The other day I stumbled upon a YouTube of a 1945 movie titled “The True Glory” an official Anglo/American government documentary outlining the events of World War 2 in the European part of the war. It is a little over 1 hour and 20 minutes long and I found it quite fascinating and reasonably reflective of the events seen through the eyes of the winning side. Taking everything as much as possible into context and recognizing that this was produced in1945 and knowing that the impact of this 6-year war was still very raw and current for the audience I found much that might still be relevant today. The music is overdone and the narration is very typical of the propagandist statements of the time, yet throughout the movie there are comments and reflections from service personnel, nurses, and other participants that help personalize the story.
I would like to watch it several times because I think that there are multiple levels and possible lessons within the overall story. One part in particular really spoke to me regarding today’s world of technologies and our understanding of them in both our daily and our academic lives. It is early in 1945 and Patton’s army has moved at breakneck speed towards the German border and they come to a halt outside of Metz, France because they have outrun their supply lines. There is a US Army Officer being interviewed and he says, ‘I will be happy to get back to the Library of Congress where maps are permanent and have meaning’. An amazing statement given what we know of maps today but even more so is that this officer goes on to talk about the allied advance being so fast, heading toward Metz, and that this and other points where they had arrived were off the map and by the time new maps would arrived, these new destinations were also off the maps. What a way to run a war and yet when we examine our use and understanding of technology, particularly in education today – have we not moved so far and so fast that we too may be off the map? I am not suggesting that we live in a world of war (some could argue either side of this) but it is fascinating to see that over 65 years ago we were struggling with the impact of the speed of change and the attempts to manage global chaos. What are we doing today?
I hope others can see beyond the surface of this movie.
Hmm seems like the YouTube copyright police have removed access to this amazing video