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Offtopic: Great War Themes

Written by Joseph Banks no comments
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Another little diversion today as we take a look back at some of the greatest themes and musical pieces from some of the best war films of all time...

Film scores have come to define much of the public perception of the classical music genre from the last century or so. From fantasy classic The Lord of the Rings, to the sci-fi juggernaut that is Star Wars, even those with little interest in the genre have likely heard of these soundtracks. Some of the greatest themes of the last century, however, come from the realm of war films, and we'll be taking a look at some of these as suggested by members of the Tank Encyclopedia team and community Discord.

First up, the theme to the Battle of Britain, composed by Ron Goodwin, and played here by the Band of the Royal Air Force:

These files can be downloaded for your offline enjoyment using an mp3 converter, but do beware of copyright infringement!

And sticking with both the skies, and the composer, the theme to the film 633 Squadron:

And then, for the last of our Aviation-themed scores, the Dambusters March by Eric Coates, performed by the Central Band of the RAF:


Moving away from aviation and towards prisoners of war, John Williams' arrangement of the Colonel Bogey March, for the film Bridge over the River Kwai, turns a normally crude comic ditty about the shortcomings of various Nazi leaders into a tune of resistance for prisoners of the Japanese, forced into building the infamous Burma Railway:

Continuing on the topic of wartime prisoners, one of the most famous war themes of all time - The Great Escape:

Moving to a more "traditional" war film now, with the theme to the classic A Bridge Too Far:

And finally, a true classic of a film - Kelly's Heroes. While somewhat of a departure from the typical style of war theme, it certainly fits the tone of the film:

I hope you've enjoyed reading through this exploration of Great War Themes, and I hope I might have inspired some of you to check out the films these pieces are from.

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