville H. Larson
Member
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:31 pm
Location: Minnesota, USA

Postby Orville H. Larson » Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:42 am

Orville H. Larson wrote:
RF wrote:
Orville H. Larson wrote:A most provocative question, RF!

STEPHEN HOPKINS went down after taking a hellacious pasting from the combined fire of STIER and TANNENFELS, but not before inflicting fatal damage on STIER, her principal antagonist. Captain Paul Buck was the better man who commanded the worse ship.

This is what Captain Gerlach of STIER said about the battle:

"It was immediately clear that this was not an ordinary merchantman. She was either an auxiliary, possibly even an AMC, whose armament was estimated as one 5.9 on the stern, two four-inch or five-inch on the bow, two of the same forward of the funnel and two more behind it,
plus some 40mm and 20mm."

Come off it, man! This is a seemingly deliberate exaggeration of his enemy's fighting capacity. Gerlach was probably ashamed--he should have been--that he lost his ship to a vastly unequal foe.


The problem for Gerlach, like Burnett in the Sydney, was that he was caught pants down by an alert, efficient enemy. If Buck had blundered instead into Michel, with von Ruckteschell in command, would the battle have been different?


No doubt STEPHEN HOPKINS would have been sunk. Given the superiority of the raider, that's the only reasonable outcome.

However, as long as HOPKINS' gun crews remained alive and at their guns, MICHEL would not have had an easy time of it. Ensign Kenneth Willett, USNR--the remarkable young officer who commanded the Armed Guard detachment--handled the four-inch gun with superb accuracy and determination. (This, despite being fatally wounded and barely conscious.) To quote SALVO!:
EPIC NAVAL GUN ACTIONS by Bernard Edwards:

"...Ensign Kenneth Willett and his fourteen Armed Guard gunners, a wartime addition to the STEPHEN HOPKINS' crew, had also spent their time well, stripping, cleaning, and endlessly drilling with their armament. The Liberty carried a stern-mounted four-inch, two 37-mm quick-firers and six machine guns, four of .50 caliber and two of .30 caliber. If and when the time came, Willett was confident that his guns would speak with some authority...."

As long as Willett and his men remained alive, they would have given MICHEL a good pasting.


Here are relevant quotes from SALVO!: EPIC NAVAL GUN
ACTIONS about Ensign Willett and his men:

"Ensign Kenneth Willett, commander of the Armed Guard, raced out on deck at the first sound of the alarm bells straight into a storm of bursting shells and ricocheting bullets. The young Californian was immediately seriously wounded in the stomach, probably by flying shrapnel, but he staggered aft to the poop, collecting a second wound on the way. Although grievously hurt--some observers claimed that his entrails were spilling out of his stomach wound--Willett took charge of the 4-inch and opened fire on the STIER. At the same time Second Mate Joseph Layman was directing the fire of the twin 37-mm guns forward and other gunners had gone to the six machine guns and were in action.

"Firing over open sights, Willett, assisted by Cadet Edwin O'Hara, fought a hopelessly one-sided duel with the STIER, his single 4-inch against the raider's centrally-controlled battery of 5.9s....

"The STEPHEN HOPKINS was beam-on to the rough seas heaped up by the line squall and rolling awkwardly, driving rain seriously reducing visibility. Kenneth Willett was by now barely conscious, but some kindly Providence must have been guiding his aim on that grim September morning in the South Atlantic....

"The two ships, merchantman and ex-merchantman, fought it out at close range for another twenty minutes in the midst of a howling gale. The outcome of the fight should never have been in doubt, for the German's guns were heavier, were precisely aimed and outnumbered the American's six to one. But, although the STEPHEN HOPKINS was steadily being reduced to a burning wreck
by the STIER's 5.9s and many of her crew were dead or wounded, there was no sign of her yielding. Willett and his Armed Guard crew handled the single 4-inch superbly, putting 35 shells into the STIER, fifteen of them below the waterline...."

kotori87
Junior Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:25 pm
Location: Davis, California

Postby kotori87 » Sat Apr 28, 2007 1:43 am

There actually is a movie about the battle of Tsushima Strait. It was made in Japan, apparently by the same guys who did Godzilla. I found a few clips on YouTube and now I'm looking for a US source for a DVD. Anyway, here are the clips I found:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g1qzm03B9w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKqTQBzeptI
there are 101 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, those who don't, and those who just can't count

User avatar
marcelo_malara
Senior Member
Posts: 1072
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:14 pm
Location: buenos aires

Postby marcelo_malara » Sat Apr 28, 2007 4:08 am

I can´t believe those images, hope that someday could see it in DVD.

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:07 pm

About the Battle of Tsushima Clip: just beautifull. Is it there a way to buy the DVD?
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Tue May 01, 2007 4:22 pm

Hey, fellows!

I just find out a way to copy the youtube or google video of your interest to your computer:

Try this page: vixy.net

It´s an online FLV converter. You just copy the URL into the blank space and after the conversion you can download it.

Best regards.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

MichaelC
Member
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 3:40 pm
Location: Canada

Postby MichaelC » Tue May 29, 2007 11:23 pm

I would say:

2nd battle of Sirte with Vian's 4 cruisers and 12 destroyers defending a convoy from the Italian battlefleet (C.S. Forester's The Ship)

H.M.S. Illustrious: Comissioned --> Taranto --> Damaged by Stukas --> Ordeal in Malta --> escape.

Pedestal Convoy, especially the drama of the Ohio.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7490
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Postby RF » Thu May 31, 2007 10:10 am

Regarding the Battle of Sirte one key factor is of how the Italians would be portrayed.....
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

User avatar
Bluemill
Junior Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:07 am
Location: Scituate, MA, USA

The U.S.S. Salem

Postby Bluemill » Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:14 pm

Hi,

Can you point me in the direction to get a US format DVD or VHS of Pursuit of the Graf Spee or The Battle of the River Platte? I did an extensive search on the internet and could only find European format DVD's for a reasonable price. Only E-bay had a copy for a "rip off" price.

I am in the greater Boston area, 25 miles south of the city. In Quincy, right were she was built, is the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Salem. It is a museum ship that is open to the public. It was consolation ship when we didn't get the Lexington when she was retired, for she too was built at the Fore River Yard (Watson Ship Building, Bethleham Steel, General Dynamics). I agree that it was pretty stupid that they used a U.S. heavy cruiser for the movie, TOTALLY undisguised! They could have at least painted over the hull number, and perhaps built on a little fake superstructure to make her look like a "Panzerschiff."

The good news is that the movie used real ships, not models, and the Salem is a very slinky looking cruiser, with low freeboard, a staight stem, and triple gunned nain turrets like the Spee. When you go on board you can enter many compartments, including the FULLY automatic main armament. I guess she could really pound out the shells! They used 8" CARTRIDGES.

Best,

Bluemill
"Bismarck, massive and elegant, with the high flare of her bows and majestic sweep of her lines, her ease and arrogance in the water, was then the most graceful, most powerful warship yet built."
-Ludovic Kennedy in his book: Pursuit

surfsup
Junior Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:58 am

Re: Historical Naval actions that would make good movies?

Postby surfsup » Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:41 pm

Even though stictly not a battle, the Channel Dash of the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and the Prinz Eugen would make a good suspenseful movie.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7490
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: The U.S.S. Salem

Postby RF » Tue May 05, 2009 8:40 am

Bluemill wrote:
I agree that it was pretty stupid that they used a U.S. heavy cruiser for the movie, TOTALLY undisguised! They could have at least painted over the hull number, and perhaps built on a little fake superstructure to make her look like a "Panzerschiff."

l


At least they didn't use the Lexington rather than Salem.... That really would have stretched the imagination as to the outline of a panzerschiffe....
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

JtD
Member
Posts: 216
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:37 pm

Re: Historical Naval actions that would make good movies?

Postby JtD » Tue May 05, 2009 11:09 am

I think 1940 around the French Fleet, in particular the Jean Bart would make a great movie. In particular as it would be hard to draw a black white picture of good and bad and it would not have a silly happy end that in real war just doesn't exist.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7490
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: Historical Naval actions that would make good movies?

Postby RF » Wed May 06, 2009 8:04 am

An interesting scenario, but I think the main problem with that issue is where you draw an end to the film. Simply leaving it where the RN fires on the French doesn't give it the full story and misses out on the fact that all the French, apart from those fighting on the German side, came over eventually to the Allies.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

JtD
Member
Posts: 216
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:37 pm

Re: Historical Naval actions that would make good movies?

Postby JtD » Wed May 06, 2009 5:31 pm

That's like saying all Italians, Romanians or Finns eventually came over to the Allied side, except for those fighting on the German side.

I though of ending the movie with the British attack, as it is the most shocking moment in the story and probably the best climax, but you're right in that it doesn't really tell the whole story. There should at least be some kind of epilogue that sums up some of the thereafters. But I wouldn't go as far as "and they went on to take Berlin and defeat the evil Nazis". Maybe Torch / Toulon.

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7490
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: Historical Naval actions that would make good movies?

Postby RF » Thu May 07, 2009 7:51 am

JtD wrote:That's like saying all Italians, Romanians or Finns eventually came over to the Allied side, except for those fighting on the German side.



No it isn't.

As you yourself say what is needed is some explanation of the events afterwards, to set them in correct historical context.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

jsk1969
Junior Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:30 am

Re: Historical Naval actions that would make good movies?

Postby jsk1969 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:57 am

Mid-way. Imagine the realistic Cgi battle scene`s they could do today?


Return to “Movies, Films, Documentaries and Games”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest