Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The Celts and Other Stuff

I am at a loose end at the moment due to the missus being away and suffering from my debilitating cold however I watched the BBC series on The Celts as it was recommended to me by Matt at Wargames Table.

I have actually met several people through the years who insist they are Celts from Devon to the wilds of Lanarkshire despite recent DNA testing which gives us more of a Scandanavian leaning amongst other influences, Genghis Khan would you believe for instance. So I don't personally see myself as a Celt, Scots yes, Celt no.

The programme was pretty good and the historical bits showed the producers were not happy to rely on the usual ten men on a 1/10,000 scale and careful editing showed the battle scenes at their best. The programme was presented by Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver and as you know Neil gets stick about his long hair, and the atmospheric shots where he glides about in the shadows etc. and true to form Alice gets no slo-mo shots they all belong to Neil. You get an overall picture of the civilisation then an episode mainly on Vercingetorix and one on Boudica (I don't know what the proper form is anymore). Vercingetorix gets a raw deal, captured and slung in prison for six years and then publicly strangled, so much for the noble savage, didn't cut any ice with the Romans.

Pretentious moi?
While I am on about the meedja I watched a film on child soldiers in Africa the other night and it turned out to be a good watch, very atmospheric, well made and obviously fairly brutal. I couldn't help but fell sorry for those caught between the different factions who all treated the civilians as fair game and with off the cuff violence. That most versatile and charismatic actor Idris Elba plays a leading part as the commander of a battalion of young boys.

I have one more for you, it is one I mentioned a year ago on my return from Korea, "Roaring Currents" or sometimes known as "The Admiral", there is an english language version out now and if you like watching a good battle you really need to see this. I have dug a little into the battle (Myeongnyang) and of course the film makers have put their own stamp on what happened, nonetheless it is a magnificent piece of cinema. One scene in particular stands out for me when Japanese boarders try to make their way across gangplanks onto the flagship and are hurled back by shrapnel blasts. Twelve Korean war vessels against about 133 Japanese warships plus several hundred transports, however what you are not privy to is that Korean warships could carry from 26 to 50 cannon and the Japanese at most two, they relied mainly on boarding tactics, they were also larger and better constructed, even so, a magnificent victory.

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