War in the Tropics
AbstractIn the Home Box Office mini-series Band of Brothers (2001), one of the soldiers on a troop ship bound for England remarks: "Right now some lucky bastard's headed for the Pacific, get put on some tropical island, surrounded by six naked native girls, helping him cut up coconuts so he can hand feed them to flamingos". This paradisiacal view of the Pacific and tropical areas has existed for centuries, and despite European settlers' developing familiarity with the area, it is a misconception which has continued to be propagated in war films set in the tropics. These war films depict the tropics as antipodean utopias which become corrupted by the ravages of war. Thus, while many of these films attempt to display war realistically, they still hold to the historical view of the tropics as unspoiled and pure—until, of course, war intrudes onto the scene. These films rarely examine the effect of the war on the local inhabitants, but rather deal with soldiers coping with the disjunction between their preconceived notions of the area and the reality before them. Crucially as well, war is depicted as a greater crime against nature (both human and environmental) when fought in the tropics rather than in Europe. This view is promulgated in the representation of battles fought in these films. In films set in the Pacific theatre during World War Two, and more recent ones set during the Vietnam War, the battle for American and Australian soldiers is as much about coping with their surroundings as with fighting the enemy, who are often rarely seen, or only viewed in long shot. War films set in the tropics depict 'war as hell' because of the environment, which is by turns remote, mystifying, and generally rural, rather than urban, 'civilised' and familiar, as it is in the case of the majority of war films set in Europe.
How to Cite
Authors who submit articles to this journal agree to the following terms:
1. Authors are responsible for ensuring that any material that has influenced the research or writing has been properly cited and credited both in the text and in the Reference List (Bibliography). Contributors are responsible for gaining copyright clearance on figures, photographs or lengthy quotes used in their manuscript that have been published elsewhere.
2. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License that allows others to share and adapt the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
3. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository, or publish it in a book), with proper acknowledgement of the work's initial publication in this journal.
4. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (see The Effect of Open Access or The Open Access Citation Advantage). Where authors include such a work in an institutional repository or on their website (i.e., a copy of a work which has been published in eTropic, or a pre-print or post-print version of that work), we request that they include a statement that acknowledges the eTropic publication including the name of the journal, the volume number and a web-link to the journal item.
5. Authors should be aware that the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License permits readers to share (copy and redistribute the work in any medium or format) and adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the work) for any purpose, even commercially, provided they also give appropriate credit to the work, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. They may do these things in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests you or your publisher endorses their use.