Friday, January 7, 2022

WWI Trope

In most every movie about WWI there is the trope of the Tommy looking out a trench loophole for just a brief moment, and getting sniped by the Germans.  It's nigh universal.  

The British side pokes it's head up and gets shot.  No one on the British side is returning the favor in these movie and stories.  Always receiving, never giving back.  

Except in All Quiet on the Western Front.  Where Paul gets his at the very end.  But it is only hinted at in the book (which was written by a German, so, perhaps the trope was universal) that he was sniped when he stood up.  It is a likely explanation, and a form of suicide rather than a lapse in trench discipline.  It's left in the air for the reader to decide.  

In the two movies it happens. Sniping, I mean. But both movies were filmed in Hollywood.  The English-speaking side of the war.  So the Brit tropes may have leaked over.  


That said, I have seen no German language visions of the Great War on Film  Maybe I need to check more closely.  But translated books from that side I have read don't have references to sniped loopholes carrying off the FNGs like British accounts on the printed page do.  


Of course there WERE enthusiastic snipers on the Allied side.  So loopholes were just as dangerous to soldiers in the German line, you'd think.


cryptical said...

Another good book about WWI sniping was "A Rifleman Goes To War", also written by McBride.

Borepatch said...

Agree with cryptical. Very good memoir from a WWI American sniper.

Thomas said...

I didn't know until just now that McBride seems to have written a 2nd book, and thank you for the link to "The Emma Gees"!