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About The End Of "carentan"


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#1 jinniwind

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 05:32 PM

i've watched BoB 7 times, but still don't understand the end of "Carentan", which was about Malarky in the laundry. he was asked to take clothes for other troopers of easy company, such as Meehan and Blithe. but Meehan was missed on D day, and didn't show up any more. so how could his clothes be in the laundry?

could anybody explain this scene for me? thanks a lot!

#2 McIntee

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 05:44 PM

What this scene does is basically show us what the "tour" in Normandy cost in man power. It's like a Roll of Honour if you want. It's significant because it shows the transformation from a training unit to a combat unit (if that makes sense).

As for the clothes, well they would probably have been sent for cleaning before the troops headed off. Remember, they were told that they only had to be in combat for 3 days and 3 nights, yet they stayed over 20 days.

So really, this scene is highly symbolic. I'm sure our more experienced and eloquent members can point out other things about this scene.

John

#3 jinniwind

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 06:02 PM

thanks a lot, John!

#4 appell8

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 06:51 PM

John, you nailed it. y.o.s., Doug

PS, another detail: we see Blythe's bundle, marked "1948," just as we are told (erroneously) that Blythe died in 1948. Eerie foreshadowing? Hmmmm.

Etienne informed me that the bundles were marked with Army serial numbers. Did the production look up the real Blythe's number, or did the prop guys make up a number ending in 1948 for additional impact?

#5 homefront41

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 08:21 PM

Did the production look up the real Blythe's number ...

Yup. That was Blithe's Army ID. They had extraordinary access to details. BK

Edited by homefront41, 08 October 2003 - 09:38 PM.


#6 TomC

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 09:29 PM

In addition to the above stated, I got the impression that Malarky felt some attraction (pity? respect? It was war and folks were doing what they could to make ends meet) towards the women and the hard work they were doing, so even though he knew these men were not returning he still paid for their laundry out of consideration.

Just a thought.

Edited by TomC, 08 October 2003 - 09:29 PM.


#7 larrya

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 09:33 PM

I don't know the historical accuracy of the scene - was it real or was it Hollywood - but I thought it a terrific way to show the cost of war on human lives.

#8 TomC

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 07:04 AM

I don't know the historical accuracy of the scene - was it real or was it Hollywood - but I thought it a terrific way to show the cost of war on human lives.

My guess (and a guess, mind ya) is that it was solely hollywood, so chalk one up for well done hollywood.

#9 Guest_Max (UK)_*

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 07:34 AM

Talking of Hollywood.....over here at the start of BoB episodes are introduced with "HBO and BBC presents....." but over there it's just HBO. What's that all about?

#10 Kiwiwriter

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 08:30 AM

Not only is that a symbolic scene, but the other factor is that Easy went to Normandy under the mistaken impression (made at the start of the episode) that after three days of fighting, they would be relieved. So everybody left their laundry behind for pickup after the D-Day assault.

And, as the scene makes clear, a large number of them did not return to pick up their laundry -- ever.

#11 TomC

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 11:36 AM

Talking of Hollywood.....over here at the start of BoB episodes are introduced with "HBO and BBC presents....." but over there it's just HBO. What's that all about?


It is my impression that in order for anything to be broadcast on the BBC, it must adhere to a branding / identity agreement. The BBC is exclusive to the UK - right? America by comparison has a very competitive arena of broadcasters. Just an assumption...

#12 gailfus

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 11:55 PM

I find it interesting to look at the end of Carentan from this point of view: has Miss Lamb (laundress) really thought about the fact that some of the men for whom she did laundry wouldn't return? Apparently not, according to HBO. I wonder, though, whether that's an accurate portrayal, since England was in the war so much longer. Certainly she would have been stuck with laundry for English men who weren't coming back prior to this encounter, don't you think? Or at least she might have surmised that some men wouldn't make it through the invasion.

They also made her oblivious to the fact that Malarkey was promoted and called him "private" when she called him back about Meehan's laundry. They had JUST talked about his promotion, and I don't believe an English woman, laundress or not, would have had the poor manners to forget that he'd been promoted in such a short span of time.

Also, we don't really think about all those people in other countries who performed services for our troops who were stuck at some point NOT getting paid for work they did for men who would never return to pay them. Did the army try to make this up, or was the general feeling, "well, if you do this, you have to realize that some of these men won't be back to pick up their laundry--serve us at your own risk?"

#13 jinniwind

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Posted 11 October 2003 - 12:13 PM

I find it interesting to look at the end of Carentan from this point of view:  has Miss Lamb (laundress) really thought about the fact that some of the men for whom she did laundry wouldn't return?  Apparently not, according to HBO.  I wonder, though, whether that's an accurate portrayal, since England was in the war so much longer.  Certainly she would have been stuck with laundry for English men who weren't coming back prior to this encounter, don't you think?  Or at least she might have surmised that some men wouldn't make it through the invasion.

They also made her oblivious to the fact that Malarkey was promoted and called him "private" when she called him back about Meehan's laundry.  They had JUST talked about his promotion, and I don't believe an English woman, laundress or not, would have had the poor manners to forget that he'd been promoted in such a short span of time.

Also, we don't really think about all those people in other countries who performed services for our troops who were stuck at some point NOT getting paid for work they did for men who would never return to pay them.  Did the army try to make this up, or was the general feeling, "well, if you do this, you have to realize that some of these men won't be back to pick up their laundry--serve us at your own risk?"

interesting thought, gailfus!

i agree with you. i think who served armys should have the common sense that many soldiers wouldn't return to take their clothes. that is the part of reasons why i was confused when watching it.

#14 Etienne

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Posted 11 October 2003 - 02:22 PM

My $.02 cents:

The lady and family doing the laundry from an off base enterprise would not be privvy to the workings of the U.S.Army and their deployments. For the few pennies that they were receiving for laundered clothes, this laundry would have been better off keeping the uniforms of the KIA and WIA for resale after not being claimed. New clothes in a wartime atmosphere were worth a small fortune.

#15 jimary

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Posted 11 October 2003 - 04:29 PM

My $.05 and a hot cup of "white tea".

The US Army had a Quartmaster laundry system in place but in many cases, it was not responsive to the individual servicemen's desires (length of time, loss of items and degree of service was sometimes poor, etc.). This family laundry was probably set up to assist the Army's quartermaster laundry and also as a means of providing income to the local populace. There was a quaint saying that the British used for the American servicemen: "They're overpaid, they're oversexed and they're over here". The American soldier especially the airborne troops were young and away from home for the first time. Many of the locals saw these boys as their own and they all realized that the invasion would come with a price and that some of these "boys" would not be returning to pick-up their finished laundry. As for the woman not recognizing Malarky's promotion, she probably didn't even realize that he had been promoted even if he had just mentioned it to her. (I can't remember if he had stripes on his sleeves or not). Of course, the British insignia of rank is much different than the Americans. Also, she was probably embarassed to mention the laundry that awaited pick-up. The D-day invasion was over and she probably listened to the BBC and knew what the losses were both for the Americans and the other allies. Being like any business person, she probably waited a certain amount of time for someone to retrieve the laundry and if no one did, she probably sold it. As for services performed but never paid by the individual soldier because of one reason or another, the provider of the service learned rather quickly that if he/she made a complaint to the US Army Civil Affairs people, that he/she would be compensated.

Edited by jimary, 30 January 2004 - 12:15 PM.





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