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Men of the Lightship

8 years ago2K views


G Pollen

For 300 years, the commentary tells us, lightships have been seen as neutral vessels in times of war, helping, as they do, all shipping irrespective of its ownership by a friendly or a hostile power. This is direct propaganda, telling the story of one incident in which this gentlemen's agreement was broken by brute force by a German aircraft. The strafing and bombing of the lightship is tantamount to kicking a man when he's down, or shooting him in the back. The sense of outrage is palpable and it is worth remembering the significance of the production date - it is early in the war, January 1940, and neither the filmmakers nor the British public are hardened to the horrors of warfare as they were later.

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