Wargame Wednesday: April 9th

Wednesday , 23, January 2019 3 Comments

Named after the date of the German invasion of Denmark and released in 2015 I have only just seen April 9th but it is one of my all time, favorite war movies.

 

Over at IMBD, there are many favorable reviews, most of them commenting on historical accuracy. The negative aspects in the one neutral review (5 out of 10 stars) are the same aspects that made this movie skyrocket up the list of my favorites.  The reviewer notes the historical accuracy but bemoans the lack of character development; it wasn’t A Band of Brothers. I enjoyed A Band of Brothers but, as a gamer, I like my war films as historically accurate as possible. April 9th fits the bill and my enjoyment only increases as I realize that Hollywood has been nowhere near it.

On my blog, I have another short review and a list of Danish military history links.

 

Mild spoilers after the jump.

Various things I found interesting:

The story line covering a fighting retreat of a bicycle company and an “Encounter Platoon” of motorcyclists equipped with the only effective weapon, a 20mm automatic cannon, against the German armored vehicles.

The naivety of the Encounter Platoon setting up a road block before a village, in the open. Even if the Germans were held up by the road block (they were not) they could easily transverse the open terrain. The greater naivety of the local villagers who mingle with the soldiers, waiting for the excitement to start.

Motorcyclists with 20mm cannon versus Pz II’s.

 

Heaviest German armor was Pz II’s and I’m not sure of which version of armored cars that caused the bicyclist so much trouble in the first skirmish but believe it was the Sd Kfz 221, Light Armored Car. In that skirmish the bicyclist had a LMG which was able to hold the armored cars and half tracks at bay, and the LMG gunner even disable one vehicle. The company was soon outflanked.

Half tracks make an appearance but I missed any close up.  I’ll have to watch over but think at least one of the half tracks was not an original recalled to active duty from a museum but created from scratch with some plate metal and excellent welding.

After the surrender the view outside of the bus window which is transporting the Danish prisoners back to their barracks. Happy children are fraternizing with the invaders, climbing over German armored cars and wearing German helmets, while in one village the civilians are happily talking with German soldiers. I learned by watching the movie that the border territory in south Jutland was German up until 1920.

I rate this one as a must see, especially for military history fans interested in an obscure early war action, soon to be overshadowed by the full force of ideological and industrial warfare.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments
  • Skyler_the_Weird says:

    If you get a chance go see the Danish Resistance Museum in Copenhagen near Ida Davidsen’s. Very interesting displays from the occupation including a homemade armored car.

  • Another good Danish war film is 1864 about the Second Schlesweig War between Denmark and Prussia. The Danes lost and gave up Sclesweig-Holstein to Prussia (though most the inhabitants were German).

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