Friday, 4 August 2017

A story I'd love to see on the big screen. The Battle Of Ramree Island

Ramree's Mangrove swamps
World War II films are ten a penny. There's 70 years worth of them. Some of them are absolutely fantastic and some are awful but most of them are about the same thing. One side against the other. Man vs Man. English Vs Germans. Yanks vs Japanese and so on and so forth.

The story of the Battle of Ramree Island is a different kind of war story though.

It's absolutely terrifying. The stuff of nightmares. One that could make for a great film.

Ramree was a small Island off the coast of Burma. Small but of big strategic importance. It was being held by Japanese forces and the Allies needed it to establish an airbase for resupplying their troops in Burma. 

On the 21st of January 1945 allied forces invaded the island and started to skirmish with the enemy. The battle continued for 2 days until the Japanese forces found themselves outflanked. 900 of them decided to retreat across land to join up with a larger group. To get there they had to travel through a dozen miles of mangrove swamps and while they were in there they found themselves surrounded on all sides by the allies. But a worse danger lay waiting inside the swamp, salt water crocodiles. Man eaters. The place became death. 900 soldiers had entered the swamp. The next day 20 were left. 20. Far more would have survived if they had stood their ground and fought. The allied soldiers camped around the swamp heard it all. 

“The scattered rifle shots in the pitch black swamp punctured by the screams of wounded men crushed in the jaws of huge reptiles, and the blurred worrying sound of spinning crocodiles made a cacophony of hell that has rarely been duplicated on earth.”

Nope.

This story could be the basis for an extremely intense film. Imagine The Thin Red Line crossed with Jaws. But with crocodiles instead of sharks of course. And we could see it from the Japanese soldiers point of view. It would certainly make for a unique movie. World War 2 films from a Japanese point of view are rare, U.S. ones especially. Letters From Iwo Jima is the only one i can think of off hand. Taking a Japanese WW2 POV and having it in a horror film would be very unique indeed. This could be Jaws for a new generation of cinema goers. TBH I'm amazed this hasn't been made into a film yet. The nearest the story has come to any form of adaption is in pulp comic books (see above) of the 1950's and 60's.

Of course a lot of modern day research says the numbers reported are exaggerated but since when has that ever bothered film makers. 

To quote the great western 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance' -"When the legend becomes truth, print the legend"

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