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Kelly's Heroes - Did Tigers have to keep their engines warm in France?


spruecutter96
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Someone I have occasionally wondered over the years... Donald Sutherland's character "Oddball" makes the claim that German Tiger crews had to run their engines several times a day. Now, in the depths of a Russian winter, this would make a lot of sense.... but in the relatively mild climate of France? Surely, this would just be wasting precious fuel?

 

I suspect this was a scriptwriter's invention, as it served the plot well.

 

What say ye?

 

Chris.    

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Thanks for the reply, Black Knight. Admittedly, I haven't watched the movie in many a year.

 

Does anyone see any irony here? The film came out in 1970 and was apparently a massive hit. At a time when the American "Love and Peace" movement was at its height....

 

Cheers. 

 

Chris. 

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Thats why Oddball uses paint in his shells  [ We got our own ammunition, it's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes... pretty pictures.]  and don't forget the 'negative waves', 

 

'Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?'

 

Moriarty : suppose the bridge ain't there?

Oddball : [groans]  Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It's a mother, beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there. Ok?

Oddball : [Later: Oddball is looking through binoculars at the bridge]  Still up!

Oddball : [planes fly and bomb the bridge]  ... No it ain't. See what sending out them negative waves did, Moriarty?

Moriarty : That ain't my fault, Oddball, I've done nothing but have good thoughts about that damn bridge ever since we left!

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Gidday All, I love that movie. That opening scene. To go to the trouble of capturing an enemy colonel just to find out where the best hotels are in the next town IIFC.

 

And to have their tanks the fastest in the European theatre, forwards and backwards. "You see, we like to think we can get out of trouble quicker'n we got into it." 😁

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7 hours ago, spruecutter96 said:

Does anyone see any irony here? The film came out in 1970 and was apparently a massive hit. At a time when the American "Love and Peace" movement was at its height....

And also Vietnam ... as a youngster that film fascinated me becuase it was a WWII film with a distinct Vietnam vibe. And of course its an anti-war film anyway - really quite subversive when you think about it. No ideals - everyone's in it for the money. Given the cast it's pretty indicative of Hollywood's stance on the Vietnam war. I believe the only film Hollywood made during the conflict which could be considered pro-Vietnam was the Green Berets, and I think that was only made because John Wayne drummed up political support for it to be made.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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38 minutes ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

There were so many funny lines and incidents in that movie we could quote them all day. But one thing has just struck me - weren't they in France? Although the weather was still balmy. Regards, Jeff.

I think it’s meant to be France (breakout from Normandy) but filmed in then Yugoslavia.  Hence the scenery and towns are rather Mediterranean looking.  But it’s all fun as an  adventure film so none of them negative waves from me…

Edited by malpaso
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  • spruecutter96 changed the title to Kelly's Heroes - Did Tigers have to keep their engines warm in France?

The aircraft scene when they were hiding in a small wood looked like Yugoslavian Soko something or other I don't  recall exactly the type.

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2 hours ago, Paul J said:

The aircraft scene when they were hiding in a small wood looked like Yugoslavian Soko something or other I don't  recall exactly the type.

Soko 522. Frequent stand-in for Axis a/c in partisan movies.

 

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4 hours ago, malpaso said:

I think it’s meant to be France (breakout from Normandy) but filmed in then Yugoslavia.  Hence the scenery and towns are rather Mediterranean looking.  But it’s all fun as an  adventure film so none of them negative waves from me…

The action is supposed to be around Clermont, in the Auvergne.  Nearer the Mediterranean than the Normandy beaches.

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The original draft of the script of Kelly's Heros was set in Vietnam!

 

It featured a semi-mythical ancient Vietnamese king(like King Arthur) who buried his treasure on a hill top after being defeated in battle.

 

The VC claimed the Americans were looking for this treasure when they built firebases on hilltops!

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To circle back to the original question, yes they did regardless of the ambient temperature.

 

They did not have auxiliary engines to charge batteries and run the electrics at rest.  Turning over a cold 23 litre V12 took some amps and it was necessary to keep the batteries fully charged to do so.  The 2 12V 150A batteries normally ran in parallel but were switched to series for starting, 24V 300A.  The starter motor was 24V.  If electric start failed there was a hand-crank inertia starter.  If available, there was a special motor attachment mounted on another vehicle which could be used to turn the manual starter.  None of which is ideal if The Good Guys have appeared over the hill.

 

The lubricating oil was also kept warm and distributed by running-up.  The HL230 was a dry-sump design with pressure-fed lubrication operated by 2 pumps.

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1 hour ago, Dogtail2 said:

The action is supposed to be around Clermont, in the Auvergne.  Nearer the Mediterranean than the Normandy beaches.

I expect the script was lackadaisical in regards to history or geography but there is another candidate Clermont in Northern France, closer to Nancy where supposedly the German General with the info about the gold is picked up.

They probably just picked any old French town name that would still work without needing to know French pronunciation?

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I never understood what the very catchy theme song " Burning bridges " had to do with the story , it was played twice ! .` always 

liked it , I even learned the words .

                                                       Don .

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Great film and John Landis was a production assistant on it. Whilst he was working on the film he came up with and started writing the story for An American Werewolf In London! 

 

Apologies for the thread drift 😊

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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47 minutes ago, Don149 said:

I never understood what the very catchy theme song " Burning bridges " had to do with the story , it was played twice ! .` always 

liked it , I even learned the words .

                                                       Don .

'Burning Bridges', or burning your bridges means you cannot go back, only forwards

After relieving the bank of its gold the soldiers could not go back [as normal soldiers again], they had 'burnt their bridges'

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btw, contrary to popular knowledge; the Germans had enough captured Allied, mostly US, equipment to full equip 2 1/2 Divisions - that about 15,000 men

 

When I holidayed in Jugoslavia in 1979 -1982 there was an abundance of ex-German WW2 equipment still in use by local farmers, fishermen and other traders. It was odd to see boxes of fish being loaded into the back of a Maultier half-track, or the local policeman on his Zundapp combo, both vehicles still in their German markings

 

Allegedly both Clint Eastwood and Donald Sutherland were/are what is commonly called 'history buffs'. 

They wanted real German tanks for this film but upon being told there were none to be got they wanted to hire the Tiger in Bovington. When they couldn't a car customizer was approached and he organised the construction of the Tigers on the T34s. They got several ex-Jugoslav T-34s as part of the deal to film there.

After the tanks were built they were loaned out to feature in two other films. K/H was supposed to be out first but the other two films were released first, thus people think K/H borrowed the tanks from them

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1. I liked Carroll O'Connor as the general in this, never liked him in that US version of 'Till Death Us Do Part' - it was the part and he played just too well - kinda reminded me of my bigoted and racist father too much

2. I gotta check out what Oddball has in his holster, Don't look like any 1911A1 to me. [at 0.33] [ a P.08?] I've got the pattern for making a US tanker's holster

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