Brimelow: DUNKIRK, and the Death of England

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  1. il ragno Proud American Deplorable

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    DUNKIRK: “People Should be Hung from Lampposts, They Should be Burned Alive, for What They've Done to Britain”
    PETER BRIMELOW
    JULY 27, 2017

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    So I went to see this movie DUNKIRK at the urging of James Kirkpatrick, VDARE.com’s lead tweetmeister and our ambassador to popular culture. In the process, I made the interesting discovery that my young Texan wife had never heard of Dunkirk. For me, it brought flocking back a host of memories and emotions sternly repressed since I left Britain for U.S. in 1970. Chief among them now: lethal rage.

    If you grew up in Britain in the 1950s, as John Derbyshire and I did, the myth of the Dunkirk evacuation—using “myth” in its affirming and sustaining sense—was everywhere. I remember reading illustrated stories about it in children’s comics when I was about Felicity’s age (now 6).

    Of course, the British were wrong to believe this was the decisive turning point in World War II—there were, as we are incessantly reminded, far bigger battles on the Eastern Front. But it was pretty decisive for Britain: the loss (or, politically even more awkward, capture) of the 200,000-plus U.K. troops retrieved from the beaches after being cut off by the German panzers would have been devastating, perhaps fatal, for a country that could field only ten infantry divisions in 1939. As it was, casualties were very heavy—one of many arresting points made by Dunkirk is how terrifyingly quickly combat-damaged ships can sink.

    Moreover, Dunkirk was in a real sense a people’s battle. Some 700 civilian craft were recruited to get the men off the beaches and (as the movie recounts) their owners sometimes went with them. When my father took charge of the municipal-socialist public transport operation in Birkenhead in the 1960s, he had Mersey ferrymen who had gone. It was an intense popular effort and it struck deep personal roots.

    Although aimed at a mass audience, Dunkirk is a very sophisticated movie and a remarkable technical achievement by writer-producer director Christopher Nolan. It’s also a political achievement. Nolan’s subject is one of the Anglosphere’s great patriotic epics and thus ripe for anti-West snark, but it has actually been well received by the Leftist cultural Establishment e.g.

    *Review: ‘Dunkirk’ Is a Tour de Force War Movie, Both Sweeping and Intimate, [by Manohla Dargis, New York Times, July 20, 2015;

    *Why ‘Dunkirk’ Is the Christopher Nolan Movie We’ve Been Waiting For, [by David Fear, Rolling Stone, July 24, 2017—“ a key WWII battle…an epic rescue mission that essentially saved the Western World (no big whoop)”].

    Nolan seems to have flown under the radar, partly by eliminating virtually all dialog and hence minimizing the chance of jarring Politically Correct sensibilities.

    Even Churchill’s sacralized “We shall fight on the beaches” June 4 oration announcing the evacuation to the House of Commons, hearing which was so much an inescapable part of growing up in England in the 1950s, like listening to Kathleen Ferrier, that I could recite it from memory and never without a thrill, appears here only as haltingly read, from a newspaper, by an exhausted, wondering survivor as his train finally reaches London.

    But Nolan’s achievement goes far beyond avoiding trouble. Quietly, possibly inadvertently, he has made a movie that celebrates national identity.

    He does this simply by showing a real nation in action. USA Today’s reviewer Brian Truit has been beaten up for observing that “the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color may rub some the wrong way”. [Review: Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ examines WWII heroism up close, July 17, 2017] This is a little unfair: as Steve Sailer recently pointed out, director Tim Burton was indeed attacked for not including people of color in a movie set on a Welsh island in World War II, although as late as 1951 the proportion of “visible minorities” in Britain was just 0.19% (!). And the 2007 movie Atonement did prominently insert a wholly fictitious black soldier i nto its famous five-minute continuous tracking shot of the scene at Dunkirk. [Presenting the Black Past—How History Must Change The Media, by Miranda Kaufman, MirandaKaufman.com, November 14, 2013]

    But the British army in Nolan’s Dunkirk is totally, completely and stunningly white.



    (One of the “couple of women,” a nurse, is unsparingly shown, in a horrible below-decks underwater shot, dying an Equal Opportunity death by drowning after her hospital ship is torpedoed. Is this an implicit criticism of putting women in the front line?)

    The result of this homogeneity, as the Chicago Tribune’s John Kass wrote in a brilliant column:

    I am old enough to remember that Britain. And it looks like Christopher Nolan, born in 1970 in London to a British father and an American mother, caught some sense of it too.

    One small sign: Nolan has the British troops standing in orderly, quiet queues ("lines" in American), waiting to be taken off. This is apparently what happened at Dunkirk. The British of that era were very good at queuing. Significantly, the working class was best at it. It used to irritate my father that everyone would queue for his buses except in affluent areas, where people would just stand around and block the pavement (=sidewalk in American). “They think they’re too good to queue,” he said. Social rot in Britain started from the top.

    (Nolan also has his troops being handed slices of bread and jam by rescue workers. Known in the North of England as “jam butties,” these were also omnipresent when I was a child. Reportedly, they’ve died out, along with so much else).

    So is it inadvertent? Does Nolan realize what he’s done? It’s very hard to believe that anyone with deviant political views could hide them well enough to survive in Hollywood. Nolan does seem generally to avoid political statements, not typical of Leftists, but he reportedly donated to Obama in 2012 [The Religious And Political Views of Christopher Nolan, by Caitlin Frye, Hollowverse.com, November 25, 2012]. Still, it is a curious fact that his The Dark Knight Rises, last in a Batman trilogy, was seen as “fascist” by Left [“The Dark Knight Rises”: Christopher Nolan’s evil masterpiece, by Andrew O’Hehir, Salon, July 18, 2012] and Right [The Dark Right Rises:Christopher Nolan as Fascist Filmmaker?, by Gregory Hood and Luke Gordon, Counter-Currents, December 7, 2012] alike. The villain Bane has emerged as a sort of Alt-Right antihero—and Donald Trump (known to be a fan of The Dark Knight Rises) is widely believed to have offered him an homage [Donald Trump’s Inauguration Speech Borrows Line from Batman Villain Bane, by Aaron Couch , Hollywood Reporter, January 20, 2017 ).

    But the real reason that Dunkirk’s inconveniently honest portrayal of Britain and its army in 1940 is so stunning: successive British governments have, in the twinkling of an eye (to quote Handel’s Messiah) utterly destroyed that world through immigration policy. Incredibly, whites—that is to say, the British—are projected to go into a minority, in a land they have exclusively occupied for millennia, not long after the same event is estimated to occur in the U.S. [RIP this Britain: With academic objectivity, Oxford Professor and population expert DAVID COLEMAN says white Britons could be in the minority by the 2060s – or sooner, by David Coleman, Daily Mail, May 28, 2016].

    In 2009, Nicholas Pringle published The Unknown Warriors, a book of interviews with 150 of what in America is called the “Greatest Generation”—those who fought and lived through World War II:

    In 1940, my father, already in the British Army in which he was to spend 6½ years, was stationed on the English Channel at Folkstone, looking right at Dunkirk. Years later, reading about the German plans for Operation Sea Lion, the invasion of England, I realized he was right where paratroopers were to land and asked him what kind of resistance his unit would have been able to mount.

    He said: “They would have had to give us rifles.”

    The Germans never came—but Britain was invaded anyway. By 1990, when my father died, he was bitterly in agreement with Pringle’s interviewees: it wasn’t worth it.

    My considered reaction to Dunkirk: People should be hung from lampposts—they should be burned alive—for what they’ve done to Britain.

    God send, if only for the sake of my three little daughters, born almost exactly 100 years after my father, that America can be saved from this terrible fate.

    Peter Brimelow is the editor of VDARE.com.
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  2. il ragno Proud American Deplorable

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    By the way, it's official - the theory that more than a few historians considered (until the Example Made of David Irving made clear to them which theories they had better discard if they wished to continue being "historians") has been authoritatively debunked.....by a teenage pork-ducker named Rothschild. (Could you make it up?)

    Got that? To even float the idea that Hitler took a chance on a strategic show of mercy will get a Pendaflex dossier opened on YOU - just for considering it. Be smart, like the shabbas goyim, and stick to the standardized narrative that Adolf Hitler was a creature made of pure hate, plus sexual inadequacy of course, and an intense jealousy of handsome and talented Jews, who had to walk around on little hooves instead of normal-people feet.

    How can you doubt it, when it's all just been explained by you by no less august a personage than Mikey (Juice Box) Rothschild (see below)?!?

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  3. Man Against Time Black Hole Melchizedek

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    Except Hitler did essentially let them go. While there was some bombing, strafing, and shelling of the pocket, the Germans did not launch their trademark combined arms (or 'blitz') assault on the beach, which would have rolled the Brits up completely and produced the bloodiest fighting on that front. Individuals with a prejudiced, stereotypical view of Hitler as some sort of one-dimensional brute and who see the Wehrmacht as little more than nefarious murderers lack the capacity to accurately interpret what happened here. 1940 Hitler was totally soft on the Brits, wanted peace with the Brits, and thought that this peace was possible. Hitler was mindful of Britain's internal parliamentary politics and he did not want to tighten any further the Churchillian-Zionist grip on their foreign policy, although this happened anyway. Hitler didn't think that annihilating the BEF at Dunkirk would result in a British capitulation, he thought it would produce the opposite effect and that the Brits would then fight on forever as they did with Napoleon, plus Churchill and his cronies had no problem perpetuating the war from across the Atlantic in Canada if necessary. Hitler clearly miscalculated. It's also possible that Hitler overestimated the Luftwaffe's proficiency and thought that they could mostly handle the job. Keep in mind that this was before the air war over Britain, but after the Luftwaffe's successes in places like Rotterdam, Warsaw, and Guernica. The air force was unblemished at this time.

    Again, keep in mind it was 1940, there's the added factors that Hitler was more casualty averse than he was after Operation Barbarossa. German military doctrine on the ground was focused on out-maneuvering the opposition, separating their armies, and annihilating them in the cauldron battle (knesselschlacht) that in a way resembled a short, detached mini-siege on the ground wherein the demoralized enemy forces would be easily mowed down when compelled to attempt a "break out." Dunkirk OTOH would have involved a head on attack against well-trained and competent ground forces who would have resisted tenaciously and produced a bloodbath. This was before Germany even fully mobilized its citizenry into a total war effort; the Nazis wanted to avoid producing war weariness in the German public in possible and Hitler prioritized keeping them content. The fact that there was even a "Phony War" period immediately following the conquest of Poland further buttresses the proposition that Hitler wanted peace and was totally dragging his feet with having to confront Franco-British forces behind the Maginot Line.

    If you're a dumbkopf that thinks of World War 2 and Nazi Germany in Hollywood terms then of course the idea that the Antichrist Adolf Hitler allowed the British to escape in the hopes of attaining peace later may seem preposterous. Similarly, if one subscribes to a sort of false equivalence between Germany's manner of prosecuting the war in the East with the manner in which they pursued their objectives in the West then of course it makes no sense that Nazi Germany could possibly willingly permit the withdrawal and escape of an exposed and vulnerable enemy formation. But if you understand Hitler's ideals, his psychology, and the evolution of his political and military objectives over time, then what he permitted at Dunkirk makes perfect sense. Hitler wanted to consolidate his forces for a (potential) final push into central France and beyond if necessary. If the Brits evacuate their forces, then that furthers this objective and places decisive pressure on the French to capitulate. And Hitler wanted a French capitulation more than anything at this moment to avenge the German defeat in WW1. If Hitler dedicated an army group to contest the evacuation and annihilate/capture the hundreds of thousands of Brits, there would not only have been the potential of heavy losses but also the possibility of these troops getting bogged down. If this occurs and the French successfully reorganize, then Case Yellow goes into jeopardy. On the other hand, if the British successfully withdraw with honor, then they can come to the negotiating table and make peace with their dignity intact. Hitler even permitted the French to keep their dignity intact - the Germans did not seek to completely annihilate the French army if it could be avoided (this wasn't Barbarossa) - so it is a bit perplexing how the dumbkopfs cannot recognize a similar gesture toward the British. Hitler practically didn't want to fight the British at all - he was forced to in North Africa and Greece, the London Blitz was shockingly half-hearted, and Operation Sea Lion was a propaganda ploy at best, existing only on paper as Germany did not possess the capabilities to execute the amphibious landings required and hardly possessed the capability to attain momentary spectrum dominance over the English Channel.

    In retrospect, anyone who wanted an alternative outcome in WW2 wished that Hitler was harder on the Brits. But he was totally soft on them, and what happened at Dunkirk is fully consistent with that fact. So the Brits survived and with the Americans dismantled the only regime that would have prioritized the preservation of (Indo-)European Christian white people. Rah rah rah. Thank you, greatest generation, for saving us and our Jewish masters from the evil Nazi bad guys. Yay.
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  4. Blitzed stahl blitzt kalt

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    I skimmed a review of this film by Rex Reed of Gong Show fame (iirc). He said he walked away in need of earplugs (from the overbearing score, not the bombs) and Dramamine.

    The picture painted by the standard WWII documentary is one of German tank crews hanging out near Dunkirk outside of their parked Panzers, after the blitzkrieg outran its supporting troops and supply chain (this strategy's main weakness). Whether that's true or not I don't know.
  5. Man Against Time Black Hole Melchizedek

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    Don't forget this erratic Nazi "dove" and his super leet emo tune:

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  6. Georg Schoenerer Der Judenkenner

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    Ah, the mythos of the Halt Order.

    Seldom is the context considered, when it's everything.

    Consider the heady climate at OKW in May '40 with seven European countries conquered in the past 48 months and scarcely two weeks into Case Yellow the victories had piled up and the Allies were throwing everything they had northward expecting Schleiffen Part Deux. Only after the Brits and French were being rolled up from the South did the Allies counterattack on the 21st; right into Eicke's Totenkopf who's Pak 37mm were completely ineffective against the lumbering Matilda's 60mm armor.

    Extreme nervousness and what Irving called "victory psychosis" reigned among the generals and Hitler alike. They were terrified of overreaching themselves, Hitler was already intimating that this victory would undo the wrongs of the Treaty of Westphalia hundreds of years before.

    Consider Goebbles diary entry of April 21st:

    "The Führer's intention is to administer one knock-out punch. Even so, he would be ready to make peace today, on condition that Britain would stay out of Europe and give us back our colonies...He does not want at all to crush Britain or destroy her Empire."

    Or Hitler himself, to Goebbels in the 1st week of May:

    "They [the British] could have had peace on the most agreeable of terms, instead they are fighting a war and shattering their Empire to the core. We are neither able nor willing to take over their Empire. There are some people whom you can talk sense into only after you've knocked out their front teeth."

    The first (and less famous) Halt Order indeed came from Rundstedt on the 23rd in the wake of the heavy casualties inflicted by the Brit's counterattack. The next morning Hitler was brought round to this point of view by the general's arguments and by his own reckoning of of the unsuitability of the terrain for armored foray and the benefit the armor remaining on the Bassee canal to await the Allies retreating before Bock's forces to the east. As well, Hitler wanted Sepp Dietrich's SS-Liebstandarte to join the encirclement; they were on this day assembling on the eastern side of the Aa canal. It has also been suggested that Hitler sought to spare the Flemish population the destruction of property that the closing of Case Yellow would entail.

    As it turned out, the fighting spirit of those SS units could not be contained even by the vaunted Halt Order of the 24th-26th. Both Eicke and Dietrich behaved characteristically and unrepentantly insubordinate on the 24th-25th. On their own initiative and contrary to orders they established bridgeheads over the canals and captured nearby villages against superior numbers.

    Eicke and Dietrich personally led their men, and were infuriated by Staff orders that put their men at risk. As the order to resume the attack came, it became apparent that the British were aware of the need to defend the Dunkirk pocket ferociously to enable evacuation.

    Some bad luck irked the Germans; Dietrich's staff car was machine-gunned and he and his adjutant had to huddle in a culvert on his birthday, May 28. On the 27th, one of Eicke's ablest commanders, Standartenführer Goetze, caught a sniper's bullet in the head. The bad mood of the SS manifested itself in the summary executions of prisoners--roughly 80 by the Leibstandarte at Wormhoudt and about 100 by the Totenkopf at Le Paradis.

    The situation at Dunkirk was not appreciated by the Germans--the evacuation came as a complete surprise to them--and again, the context of externalities and disposition of forces resulted in the 'miracle' so bowdlerized. Plus, at the time, bigger plans were brewing in the east.
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