Saturday, March 3, 2012

"Odd" Numbers

Its probably all this chatter about ship models and naval wargaming that put the thought in my head but today I dug out an old video tape of the Battle of the River Plate. Excellent movie btw and with real ships, including the HMS Cumberland playing herself along with other veterans of battles with Pocket Battleships..

The battle was fought in 1939. The movie was made in 1956, 17 years later.

In 1973, 17 years after the movie was made, I was standing watches on HMCS Mackenzie as part of my MARSII training. That makes it 34 years after the actual Battle.

When I was a kid, WWII had happened a lonnnnng time ago. Its been 39 years since that 1st cruise. that younbg officer cadet was closer in time to the start of WWII than he was to my current self. How odd is that? No wonder I sometimes feel like I was born in another century.   (I was)

Ok back to laying out an ACW game.


  1. A great film indeed and a must watch for naval
    Fans. As you say the vintage and veteran ships help but even more impressive is that this film dates from a period when movies could tell a fairly complex historical story,unlike say PearL Harbour.
    Did you catch Christopher Lee as the bar owner in Montevideo?

    1. No, he looked familiar but I didn't make the connection. I did catch Patrick MacNee

  2. I noticed it was on TV here the other day. I understand your 'relative timeline' thoughts. WW2 was a long time before my time but actually I was born only 20 years after it ended - but this year sees the 70th anniversary of El Alamein

  3. Co-incidental numbers amuse me so the 17 and 17 was what caught my eye but watching these films makes me realize just how much the navy I served in was struggling to maintain a culture from that era while the outside society rapidly changed . (at the time I thought they were maintaining Nelson). Watching movies and reading novels from this era should have been compulsory indoctrination.

  4. Ross,

    What REALLY made feel old was someone's observation that WWI had ended more recently as of the day I was born (32 years), than did the end of the Vietnam War as of today (36 years). AAAAAAAAHHHHGGGGG! Whar be my Geritol and Depends at?