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Fortress of War [DVD] 
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Russian World War Two drama based on real events. When the Nazis invade the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Russian troops begin an epic struggle to hold onto the border stronghold of the Brest Fortress. The siege lasts for nine days, during which time both the soldiers and the ordinary townspeople are forced to face the bloody horrors of war.
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All this changes on the morning of June 22nd when the Germans unleash their first artillery barrage on the fortress,which is best described really as a citadel(think of Hue City in Vietnam and that should give you an idea of the scale of the fortifications at Brest).What ensues during this initial barrage is utter confusion and disarray amongst the Russian soldiers,power supplies are cut,ammunition dumps explode,civilians are indiscriminately killed along with soldiers all of whom are running in different directions.
Eventually a handful of Russian officers regained some sort of order and formed pockets of resistance against the ever attacking mouse grey masses in front of them.The three main pockets were all lead by real characters that did exist during this siege.There is very little artistic license by the film makers as most of the names and events did happen as the film depicts(the Brest Fortress museum was involved in the making of this film throughout).
After the initial barrage the Germans advance on the fortress with well planned co-ordinated infantry attacks supported with tanks.From here on there is no let up in the action all of which is superbly filmed.Read more ›
Fortress of War come out as a fully mature film and everything comes brilliantly together. The movie is full of characters in strong emotional situations, usually slightly undertoned giving the imagination free rein. The battle scenes are brutal and well made with even clever twist thrown in here and there. The film is about resistance and heroism in the face of danger.
Historically it is very interesting, as Defence of Brest Fortress is important to the Russian and White Russian character. True to life the Brest (Brest in White Russia not France) Fortress was hit by full force when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa. Quickly surrounded the Germans had to fight to capture it 2 years before during the invasion of Poland and attempted to capture it by a Coup de main (A coup de main is a swift attack that relies on speed and surprise to accomplish its objectives in a single blow.) This failed and turned into a costly struggle. The Defence of Brest Fortrees became a symbol of Soviet resistance much like Tobruk for the British and Commonwealth.
For a war movie fan I give this film top marks and for others it is a good film as well for it is a story of human level as well.
Then they attacked with out warning and without a formal declaration of war. The Russians were neutered. The Brest Fortress was not really a fortress but an 18th Century fortress/garrison that had long since become obsolete. The men had their families stationed with them, it was a sprawling Victorian style base of operations that could never withstand a modern barrage, let alone the might of the Wermacht.
Once the attack begins the Russians are in disarray, but soon mainly due to the Commissars, they get organised, but they have very few weapons and little ammunition. The Germans had already infiltrated their lines and cut off both power and water. They have no choice but to fight. Any attempt at a break out is met with German aggression. Once they start defending the 'Motherland' they use everything, from chairs to barrels and spades. This is a very real war film, where hand to hand fighting is shown up close and personal.
It does not shrink from any of the realities of war and does not glorify anything - except for the human spirit. The cinematography is excellent; the acting is superb, especially from the younger members of the cast.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Disgracefully missold as English subtitles. In eagerness to get this I didn't read other reviews. Absolutely disgusted.Published 27 days ago by pairick j dorrian
Fabulous item as described. Prompt dispatch, safe and sound. Top marks.Published 2 months ago by P. F. Tracgransglaws
What a let down! I was expecting a proper gritty war movie but instead got a Russian propaganda film! Read morePublished 5 months ago by Machinehead