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All pictures from a picpam by totallybalanced



Poll #1292640 Day of Days

Worst OMFG Moment:

Plane of men goes down in flames.
3(16.7%)
Plane of men gets shot in half.
0(0.0%)
Co-pilot gets his head shot open.
0(0.0%)
The platoon opens fire on Germans and German horses.
0(0.0%)
Winters yells at someone.
0(0.0%)
Spiers leads his men across open ground toward the German gun position.
0(0.0%)
Hall is killed.
0(0.0%)
What are you kidding me? Spiers and the cigarettes.
9(50.0%)

Guarnere, Translated. Malarkey, Percante and that poor dead POW are:

A guinea, a mick and a kraut.
3(17.6%)
A mick, a kraut and a guinea.
0(0.0%)
A mick, a guinea and a kraut.
13(76.5%)

Best Bromantic Moment.

Winters raises Hall's spirits.
0(0.0%)
Hall earns Guarnere's respect by using an ethnic slur.
1(5.9%)
Winters earns Guarnere's respect by taking a drink.
3(17.6%)
Nixon offers Winters a ride on the front of a tank.
5(29.4%)
Nixon looks helpless as he tries to make Winters feel happy about the map.
3(17.6%)




RECAP: The men are in planes on their way from England to Normandy for the invasion. We see many shots of nervous men, blank men, jittery men, smoking men. One guy is sleeping. Winters is sitting awesomely at the open door, thousands of feet over the English channel. I guess if you’re gonna jump out…

We are up in the air along with the planes. The clouds part and we see what is, in my opinion, one of the most startling, terrifying and beautiful shots ever on screen. Hundreds of planes in the air and massive anti-aircraft barrage. It’s like the Fourth of July in hell.

We lose one plane, then another, and it’s just sickening to watch. The co-pilot of Winters’ aircraft tells the pilot they’d better slow down because the men can’t jump at that speed, then gets his head blown literally open. Pilot freaks and hits the green light. The men jump, clearly somewhere in advance of their jump zone.

On the ground, Winters finds one man, Hall, from A Company. They were on the same basketball team during training. Hall calls Winters “coach”, so I guess he was the coach, which...duh, but it’s cute. Winters lost his rifle in the jump. Hall lost his radio. Winters leads him away through the woods.

I can’t resist giving you this whole conversation, cause it so illuminates Winters’ character without being heavy-handed.

Winters: “So you’re a radio man.”
Hall: “Yes sir. I was, sir, until I lost my radio in the jump. I’m sure I’ll get chewed out for that.”
Winters: “Well if you were in my platoon, I’d tell you you are a rifleman first and a radio man second.”
Hall: “Maybe you can tell that to my platoon leader when we find him. If we find him.”
Winters: “It’s a deal. But first, I need your help. Locate some landmarks to get our bearings. Keep your eyes peeled for buildings, farmhouses, bridges, roads, trees…”
Hall: (laughs) “I wonder if the rest of them are as lost as we are.”
Winters: “We’re not lost. We’re in Normandy.”

Hall is clearly scared. But Winters, man…
1) makes conversation, which makes Hall feel more normal in this crazy environment,
2) reassures Hall that he’s not a screw-up, so he feels stronger,
3) calls Hall a “rifleman first”, which makes an excellent point and teaches Hall something,
4) by calling him a “rifleman”, focuses Hall on his identity as a soldier (as opposed to a technician), which might save their lives if they run into trouble,
5) enlists Hall’s “help” to distract him from his fear,
6) makes him laugh, and
7) reassures him that they’re not lost; that Winters has the situation under control.

See that? It takes me longer to explain the awesome than for Winters to be awesome. That’s how awesome he is.

Winters and Hall hook up with a couple other men and some of E Company, including Guarnere, Malarkey and Toye. A group of German soldiers comes through, on horseback and in a horse-drawn cart. The men lie in wait; Winters tells them to wait for his signal before firing. Guarnere jumps the gun and opens fire. They kill everybody and every horse. Winters is pissed at Guarnere. He actually raises his voice. Guarnere is pissed at Winters, in general, because he doesn’t drink or he’s a Quaker or something.

The men encounter a bunch of dead soldiers, from whom they retrieve ammunition. Nearing battalion, they pass a group of German POWs at the side of the road. Goofing around with them, Malarkey discovers that one of the Germans is actually an American, who grew up close to Malarkey. They chat. Malarkey moves on. He passes Lt. Speirs on the path. Speirs offers the POWs each a cigarette and then opens fire, off-camera, killing them all. Malarkey stares back down the road in horror.

Lt. Meehan is MIA, so that means Winters is in charge of E Company. Col. Strayer briefs the officers and tells Winters to lead a team to take out the a group “88s”, which I guess are anti-aircraft weapons, doing a lot of damage to incoming Allied planes. There are a number of guns and many men established at a place called Brecourt Manor.

Winters plans the assault and gives orders. The men take out the guns and soldiers under intense fire. The assault seems to take forever, bullets whistling past everybody’s heads. Popeye is shot in the keyster; Hall is killed, which makes Winters very sad. Winters swipes a German map at one of the gun positions.

At the last minute, Lt. Speirs shows up, all bouncy and high on death and danger, replenishes their ammo and asks whether D Company can take out the next gun. He leads his men to the gun, NOT inside the trenches, which gets at least two of them killed. Speirs takes out the last gun. They all retreat to battalion. Winters reports success.

Nix comes along, riding on the front of a tank, and gives his boyfriend a lift to the next town. They’re moving on to secure a town that sounds exactly like Cote des Villes. Google it yourself; I'm tired.

It’s nighttime. Some of the men, including Malarkey, Guarnere and Buck, are cooking over a fire inside a tarp-covered truckbed. Winters pokes his head in to say hi. Winters accepts a drink. Guarnere and Winters are buddies now. Winters says, “Oh, and I’m not a Quaker.” This gets a big laugh.

Nix catches up with Winters, who tells the story of Hall, who died in the assault that day. Nix tries to cheer him up by telling him that the map Winters found shows the position of “every Kraut gun in Normandy.” Winters is still sad and walks away. Nix calls after him, “I sent that map up to Division. I think it’s gonna do some good!” Aw. Boys are so cute.

Winters makes a promise to himself and God. That if he gets out of the war alive he’ll find himself a “quiet piece of land someplace and spend the rest of my life in peace.”

The tag says that Winters’ team were awarded medals, and that their attack on the German guns is still taught today as a classic example of an assault on a fixed position.

Comments

tomfoolery815
Nov. 7th, 2008 04:57 am (UTC)
RL has to bring all the blood to it, you know? He's the one with the open face, the one who smiles easily, reaches out to Winters and cements the friendship.
That's certainly true, Mary. Especially at the end of this episode: Nix is trying to get across to him what a great thing Dick has done in finding the map, and says, without saying, that this will save lives. He's really emphasizing the point, in part because Nix's job is to see the big picture. But also because it's important to him that Dick feel good about it.

But Dick can't think about lives potentially saved at that moment; he's wrapped up in the life lost under his command. Which is really how you'd want him to be, right?

Edited at 2008-11-07 05:32 am (UTC)