Is The Dirty Dozen a true story
Is The Dirty Dozen a true story – In the 1967 war movie “The Dirty Dozen,” a gang of imprisoned servicemen are given the opportunity to escape themselves. If the titular twelve men accept a mission inside enemy lines, they will receive reduced sentences. They are all criminal servicemen who have been held in contempt for various transgressions. With little hope of surviving and surrounded by World War II horrors, the group plots a fiercely entertaining course to their goal.
The Robert Aldrich-directed movie has since been regarded as a cinematic classic and was both a critical and financial success upon release. Many questions (and remarks) have been made about the story’s realistic portrayal of events as well as the authenticity of those events in general. While certain elements of the story seem plausible, others are too extraordinary to be true to actual events. So let’s examine the sources of “The Dirty Dozen” and see whether it is based on a real event or book.
Is The Dirty Dozen a true story or not?
Part of “The Dirty Dozen” is based on a real event. E.M. Nathanson’s 1965 novel of the same name, which in turn drew inspiration from a tale the author heard from his friend Russ Meyer, served as the basis for the movie’s screenplay. The latter asserted that he had come across the story while serving as a combat photographer in World War II. The novel by Nathanson was later adapted for the big screen by Nunnally Johnson and Lukas Heller. The rhyme shouted by the titular twelve to recall the specifics of their ostensible suicide mission was one of the few additions made by the two writers to the story when it was adapted for the big screen.
A mission to blow up a chateau containing German generals is offered to twelve servicemen who have been found guilty of robberies, murders, and rapes. The narrative follows these men as they accept the mission. The events of the story take place right before D-Day, and the narrative ostensibly draws its ideas from the “Filthy Thirteen.” It is the name given to the 101st Airborne Division’s 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment’s 1st Demolition Section of the Regimental Headquarters Company of the American Army.
This company’s personnel were experts at taking out targets hidden behind enemy lines. Despite conducting investigation for more than two years, Nathanson admitted (partially in the preface of his book) that he was unable to locate details to support Meyer’s account. In the end, he and his editor agreed to make the book fictional, which resulted in Nathanson’s “Dirty Dozen.” Additionally, the author seems to have taken information from Arch Whitehouse’s 1944 True Magazine article, including the term “Dirty Dozen.”
The group, which took great satisfaction in being the meanest company of paratroopers, vowed not to take a bath until they entered battle, according to Whitehouse’s essay. When a lieutenant joined their group, the Dirty Dozen became the Filthy Thirteen. The movie received a reasonably deserving sign of approval for partial authenticity, despite the many layers of embellishments that had been added to any real-life stories by the time they were adapted for the screen. John Agnew, a private in the first Filthy Thirteen, reportedly stated that the movie is only around 30% historically accurate.
This is probably the end result of all the investigation Nathanson did to support Meyer’s story. Even if he didn’t quite locate what he was looking for, the author nevertheless used his findings in his work. The fact that many US World War II soldiers were actually cast members adds another point to the film’s credibility. These included former members of the US Army Air Forces, US Navy, and even the US Merchant Marine, as well as Lee Marvin, Robert Webber, and Robert Ryan of the US Marine Corps, Telly Savalas, and George Kennedy of the US Army.
The ‘The Dirty Dozen’ story has travelled a complicated route from its real-life roots to the movie adaption. There are considerable alterations to the plot that cannot be factually verified, even though it is very obvious that the movie (and source literature) largely pulls from the experiences of the very real Filthy Thirteen. Additionally, there are stories of actual soldiers going on a mission that resembles the one in the book. Again, the connections to historical reality are shaky at best, so in the case of “The Dirty Dozen,” both the book and the movie are loosely based on true events.