“Fury” Movie Review

Posted on: October 19th, 2014 by Will Rodriguez 24 Comments

 

Saw “Fury” on its opening night.  It’s well worth seeing.  It is a brutal, realistic, violent portrayal of tank warfare, a story not often told let alone told so well.  This is likely the best movie I’ve ever seen or heard of that focuses on the subject.  The emotional roller coaster is wrought with plunging dives into one’s emotional reservoir.  I came out stunned.  “Fury” does for WWII tankers what “Saving Private Ryan” did for WWII Rangers and Paratroopers.

“Fury” revolves around the tank crew of a late war M4A3E8 Sherman tank with “Fury” crudely painted on the barrel of its 76mm cannon.   The crew is commanded by Staff Sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt).  The rest of the crew consists of veterans Boyd “Bible” Swan (Shia LaBeouf) the gunner, Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis (Jon Bernthal) the loader, Trini “Gordo” Garcia (Michael Pena) the driver and the very green and sensitive Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), a soldier clerk empressed into serving as the bow gunner due to a shortage of trained tank crewman.  The cast portrays their nicknames flawlessly.

From a historical equipment, military depiction perspective the movie is a work of art.  Unlike most war movies there are relatively few inaccuracies to distract from the movie’s message.   I loved how SGT Collier employed different types of rounds against different targets as well as his personal idiosyncrasies of carrying a revolver and an MP44.  The interactions between soldiers, superiors, subordinates, civilians and the enemy come across as authentic.

The unsung heroes of the movie are the tanks.  The movie features the last running Tiger tank in a climactic scene and uses several versions of the Sherman which would have been very accurate for the time.  Unlike today’s units, US units did have mismatched equipment as new vehicles were supplied to replace older models that were destroyed on combat and older models were retained until they were considered obsolete.  This is noticeable when looking at the American tank platoon that had various models of the M4 Sherman.  Important because only the latest Shermans armed with a 76mm high velocity gun had any real chance of penetrating most German heavy and medium tanks (Panzer V’s and VI’s or Panthers and Tigers respectively)and even then at a fraction of the distance German tanks could engage and destroy Shermans.  It wasn’t uncommon to need a five to one ratio of Shermans to Tigers to overwhelm the enemy.

M4 Hillbilly Armor

The Sherman was robust, simple and plentiful but its armor was no match for most German tanks and anti-armor weapons that were clearly superior to ours.  It’s very common to see Shermans from WWII sporting “hillbilly” armor, plates of steel cut from whatever was available and welded on to the outside of the tank as well as a healthy coating of sandbags and tree trunks.  The strengths of the Sherman were actually the same reasons the US was woefully slow in developing and fielding a tank that could at least match German armor.  It was believed by higher ups that quantity was key to defeating the axis and news was slow to reach them (a sin of both omission and commission) that the Sherman was so clearly outclassed.  So poor was the reputation of the Sherman that the British nickname for the vehicle was the “Ronson” a popular lighter at the time.

m4-sherman-tank-ammunition-storage

Besides the Sherman’s armor relatively poor performance against German AT weapons, another reason for the Sherman’s susceptibility to its ammunition exploding after being hit (alson known as “brewing up”) was because almost half of the turret ring stored the “ready” ammunition.  This made it readily accessible to hot metal flying around that tank and igniting it.  This was resolved in later models of the Sherman where shells were stored in liquid jackets to protect them somewhat from internal shrapnel.  It at least provided crews precious seconds to abandon the vehicle if it were hit.  A tank the brews up often has blowtorch like flame bursting out of the hatches that are blown off if the tank doesn’t lose its whole turret first (a very common occurrence among the Iraqi tanks I observed in Iraq in ’91).

I won’t share any spoilers but the emotional and moral toll soldiers pay in combat is well addressed in the film though in a very compressed timeframe and a depiction of some Nazi excesses I don’t believe are historically supported.  As I watched the film SGT Collier’s approach to defeating Nazisim reminded me of the attitude we should have in approaching radical Islam.  Reasoning with evil is pointless let alone dangerous.  Those that try and reason with evil are unaware of the truth that SGT Collier’s most memorable and profound line speaks to, “Ideology is peaceful.  History is violent.”  It’s the difference between idealism and practice.

Check out Fury at a theatre near you and find out why the Fury’s crew all say, “Best job I ever had.”

Be Respectful, Candid and Pertinent. No Posers, No Trolls…
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  • Txazz

    Maj, I must say this review is terrific.  It brings the movie to life.  I have huge respect and honor for our tankers, especially WWII.  Most movie goers reading your review will make sure they catch this one.

  • LawyerHandle

    Thanks for the review! This is first on my list of movies to see (well, second, as part of a compromise that requires me to watch Gone Girl w/ the old lady).
    On a related note: Wiil, I’m assuming you thought your fair share of military (including WW2) history during your time at West Point and other places throughout your career? I always enjoy hearing about little details that I would otherwise probably not here; w/ you and YP (and a few others I’m forgetting) it’s a little like listening to “the rest of the story”…

  • YankeePapa

    .
    …I’m glad to hear that they did a good job with it.  In the past 25 years even the well-intentioned filmmakers get even the simplest things wrong… (captain’s bars on sideways…)  Don’t know if no vets on crew… or just afraid to mention because of some director’s ego…  
    .
    …Big gripe that I have is “special effects…”  Way back somebody got lazy and rather than proper explosive used 55 gallon drum of gasoline… Some hack directors liked and soon more films than not had every explosion from grenades to artillery represented by massive waves of flame…  Grenade tossed into grass hut?  Like 50 drums of gasoline going off…  
    .
    …Now if you look at, say, a real 60mm mortar round impact… only the briefest glimpse of flame in the mix of explosion and dust.  But hack directors wanted more… and other directors didn’t know better.  
    .
    …Take a look at the 1930 version of All Quiet On The Western Front…  Lot of the crew had actually been in the trenches…  If you know what to look for you can differentiate between the various special effects explosions representing real impacts ranging from a French 75 to giant siege guns…  
    .
    …As to “negotiating” with hard line Islamic (and other) terrs… worth remembering that “…in a compromise between food and poison… death is the winner…”  
    .
    …As to the venerable M-4 Shermans…  The Israelis wound up with a large inventory… Constantly upgrading… and then upgrading the upgrades…  Forced in extremis in 1973 to actually use a few M-4s that had not been upgraded.  From WIKI:

    .
    … 

    Israeli variants
    IDF M51 Sherman with 105 mm gun.
    IDF M-50 self-propelled howitzer.
    IDF L-33 / Ro’em.
    IDF Makmat 160 mm.
    IDF Ambutank, VVSS version.
    IDF Ambutank, HVSS version.
    IDF Eyal observation post vehicle.
    Gun tanks

    …Sherman (Krupp) – Six early salvaged Shermans had a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krupp
    75 mm field gun to replace the original gun destroyed during post–World
    War II scrapping. Later these tanks were rearmed with 105 mm M4
    howitzers..
    …Sherman M-1 – Israeli designation of any Sherman model armed with the 76 mm gun M1.
    Super Sherman M-1 – Israeli designation of M4A1(76) fitted with HVSS suspension..
    ..Sherman M-4 (Sherman degem Bet prior to 1956) – Israeli designation of any Sherman model armed with the 105 mm howitzer M4..
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M50_Super_Sherman – Upgraded Sherman with the French CN 75-50 75 mm gun, as used in the French http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMX_13 light tank, in the “old” turret fitted with a counterweight. Entered service in 1956. Was used in the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suez_Crisis (1956), the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Days_War (1967) and the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Kippur_War (1973). Sometimes colloquially misnamed as Super Sherman.. 
    …M-50 Continental – subvariant with Continental R-975 gasoline engine and VVSS suspension. 50 units converted.. 
    …M-50 Cummins – subvariant with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cummins diesel engine and HVSS suspension..
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M50_Super_Sherman – Upgraded M4A1 (HVSS) with improved engine and T23 turret modified to fit a shortened variant of the French http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/105_mm_Mod%C3%A8le_F1 gun with large muzzle brake. Was used in the Six Days War and the Yom Kippur War. Sometimes colloquially referred to as Isherman.
    About 100 of the remaining tanks of this model were sold to Chile in
    late 70’s, were they received a new engine and transmission in early
    90’s. All of them were replaced by ex-Dutch Leopard 1V in late 90’s.-YP-

  • LawyerHandle 
    Relationship maintenance is important.
    I’m hoping to create a place that does just what you describe and attracts people who want to understand more and commemorate what been/being done.  Thanks for your participation!  Share wildly 😉

  • SEAN SPOONTS(MAFIA)

    Saw it last night with a group of Vets.   We liked it very much.  It was a dark, gothic tale of WWII tank combat.  It’s not a movie to take kids to, the violence is brutally graphic.

    We all joked that Pvt. Ellison must have been the 1st. cousin of Pvt. Upham from Saving Private Ryan.  The was also some great but dark military humor in the movie that was too inside for most of the audience and it was well placed.  Typically as a way to lighten the nervousness about going into or surviving combat.

    We were also pleased with the producers attempt to portray the period accurately. (except those were the quietest, least smokiest Shermans in the ETO)

    We picked a few nits tactically; like German 50 mm AT guns missing at point blank range, Collier’s platoon not hosing the tree line with .50  and .30 cal fire after the first round wizzed by them.  

    Tank platoons going out on missions without any supporting infantry in jeeps or half tracks. 

    Taking on a Henschel Tiger I head on in line abreast formation.

    The Tiger missing several times at 700 yards(It had outstanding sighting optics that enabled it to get kills at over 2 miles).

    The crew using verbal commands inside the tank during combat instead of the taps, kicks and hand signals experienced tank crews actually used in WWII.

    For an interesting read on the subject check out “Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II” by Belton Cooper.  He was a 3rd Armored Div. Officer in charge of a tank recovery platoon in Europe.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000XUAETO?btkr=1

  • clluelo

    Will Thank-you very much for your review of this movie . I most definitely will be going

  • Riceball

    Thanks for the review, I’m looking forward to seeing this movie myself, I’ve been looking forward to it for some time now.

    A couple of things to note about the Sherman.

    Its armor, while completely inadequate against the high velocity 75mm anti-tank guns, and the famed 88 was actually quite comparable, if not slightly thicker, than the true workhorse of the German Panzer corps, the PxKpfw IV. Of course late models mounted a high velocity 75mm gun that was much better than the low velocity 75mm gun found on most Shermans but they were at least comparable in terms of armor protection.

    Another reason why the Sherman was kept in the ETO for so long despite the superiority of German tanks had to do with US Army philosophy regarding tanks. Pre-war doctrine dictated that tanks were not meant to take out other tanks but to support infantry which is why the Sherman was armed with only a low velocity 75mm which was regarded as being more than adequate for obstacle breaching, bunker busting, and the like. Tank killing was the role of the Tank Destroyer which had a much better gun than on the Sherman but sacrificed armor protection instead relying mostly on speed for protection. 

    Even as the war went on this philosophy of tanks and tanks hunters still continued and even when the E8 Shermans with their high velocity 75mm guns  started to come into service they lacked the proper ammunition to take out tanks like the Panther, Tiger and all of their variants.The US did have a proper AP round (forgot the exact designation of the round type, HVAP I think) that would allow the E8s to kill German heavy tanks but priority for the ammo went to Tank Destroyer units so Sherman crews seldomly had the proper ammo to take on Tigers and Panthers at range.

    I don’t know if this happened or not but if I were a TC on an E8 Sherman I would have gotten my crew to conduct raids on TD units to “borrow” the good AP rounds from them. In addition to that I would have done some serious horse trading with them to get the ammo as well, probably trading with grunts for souvenirs to trade with the TD crews or quartermasters for their ammo. Hell, I probably would have resorted to manufacturing my own war trophies for trade in order to get my hands on that ammo.

  • Riceball 
    Agree on the German vs US main gun analysis.

    FWIW about the Sherman’s use…
    I used to believe the same thing but some recent research I’ve done makes me believe the truth is much less clear.
    Actual
    doctrine doesn’t say the Sherman or even light tanks shouldn’t be
    employed in the AT role.  The manual on doctrine is here: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/FM/PDFs/FM17-10.PDF

    Here’s a good essay that expands on the subject: http://forum.worldoftanks.asia/index.php?/topic/6213-the-can-openers-americas-successful-failure/

    The
    other point is the 76mm was selected to arm all Sherman tanks effective
    Dec ’43.  If the Sherman wasn’t supposed to have an AT role the
    decision to arm all of them with the relatively high velocity 76mm
    contradicts doctrine.
    There’s an essay (of which I don’t agree entirely) here that is very informative.   http://worldoftanks.com/en/news/21/the_chieftains-hatch-end_of_75_M4/

    There
    are a couple of points I don’t agree with there but the biggest error
    is the writer of that article ignores the role of Gen McNair (an
    artillery officer) on the development and continuance of the Tank
    Destroyer branch (the shortest living branch in the Army’s history). 
    It’s no coincidence that McNair death by an errant B17/B24 bomb strike
    paved the way for the fielding of the M26 Pershing mounting the 90mm gun
    we were mounting on the M36 Jackson tank destroyer.  McNair’s artillery
    experience highly influenced the TD rile and ensured they served as
    addotional artillery (even if they were manned by Infantry).

    I
    sense the lack of HVAP ammo was a logistical snafu than one determined
    by so called doctrine.  I haven’t seen the evidence that HVAP rounds
    were prioritized for TD units vs. tank units.  Also the simple fact is
    that TD units were primarily equipped with M18’s and M10’s.  All of
    which were equipped with 76mm guns were there was typically only one
    76mm Sherman in armor tank platoons.  Of course TD units are going to
    get more HVAP rounds.  In the end, I bet the average M10/M18 had as many
    of the HVAP rounds as the 76mm equipped Shermans. 
    There are many reasons Shermans were kept on the line as long as they were.
    First
    the facts on the ground were swimming upstream in countering the
    propaganda that we always issue our troops the best gear.  Back then the
    press was self and gov’t censored.  Starting in ’42 when we started
    facing Mark IV Panzers with high velocity 75mm guns the truth was
    obvious.  Heck, we thought the Bazooka was great in general while it was
    really obsolete in ’43 – ’44 when it consistently failed to penetrate
    the frontal armor of German Panzer V’s and VI’s.  We were still issuing
    them until 1950 where TF Smith had a LT hit a T34 with over 20 rounds
    with no damage.  We copied the Germans Panzershreck (an 88mm copy of our
    Bazooka).  Changed the measurements calling it the 3.5″ Super Bazooka
    and pressed it into service.

    Another reason the Sherman
    lasted as long as it did was pure logistics.  The industrial base was
    geared to making them and they were easier to transport than an M26
    Pershing which would require entirely new planning.  Admittedly this is
    not a good reason but to deny it was important fails top understand the
    mindset back then.  This is best exemplified by a quite attributed to
    Stalin, “Quantity has a quality all its own.”
    Finally,
    (and related to my first point) we were kicking German butt.  Complaints
    of the Sherman’s performance were loudest when we were involved in
    defensive or slow moving offensives.  Stalled in the Tunisian sand,
    Normandy hedgerows, Siegfried line, Ardennes or jumping the Rhine one
    can note the complaints of the Sherman’s performance getting more
    visibility.     
    To the troops the Sherman was a love
    hate relationship.  It was extremely rugged, robust and reliable.  It
    was a rolling home that kept one out of the rain and the cold providing
    creature comforts the grunts could only dream of and it could give tons
    of punishment to German infantry but when facing the comparatively few
    Panthers and Tigers it provided as much protection as a GI t-shirt to a
    bullet.

  • SEAN SPOONTS(MAFIA)

    majrod Riceball Will, you make very good points on this.  I would expand on just one or two of them regarding the Sherman.

    1)  One of the reasons the Sherman went ashore at Normandy almost unchanged is that they had proved very adequate in North Africa, Sicily and Southern Italy against Pz Mk III’s and IV’s where they could and did go head to head with them. The Mk. III had a 50mm gun and the Mk. IV was using a howitzer barreled 7.5 cm.   The weapon US Tankers truly feared up to that point was the 88′ multi-purpose gun in a fixed mount.  It was lethal out past two miles with a high rate of fire and superior sighting optics which gave it a real stand-off kill ability against the Sherman.  In fact the 88 could drill through 2 Shermans with a single round.

    2) As for the 75mm gun on the Sherman, it seems to me that the real issue was the lower muzzle velocity of the gun versus the German 7.5 cm Kampfwagenkanone 40.  The US 75mm had an MV of 619 m/s while the German 7.5 had an MV of 740-790 m/s depending on barrel length.  This translated to greater armor penetration and range for the German gun with a result that the Germans found they wore out the barrel in about 1200 fired rounds versus nearly 5,000 rounds fired before the Sherman barrel was “shot thru” and had to be replaced.  I guess the Sherman designers figured the Sherman would be around long enough to fire 5,000 rounds from its main gun.

    3)  The Tiger I and Tiger II were developed for fighting on the Eastern Front with it’s flat steppe terrain that gave long sight ranges.  They were not offensive weapons as both were very slow moving, 9-12 mph cross country, but they could dominate miles of open country on the steppes of Russia.  There are stories of a platoon of Tigers annihilating an entire Regiment of T-34s.  
        Tigers were actually rare to find on the Western Front because of the difficulty in moving them.  They were so heavy(at 60 and 80 tons respectively)  that even paved roads collapsed under them and very few of the thousands of bridges that crossed the many rivers and streams of Western Europe could support their weight.  They travelled mostly by specially designed rail cars and were partially disassembled to distribute their bulk. So, that limited their utility on the Western front to a large degree.  Generally, wherever you unloaded a Tiger tank from its rail car, it was not going to move very far before it ran into a bridge it couldn’t cross or was regulated to off road travel so it didn’t ruin the road net  for the lighter vehicles behind it. 

    Like all weapons the Tiger had its weaknesses that the Sherman could exploit.  The Sherman was much faster on the move.  If the Tiger did not have a long sight range the Sherman could literally run around behind it or on its flanks and disable it.  The Tiger was diesel powered at its plumes of black smoke at idle gave away its position and because the turret and gun were electrically powered you had to run the engine. The Tiger had a slow traverse to its turret and was prone to throw tracks on uneven terrain.  If it wasn’t carefully concealed it would draw artillery and airstrikes.(and no tracked vehicle in the world then could withstand 155mm plunging fire or a 500lb bomb)

    4) As for the Pershing not being rushed into production I think the words “rushed” and “production” really can’t be used in the same sentence.  A tank is not an airplane.  Tanks are ‘heavy’ manufacturing compared to making airplanes.  Virtually all our tanks were based on the Sherman supply train, engines, guns, bogey wheels, tracks, wiring, ammunition etc’.  The Pershing would have required an entirely separate production and parts line and a big retooling lag time.  in raw materials you could produce 3 Shermans for every 2 Pershings.  That may not seem like much.  Make it 300 Shermans for 200 Pershings, that makes the point more obvious.  
       Finally, and probably most compelling, we were winning the war with the Sherman, variants of which were sporting flame throwers, several different calibre long guns, rocket launchers, howitzers, long artillery, dozers, engineer tanks, recovery tanks, prime movers and even amphibians.

  • LauraKinCA

    SEAN SPOONTS(MAFIA) majrod Riceball Great information!

  • SEAN SPOONTS(MAFIA) majrod Riceball 
    Good stuff and I’m sure plenty of the readers here had never seen it before.
    I’m very sensitive to traveling with armor in Europe.  There’s still plenty of bridges that can’t handle the M1 tanks that were routinely attached to my company as well as paying Germans for any damage my armored vehicles did to their roads.

    I don’t think anything you said contradicts what I was saying though it was a great insight into German armor.  BTW, the German high velocity 75mm, ground mounted 88mm and Tiger I faced US forces in Africa (Tiger I in very limited numbers).  At the lower levels we were reading the writing on the wall as well as being aware of the British experience with German armor tech.  
    You make a good point explaining the intricacies of mass production.  Still, the M26 was delayed for a myriad of reasons from going into production hence my observation about “rushed”.  Some fault Patton, some McNair, in the end there’s little to shield Army Ground Forces from a slow realization of the obvious.  This complacency is even more obvious if you compare our approach to tank development to the Russians and the Brits. The latter we tried to leverage into supplying Sherman Firefly’s to offset our error. 

    Tigers and King Tigers were relatively uncommon anywhere in WWII.  Even more so on the Western front considering a minority of the German Army faced us.  FWIW, the Brits built about 2100 Fireflies, about 200-300 mire than all the Tiger I’s & II’s (granted they were all in Europe).  Of course these numbers are dwarfed by the almost 50k Shermans built.

  • SEAN SPOONTS(MAFIA)

    majrod SEAN SPOONTS(MAFIA) Riceball My remarks were in compliment to yours, no intention of contradiction on my part.

    I agree on the Firefly though I’m not sure that any of the ones ordered by the US were ever delivered to our forces.   I would point out that the 17pnd gun in the Firefly fired a shorter cartridge with a lower muzzle velocity than the carriage gun. It was a difference of 3500 versus 2500 fps for the tank version. I think the reason was the need for a shorter breach block in the tank version which could not withstand the higher pressures exerted by firing the stock round.

    I agree about Patton, he was an advocate of the Sherman seeing it as fast and maneuverable and made for the US version of Blitzkrieg he unleashed on Germany.  If I could get inside his mind though I think he figured that air support and massed arty would support the Sherman in its advance.  I think his rational was born out by events like the trapping of German Army Group B in the Falaise pocket.  The Germans simply couldn’t withdraw faster than the Shermans could advance and encircle them.  I’ve actually talked to a couple of WWII vets that served in Shermans and both told me the same tale.  That they really hoped not to run into German tanks but the real fear was the 88mm AT gun.  That they used the Sherman in a scouting role to sniff out German guns and then withdrew as fast as they could and called down artillery or TACAIR which was generally present.  That they knew the shortcomings of the Sherman quite well and tried to avoid being in the open at distances that an 88 could engage them.   That doctrine when fired upon by AT guns was to unload with .50 and .30 cal in the direction of fire, pop smoke and get out of range or behind cover if possible and call down Arty or Air.

  • SEAN SPOONTS(MAFIA) majrod Riceball
    “My
    remarks were in compliment to yours, no intention of contradiction on
    my part.”
    Agree Agree!  I failed in getting the right tone in my response.  I was trying to build on what you were saying.
    To continue building…

    The US eventually got about 100 fireflies that never saw combat.  The delay was caused because of a disagreement of the conversions would be done on US or British Sherman hulls.  The Brits didn’t want to build them out of the stick we gave them but wanted more to do the conversion.  Ammo was always short. http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=18099

    Something I recently learned was the Firefly eliminated the gunner’s station so the commander had the dual role of commander and gunner.  That’s a significant disadvantage in a fight where the commander has to control the tank, coordinate with fellow tanks and scan for targets.  Now add selecting an aiming point based on the ballistics of the round, where the target is, who’s moving, laying the gun on target, firing and then adjusting if necessary for a re-engagement.  Also, Brit tank platoons consisted of four tanks (vs. five like US ones) with a max of one firefly if it was available,

  • Michael_mike

    That’s a great review. I just read the overview before watching the movie and while I am not a great connoisseur of tank history I knew it was different when they used smoke round instead of a classical ball of fire (usually made of fuel as commented by YP). A lot of greats comments too.

    I loved how they humanised their character, like when SGT Collier isolate himself for 5 seconds as he desire to destroy the world to avenge his crew (seems to). And to today’s standard Norman Ellison would probably had a PTSD diagnosis even before reaching the tank, surely after cleaning it. No sure if it’s an anachronism but I doubt a chokehold would not derail badly during WWII.

    That movie make it to the top 3. It’s a bit unfair but my favourite war movie remain Murphy’s War (1971). But so great that I am planning to watch it again.

  • FWIW here’s an article of what the original Fury script looked like.  https://medium.com/war-is-boring/the-script-for-fury-gave-norman-psychic-powers-ea4bfdaccf6c
    Sounds horrible.  Glad they redid Brad Pitt’s character and didn’t give the new guy superpowers.

  • newlad56

    Just MTCW.  I have mixed feelings about this film.  While it depicts the horrors of war well, the tactical aspects of the film were all wrong.  Compare it to “Saving Private Ryan”, and you’ll understand.  I was so disgusted with the tactical portrayal of infantry and tank warfare at that stage of the war,  just a few weeks before the Germans surrendered, that I actually checked to see who the military adviser to the film was.  He was a British Army senior NCO, “David “Sting” Rae …. He served in the British Army for 22
    years (1991-2013), eventually reaching the rank of Warrant Officer Class
    1 and the appointment of Regimental Sergeant Major.”  So here’s a guy, a Brit, who has no WW II experience, and none with the US military, advising on American tactical matters for a WW II film.  He thinks he got it “tactically correct”.  He didn’t.  You don’t tool down main roads bunched up as they were when they encounter the Tiger on the way to the crossroads.  And you most definitely do not line up in line abreast and charge across an open field with two German 75mm AT guns hidden in the woods line you’re attacking. The scene in the town where the infantry is advancing all bunched up, just asking to be shot to pieces by a German MG, which the movie shows.  Those guys would have moving very cautiously, letting the tank guys absorb any AT and MG fire.  So, yeah, it’s got great acting but lousy military advice.  *** for the acting and the cinematography, * for getting the tactics right.

  • newlad56 
    I don’t think the tactics were that bad actually.  The distance could have always been greater as it should be in every movie including Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers etc. but it’s hard to get the shot and show the action when you spread out.  It’d be pretty hard to name any movie where units/individuals spread them selves out realistically.

    You could use roads moving from point A to B depending on the enemy situation and the mission.  If you remember before they were hit by that tiger they were supposed to be rushing to a crossroads to block it from an enemy unit and protect the rear.  When time is of the essence shortcuts are taken.  That said the movie pirtrayed a much more “fluid” and less set piece lines than likely existed in April of .45 but that’s possible with the lead units of a division.  What I did notice was the turrets should have been oriented in different directions.  #1 tank 10 – 2, #2 & 3 tanks to the left and right of that sector respectively.
    As for the AT gun vs. tank firefight, the tanks didn’t know the AT guns were in the field.  Like you noted, they were hidden.  Actually getting on line at the last covered and concealed position is an appropriate tactical employment.

    The tank assault against the Tiger was actually textbook down to using WP to block the vision of the Tiger and rush it to cut the range.  Constrast that with the scene in Saving Private Ryan where a handful of men try and take out an enemy machine gun by assaulting it frontally.  That’s only done in the most extreme situations most of time while being pinned down and having no choice…

    Getting shot to pieces is exactly what happens in cities and you don’t let tanks get ahead of Infantry.  The Infantry keeps enemy AT gunners down and the tanks take on enemy strong points.  Again, that’s pretty much the way it was and is even today.  The troops stayed to the sides and behind the tanks.  That’s a pretty typical employment.

    Your comment about it being just a few weeks before the end of the war is likely your most salient criticism but the SS didn’t have very good prospects (even worse on the Eastern front).  No doubt there were less sharp actions like the one presented in the movie in April 1945 but it’s not out of the question.  The Ruhr Pocket was fought in Mar- Apr ’45.  Almost a 1000 Americans died there alone.  127 Americans lost their lives in 15-20 April taking Nurenberg  http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a164174.pdf

  • YankeePapa

    majrod newlad56 ,
    .
    …While not a bad film, I had issues with “Saving Private Ryan…”  I liked “Band of Brothers” a lot more. 
    .
    …Aside from bunching issues, the frontal assault on the enemy machine gun was not only “crude” but very un-Ranger like… This was not the Siegfried line.  More to the point… their mission was not to take out every German point on their way… An entire army would eventually come up the road and deal with the situation.
    .
    …The near mutiny of the BAR man is a jarring note… unlikely to be seen in any good outfit, let alone Rangers on a mission generated by the Chief of Staff of the United States Army.  
    .
    …One of my biggest problem was the “guilt trip” that the dying Captain lays on Ryan… “Be worthy of this…”  Crap…  
    .
    …The Rangers (and paratroopers) did not die for Ryan.  They died to hold (or if need be destroy) a bridge that could either cause following forces to be hit by German reinforcements… or provide an invaluable time-saving aid to the breakout from the beachheads… There are worse things to die for… 
    .
    -YP-

  • MarneJakins

    I just watched the film Fury and am so so upset i have never been so effected by a movie,. as an australian 40+ female i have never cried so  much in a movie. war sucks and the sooner people of all races and creed realise the better. It made me hate and love both americans, germans and actually the entire race of humans I just don’t know how I feel. Ultimately the best movie, and mot thought provoking I have ever watched…

  • MarneJakins 
    Good war movies IMO should be anti-war.  They should make one think.  They should also be realistic and full of ambiguity showing the best and worst qualities of participants and the environment that war is.
    War is an evil, wasteful & horrendous endeavor yet there are reasons to go to war and it is the failure to wage war when one should that even leads to worse things..

  • elephant212

    Hi mt dont think we were watching the same movie a very good movie concerning special effects / graphics/ use of equipment and acting but that is were it stops. were they trying to portray the germans as idiots as most american films do? they only put the best crews in there tigers but they managed to miss at point blank range twice then there was the scene when they were advacing over a field while in wait were german pak 75mm anti tank guns and they missed three times, then we have the best one off the lot right at the end, they get there track blowed off and an emobile tank is dead in the water and what comes along about 200_300 waffen ss possible the best soldiers of ww2 armed with at least 12 panzershreks one man bazooks but better instead of taking a look at the tank to make sure it is knocked out which is what they would have done that late in the war they march right up to it laffin and joking and then when the shootin starts they run round like headless chickens instead of re grouping out flanking the tank and taking it out with a panzershrek ha thought from all the hoo haa that this was a good film but you are right it is just like saveing private ryan a load of american rubbish.

  • elephant212 
    If the Germans never missed and the Wermacht was the best then how did they lose the war?

    Even the best crews miss especially when someone is shooting at you also.
    There have been examples of Germans passing by US tanks and not checking to be sure they are dead.  Happened during the Battle of the Bulge for sure (only 4-5 months before the supposed movie).

  • YankeePapa

    majrod elephant212 ,
    .
    …The Germans in the 20th Century were far better at tactics than at Grand Strategy.  Back in the early 1960s an American Major wanted to jump with German paratroopers.  Some bureaucratic problems on the German end got in the way.  He “inspired” the German officers to expedite matters by saying… “Yeah, I should have known better than to expect efficiency from an Army that put itself under the command of a corporal…”  He went up with the next group…

    .
    …For more on Germany’s track record see (Warning:  Book Acquisition Alert)
    .

    http://www.amazon.com/WHY-THE-GERMANS-LOSE-WAR/dp/1853673838
    .
    -YP-