Since You Went Away

In the second of many pre-recorded podcasts while Victor is away in Israel, co-host Jack Fowler reads off listener questions on Victor’s favorite military and war movies of the past and present.

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11 thoughts on “Since You Went Away”

  1. With your permission, I’ll comment on B-17 history and one Korean War naval aviation.
    A great B-17 story is related in the book, A HIGHER CALL, which is a fantastic story involving an American bomber pilot, Charlie Brown and Grnan fighter pilot, Franz Stiegler. I’m surprised it hasn’t been made into a movie.
    In the Europen air war the U.S. lost approximately 6,000 B-17s. That’s a plane with a crew of 10. A bomber tour was 25 sorties and most never passed 5.

    There’s also a Korean War story about the Navy’s first black pilot, which occurred in December 1950. The story is told in a book and movie named DEVOTION. the movie is scheduled for release on August 11. You would enjoy viewing and reading.

    1. I often wonder why Stalag 17 gets less attention, than it does, in my view.
      I first saw it when I was 11. My father took me to see the movie on a cold, snow stormy day on a weekend in December. It was a matinee. I liked the movie enough that I talked my Dad into staying in the theater to watch the movie a second time.
      It was evening when the movie was over and dark. The snow was about a foot deep and we had walked about a mile to the movie. The sidewalks were not clean and we walked in the street.. I ecall seeing a dead rat in the snow on the trip home..
      I’ve probably watched Stalag 17 25 times over the course of my life and never get bored with Bill Holden, Harvey Lembeck, the Animal, AL Capone and even Peter Graves.


        Second that, “Stalag 17” is an excellent movie, and belongs on any list of great war films.
        A piece of trivia: Richard Erdman (Hoffy) and Neville Brand (Duke) also appeared in another war movie, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” That’s another great movie. I observe the Pearl Harbor anniversary every year by watching the movie, and reading Walter Lord’s “Day of Infamy”. There are other, more scholarly books on the attack, but Lord focuses on the personal stories, which I find appropriate to read and think about, on the anniversary.

  2. Glad you threw in Das Boot. I hung out with film majors in college and ever 1st week of term we would gather to watch a film depicting a different theater of WWII and hold trivia. The films that floored us the most were The Thin Red Line and Das Boot.

    1. Blaine Jeffreys

      Das Boot is one of those movies that you walk out of the theatre after seeing it with your mouth agape. The acting, the story, the suspense, and the realism was exceptional. Jürgen Prochnow’s depiction of a U-boat Captain was fantastic. In my opinion it is the most realistic war movie ever made. Siskel and Ebert picked it as one of the 10 best movies of the 80’s.

  3. Charles Carroll

    In the movie “Seven Days in May” the hero was the Marine colonel. There was a good reason for that. In 1934 MajGen Smedley Darlington Butler, USMC (Ret), a two time winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, was approached by Gerald P. Macguire to head the American Legion in a fascist plot against President Franklin D. Roosevelt who had taken the country off the Gold Standard; thereby infuriating brokers and businessmen like J.P. Morgan, Irenee Dupont (Democratic presidential candidate in 1924 and 1928) and several others (like Prescott Bush of Connecticut). The American Legion was 500,000 strong – all combat veterans of WW I; dwarfing the active duty Army. These people were looking for a general who would command their loyalty but who could be controlled by the sophisticated businessmen. Considered MacArthur but he had angered too many in the Washington Camp protests. Butler went to FDR who told him to play along until the right time. Butler exposed it in late 1934 and the McCormick-Dickstein hearings covered it. Both the History Channel and BBC have made documentaries on it. Jules Archer’s 1973 book “The Plot to Seize the White House” covers it in detail. Look up Gerald P. Macguire to get more information and links to the History Channel and BBC documentaries. Also covers his trips to Italy and Germany to research how veteran’s groups helped fascists take power in those countries. So … it was the loyalty of the military general, Smedley Butler, that forestalled it.


    A great interview, and interesting to hear Professor Hanson’s favorite war movies.

    If I may offer a small correction, as a former German teacher, the German word, “Boot”, and English “boat”, are homophones.

  5. Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

    I did 3 things to celebrate this day.

    1. Wear my custom made t-shirt with American flag, and my expression of gratitude: “Home of 2nd, 3rd, 4th Chance. Thank You America”

    2. Fly the American flag in my front yard with the help of my daughter putting it up. I always ask one of my kids to help me put up, and put away the flag.

    3. Send the kids to church. I stayed home and watch western movies on youtube. I am not perfect. 🙂

  6. Operation Dumbo Drop, I know it’s not a serious war movie but what the soldiers go through to help a Vietnamese village. It makes me wonder about all the untold stories this countries service men and women did for people (non-combatants) in countries where they were deployed. The comment the NV commander says near the end of the movie is great.
    As always love the podcast, the of chemistry all three of you Victor, Sami & Jack keeps me coming back for more.
    Marc B.

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