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Location: Prague, Bohemia
Member Since: Tue Apr 06, 2010
Posts: 1,551
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Location: Prague, Bohemia
Member Since: Tue Apr 06, 2010
Posts: 1,551
Subj: operation Anthropoid (2016)
Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 at 09:03:11 am EDT (Viewed 76 times)
Reply Subj: All the deaths of Heydrich (1964-2017)
Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 at 08:15:50 am EDT (Viewed 122 times)

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Operation Anthropoid was the most famous operation in Czech military history. In 1942, Czechoslovak undercover soldiers had been parachuted into Prague by the RAF. As reprisal for executing Czech intellectuals, the "Parachutists" (as they were known) pulled off the assassination of Rynhard Heydrich, the "Butcher of Prague", Hitler's number 2 man.

For us, the operation is famous and has been filmed often. For fun, I thought I'd take a look at the different depictions of the actual operation. (I am by no means an expert, just using what I know.)

The operation itself was carried out by a 3 man unit at the location. the main two were a Czech named Jan Kubis and a Slovak named Jozef Gabcik. Heydrich was killed as his car was driving through Prague. Gabcik tried to shoot him with a submachine gun that jammed. Kubis then threw an anti-tank bomb under his car. Although it didnt appear to kill Heydrich on the scene, he died later in the hospital.

Below I'll take a look at the youtube clips I can find seperated.

All of the Parachutists were betrayed and killed in the basement of an Orthodox church (you can visit the church and see the bullet holes)
As a reprisal, the Germans randomly wiped out the entire town of Lidice and Lezaky, men, women and children who had nothing to do with the attack, up to 5000 Czechs were killed in reprisals. this brutal tactic put an end to future assassination attempts.

Chrisopher Nolan;s version, filmed in Prague

First off, the location is clearly wrong. This is much more picturesque Prague 1, not more isolated Prague 8. In fact, this might be where they originally decided first, as its near Prague castle, but voted against it to avoid collateral damage.

Way too many people are around in this version, but it includes the tram which famously obscured their view of the car (although at that time, Prague trams had three wagons rather than 2, making it much longer). It uses the lookout mirror to signal.

the gun jams and Heydrich stands up with his gun, as reported. Kubis throws the bomb and it blows up the car and the windows of the tram as reported (but probably too violently as no bystanders were reported injured).

this one also does the ensuing gunfight rather well, with Kubis hiding behind a pole before escaping on his bicycle. Of course it has to be hollywood dramatic, showing civilians shot by Heydrich (which I don't think happened)

It shows the tear in the car fabric, which is probably what actually killed Heydrich through an infected wound (some theories say he was killed by the doctors instead).

Gabcik then tried to hide in a butcher shop, but the owner was a german collaborator (whose brother was in the gestapo), so he signalled to the driver, Stein, where Gabcik was. In the gunfight, Gabcik shot Stein twice in the leg with his pistol then escaped on a tram, still covered in blood.

Overall, it gets lots of details right, but suffers from trying to be hollywood dramatic.

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