This is Part V of our interview with LT COL Harry Smith, the OC of Delta Coy / 6 RAR at the Battle of Long Tan. If you missed the first episode, check it out here. In this interview, he reflects on the Battle and the lessons learnt and we discuss the Danger Close movie.
Have a listen to the podcast for some excellent perspectives on the conduct of a battle from the OC’s point of view and his take on leadership.
“I trained the company the way I wanted to train them, based on my experiences in Malaya, where I was a Platoon Commander and where I shot my first enemy and I wanted to see my soldiers go into action with the best possible background, weapon training, teamwork and esprit de corps that we could possibly have and in retrospect, I believe that we achieved that.” LT COL Harry Smith.
Harry Smith’s thoughts on the ‘Danger Close’ movie.
We discuss the 2019 Movie ‘Danger Close’. Who from the battle was involved in the filming and what did Harry think of how the movie turned out? We chat about the depiction of Maurice ‘Morrie‘ Stanley, MBE who was the Forward Observer (FO) from 161 Battery, 16th Field Regiment Royal New Zealand Artillery. Apart from being portrayed as an Australian, he is depicted a bit like a bumbling sidekick, which is a very unfair representation of the extremely professional work that he did under very trying conditions. Apart from the Hollywood storyline, the representation of the battle was quite realistic, but it failed to capture the spirit of Long Tan and why D Coy fought so well.
Have you seen the Danger Close movie? What did you think of it?
We’ve also interviewed Dave Sabben about the Battle of Long Tan.
You can listen to the podcast on Spotify, your favourite Android podcast player, or in Apple’s Podcast Player.