Day: February 5, 2020

A new era of war films triumphs
Front Lines

A new era of war films triumphs

The First World War film 1917 is cleaning up at awards shows from Los Angeles to London, and the surprise success of the 2020 season is now considered a frontrunner for Best Picture at the Academy Awards on Feb. 9. Directed by Sam Mendes and based on tales his veteran grandfather told him, the film relates the story of two British Tommies dispatched to deliver a message to halt an attack and prevent Allied troops from walking into a German trap. The movie is a triumph of modern-day filmmaking—a captivating story of an oft-overlooked subject that creates the illusion the two-hour experience was shot real-time in one, long continuous take. From rat-infested trenches to the desolation and the unimaginable waste of human life and resources, the rich detail brings the film to life ...
The Victoria Cross is established
Military Milestones

The Victoria Cross is established

In the mid-1800s, the highest British military honours were almost exclusively awarded to senior officers under the observant eye of generals. But generals rarely make it to the front lines, where the heroism of brave junior officers and enlisted men mostly went unrecognized except among themselves. The Crimean War changed that. For the first time, a war was covered by journalists. William Howard Russell of The Times reported on the bravery and plight of ordinary soldiers. A new award, open to all ranks, was proposed—the Victoria Cross, instituted on Feb. 5, 1856. Queen Victoria and her husband and ardent supporter, Prince Albert, were involved in the development of the medal. Victoria changed wording of the motto from “for the brave” to “for valour,” so nobody would think the only b...

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