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Sgt.Squarehead

Origins Of The Beast

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It's a decent film, but I wouldn't take it too seriously.  ;)

That being said however, the one thing Soviet troops feared above all else was falling into the hands of the Mujahideen women.....Look it up, but only if you are not squeamish.  :o

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I've studiously avoided 'Fury' TBH.....Apparently that Sherman has a degree of Panzerfaust resistance that would be the envy of an IS-2.  :rolleyes:

Still, it made Bovvy a few quid, so some good came of it.  B)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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Apparently he makes exceedingly good cakes:

"A scrimmage in a Border Station-
A canter down some dark defile
Two thousand pounds of education
Drops to a ten-rupee jezail.
The Crammer's boast, the Squadron's pride,
Shot like a rabbit in a ride!"

I've been reading Kaplan again.....He really likes his Kipling.  ;)

I'm also reading 'Ghost Wars' by Steve Coll, an excellent overview a particularly formative period of modern history:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Ghost-Wars-Secret-History-Afghanistan/0141020806

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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Nanawatai!

Drifting OT (again), I can recall mulling military=>foreign service career options back in the mid '80s, against the backdrop of the waning Cold War: Star Wars, hostages, Ollie North, snake eaters left of the Khyber, etc. Good thing I didn't, it turns out, given the 'end of history' that ran 1989-2001. A lot of careers came crashing down. Canada was even worse off than the States.

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Andy,

Terrific article! I saw "The Beast" in Los Angeles in rough form at one of those audience reaction screenings. The sound track wasn't done, so they used Mars, from Holst's The Planets. On balance, I thought it was pretty good, though I gagged over the automatic radar or whatever it was that resulted in that mad minute. Frankly, I was thrilled to see a real T-62. Was still a Threat Analyst then. I bought a VDV/Air Assault/Spetsnaz blue and white striped shirt during that war which had been brought out of Afghanistan. Saw another one red with its dust, some dried blood and bullet holes but decided that was a bit much. Besides, the price was much higher. The same surplus store in Culver City had a real SVD on the wall and a honking R123 radio on the counter!  A beast in its own right. Speaking of Russian tanks, there are real T-54s in the Tom Hanks movie "The Bridge." It's a true story and a film I recommend. I recall reading after I saw it that the basis of "The Beast" was a play, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out how some of the scenes (tank on villager, for example) could be done on stage.

Regards,

John Kettler 

Edited by John Kettler

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As far as I can remember it was a play that was later on turned into a screenplay. George Dzundza has a remarkably good appearance in this one, but in general as a depiction of the Soviet-Afghan War it's the same thing as with "Star Wars" being (not) science-fiction - lots of fiction and no science. Just note that moment when a Soviet tanker jumps out of a turret inside the kishlak just to take a pot shot with his RPG at a minaret there. Soviet tank platoon assaulting on its own a presumably hostile local settlement is also a peculiarity on its own. However, as a drama the movie gets a great job at portraying how a human nature and personality become devoured by brutality and cruelty of the war to the point where everyone is an enemy including Dzundza who turns on himself as a matter of fact which results in his ultimate loss.

If you want to see a movie that was endorsed by Soviet veterans - "afghantsy" that is - you should see "The Afghan Breakdown" starring the Italian actor Michele Placido, known for his "The Octopus" series, as a VDV coy commander.  Truly remarkabale movie featuring Rosenbaum's music form the era.

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3 hours ago, burroughs said:

If you want to see a movie that was endorsed by Soviet veterans - "afghantsy" that is - you should see "The Afghan Breakdown" starring the Italian actor Michele Placido, known for his "The Octopus" series, as a VDV coy commander.  Truly remarkabale movie featuring Rosenbaum's music form the era.

I'll have a look for that one, cheers.  B)

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