You really need to like your fellow airman in a Ju-88
I was taught at school that you couldn't understand history properly until at least fifty years after the event, and I am particularly convinced of this truism in the light of the popular perception of WWII and the events leading up to it. (For example, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Who was the most evil dictator of all?") The Internet Archive is therefore to be congratulated for posting a large number of German and Soviet films from the thirties and forties which have previously been unavailable. It is to be hoped that eventually Japanese films will similarly appear. The great value in these films, which may well be considered propaganda, or at least morale raisers, is that they give a clue to how people thought of and saw themselves. Whilst the propaganda elements may be distrusted (but then so can the American "Why We Fight" series), the pictures themselves have real historical value.
In this film, the main lines of the plot were straightforward (the love lives of a Ju-88 aircrew), but being in German, I missed almost all the detail of the dialogue. The film starts with some aerial sequences of the Ju-88, which is apparently a photo reconnaissance version on the Eastern Front. The aircraft is apparently damaged and does a wheels up landing: the footage was of a real accident, not a model. There are scenes on the air base, probably in Poland from the village scenes round about, where "Heil Hitlering" is not as common as more modern films would have you believe. Much of the romance is carried on in Berlin, in roof-top cafes and around and on the Wannsee. The impression is of a great city going about its normal business, with the war being a long way away and food shortages of the sort William Shirer reported on from Berlin not pressing. There is no evidence of air raid precautions. Everybody seems young and gay and the trams ran to time, albeit with girl conductors. In the hospital all is neat and orderly and under control. Occasionally the aircrew go on missions and are attacked but unharmed by Russian fighters. Actually, the aerial sequences give a good impression of how cramped the 4 seat Ju-88 was. The air crew are transferred to North Africa where they sample oriental delights, including a topless dancer (Goebbels liked these - vide Münchhausen). Back on active service their aircraft makes another forced landing. The desert sequences were particularly effective in showing what it must have been like to be stranded in the desert. Near death, they are spotted by an Italian air force Savoia-Marchetti (possibly an SM-79 variant) and rescued. Back in Berlin, the rivals in the air crew find their nurse ladylove about to marry one of her patients. After a lavish wedding with many horse-drawn carriages, the rivals head after alternative conquests. Apparently the film was withdrawn in 1944 because of references to going to live in the East ("Gouvernement").
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?