28 Men

Films in Focus: My Honor was Loyalty, 28 Men


Co-opting the slogan of the Waffen SS, My Honor was Loyalty (German: Meine Ehre heisst Treue) is a new independent film directed by Alessandro Pepe that follows the paths of three soldiers who enlisted in the 1.SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler. Spoken in German with English subtitles, the film attempts to portray what it was like to serve in one of the most feared yet despised units in the German Army during the latter stages of the War, as seen through the eyes of the Deutsches soldaten.

Meanwhile, if you like your war films with subtitles, then you won’t want to miss the Russian-made film, 28 Men. If you believe the tale, The Panfilov Division’s Twenty-Eight Guardsmen (Russian: Двадцать восемь гвардейцев дивизии Панфилова), commonly referred to simply as Panfilov’s Men (Russian: Панфиловцы, Panfilovtsy), were a group of soldiers from the Red Army’s 316th Rifle Division who took part in the defense of Moscow during World War II. According to official Soviet history, they were all killed in action on November 16th, 1941, after destroying 18 German tanks. The Twenty-Eight were collectively endowed with the title Hero of the Soviet Union. An investigation by Soviet authorities in 1948, since declassified, revealed that the description of the events was exaggerated. Six of the soldiers were still alive, including one who was arrested in 1947 on charges of high treason and confessed to having “voluntarily” surrendered to German troops and later joined a German police force. The findings were kept secret, and the Twenty-Eight Guardsmen were considered national heroes until the collapse of the USSR.


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