On Screen and at Arm’s Length: Social Class and the Simulation of Combat

  • Kevin M. FlanaganEmail author
Part of the Britain and the World book series (BAW)


This chapter demonstrates how simulation and games became increasingly tied to film and television works about war during the period between Suez and the Falkland War. It argues that this not only serves a newly technocratic conception of war, but also increases the distance between enlisted men and officers, and creates a means to symbolically shield officers from physical harm. In addition to showing how sports and schooling differently enculturate along class lines, this chapter surveys a wide range of moving image texts that explore a virtual conception of war. The chapter includes a comparative case study of Richard Attenborough’s Oh! What a Lovely War (1969) and Peter Watkins’s The Gladiators (1970) to demonstrate how these issues were differently represented during the period (and how they applied to both past wars and speculative conflicts).


Simulation Game Maneuvers Training Public school World War I Peter Watkins Richard Attenborough 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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