I'm asking about the 2019 film 1917. An airdrop appears trustworthier, and less risky and bloody than sending two men across no man's land to reach the abandoned German trenches, and not knowing if they delivered the message.

Correct me if I'm wrong about Erinmore's rank, but I see merely a crossed baton and sword on his epaulette.

1 Answer 1


They could not send telegraph because German's had cut their communication lines.

Following are General's dialogues from tent briefings.

ERINMORE: Colonel Mackenzie is in command of the 2nd. He sent word yesterday morning that he was going after the retreating Germans. He is convinced he has them on the run - that if he can break their lines now, he will turn the tide. He is wrong.

ERINMORE: Colonel Mackenzie has not seen these aerials of the enemy’s new line.

ERINMORE: The 2nd are due to attack the line shortly after dawn tomorrow. They have no idea what they are in for. And we can’t warn them - as a parting gift, the enemy cut all our telephone lines.

Since it's not discussed in any length why there was no option of airdrop, my best guess is that they received the new aerials of enemy's lines after the communication was cut off. It was 1917 so definitely someone must have traveled to the General Erinmore to deliver it. Due to loss of communication Erinmore had to resort to postman method to deliver the message to Mackenzie.

  • I don't think this answers my question? Why didn't Erinmore send other soldiers to request an airdrop then?
    – user13434
    Mar 28, 2020 at 18:57
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    @Greek - Area 51 Proposal: I agree that Airdrop seems to be a logical step but they were short on time and communication was cutoff.
    – Rahul
    Mar 28, 2020 at 19:09
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    While aircraft were pretty much ignored by ground troops and even enemy aircraft (the pilots carried pistols to sometimes shoot at each other) at the beginning of WWI (1914), by 1917 ground troops were shooting them out of the sky and aircraft-to-aircraft warfare had developed high calibre machine guns that shot through the propellers. Flying above 'no mans land' was in no way safe. There's still an active debate as to whether the 'Red Baron' was shot down by an allied plane or ground troops.
    – user18935
    Mar 29, 2020 at 10:37
  • @Jeeped: This would had been logical reason and consequently an answer if General hasn't mentioned of hampered communication.
    – Rahul
    Mar 29, 2020 at 22:26

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