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WWII - D-Day and pianos

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I'm a bit of a WWII history buff, and I like the movies made about the period, but this has always puzzled me. Why is it, when they are showing troops moving into the towns in Normandy on or after D-Day, there's very often an abandoned piano in the middle of the street during a firefight?


All the way up to Band Of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan, it seems to be a requirement. It is like the Wilhelm Scream that all directors think they have to have sneak one now, and it's an inside joke? Is this where old upright pianos go to die?

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lol now that you mention it, you DO see pianos a lot in war films.

Maybe it is supposed to juxtapose 'civilization' (the piano) with war.

Or maybe, it indicates two different kinds of 'music'.


I just wonder why someone decides when they are evacuating "Martha, move the piano into the streets for the boys to entertain themselves with".

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  • 3 weeks later...

I never thought about it before, but now that you mentioned it, I've seen actual photos and combat footage that showed pianos in the street. Two things come to mind, but I'm just guessing.


Perhaps, being heavy and solid, they were used to help block the streets to slow down enemy troops and vehicles or perhaps they were considered good "cover" to hide behind.

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