Monthly Archives: September 2013

The first American attack in WWII Europe

After the Americans entered WWII they had to decide where to fight first in Europe. North Africa was split into three parts. Egypt was held by the Allies, the section from Tunisia to Libya was held by the Germans and the western part was held by Vichy France which was neutral. The Americans with the aid of the British invaded the NEUTRAL Vichy held western part of North Africa. The Allies did encounter some resistance but were able to prevail with relative ease. They were actually hoping for no resistance since Vichy France was friendly with the the United States. In retaliation the Germans occupied what was left of unoccupied France in Europe. This was the end of Vichy France and French politicians were forced to choose sides. The Allies used this position in North Africa to attack the Axis in North Africa from the west. This was also just after the time when the British scored their first big victory in  El Alamein and they proceeded to attack the Germans in North Africa from the east.

(Book – The Second World War Volume 4 – Winston S. Churchill)

Star Wars trivia

Chewbacca’s roar is made up of four different kinds of bears, a walrus, a seal and a badger.  The day after the Star Wars film team set up for filming in a dry lake bed in Tunisia it rained for the first time in 50 years.

The movie opened in only 40 theaters because that was all they could find who were willing to show it. Some of the theater owners were told that if they didn’t show Star Wars they would not get to show ‘The Other Side of Midnight’ which was getting strong interest. This was against the law and the studio was eventually fined $25000.

The original movie was 123 minutes so Lucas cut all the scenes with Bigs Darklighter (who was Luke’s boyhood friend) to get the movie under 2 hours in length. Only 10 copies of the 70mm version were printed at $7000 a piece while the rest were 35mm versions which only cost $1000 a piece.

Almost all the studio executives though they had a bomb on their hands and just before the opening the stock price for FOX studios ticked up as some people thought that the studio would be put up for sale after the $11 million movie bombed and they wanted a piece of the action. The stock price eventually doubled based on the ticket sales of the movie.  The studio also had a verbal deal with a German group to buy part of the movie to keep the studio from losing all it’s money. This was a common tactic when a studio thought it had a bomb. At the last minute the studio backed out as someone had a inkling that ‘maybe’ it wasn’t as bad as they had thought. The German group eventually sued FOX studios but lost.

The movie opened to long lines of fans, many who stayed in the theater to watch the movie again. This eventually led to theaters actually having to clear out the theater after each showing which is something they never had to do in the past.

Lucas and his group had actually done their best to stir up interest in the movie before it opened. They spent months going to science fiction conventions which were relatively small groups at the time. They also had a novelization book deal and a comic book deal with Stan Lee. Both items were selling very well before the film opened which encouraged Lucas’s insiders that they things might be not be too bad. THEY WERE RIGHT!

(Book – Empire Building: The Remarkable Real Life story of Star Wars – Gary Jenkins)

Did they really think he would board a public flight?

During WWII at a time Winston Churchill was in Gibraltar a German agent indicated to the Germans that he had boarded a regular passenger flight from Lisbon. The German’s then send an airplane to shot it down. Churchill was not on the plane but the actor Leslie Howard was on it and was killed.

(Book – The Second World War – Winston S. Churchill)