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The Royal Air Force Coastal Command - The Unseen Films [1942] [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: DD Home Entertainment (Now Simply HE)
  • DVD Release Date: 9 July 2007
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000RJEIJ8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,390 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

A collection of films from the Imperial War Museum archive looking at RAF Coastal Command during WWII and in peacetime. Films include 'RAF Coastal Command', the RAF's own film account of the battle against the U-Boats, original training films and a colour film of Shackletons on patrol.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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An excellent collection of small films about the work of this essential RAF Command in World War II. I worked in connection with exercises with some squadrons in the 1950s and spent one morning in the glass nose of a Mk 1 Shackleton over the Far East Fleet on one excercise.
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I got this DVD to see in picture form what this command did during the Second World War. My Dad served in this command from 1941 to 1945 (Flying in Blenheims and Beaufighters). He never talked much about what he did and he is not around to tell me now. I have his Log book and I wanted to piece together what he has entered in the book and what it was like actually. It has certainly shown me that his entries are very dry and business like. The DVD has given me more insight what is behind these entries. It was for me a very interesting and worthwhile purchase.
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Once you get past the fact that the men and women we see are non-actors and sound unconvincing, it's really an enthralling documentary about life and missions from fictional bases of Coastal Command in Scotland and Iceland.

It's a kind of training film for civilians -- "This is what our boys are doing and here's how it works." It's true that Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote the musical score but you might not notice it. The score doesn't overwhelm the images or the narrative, unlike, say, "Victory at Sea," in which Richard Rogers pounds your tympani with mallets. The orchestra is directed by Muir Matheson, who seems to have directed in nearly every British sound movie ever made.

It's a paean to Coastal Command, and they deserve it. The target is a fictional German raider, the Dusseldorf. The crew we follow, in T for Tommy, mans a Sunderland flying boat, sometimes called "the flying porcupine" because of its relatively heavy armament. It's a four-engine mammoth. The interior of the fuselage looks like a half-constructed ballroom for a majestic hotel. Its weaknesses as a patrol plane were that it was slow and its range was limited.

In addition, though, there are nice shots of Beauforts, Lockheed Hudsons, and PBY Catalinas. Some Yanks on Iceland, serving their P-40s, get to envy the Brits taking off for a major engagement with a German battleship. I wouldn't have envied them. Everyone is bundled up in fleece-lined leather coats and jackets. They don't call it Iceland for nothing and northern Scotland isn't much of a climatic improvement. And you can NOT find a decent pizza at four in the morning in John o'Groats.

There is a half-coordinated attack on the Dusseldorf by Hudsons and Beautforts.
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I would have really enjoyed this DVD collection had it also had slightly more on one of its less well-known branches, which had men in the RAF manning different types of craft that ranged from small rowing boats up to ocean going vessels. Many people didn't, and still don't, realise that the RAF had a branch that the men in it were trained in handling many different craft that provided not only flying boats with bombs of one sort or another, fuel, repair facilities, and many other types of assistance, to fire fighting craft, Search and Rescue vessels, and training facilities such as towing targets, platforms for conducting sea-survival training etc. How do I know about this work, well I was in the Marine Branch when it was taken into what was the RAF's Strike Command in 1970, but still carried on providing the RAF, plus the Royal Navy, with different training facilities until the mid 1980's when the Marine Branch was Closed Down.
Whilst the DVD's are very interesting they could have perhaps shown more of what is available on this subject.
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I think these old WWll films give a good insight into what our forces did during the war.I have many of these on video which were recorded,nice to have a good copy to watch.
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I found this dvd boring. It went into detail showing how to fuse a bomb which did not interest me at all. I had hoped it wouldd have included all areas of coastal command but it did not. I think it was for the more technical side anyway sorry but it is not for me
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Lovely to see footage of wonderful old aeroplanes which were flying before I was born and to learn more about the bravery of the men who flew them.
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Wonderful collection of previously unseen films describing the goings-on behind the scenes and lots more of this often forgotten RAF command. Excellent IWM footage and well worth the price.
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