Is the movie Paths of Glory (1957) based on a true story?

Avery Davis Avery Davis Oct 12, 2016 · 2 mins read
Is the movie Paths of Glory (1957) based on a true story?
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Yes, the movie “Paths of Glory” (1957) is based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb which is based on a true story of the French army during World War I. The plot follows a fictionalized account of the execution of four French soldiers for cowardice, despite evidence that their commanding officers were to blame for their failed mission. The events depicted in the movie are loosely based on the true story of the French soldiers who were executed for cowardice in 1915 during the Battle of Verdun.

What is the true story behind the movie Paths of Glory (1957)?

The movie Paths of Glory (1957) is based on the book of the same name written by Humphrey Cobb, which recounts a true story from World War I.

In December 1916, during the Battle of Verdun, French General Géraud Réveilhac ordered his troops to take a heavily fortified German position known as the Anthill. The attack failed miserably, and thousands of French soldiers were killed or wounded. In the aftermath, Gen. Réveilhac was looking for someone to blame for the failure of the attack, and he chose three soldiers from the 701st Infantry Regiment at random, accusing them of cowardice and failure to obey orders.

The three soldiers - Corporal Philippe Paris, Private Maurice Ferol, and Private Pierre Arnaud - were court-martialed and found guilty of the charges. They were executed by firing squad, despite protests from their defense lawyer and appeals from other officers.

The film follows their story and the efforts of Colonel Dax, played by Kirk Douglas, to defend the soldiers and expose the injustice of their execution. It is a powerful commentary on the futility of war and the cruelty of military justice.

While the movie takes some artistic liberties with the story, the basic events and characters are grounded in reality.

Are there any books about the true story behind the movie Paths of Glory (1957)?

Yes, there are several books that provide background information and insight into the true story behind the movie Paths of Glory (1957).

One such book is “Paths of Glory: The French Army 1914-18” by Anthony Clayton. This book explores the tactics and emotions of soldiers during World War I, including the events that inspired the film.

Another book is “The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916” by Alistair Horne. While not directly tied to the events depicted in the movie, this book provides a detailed account of the Battle of Verdun, which was a major battle on the Western Front during World War I and likely served as the basis for the film’s plot.

Finally, “The Conspiracy of the Tall Poppies” by Jean-Yves Le Naour provides insights into the history of the French military and political leadership during World War I, including their response to failures and controversies that arose during the conflict.

You can try an audible free trial and search for audiobook versions of those

Avery Davis
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