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Desert Patrol (1958) Poster

(1958)

Trivia

The use of a wide variety of uniforms and cap badges in this movie is accurate, all of the men in the unit volunteered, and all used the uniforms they brought with them from their original units.
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Occassionally there was some mixing of different regiments and nationalities for operational purposes, but the Yeomanry (Y patrol) and the Guards (G patrol) didn't operate in such patrols.
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The four-gallon cans used for fuel and water storage referred to in this movie, were universally known as "flimsies" because the metal they were made of was so thin. During transportation, they needed to be boxed in pairs to protect them from damage, and the wooden boxes were then used to build fires.
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Initially, Australian soldiers were invited to volunteer for the group due to their rugged resourceful nature and mechanical skills, but the Australian Government refused to allow any Australian soldier to leave their units.
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The movie's technical advisor is credited as "W.B. Kennedy Shaw". This was Captain, later Major, William Boyd Kennedy Shaw OBE, explorer, archaeologist, and founding member of the Long Range Desert Group (L.R.D.G.).
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Brigadier Ralph Alger Bagnold, FRS, OBE was a professional soldier, desert explorer and the principal founder of the Long Rang Desert Group. His studies and publications on the action of the wind on sand formations are still considered to be the foremost authority in their field. Later, he became an advisor to N.A.S.A. on the subject during their planet exploration programs.
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Ralph Bagnold adapted the sun compass for navigational purposes, because the deserts of Libya, have a large number of magnetic mountains making normal magnetic compasses useless.
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The opening prologue and dedication states: "In October 1942, while the Eighth Army prepared for its onslaught upon the enemy at El Alamein, the Long Range Desert Group operating hundreds of miles behind the enemy lines, was harassing Rommel's communications and supply depots. This group of picked volunteers was cut off from the main army by the vast sand seas of the desert. Their methods were unorthodox, but the results they achieved were out of all proportion to the small number of men involved. It is to these officers and men of the L.R.D.G. that this story is dedicated."
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In the opening credits, the dedication to the L.R.D.G. ends "the results they achieved were out of all proportion to the small number of men involved." This paraphrases a quotation from Field Marshall Erwin Rommel.
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There were never more than three hundred fifty men in the L.R.D.G. at any given time.
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There were no accurate maps of Libya at the beginning of World War II, so the L.R.D.G. surveyed and mapped the country while on operations.
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The Arabic head wear (Keffiyeh) worn by Blanco in the opening scene was standard issue to the L.R.D.G., but was only wore while on patrol.
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In the opening scene, Blanco is seen using a watch, and a specially mounted sun compass by which to navigate, William Austin Burt, an American, developed the sun, or solar, compass for surveying work in the 1800s.
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Harold Goodwin and John Gregson had both appeared in Angels On Five in 1952.
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The Special Air Service also operated behind German lines. For a few months, the L.R.D.G. provided transportation for the S.A.S. In June 1942, the S.A.S. obtained fifteen Jeeps, each were modified to accommodate twin mounted Vickers "K" type machine guns, a Browning machine gun, and a Lewis gun of World War I vintage. The Jeeps were also equipped with ammunition, explosives, extra fuel, rations, water, and other gear to operate for days, if not weeks behind enemy lines. They were very effective.
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L.R.D.G. navigators were so highly prized for their skills, that they were often lured away to other clandestine units such as the S.A.S.
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Considered by many British Army regulars to be ill disciplined and piratical in appearance, all members of the L.R.D.G. were subject to the same discipline as all other British and Commonwealth soldiers.
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Australian actor Vincent Ball played the New Zealander Sergeant Nesbitt.
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The New Zealand Government was more amenable to the idea of their soldiers working with the British, and they formed the bulk of the initial intake and many of the later volunteers.
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So unnerved by their activities, the Italian soldiers began to call the L.R.D.G. the "Pattaglia Fantasma" or "Ghost Patrol".
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The groups ability to covertly penetrate deep into enemy territory, perform extensive close quarter intelligence gathering duties while remaining undetected was then unique. It is now a recognizable feature of all modern Special Ops.
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The heat in the desert often reached 120 degrees which made a full days work impossible so filming had to be halted for cast and crew to cool off.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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