Whicker’s War – Published: 10 Jun 2007

Alan WickerSad man that I am, I’ve been reading a book called Anzio by LLoyd Clark, all about the allied invasion of Italy in WW2. It’s just a phase.

By coincidence Channel 4 announced a two part series called Whicker’s War, about the same time I started this book. I missed it on TV but later started watching it on 4OD and was enthralled.

In my ignorance I really had no idea old Alan Whicker was so intimately involved in the whole miserable adventure.

Whicker was a director in an army film unit and essentially captured the whole mismanaged campaign on film. So many historic photos were taken by Whicker himself.

Having grown up trying to avoid watching his interminable travel programmes, where each week he checks in to a million star hotel, then heads out to talk to some lost tribesmen – whilst wearing a dinner jacket, I always took him for a bit of a TV buffoon and a relic from different era in broadcasting.

But who’d have thunk it?

Whicker is masterful in this series. The ‘then and now’ comparisons, using his own 60 year old footage, were compelling enough, but the details – waking during shelling to find a rat sat on his bed and blasting it with his service revolver; moving into new quarters and finding a stack of porn an Italian artist had left behind – gave the story human scale.

Whicker as war historian is so much better and more potent than Whicker as island hopping hedonist. He’s 81 years old.  

 

Comments

 

A visitor‘ left this comment on 26 Jun 07
Have you been watching 20th Century Battlefields with the Snows? It’s pretty good but the section the middle where Snow junior goes on some kind of activity to find out ‘what it was really like at the front’ annoys me a bit. Wasted time I think, let’s get back to the battle. I want details.I do love the little animations though.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s