The Longest Day Essay

The Great War: July 1, 1916—The First Day of the Battle of the Somme. By Joe Sacco. W.W. Norton; 54 pages; $35. Jonathan Cape; £20. Buy from,

IT WAS at the battle of the Somme that ordinary soldiers lost their illusions about the nature of modern warfare. On the first day alone, July 1st 1916, more than 57,000 British troops were killed or wounded.

They were part of a 120,000-strong wave intended to break the stalemate on the western front. The attack was meticulously planned, generously supplied and, in the end, a disaster. The pre-attack artillery fire that was supposed to dislodge the Germans from their trenches failed: it was notable, Adam Hochschild writes in an accompanying essay to “The Great War”, “mainly for its noise”. The Germans simply waited out the attacks in deep bunkers, then used artillery that had been camouflaged to shred the advancing troops. It remains the single bloodiest day in British military history.

Joe Sacco’s book includes none of this. Indeed, aside from his essay and Mr Hochschild’s, printed together in a separate pamphlet, it includes no words at all. Instead, using the Bayeux tapestry—a 70-metre-long work that celebrates the Norman conquest of England—Mr Sacco tells the story of July 1st 1916 in a single 24-foot-long black-and-white drawing. Mr Sacco was raised in Australia and he hews to a British perspective, explaining that it has “seeped into my consciousness”.

Broken by accordion folds into 24 plates, Mr Sacco’s narrative—and despite its wordlessness it is nothing if not narrative, with the action, lines and motion of one plate leading seamlessly into the next—begins on the morning of the attack. General Haig, in full military dress, is walking the grounds of Château de Beaurepaire. It ends at a casualty station, with the wounded writhing on stretchers and a few able-bodied troops burying those beyond medical help. In between, men prepare, ride, march and, in vast numbers, die.

Mr Sacco eschews anything resembling realistic perspective and proportion. Yet his ability to cram in detail is extraordinary. And it is the details that linger: the smile on the face of a young French boy as he watches the troops saddle up and ride, bandages unravelling from a severed leg lying unclaimed on the battlefield, and the faces of the officers overseeing the gravediggers: stoic, weary and harrowed.

Get our daily newsletter

Upgrade your inbox and get our Daily Dispatch and Editor's Picks.

The Longest Day Essay

"The Longest Day" was a mammoth project dramatizing D-day, the Allied invasion of France. It was nearly three hours in length and with an enormous ensemble cast, all playing supporting roles. The production was very conscientious about realism, the actors were always of the same nationality as their characters, and spoke in their native languages, leading to a lot of subtitles translating French and German dialogue. Although the movie was historically correct, it was also meant to be a blockbuster by starring John Wane, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery and Henry Fonda. But The American role in the invasion is not exaggerated, and the German soldiers and officers are not portrayed as brutal stereotypes.

The date for invasion was decided in Washington in May 1943, but due to some difficulties it had been postponed till June 5. June 5th was the unalterable date for the invasion to take place. The troops and the officers had been stationed in barracks for month and they were getting quite anxious to get the invasion over with. On June 5th due to bed weather the invasion had been postponed again, some ships were already on the way and had-to be recalled. The film shows the meeting that General Eisenhower (Supreme commander of the Allied forces who was in charge of the operation Overlord) held to decide to whether of not go on

with the invasion. They came up with a decision to delay the invasion for twenty- four hours. The solders and the officers got quite excited when they heard that the invasion was delayed for only 24-hours, they were worried, if the invasion would
be delayed any longer they would have to wait for two more month for the tide to be back.

The allies took a lot of thought in fooling the German intelligence. Allies had air supremacy so German recon planes were very unsuccessful. The allies used that to their advantage, they had set up fake landing crafts and purposely allowed German planes in those arias. Germans had also underestimated the Allies. They didn’t believe that allies would ever gather up a navy big enough to attack the French coast but on June 6th a fleet of more then 5’000 ships took off for the French beaches.     

Prior to the landing of the Allied troops there were several pr invasion bombings, which had very little effect on German fortifications. The movie did a very good job in portraying the feeling you would have landing on the beach and

dodging the bullets and running through artillery fire and land mines, it was focused on three or four people and the atmosphere wasn’t as depressing as it

probably would be in real life. Given consideration that the film was made in early sixties these things are easily forgiven. The movie did a very good job in focusing on Omaha beach where the allies had encountered most resistance. It was the most restricted and heavily defended of all beaches. The Allies had assigned one veteran division to this beach. Germans were fighting...

Loading: Checking Spelling


Read more

Comparing The Media Techniques Used to Present the D-Day Landings in the Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan

2062 words - 8 pages Comparing The Media Techniques Used to Present the D-Day Landings in the Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan The heroism and bravery of those who took part in the D-Day has been brought to the big screen from several perspectives. 1939-1945 were some of the most horrific times in the broad spectrum of human conflict ever seen by mankind with unmatched weapons of devastation and the senseless slaughter of millions of lives...

The Media Techniques Used to Produce D-day Landing on the Saving Private Ryan and The Longest Day

1967 words - 8 pages The Media Techniques Used to Produce D-day Landing on the Saving Private Ryan and The Longest Day The D-Day landing must have been one of the most brutal battles between the Americans and the Germans during the World War 2. Both "Saving Private Ryan" and "The Longest Day" were produced as films to represent the brutality of what the D-Day was like. However, although both films were similar in the perspective of the...

Mitosis Lab

514 words - 2 pages Recently my partner and I partook in a lab where we learned about the mitosis of cells. The mitosis of allium, the onion root tip, to be more exact. The purpose of this lab was to observe dividing cells and to be able to recognize different stages of mitosis. We would also determine the relative lengths of each stage of mitosis for the allium. Our

Essay responding to topic Education and Myself. Impossible can be possible.

920 words - 4 pages Impossible can be possibleMemory is a strange thing. When I’ve been there, looks like I have never paid attention to surroundings. I never thought all that even a trifle will stay in my memory and after four years I still remembered everything as it was just yesterday. That day I thought only about myself and about my final thesis those were mandatory in...

China - The World's Greatest Civilization

563 words - 2 pages After the rise of agriculture in the Neolithic era, four major civilizations developed in different parts of the world. They existed in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley and China. The ones that endured the longest to a lesser degree was Egypt, but to a much larger degree, China, which kept its civilization in existence straight into the modern era. This was due to their agriculture, united government, military defense, writing system and...

The correlation between sleep patterns and learning patterns of children.

865 words - 3 pages "Sleep, Neurobehavioral Functioning, and Behavior Problems in School-Age Children"Avi Sadeh, Reut Gruber, and Amiran Raviv wrote the article, "Sleep, Neurobehavioral Functioning, and Behavior Problems in School-Age Children," in 2000, which may be found in the journal Child Development, volume 73, number 2, on pages 405-417. The article was written about a study conducted in order explore the associations between sleep and...

Discrimination Against Native Americans

777 words - 3 pages Nearly 1 in 4 American Natives are in poverty, and only about 26% of them have professional careers, opposed to 40% of Caucasians ( American racism is the longest prejudice of a group in the history of America (Racism Against Native Americans).Have you ever seen a Native Americans public speaker speak of anything other than the prejudice against their people ("We Need To Stop ‘Playing Cowboys and Indians’ With Native...

Analysis of the Opening Battle Sequence in the Film Saving Private Ryan

937 words - 4 pages Wartime adventure film, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ was first released in 1998 by ‘Paramount’ and ‘Dreamworks’ Pictures. It internationally achieved a long lasting effect as it became the winner of five academy awards and five Oscars; the film won these awards because the first 24minuites captured people’s imagination and interest. It tells the story of a squad of American soldiers led by Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) on a dangerous mission to find...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphony No. 25 in G minor, K. 183

1270 words - 5 pages “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphony No. 25 in G minor, K. 183” The classical era lasted from the 1750s to the 1820s, during this period the progression in instrumental music depended greatly on the influence of three master composers. The three were Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven (Kamien 156). Like the period before classical music, instrument has become just as important as vocal music. But, unlike the baroque...

The Huge and Famous Bridges in the World

1348 words - 5 pages Have you ever thought about how many bridges are there in the world? I did and I researched everything about the bridges. Let’s get this question first of all. There are six hundred thousand bridges in the United States if we consider all bridges small or big. This number is valid for only United States that means there are so many bridges we can’t even count. However even we have counted them they are built new ones and destroyed old ones day by...

Reality Television Analysis

922 words - 4 pages Life, in general, is not to supposed to be scripted, planned, or edited. It is supposed to be spontaneous, different from day to day. So why is it that so many people have been pulled into the phenomenon that is now dubbed "reality television"? Every week, millions of viewers plant themselves in front of their televisions and view in to watch ordinary people that have their lives captured on film for the pure entertainment of an audience (Hill...


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *