The Great Escape, film.

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10 years 1 month

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Great film by while watching for the umpteenth time and paying my respects to Ives (and Attenborough) I noticed two interesting things. At the beginning of the film when McQueen is throwing his ball against the fence to see if there is a blind spot an airliner can be heard flying overhead. But what about Ives uniform. A brown army jacket with navigators insignia? Is this authentic? Yes, just nitpicking. A great film of my chilhood that sadly will never be repeated in this age of CGI and PC war films. Broadsword calling Danny boy and all that.
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13 years

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A brown army jacket with navigators insignia? Is this authentic?
Probably, but it would have been 'acquired' within the POW camp as opposed to being an official issue. Standards of dress in POW camps were most often left up to the individual and varied greatly; I've read accounts of German guards being put to shame by the attire of Grenadier Guards within a camp but also of prisoners wearing pyjamas with military insignia sewn onto them! The film 'The Great Escape' is astonishingly accurate in many small details, assuming Paul Brickhill's book is accurate, motorbike stunts excepted of course. Some of the genuine 'great escapers' were historical advisors on the film; the tunnel set itself was realistic enough to give one of the advisors nightmares that he hadn't suffered since he had worked on the original tunnels!
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I interviewed an old chap, years ago, who had been in the Royal Navy in WWII and served on board a gunboat; his vessel had been sunk and he was recovered by the Italians somewhere in the Greek Islands. He joked that the worst part of his incarceration was, having had to discard most of his own clothing whilst in the water, being re-equipped with British Army uniform that had been captured in North Africa. There is apparently some difference between the salute that the navy gives and that of the army, so he was forever being given a dressing down for not giving the correct salute by pongo officers...
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Yes POW 'uniform' was flexible ! As an aside Istr that some typhoon pilots wore army uniform in case they were shot down (presumably without flying badge) because they did not want to get lynched by German troops !