Desert Victory (An Imperial War Museum Title) - TWIN DISC [DVD]
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Made by the British Army Film & Photographic Unit, in conjunction with the RAF Film Production Unit, to capture the Battle of El Alamein as it happened. Cameramen followed the 8th Army troops into battle against Rommel's Afrika Korps.
This special DVD includes four bonus films covering desert survival techniques, the early victories against the Italians and two different perspectives on the siege of Tobruk.
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The main footage is of El Alamein, and shows battles taking place, which are a real eye opener to someone, like me, who has only read about the desert war. There is also footage of Churchill and Montgomery. The film is partly a propoganda exercise, and if you are looking for a very detailed analysis of the strategy employed in the desert you will find that it is somewhat one-sided, but it is still stuffed full of information. I have an interest in the Long Range Desert Group, who made a significant contribution to the Western Desert campaigns, but there is no mention of them in this film, and there are other gaps like this - but they are not really what the film was about. If you take it for what it is - a terrific piece of filming with some excellent top-level explanation - then you won't be even slightly dissapointed.
I originally saw it because my parents had a copy, and bought a copy for myself so that I could watch it whenever I wanted to. I would recommend it to anyone. If nothing else, it brings desert warfare to life in a very vivid way.
The longest serving of all the Reconnaissance Regiments, the 44th Reconnaissance Regiment was formed on the 8th January 1941 soon after my father was rescued from Dunkirk. At the War's end, the Regiment was finally disbanded in August 1946. Overlooked by many chroniclers of the Second World War because they were always attached to other Units and Divisions; the 44th Reconnaissance Regiment was always at the "sharp end" of the British Army's thrust against the Axis Forces. Even towards the end of the War they were expected to serve two weeks out of three in the Front Line. This film is an important tool towards understanding the role that was played by those at the "sharp end" of the War in North Africa and was shot mainly during the actual battle of El Alamein with a few scenes reenacted within a couple of days of the actual battle. A "must have" for everyone with an interest in the turning point of the War.
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