Thursday, 4 August 2016

April 9th: An interesting film about the German invasion of Denmark in 1940

I recently bought an Amazon Fire TV Stick and have been watching some of the films that are available. One of these was APRIL 9th (originally made in 2015 and entitled 9.APRIL in Danish), and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the history of the early part of the Second World War.


The film tells the story of a group of Danish bicycle infantry who are sent to try to stem the German invasion of Denmark on 9th April 1940. In the last days of peace a Danish bicycle infantry company based in South Jutland prepares for the possibility of war. A motorcycle reconnaissance platoon arrives to support them, and together they are mobilised and sent southwards when a border post is overwhelmed by the German invader.


The motorcycle reconnaissance platoon speeds ahead of the bicycle infantry, ...


... but is soon forced back by the advancing German armoured and motorised troops. The bicycle infantry company makes a stand, ...



... but it too is overwhelmed, and only the remnants of a platoon manage to escape. After stopping for a while at a farm to rest and recover, they then set off to rejoin the motorcycle reconnaissance platoon, who have set up a roadblock. Their efforts are hampered by the crowds of civilians who have come out to watch events, ...


... but the latter soon disperse when the advancing Germans arrive and the defenders are forced to retreat yet again.

They eventually arrive at the town of Haderslev, where they join the defenders. A German atack is not long coming, and the platoon carries of fighting ...


... until it runs out of ammunition, at which point it surrenders, only to find out that the country's government had surrendered to the Germans some hours earlier.

The film has subtitles (something that not all viewers will like) but it seems to be well researched and the military equipment looks very authentic. For those who have a particular interest in weaponry there is one scene that shows a Madsen Light Machine Gun being fired from a rather complex looking tripod mount, and another where a German armoured vehicle is engaged by a 20mm Madsen Anti-tank Cannon that is mounted on the sidecar of a motorcycle combination.

18 comments:

  1. Which service is this streaming on? I can't find it on Amazon video.

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    Replies
    1. Astgamer,

      I found it using the 'Search' feature. I typed in 'April 9' and it came up as one of the options that I could choose.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. I bought that on eBay last week (so it recommended on another blog).
    Very good film. None of the Hollywood treatment that has marred so many war films.

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    Replies
    1. Nobby,

      I saw this film had been recommended by Tradgardmastare, and found it when I searched for it on Amazon. I may well opt to buy a copy as I can see me watching it again.

      You are right about the way the film tells the story without any unrealistic heroics. It is one of the reasons why I enjoyed it so much.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Hi
    The equipment, kit, weapons uniforms of the danish are simply authentic under control of the Danish Army Museum, so any figure modellers, please note that :)

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    1. Mads Kofoed,

      I'm not surprised that the Danish Army Museum made sure that everything looked authentic. Having visited the excellent museum in Copenhagen, they certainly seemed to take great pains to tell the full story of the Danish Army in considerable detail.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  4. Good film, it was on Amazon Prime.
    Did you spot the MG42 though in 1940?
    How fast can you change a by circle tyre?

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    Replies
    1. Simon Jones,

      It is an excellent film.

      I must have missed the MG42. I assume that it was being fired by the German attackers.

      I cannot remember the last time I changed or fixed a bicycle tyre ... but I'm sure that it took me much longer than ninety seconds!

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Even the extended puncture repair in the woods never allowed time for the glue to cure.
      In the circumstances I would have either ridden it flat or ditched the bike, but maybe for the script this was intended to link back to earlier training.

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    3. Whiskers,

      Funnily enough I thought that they had changed the inner tube rather than repair the one that had a puncture. I will look out to see if I misunderstood what was happening when I watch the film in the future.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. I have bought some Danes in 20mm to try some games with the portable modern rules.
    Alan

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    Replies
    1. Tradgardmastare (Alan),

      That sounds very interesting indeed! I look forward to reading your battle report at some time in the future.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. An excellent film - I also discovered it with Amazon Fire. Try also 'The man in the high Castle' a good mini series with a what-if WW2 theme!

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    1. Stryker,

      We haven't had an Amazon Fire Stick for long, but we have discovered some very interesting programmes ... including the highly compulsive THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE! We have just finished episode 6 and hope to watch the rest of the series over the next couple of weeks.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  7. An excellent film Bob. I like that while the protagonist shows courage, in the end the viewer is left questioning its value.

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    Replies
    1. Pat G,

      I must admit that I had not thought of the film in that way, but on reflection, your are right.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete