Author Topic: The War Nerd Reviews 300  (Read 4574 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Nergol

  • Not Hurt By Pain
  • ******
  • Posts: 1011
  • Liked: 51
The War Nerd Reviews 300
« on: January 21, 2008, 10:34:12 PM »
Maybe a little more serious than your average discussion here, but The Exile's resident military history expert Gary Brecher, aka The War Nerd, delivers a rather scathing review of 300 here:

http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=8516&IBLOCK_ID=35

A sample:

"Fact: Sparta was about as romantic as North Korea. Give or take a little egalitarianism, Sparta WAS North Korea. Spartan laws did everything they could to break down the family. Sparta was more anti-nuclear family than any Hollywood liberal could ever be.

Wanna know what a Spartan wedding night was really like? It's pretty hilarious, in an insane way. As soon as a Spartan girl got her first period, they grabbed her, shaved her head, dressed her as a boy, threw her down on her new husband's bed, and then, well, he had his way with her. What way was that? Since hubby had been in an all-male dorm since age seven, I'm betting that that night of lovin' was more like a skinny white boy's introduction to San Quentin after lights-out than it was like a chick flick. So when this movie shows the Spartan hero saying to his wife, "Goodbye, my love," I just had to laugh...

The script even has Leonidas taunt the Athenians calling them "boy-lovers." Athens, the true hero of the war against Persia, gets dissed time and again in this movie. You won't hear a word in 300 about Salamis, the real decisive battle of the war - because it was Athens, not Sparta, that destroyed the Persian fleet at Salamis. The Spartans wanted to run away from the Persian fleet and wall themselves off in the Peloponnese (you wouldn't believe how many times I've messed up the spelling on that damn word). They didn't have a clue about combined-arms operations (which the Athenians handled durn well). In fact, the Spartans, who are called "the finest soldiers in history" over and over in this movie, were a mediocre, one-dimensional, inflexible military force.

Sparta understood only one kind of fighting: land battle, the hoplite shield-wall - a Big Ten offense from the old school, "three yards and a cloud of dust." In any shield-wall vs. shield wall battle, the bigger offensive line will break the opposing team's wall, leaving them open to massed spear thrusts. Once the opposition's wall was broken, the citizen-soldiers would scatter to fight another day - a totally sensible reaction, since the alternative was annihilation. In battles like that, psycho varsity offensive-line types like the ones Sparta bred did just fine. But vary the conditions of battle in any way, and they were as helpless as Woody Hayes' Ohio State teams were against a team that could stop the run".

« Last Edit: January 21, 2008, 10:41:49 PM by Nergol »


Offline MSTJedi

  • Climbed El Capitan
  • *******
  • Posts: 5037
  • Liked: 604
  • In a not too distant future far, far away. . . .
    • Facebook
Re: The War Nerd Reviews 300
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2008, 12:33:14 PM »
Ouch.

Oh well, still makes a damn fine movie even if it's historical accuracy is thin at best.