The Moon Recommends: Our World War from the BBC

For those in the UK you have until the 28th of August to catch the first two excellent parts on iPlayer. The third and final episode will air on the soon to be online only BBC3 on Thursday. I presume it is on the "yoof" channel because it tells the story of the fighting on the western front with the aid of a mainly Rock n' Roll soundtrack but this is brilliantly done with some great choices including a track from the last LP from PJ Harvey which was inspired by her visit to the battlefields of Gallipoli and a great use of the Undertones Teenage Kicks.

You can find a list of the music played on the iPlayer page of each episode. The films themselves do portray what must have been the horror of war brilliantly and are surely the best TV produced in commemoration of the 100 years since the war to end all wars. They really ought to have been shown on BBC1 at 9pm on Sunday.

Though at the end of the first episode text appears on screen to say that the Battle of Mons was a disaster for the British Army but this is not really the case. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) did end up retreating but they fought brilliantly when completely outnumbered and out-gunned and they were a very well trained and professional force.

According to Wikipedia:

"The devastating firepower of the BEF infantry led the Germans to estimate that there were 28 machine guns in each battalion. When the BEF landed in France each infantry battalion and cavalry regiment was equipped with two Vickers or Maxim machine guns."

The German novelist and infantry Captain Walter Bloem wrote:

"The men all chilled to the bone, almost too exhausted to move and with the depressing consciousness of defeat weighing heavily upon them. A bad defeat, there can be no gainsaying it... we had been badly beaten, and by the English – by the English we had so laughed at a few hours before."

Our Cultural Correspondent (Film and Theatre) is away.


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