War movies have been popular for as long as films have existed. As a result, some of the more popular subjects have been completely exhausted. The good news is there are thousands of years of resource material out there. The following are five battles that would make for great Hollywood films.
Battle of Belleau Wood
It’s very common for films to be made about World War II. Movies about the Vietnam War were also quite common during the 1980s. There are not, however, many movies about the First World War. The Battle of Belleau Wood was fought in France in 1918, and saw the Germans take on French, American and British soldiers. It is also considered the battle where the US Marine Corps truly came into its own. As such, it would make for a great film.
All great movies have a likable hero, and Marine Dan Daly makes for a great one. Daly, a legendary member of the US military, is treated as almost a mythical figure within the Marine Corps. It was during the Battle of Belleau Wood that he uttered the famous line, “Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever,” while leading a charge.
As well, the Allied victory was the first major engagement the US Army fought during WWI. Despite their attempts to gain ground during the spring offensive, the tired German soldiers were no match for the Americans, who continued to eagerly showcase their skills after entering the conflict in 1917.
This one should be green-lit immediately.
The Winter War
In the late 1930s, Joseph Stalin was obsessed with increasing his territorial holdings. With a massive army and thousands of tanks, he felt Finland would make for a great target. Classic underdog stories always make for great war movies and this is a real David versus Goliath-like tale.
Russia invaded Finland during the later months of 1939, which was a mistake. While the Russians were used to the cold, given their northern location, the Finns knew the local terrain well and used this knowledge to their advantage. Ski troops navigated the rugged terrain to launch guerrilla warfare and were able to easily spot the Soviet troops against the white snow.
Also impressive was the Finn’s incredible air superiority. The Nordic country had a small Air Force, not because they didn’t have enough men, but because they were incredibly selective of their pilots. During the conflict, Finish pilots shot down way more Soviet aircraft than they lost of their own.
The snowy landscape of Finland during the wintertime would also make for a stunning backdrop.
Battle of Carrhae
Sometimes the best movies are the ones where the villain gets what they deserve – and Roman General Marcus Licinius Crassus is one heck of a good villain. Born into wealth in Rome in 115 BC, he eventually became the richest man in the Empire. Crassus also developed a friendship with Pompey the Great and Julius Caesar. He soon was given the governorship of Syria, which only promised to make him richer.
None of this was enough for Crassus. He decided to attempt to conquer Parthia for both riches and glory. The battle went horribly for him. During the next day’s peace meeting, he was killed by the Parthians with molten gold poured into his mouth to symbolize his greed.
His death was the inspiration for a similar scene that occurred in season one of the HBO show Game of Thrones.
Battle of Yorktown
Despite the clear importance to the history of the country, there have been very few movies made about the Revolutionary War. Thanks to the wild success of the Broadway musical Hamilton, however, now would be as good a time as any to shine a light on the time period. A great place to start would be with a movie about the Battle of Yorktown.
The Americans won the battle, thanks to a collaboration between George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. After three weeks of fighting, the movie would certainly have a happy ending. The Battle of Yorktown ended with the surrender of the British forces, leading to the Treaty of Paris and American independence.
Battle of Longewala
The Battle of Longewala has been made into a film: the 1997 Bollywood movie, Border. It may be time, however, for the battle to be revealed to a larger audience. Not only is it a classic many versus few-type battle, but there is also an aspect of humor to it that isn’t seen in most battles.
During the battle, 2,000 Pakistanis with 45 tanks took on 120 Indian soldiers. The only thing the Indians had going for them was a recoilless rifle that could pierce through tanks. As the Pakistanis made their approach, the tanks continuously got stuck in the mud, making them an easy target.
The Pakistani soldiers also noticed barbed wire and feared there were land mines. Instead of pressing their advantage, they waited two hours for mine clearing vehicles. By the time they showed up, Indian air support had arrived and the Pakistanis retreated in embarrassment.