MovieChat Forums > 1917 (2019) Discussion > Why didn't they use a plane to send the ...

Why didn't they use a plane to send the message?


Or use radio, every battalion should be equipped with a wireless telegraph, and yes - they had those in WW1.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_telegraphy

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I thought along the same lines about using a plane to deliver the message.

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Biplanes are about as slow as helicopters, they would be shot down easily. So would carrier pigeons.

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Fly high Above ground fire and drop the message. Even if it was dangerous it seems the saving of so many lives would be worth the risk.

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How would they find it, if it landed in the mud and sank? And trenches are very narrow. And a beacon of sorts would be a target for the Germans to shoot our boys heading for it. And it might land on an enemy trench, both sides' trenches look the same.

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I do agree with those points but I would have tried it anyway and also dispatched runners.

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That must account for the complete lack of air combat and bombing during the first world war then.

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Didn't planes already fly over the area? That was how they got the information in the first place.

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You are assuming that they would have had a receiver in every battalion. Since using radio would allow the Germans to eavesdrop on transmissions, it probably wasn't widely used in the War.

And yes, they could have used code, but if every Battalion in the trenches had access to the code, it would have been very easy to get access to.

Also the Wikipedia article says

"The primitive spark gap transmitters used until 1920 transmitted damped waves, which had very large bandwidth and tended to interfere with other transmissions"

Which is another reason that their use would have probably been limited.

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Look, it doesn't matter, the movie's plot requires two men to risk their lives to deliver the message. Just accept it.

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Nope. There are plenty of films you will not accept flaws on so no you can put your two cents back in the bank.

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I'm starting to think this movie IS fundamentally flawed, and that the soldiers and commanding officers would not actually behave like this. Another reason to cancel my unlimited cinema membership. Oh wait, I HAVE.

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Actually the director's grandfather told him a story about two runners used due to communication lines being not present to get in contact with his unit during the war. Inspired by that event.

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I don't mind that they decided it had to be hand delivered... but I do wonder why such an important message would be passed along by a one message. Wouldn't the smarter thing to do in a situation like this, be to send out 6 or 8 different messenger groups if the goals is saving so many lives. Seemed kind of stupid to just sned one message and hope it made it.

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Yes, i thought this as well. I thought once he reached the camp, the attack would have already been called off, and he finds out it was another pair that made it before him. In addition to being more realistic, it would have been ironic, and really showed how expendable the men were as well.
One more thing: Why didn't that battalion leader that he met up with on the truck give him one of his soldiers to aid in getting the message through? It seems that a message that important (to save 1600 lives) would justify sparing one of his men for the cause. After all, aren't the "allies" supposed to be on the same side? It seemed really odd (and selfish) to let him march off all alone while all those men just watched while he got shot at, and barely made it to the other side.

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I think it was mostly the result of contrived events to build more tension in the film. The writer probably never actually thought about how things would have been done but rather focused on what would make the audience feel more tension. After all if you knew there were 5 other teams somewhere near trying to accomplish the same goal would you really be that invested in the one you were watching.

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I guess you missed the part where they chose a soldier whose brother was in the battalion. This is because they were being sent on what was tantamount to a suicide mission. The only reason that he was motivated to actually make it by the morning was because he wanted to save his brother's life. His friend didn't actually want to go through with the mission at all, until after he died. You are also ignoring the fact that soldiers were routinely used as cannon fodder in the first world war. 750 thousand British soldiers alone died in combat. Which works out at an average of 4 thousand every week for 4 years. Saving the lives of 1600 soldiers might not have been as big a priority as you think it was.

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That would have been excellent twist

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