In the second half of the movie, we focus more on the individuals.

You are watching one organization go about its tasks, but there was another organization dedicated to disrupting their efforts

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In the second half of the movie, we focus more on the individuals

A blog posting from a previous class includes links to various takeaways from this movie. After you have seen the movie, look at them and ask yourself if these were the lessons you drew from the movie.

Elmer Bendiner's experience is also again instructive.

After a while my career as an amateur airplane spotter had a routine. It began early in the morning. The B-17 Flying Fortresses, heavy with their bomb loads, climbed slowly overhead to a height where a whole bomber group would form up and then head east over the North Sea.
Hours later they returned, no longer in tight formation but in clusters with obvious gaps where some had been lost. Finally came the stragglers, often with pieces missing from a wing or a tail. I recall one or two that managed to fly with half of a horizontal stabilizer missing or a wing tip half ripped off. Engines ran unevenly, sometimes coughing smoke.
Obviously, I had no idea of the hell that those aircrews had endured. As it turned out, one of the best accounts of that hell was later written by a B-17 navigator, Elmer Bendiner, who flew from that same base, in The Fall of Fortresses, an enduring classic of the World War II bombing campaigns.

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You don't have to read these unless you wish to, but we might touch upon them in conversation

Things to think about

This story about how people reacted to the missions they had to do is also instructive.

Hardwicke and his crew have trained and flown together for nearly a year and for the combat airman to shirk his duty, to fail a buddy, is unthinkable. Hardwicke, as commander, believes the least discipline is best. Treat the men fairly, and they will respond accordingly. Today, November 30, 1944, marks their 26th combat mission together.

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Things to keep in mind as you watch the second half of the movie

  • watch how the characters interact with each other
  • sense the organizational imperatives at work in this story
  • is every character just being himself, or are some of them knowingly playing a role?
  • can you see yourself in this situation? If so, who might you think you would be?

Part two begins at 2:30 into the recording

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something to take away

Tony Rice

Tony Rice, an immensely influential singer and guitarist in bluegrass and in the new acoustic music circles that grew up around it, died on Friday at his home in Reidsville, N.C. He was 69. ... “Tony Rice was the king of the flatpicked flattop guitar,” the singer-songwriter Jason Isbell said on Twitter. “His influence cannot possibly be overstated.”

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