World War II: Electric Boogaloo

When were World War I and World War II first referred to as, well, “World War I” and “World War II”? IIRC, in the movie U-571 Harvey Keitel talks about what it was like during “World War I”. Since the movie takes place only a few months after Pearl Harbor, shouldn’t he have said “The Great War” or something? Or were those terms used even while the second war was still raging?

  • Mark

Hey, if you’re bothered by that error of fact in “U-571”, you may be distressed to learn that it was actually the Brit’s who pulled off the real thing. There was no Yankee involvement. Nada. Zilch. (In fact, if it weren’t for the Poles, Enigma may have remained just that)

Mark Mal - You’ve been around a couple months, you’ve got a good number of posts under your belt; it’s about time you started using the Search Engine. A quick search using “World War” under the ‘Titles Only’ option netted this.

Thanks, Olentzero. I’ve been around for years, but I haven’t posted for several months. I didn’t realize one could search the message boards as well as the column archives.

Thanks for your link. I was amazed to learn that, in fact, a sailor very well might have referred to “World War I” as early as 1942.

KarlGauss: I did find it quite amusing at the end of the movie, when the real Allied code-stealing missions were listed and they were all by the British. But then if they wanted to make the movie accurate, where would they find British actors as talented as Matthew McConaughey and Jon Bon Jovi?