Saturday, 7 January 2017

1944: Forced to Fight

The number of war films set in the twentieth century and produced by the countries of Eastern Europe continues to rise. The latest one that I found on sale for £3.00 in ASDA is entitled 1944: FORCED TO FIGHT, and was made in Estonia.

The film is interesting in that it begins by telling the story of members of 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Estonian) (20.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (estnische Nr.1)), and then switches over to the 8th Estonian Rifle Corps of the Soviet Red Army. The latter was renamed the 41st Guards Estonian Tallinn Rifle Corps in June 1945. In both segments it examines the reasons why the soldiers chose – or felt forced to – fight for one side rather than the other.

The events it portrays took place between July and November 1944, and include the Battle of Tannenberg Line (25th July to 10th August 1944) and the Battle of Tehumardi in S├Árve Peninsula (October to November 1944). The battle scenes are amongst some of the best I have watched, and the attention to detail is superb. There seems to have been minimal use of CGI and as a result the film looks and feels very realistic.











The film is ninety five minutes long, and is in Estonian, Russian, and German, with English subtitles.

6 comments:

  1. I'll look out for a copy of that next time we're in Asda Bob, those stills certainly look authentic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Lee.,

      I was certainly impressed by what I saw ... and the story has a couple of interesting aspects to it as well.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. The Title "Forced to Fight" reminds me of an episode that happened to me in the mid 70's. I was in Belgium on business when the manager of the company I was visiting said that he wanted to thank the US through me for all the soldiers that volunteered in WWII to save Belgium from the nazis! I had to respond that I had bad news "most of those soldiers had been drafted!
    Dick Bryant

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dick Bryant,

      I love the story.

      From what I have learned from talking to veterans of the British Army who were 'forced to fight', it was the defining moment of their lives, and talking about their experiences is something that makes them feel young again. I have seen ninety year-olds who were bent over with age straighten their backs and remember what it was like to be 18 again.

      We owe them a tremendous debt, regardless of whether they volunteered or were conscripted.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Dick Bryant,

      It is a generation that will not be with us for much longer.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete