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Gettysburg.


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Just watched the Ted Turner Film about the battle (with Martin Sheen playing Bobby Lee). Excellent film, that has obviously been well researched in relation to historical detail. Can't remember when it went on general release, but given it's factual nature, it may have not been a big hit at the box office? :roll:

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Thanks for identifying this Gettysburg as Ted Turner and Martin Sheen as General Lee. We have many versions of that battle on film. I remember seeing this fairly recently on television and although I hold Sheen in the highest regard as an actor - this seemed a role beyond his reach. He's too decent a human being to have played a man who caused the death of so many of his own troops as well as loyal troops. I despise the myth of Lee's 'honor and integrity' so my view would be prejudiced. And Tom Berenger seems to buy all of his wigs and mustache out of a dime store -- in every film where he appears with extra hair. Really phony looking. But Jeff Daniels as Chamberlain,the New England college professor who was a citizen without military training was wonderful and inspiring as he held the line on some little hill. He also played George Washington in a film about the surprise triumph over the Hessians at Trenton. So I think Ted Turner's money was well spent in this p;roduction.

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Have to agree with the choice of Sheen; but not necessarilly for the same reason. Looking at the various battles and casualty figures; and given the Confederate's lack of resources, Lee had to apply some finesse to his campaigns; and I believe normally managed a better kill ratio than his more unsubtle opponents. Perhaps his blundering opponents culminating in U.S. Grant; were more responsible for the high casualty rates of their own side? :(

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You may rightfully question the leadership skills on the Union side, but when discussing Gettysburg you should mention Pickett's charge, which come to think of it was around the same time period ??? as the Crimean Charge of the Light Brigade ??? Rebel general Pickett was last in his class at West Point.

 

Must go look up the Light Brigade now -- into the valley of death rode the 600, someone had blundered.

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I agree, Picketts Charge was a futile act of desperation, similar to the attack by Napoleons's "old Guard" at Waterloo. A last throw of the dice and uncharacteristic of Lee. It's refered to, as the "high tide" of the Confederacy. However, if your looking for mass slaughter and incompetant expenditure of lives; Burnside's attacks at Fredricksburg, or Grant's steamroller attacks on Richmond were only beaten by the incompetance of our Generals in WW1. :(

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Come to think of it, I wouldn't call Pickett's charge futile or desperate. I suspect Pickett thought he was invincible and daring -- not desperate. His comments to Lee afterwards seemed to be incredulous 'how could this have happened'? Or maybe Pickett believed God was on his side of the slavers and would shield his troops from Godless Abe Lincoln and miscegenation.

 

[ 15.02.2007, 20:54: Message edited by: jerry ]

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Actually Jez; Gallipoli was an example of strategic finesse, in the promoting of the "indirect approach", Churchill's idea. It actually foundered in it's application, and left our troops floundering on beaches, when they should have moved rapidly inland. Such lethargy was repeated at Anzio (by a US General!) in WW2. :roll: A better example would have been the futile attacks by huge numbers of men against prepared defences and machine guns, as on the Western Front. :roll: As for the US Civil War: the Federal strategy as originally proposed by Gen Winfield Scott - "the Anaconda Plan" - was a strategic example of the "indirect approach", and ultinately proved the winning strategy for the North, executed by an average superiority in manpower of 2-1. Unfortunately, U.S.Grant seems to have believed that such a superiority in numbers was a license to waste them in his bulldozer advance to Richmond; his approach seems to have been adopted into the doctrine of most US Generals since, and certainly British and French Generals in WW1. :roll:

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You may be referring to ANDERSONVILLE where thousands of Yankee Prisoners lost their lives. It came out in 1996 when I was out of the country and missed a lot of films. I saw it years earlier as a stage play as a war crimes court martial of the Rebel commandant. It poses a lot of moral choices, but I tend to believe the critics who say the Nazis at Auschwitz were kinder in dispensing water and bread.

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