In the early morning of April 9th 1940 the Danish army is alerted. The Germans have crossed the border; Denmark is at war against Europe's strongest army. In Southern Jutland Danish bicycle- and motorcycle companies are ordered out, to against all odds, hold back the forces until the Danish reinforcements can be mobilized. In the fatal hours, we follow second lieutenant Sand (Pilou Asbæk) and his bicycle company - they will as the first Danish soldiers meet the enemy in combat on April 9th 1940.Written by
Nordisk Film Production A/S
The unique bolt-action rifle used by the Danish soldiers is the then standard issued, Danish produced 'Gevær M. 1889', originally a Norwegian design internationally known as the Krag-Jørgensen, also briefly used by the US military around the turn of the 20th century. Also a unique design, 2nd Lieutenant Sand's ("Pilou Asbæk") sidearm is the 'M/1910/21' semi-automatic pistol, internationally known as the German/Belgian Bergmann-Bayard, which remained the Danish officer's standard issue pistol until 1949, where it was replaced by the 'M/49 Neuhausen', or Sig Sauer P210, that in turn remained the official Danish sidearm until 2019, then replaced by the Sig Sauer P320 X-Carry. See more »
(at around 38 mins) The Germans are firing an MG 42 in a battle in 1940. See more »
A good movie for Danes and foreign war history buffs
The term "War movie" is almost synonymous with Second World War movies. Every nation has a story, down to the smallest individuals, and when there aren't stories, the big story gives great background for fiction. As a result we are doused with WW2 movies. There are good ones, bad ones, boring ones, outright ridiculous ones, and we've seen them all. It is next to impossible to make a really good WW2 movie anymore. Everything that can be told about this war has been told; maybe it can be told again with soldiers of different nationality, different locations, different weapons; but it's really, really difficult to say something that hasn't been told already.
This is why this little movie is marvelous. It actually tells a new story. It's not the meatgrinders of Stalingrad, Omaha Beach, not the death camps, not Dresden burning, not heroes against evil Nazis. It's about the silent, peaceful Denmark which has been overrun in a mere six hours and this was all of the war for them. But how did it happen?
Are a few dozen lives comparable to thousands or millions lost on other battlefronts? What is six hours of "war" to six years? It is easy to dismiss it as nothing, but that's what this movie about. Regardless the short time and negligible losses, it was still war, with young people killing and dying for their country and king. When their comrade fell, it was the same what a Russian, German, British or American soldier felt in a much bigger battle. It is not to be overlooked.
This movie shows us some images from Denmark's family album. Look, this happened to them in 1940. When someone shows you his family album and tells about someone who died in the war, you don't say "Oh, just one of you? Stop whining, our family lost three, so your loss is insignificant." The movie doesn't claim fame. It doesn't say Denmark's disaster was a very big one, or that it's comparable to other events of WW2. It just tells: this happened to us. This is our story. And yes, a kid selling milk actually died on the road that day.
Thank you for this movie, Denmark. We missed your story. Maybe the characters could've been a bit more lively. But again, they are soldiers - what to add to them?
42 of 44 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this