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Action Log

06 Dec 2018 1:31 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to WWII Media board

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1,405 hits since 6 Dec 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian06 Dec 2018 1:30 p.m. PST

You were asked – TMP link

Worst 'Wrong Tank Syndrome' Movie?

59% said "Battle of the Bulge"
14% said "Patton"
4% said "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"

Winston Smith06 Dec 2018 1:50 p.m. PST

And it won in the Electoral College too!

Texas Jack06 Dec 2018 1:50 p.m. PST

Im shocked.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Dec 2018 2:18 p.m. PST

I love "Battle of the Bulge." One of my all time faves, wrong tanks or not.

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP06 Dec 2018 2:51 p.m. PST

I find it amusing that this bothers people.
Were the directors supposed to find dozens of working
WWII tanks in 1965? Particularly German ones?

Dynaman878906 Dec 2018 2:57 p.m. PST

The problems with "The Battle of the Bulge" go far beyond wrong tank syndrome. I still like watching it however and the tank battle sequence at the start of the battle is very nice. The one at the end is kinda lame, a case of more not always being better.

GROSSMAN Supporting Member of TMP06 Dec 2018 3:14 p.m. PST

Any movie that used the word "panzer tank"

Winston Smith06 Dec 2018 3:43 p.m. PST

+1 Dynaman 8789.
There is much more wrong with that movie than "Wrong Tank Syndrome".
The whole movie is a lesson in total ignoring of any historical facts.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP06 Dec 2018 4:12 p.m. PST

+1 Dynaman8789

I found Battle of the Bulge unwatchable, and the "wrong tanks" were not the problem. I am perfectly willing to forgive the use of available tanks, especially real tanks in such numbers, to make a good impression in a movie made in 1965. The summer weather, wrong terrain, bad dialogue, horrible plot, self-dating contemporary action movie tropes, and near absence of historical fact were the real problems.

The wrong tanks always bothered me in Patton, but it's still an awesome film. I wish it were longer. I'd love to see the vehicles corrected into the right types with CGI.

- Ix

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP06 Dec 2018 4:25 p.m. PST

Battle of the Bulge is hilarious. The whole thing, start to finish, cracks me up. My best friend and I still quote from it and laugh 40+ years after seeing the film for the first time. It is completely devoid of anything even remotely related to history. You could replace the wrong tanks with X Wing fighters and lose little, save for the open Spanish plains.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP06 Dec 2018 5:02 p.m. PST

Battle of the Bulge is my favorite WW2 comedy. Stop picking on it!

jedburgh06 Dec 2018 6:57 p.m. PST

Trailer for Italian film The Battle of El Alemein

YouTube link

And yes near the end of the trailer those are M113 APC's that the 8th Army are using

jtkimmel06 Dec 2018 8:21 p.m. PST

Bill, I still remember playing in your Bulge game that had all the Easter eggs from the movie on the game board.

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP06 Dec 2018 8:34 p.m. PST

Watching BotB makes me want to claw my eyes out.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2018 4:28 a.m. PST

I got over BoB as a wrong tank movie, but it's just an action movie that happens to be set during the Battle of the Bulge as if the whole thing was decided between two men on opposite sides.

athun2507 Dec 2018 6:50 a.m. PST

Makes you appreciate 'Kelly's Heroes'. The Yugoslavian army had plenty of US tanks and vehicles to use, not to mention the soldiers, and they built 3 "almost Tigers". ( Hollywood Tigers I believe Warlord Games calls theirs.)Yeah, I know, T34 chassis, but good enough for them to be used in 'Saving Private Ryan"!

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2018 7:49 a.m. PST

Not a movie but in Hogan's Heroes TV show they used a Priest and called it the new Tiger tank. I recently saw the episode.

BuckeyeBob07 Dec 2018 8:02 a.m. PST

I'd rather watch this KV1 tank battle movie than BotB anyday
YouTube link

SBminisguy07 Dec 2018 9:22 a.m. PST

The problems with "The Battle of the Bulge" go far beyond wrong tank syndrome.

You mean like formations of tanks charging across the great open, rolling hills of the Ardennes Forest??

Dynaman878907 Dec 2018 9:25 a.m. PST

> You mean like formations of tanks charging across the great open, rolling hills of the Ardennes Forest??

Yup, and rolling gas cans down the hill IIRC. The "outta fuel" clock was a "nice" touch too. Far too many other things to list.

Lonkka1Actual07 Dec 2018 9:37 a.m. PST

Seen Bulge once decades ago and even to my young self it was horrendous a film…

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Dec 2018 2:14 p.m. PST

Saw it with friends when it first came out. Had already read at least one full history of the campaign, so was already well enough versed with the history.

It started limping early on (though I was able to sing along with the "Panzerlied" under my breath during one of the many over-the-top moments), but by the end, it was just a wasted afternoon and ticket price.

I've read issues of "Sgt. Rock" that had more sophistication and nuanced understanding of war than this barking turkey could hope to aspire to. More myths and outright falsehoods are propagated by this overblown mess than any Nazi propaganda piece that a giggling Goebbels could have made up on crack cocaine.

My favorite single image was from the near end of the thing, as the helicopter camera surveys the SANDY battlefield while a tall and graceful lighthouse appears on the horizon

But the "highlight" of the experience was at the very end when some twit utters the immortal line, "They're walking back to Germany."

At that moment, a middle-aged Gentleman sitting alone about three rows ahead of us began to emit a quiet long-suffering moan such as I've never heard out of a theater audience. He definitely looked old enough (not all THAT old in '65) to have been a veteran of the real McCoy, and his reaction summed it all up for everyone in the house.

This stinking mass of celluoid cow flop should be cut up into the world's greatest supply of guitar picks, and after that, generally desecrated.

I end my rant with a quote from a far better film:
"And now, you sonsabitches, you know how I feel!"


rmaker07 Dec 2018 3:30 p.m. PST

4% said "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"

How, pray tell, can a totally fictional tank be wrong?

Winston Smith07 Dec 2018 4:52 p.m. PST

Well, only 4% chose it. grin

jedburgh07 Dec 2018 6:27 p.m. PST

Hans Christian Blech who was Robert Shaws 'batman' was a veteran of the Eastern Front and three years of Soviet captivity after being wounded. I wonder what he thought about BOB and the other war films he was in.

YouTube link

khanscom07 Dec 2018 6:55 p.m. PST

Best "Right Tank" movie that I can remember was "Siberian Trilogy" (a long time ago, so I think that's the right title)-- in the WWII segment you just knew that the good guys were winning when the T-34s came rolling through the infantry position. Lots of Soviet propaganda/iconology but a fine movie nevertheless.

Dynaman878908 Dec 2018 11:02 a.m. PST

> How, pray tell, can a totally fictional tank be wrong?

That one always leaves me scratching my head in wonder too. Though the Panzerfaust that was really some model of RPG showing up in Raiders was a bit of a problem.

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP10 Dec 2018 3:01 a.m. PST

@JT Kimmel: Jeff, I still have all those micro armor bits and the terrain. Mickey and I certainly had fun with that.

donlowry03 Jan 2019 6:39 p.m. PST

Nomination for Best Tank Movie: "The Tanks Are Coming" Warner Brothers, 1951, starring Steve Cochrane

I got it on DVD for Christmas (OK I bought it myself, but then I buy almost all my own presents) and just watched it this afternoon. The story isn't much, and the acting is lame at best, but they used real Sherman tanks, lots of them (tho some of them are versions that were actually introduced later than the period portrayed -- July-Sept '44), and one Pershing. Also a modified TD posing as a Panther (or did they say "panzer," not sure) and some actual war footage.

Worth the price just for watching Shermans in action.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2019 5:30 a.m. PST

Thanks for that Don. Nice little trailer in lower left on that link and gives a bit of the flavor of the movie.

donlowry04 Jan 2019 10:02 a.m. PST

Hadn't noticed that before. Yeah, that's the beginning of the movie. Lots of Shermans. It's about the 3rd Armored Division.

donlowry05 Jan 2019 9:44 a.m. PST

Forgot to mention that there's also a German 88 and a US halftrack involved. And a Sherman with a bulldozer blade, and a tank recovery vehicle (think they call it a T-10) and some M7 Priests. (Some Stuarts in the war footage.)

Spoiler alert: The blond sergeant shown in the trailer is killed early on (by the fake Panther), and the main character of the movie (Steve Cochrane) is the replacement sergeant (think he's supposed to be the platoon sergeant), a hard-nosed type who eventually comes to appreciate the crew he inherits. His tank (a Sherman with 75mm gun) is usually the lead tank of his platoon (and, often, the company and battalion).

Cujoman08 Jan 2019 8:16 a.m. PST

In the category "most uncommon stand-in for a common tank" the price most go to the 1955 adaption of The Unknown Soldier were T-34s are replaced by Panzer IVs…

Sebastian Palmer01 Feb 2019 12:03 a.m. PST

I'm arriving late at this party, but read my review of a Battle Of The Bulge here:


… that'd certainly be my choice. As I say in my review on my blog, compare what Russian film 'Osvobozhdenie' achieves – masses of tanks, and much better faked German materiel – and you might conclude that the American epic film makers got lazy on this one.

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