Tank Battle Movies?
March 25, 2009 8:22 AM   Subscribe

Any movies featuring the huge tank battles on the Russian front during WW2? Seems like with today's special effects it would be much easier to accomplish.
posted by conifer to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
The Human Condition had an armored battalion of Soviet tanks fighting the Japs in Manchuria.
posted by JJ86 at 8:41 AM on March 25, 2009

Sorry, I lost part of the comment - CoI may not be exactly what you're looking for, but it is set on the Eastern Front and tanks are featured prominently in the action.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:05 AM on March 25, 2009

Non-huge battle Russian tank action: the beast

"The Beast tells the saga of a band of Afghan warriors in foot pursuit of a crippled Russian tank across Afghan desert."
posted by bdc34 at 10:16 AM on March 25, 2009

Response by poster: Kursk was exactly what I was thinking of. Think the production values of Saving Private Ryan, the story by someone other than Spielberg, and an Eastern Front setting. Cinema Gold!
posted by conifer at 11:16 AM on March 25, 2009

I'll second Cross of Iron. Although it doesn't show much (if any) tank vs tank action but only infantry vs tank.
Also in the same lines is Stalingrad where they fight off Russian tanks with a antitank-gun and sticky mines.

I've seen almost all WW2 movies but i can't recall seeing any tank vs tank battles on the Eastern front..i wish they would make more :)

One example is The Misfit Brigade (based on a Sven Hazel book), but it's very lighthearted and not very accurate (like a terrible version of Kellys Heroes) although there are plenty of tank vs tank action with genuine T-34's :)
posted by kampken at 12:08 PM on March 25, 2009

While I personally would love to see a film set during Kursk or Operation Bagration; I think that a general problem with making such a film is that these battles occurred over a swath of several miles or kilometres; so it would be difficult to depict such actions with a combination of epic swath and immediate attention. After all, a Soviet counterattack across a 16 kim front does not exactly map to the same visuals as the Charge of the Rohirrim across Pelennor Fields.

Consider the treatment of Market Garden in A Bridge Too Far -- the best and most engaging moments were not ponderous advance of the XXX Armored Corps up the road to Holland, but in the desperate and intense streetfighting between paratroopers. Infantry combat will always have a kineticism and immediacy that is difficult to replicate with armored warfare, given the ponderous nature of the tanks and the anonymous visuals of a tank crew completely buttoned up inside their mobile fortress.

I think that one could, perhaps, create a film like The Beast or Das Boot, where it's centered specifically on one crew -- perhaps Germans on the Eastern Front desperately trying to hold off the enemy, then perhaps witnessing the collapse of the Wehrmacht and then fighting across Russian lines simply so that they could surrender to the Americans instead. Kursk or Bagration could be a setpiece within that tale, but I wouldn't make it a focus of the movie.
posted by bl1nk at 1:58 PM on March 25, 2009

Kursk would be awesome.
posted by Max Power at 2:01 PM on March 25, 2009

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