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The Forgotten Battle | Official trailer | Netflix

Colin Parkinson

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November 1944. On the flooded isle of Walcheren, Zeeland, thousands of Allied soldiers are battling the German army. Three young lives become inextricably connected. A Dutch boy fighting for the Germans, an English glider pilot and a girl from Zeeland connected to the resistance against her will, are forced to make crucial choices that impact both their own freedom and the freedom of others.


 

dangerboy

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It looks interesting, I can't think of any other movies based on the Battle of the Scheldt.
 

FSTO

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The Dutch Finns, and the Scandinavian countries make fantastic war movies.
 

Remius

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The Dutch Finns, and the Scandinavian countries make fantastic war movies.
Such an impact on them, I can see why. And how much can actually be filmed on location a when they make these.
 

dimsum

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Such an impact on them, I can see why. And how much can actually be filmed on location a when they make these.
I can't remember which article, but apparently they couldn't really film in the Netherlands bc of environmental impact laws or some such. I think they ended up filming in Lithuania or something.

Interestingly, the trailer mentions the Canadians but I don't see any Canadian characters.
 

dimsum

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The Dutch Finns, and the Scandinavian countries make fantastic war movies.
Oh yeah. Land of Mine (a Danish movie about German POWs being forced to de-mine the Danish coast) was an amazing movie.

I saw it at TIFF on a whim and was super impressed.

 

dangerboy

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Oh yeah. Land of Mine (a Danish movie about German POWs being forced to de-mine the Danish coast) was an amazing movie.

I saw it at TIFF on a whim and was super impressed.
Will have to look that one up.
 

daftandbarmy

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I've done a couple of battlefield tours of the Scheldt campaign.

On one of them we were wandering through the fields, approximately where the Causeway battle was fought, and a couple of jeeps drove by: 'Beep, beep!', frantic waving.

They were Dutch reenactors, perfectly equipped to look like WW2 Canadian Infantry. It was a bit odd, to say the least, but very gratifying and timely!
 

Furniture

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I just finished watching the movie. It was entertaining, but once again Canada takes a back seat to Britain. Even in the end when the Canadians make the push, the character we follow is a Brit... As good as the movie is, I'm not impressed by the way Canada is sidelined in it's main event.
 

FSTO

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I just finished watching the movie. It was entertaining, but once again Canada takes a back seat to Britain. Even in the end when the Canadians make the push, the character we follow is a Brit... As good as the movie is, I'm not impressed by the way Canada is sidelined in it's main event.
I found it entertaining as well. But until we Canadians decide to do this on our own we’ll always be the background.

My big question, why didn’t they use more artillery in the initial push across the causeway?
 

dimsum

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I just finished watching the movie. It was entertaining, but once again Canada takes a back seat to Britain. Even in the end when the Canadians make the push, the character we follow is a Brit... As good as the movie is, I'm not impressed by the way Canada is sidelined in it's main event.
I thought the whole part of the British glider troop (section?) was weird in comparison to the rest of the movie. They could have completely cut that out and it'd be fine.

Honestly, they could have just had the viewpoints of the woman, the Wehrmacht soldier, and a Black Watch soldier, and gone from there.
 

Grimey

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I found it entertaining as well. But until we Canadians decide to do this on our own we’ll always be the background.

My big question, why didn’t they use more artillery in the initial push across the causeway?
One quibble. No. 4 rifles seemed to have been switched out for SMLE’s for the causeway attack, then magically switch back afterwards. And only one Bren gun to be seen? Ok, that’s two…
 

Furniture

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I thought the whole part of the British glider troop (section?) was weird in comparison to the rest of the movie. They could have completely cut that out and it'd be fine.

Honestly, they could have just had the viewpoints of the woman, the Wehrmacht soldier, and a Black Watch soldier, and gone from there.
I think that would have made for a better movie.

I wonder if "Market Garden" got thrown in to help tie it to a more famous battle, and as an excuse to get a recognizable actor in for part of the movie.
 

daftandbarmy

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I found it entertaining as well. But until we Canadians decide to do this on our own we’ll always be the background.

My big question, why didn’t they use more artillery in the initial push across the causeway?

There was lots of everything in support of that particular scrap:

"Four field regiments of 25-pounder guns would be available for fire support, to fire barrages or time concentrations. No anti-tank guns or carriers were to be taken over, and the Medium Machine Guns of the Toronto Scottish would be used to neutralize enemy concentrations on the left and right flanks. A troop of tanks was also expected to be able to support the Phase Three exploitation to Arnemuiden."


 

Kirkhill

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Airghardt!


Walcheren Causeway (31 October 1944 – 2 November 1944)​


At 0950 hours on the 31st of October, Operation SWITCHBACK – the effort by the 3rd Canadian Division, 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division and 1st Polish Armoured Division, to clear all Germans south of the West Scheldt – was completed. That same day, South Beveland was at last cleared of Germans. To the east, Canadian troops had taken Bergen op Zoom and the Allies were pressing north. However, the great port at Antwerp, so essential to easing the Allies’ logistical problems, was still unusable because of the German batteries located on Walcheren Island.

South Beveland was connected to Walcheren Island by a narrow causeway; just 40 yards wide, it stretched for a mile, “straight as a gun barrel.” On it was a road, a set of railway tracks, a bicycle path, and a thin line of poplars. While many Germans retreated over the causeway to Walcheren Island, others chose to surrender to the Allies instead; their losses in dead and wounded had been heavy.

Canadian intelligence maps, printed on the 23rd, showed German defences east of the causeway in detail, but none at the western end. It was hoped that the Second Canadian Division could “bounce” the Causeway – take it in a lightning move from the confused and reeling Germans. Middleburg, the capital town on Walcheren Island, was only 4000 yards inland.

On the 30th of October, the Royal Regiment was only half a mile from the eastern end of the Causeway. The Division’s commander ordered them to prepare to drive over the narrow strip of land and enable another brigade to pass through onto Walcheren itself. The commander of 4th Brigade, however, saw that the Causeway was bordered on each side by mud flats, which were hidden at high tide. He thought a water crossing would have a better chance of success than a charge down the causeway. The Second Division had trained in assault crossings in England, in anticipation of the need to do so at the Seine. Since his troops were tired, and since only two units of the Second Division had taken assault boat training (the Calgary Highlanders being one of them), the job was passed on to the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade.

The Calgary Highlanders found that boats could not cross the Slooe Channel (also referred to as “Sloe”), however, and last minute plans were drawn up.

The 31st of October was quiet for the battalion during the morning; the Intelligence Section was had at work until very early in the morning preparing maps and air photos; the battalion remained on “one third stand-to” (in other words, 1 of every 3 soldiers was awake and alert) until 0800 reveille. The war diary reported that “the majority enjoyed a good night’s rest.”

At 10:00 hrs, a “Huddle Red” was called at Brigade Headquarters, where Acting CO Ross Ellis, the Intelligence Officer, and Major Harrison of the 5th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, met with Brigadier McGill. He announced that the Royal Regiment of Canada was established at the eastern end of the Walcheren Causeway, and that by first light on the 1st of November a bridgehead was to be created. Thirty-five stormboats belonging to the Division were available and a Field Company of Royal Canadian Engineers from II Canadian Corps Troops would deliver them. The assault, to be launched by the Calgary Highlanders, was to be done before high water at midnight, when the water was estimated to be 14 feet deep. This would be Phase One.

Phase Two would see Le Régiment de Maisonneuve ferry across in boats to assault north of the railway.

Phase Three would see the Calgary Highlanders exploit to the edge of Arnemuiden, with the inter-battalion boundary being the railway.

Two private soldiers, Thompson and Fox, were tasked to drive Weasels to bring wireless sets and ammunition up after the assault. Riflemen would also carry ammunition with them and dump it when they landed on Walcheren Island; the 3″ mortars of the Highlanders and Maisonneuves (and the 4.2″ mortars of the Toronto Scottish) would remain on South Beveland, though a mortar representative was to travel with each battalion.

Four field regiments of 25-pounder guns would be available for fire support, to fire barrages or time concentrations. No anti-tank guns or carriers were to be taken over, and the Medium Machine Guns of the Toronto Scottish would be used to neutralize enemy concentrations on the left and right flanks. A troop of tanks was also expected to be able to support the Phase Three exploitation to Arnemuiden.

Storm boat troop commanders and flotilla commanders were to contact us at 1700 hrs. to rehearse carrying dryshod. Major Carsen, Royal Canadian Engineers, was to contact us regarding lights and markers. Major Ellis suggested that the initial landing to be staged as originally planned and that it included the use of LVT’s. (Landing Vehicle, Tracked). The Brigadier explained that there were none on hand. The plan then was that if the Black Watch were successful, then the Calgary Highlanders would “swoosh” through to ARNEMUIDEN and Regiment de Maisonneuve would have no set task, until later. The Brigadier said he expected the “form” would be definite about 1400 hrs. And therefore, there would be an “O” Group at 1500 hrs.

Before leaving Brigade, Acting CO Major Ellis had phoned to the Adjutant to have the company commanders assembled. They were waiting when we arrived and were given the proposed plan.

At 1300 hrs, A/C.O. Major Ellis was on his way again to Brigade to talk over the Fire plan for the night’s operations.
Leaving Brigade. at 1500 hrs, (the CO) returned to Tactical HQ to hold a meeting of company commanders. Representatives of the Corps Troops, Field Company were on hand to put Baker company through its paces in handling the Assault Boats. Instructions were given to Privates Thompson and Fox as they were to drive the Weasels. As the definite plan for crossing had not yet been formulated, discussion centred more on the subject of the attack once we had landed on WALCHEREN Island. Scout officer Lt. Sellar had gone up ahead to study the situation from close angles and to observe and report on the Black Watch progress. He found that they were held up due to heavy enemy resistance from mortar, MMG and heavy guns.

During Maj. Ellis’s visit to Brigade, the company commanders went up to recce the area 2130. The Battalion “O” Group was cut short as Major Ellis again had to return to Brigade to attend further briefing on the subject of the crossing.

After supper, company commanders returned to Tactical HQ. to get the final picture. At 1830 hrs, Maj. Ellis broke the news that there would be no “boating”, but that we would cross the causeway on foot at 2400 hrs. The order of approach was to be Baker, Dog, Able and Charlie, and eventually, Tactical HQ. Baker company was to cross the start point at 2400 hrs, i.e. set foot on the Eastern extremity of the causeway. Baker company was to move off from its company area at 2245 hrs. and the other companies were to gauge their time from the leading companies. The initial plan was that Baker company would traverse the causeway and fan out North, South and West to include the area from 202300 to 203306. Dog company was to pass through Baker and go South to area 197294. Once these two had signalled their success, then Able company securing second objective at 190315. Mobile Fire Controllers were to operate with Charlie, Dog and Able. A section of pioneers was allotted to Baker, Dog and Able. Bde. arranged to procure for us the mortar platoon of the Camerons. Together with the Black Watch and our own, a comprehensive fire plan was outlined. The bulk of the support before and during the crossing was to be provided by arty, bofors, med. arty. and 4.2 mortars and to start at H-20. The code word “Robin” was to be used to notify afty. that three companies had crossed and that Charlie company was on its way over. Maj. Ellis stated that he would hold another Huddle before pushing North. The sequel to our operation was that R. de Mais. would follow us and enlarge the bridgehead Southward. In the meantime, the 157 British Div. would come up from the South. Advance Tactical HQ. was to be established at the same locale as that occupied by R.H.C., namely Farm at 224294.

Capt. Clarke caused certain consternation when he announced at 2145 hrs. that his company was on the move. One other company took up the signal and started to “green”. After a few humorous exchanges on the blower, Maj. Ellis finally succeeded in halting the column. The explanation was that the men were suffering from sore feet and it was decided that it would be a help to have them move early and slowly so as to be on the start line on time with a minimum of effort. Promptly seizing advantage of the situation, Maj. Ellis had Capt. Clarke and his platoon commanders in to Tactical HQ. for a last minute briefing. The Black Watch, having had an unpleasant time all afternoon and night, was thinning out to allow us in. Promptly at 2340 hrs, as per schedule, the fire programme unfolded and it was quite spectacular. By this time, Tactical HQ. was in position and a going concern. At 2350 hrs, Baker company once again startled its listeners by announcing “Baker company reports Merry Christmas”.

At 2400 hrs, Baker company started out along the causeway, while everyone waited, almost with bated breath for their first report.
Items also worthy of mention during the day included a visit by Capt. Percy to Tactical HQ. where his word of good cheer was very appropriate. In his usual customary thoughtful way, he brought some cigarettes.

Maj. D. K. Robertson came up the Bttn. and sat in on Maj. Ellis’s “O” Gp. Our efficient and hard working Adjt., Capt. Dore brought up some liquid cheer in the form of 2 bottles of Cognac per officer.

Capt. Newman, our very good arty. fellow worker put in an appearance once again, eager to go to work.
More than one remarked that Jerry would not forget the Halloween party which the Calgary Highlanders calculated to put on for Jerry’s benefit!
A company of the Black Watch went forward down the Causeway on the late evening of 31 October. Canadian guns of all calibres, including light and medium artillery, anti-aircraft guns, and mortars, bombarded the dykes along the far end of the Causeway. The Black Watch managed to get halfway across the Causeway before being stopped by heavy casualties.

“B” Company of the Calgary Highlanders went forward next, finding even the entrance to the Causeway under heavy enemy fire; the most alarming enemy weapon was the high velocity anti-tank gun that fired straight down the length of the Causeway. The Highlanders could see enemy shells bouncing off the pavement. The Company could go no farther than the crater in the middle of the Causeway. The crater, blown by German engineers, not only provided cover but also prevented any armour from crossing over. Any entry onto Walcheren Island would have to be by unsupported infantry.

A new fire plan was drawn up, and shortly before dawn “D” Company moved down the Causeway, managing to inch their way to a German roadblock at the far end. The leading troops rushed the roadblock, seized 15 prisoners, and radioed back their success. Soon the other three companies were coming forward to reinforce the bridgehead. By 9:33 am the objectives at the western end were reported secure.

The four companies fanned out on the eastern end of Walcheren Island, but the fighting was bitter and intense. “D” Company lost all its officers killed or wounded, prompting the Brigade Major of the 5th Brigade (a staff officer) to volunteer to take over. Permission was granted, and George Hees (future Minister of Veterans Affairs) went forward with an Artillery Forward Observation Officer as his second in command.

In the face of heavy opposition, however, the Calgary Highlanders were forced to withdraw from the island, handing over a small bridgehead to Le Regiment de Maisonneuve on the evening of 1 November.

As the fighting raged into the afternoon on 1 November, German counter-attacks took a deadly toll of the Highlanders on Walcheren Island. Sergeant Emile Jean Laloge, of 18 Platoon, found himself picking up German grenades and throwing them back at the Germans. Laloge earned the DCM several times; when a Bren gunner was killed, Laloge repaired the gun and turned in on the Germans. When the PIAT man was also wounded, he turned this weapon on the enemy as well.
The Calgary Highlanders suffered 64 men killed, wounded or missing during the Battle of Walcheren Causeway. To this day, the Regiment considers their battle there a testament to courage, determination, and endurance. They rank it alongside the Battle of St. Julien, for which they wear their cherished oak leaf shoulder titles.
 

Kirkhill

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You were faster on the trigger D&B. :LOL:

Walcheren is the Cal High other Regimental Day, along with St. Juliens.
 
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