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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 6/10/2003 12:09:32 PM EDT
I'm helping Dad with a research paper on Saving Private Ryan. I'm not a history buff in any sense but was wondering what aspects are accurate and what are totally off the wall. Anyone have any resources that could help me and my dad? Anything that's missing in the movie. I just need facts in general. All I know so far is 2nd Ranger Batallion did in fact land on the beaches of Normandy. Anyone feel like enlightening me with their knowledge or provide me with some resources to compare to the movie? Any help you could provide would be very much appreciated.
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 12:15:21 PM EDT
I wish I could remember where I read it, but I read something by some actual veterans that were there. They were laughing about some of the stuff in the movie. Two things I remember were that they said the way the guys walked on the hill tops in the movie was so stupid, no real Ranger would ever do that. It is a sure way to get shot. The other was the scene where they are in the deserted church to spend the night and are shooting the bull about all kinds of stuff. The vets said if they would have been there, they would have gone to sleep immediately, just like any one else that has been in extended combat. They wouldn't have wasted valuable sleep time talking. I think it was a movie review. You might try a Google search.
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 12:19:18 PM EDT
Have you read D-Day by Ambrose or The Longest Day by Ryan? I know for certain that the basis for the story about the set of brothers in the movie is mentioned specifically in the Ambrose book. The last name wasn't Ryan though. The rest of the story about defending the bridge/town is more likely a composite of 101st anecdotes.
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 12:24:15 PM EDT
Haven't read either of those books, so the Ryan thing actually happened? I thought that was all fiction. Ok thanks so far, replies are very much appreciated.
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 12:27:34 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 12:36:38 PM EDT
Sorry to hijack your thread Dale, but I've wondered about the accuracy of Band of Brothers. Nothing really looks inaccurate to me, but I've only watched it once or twice and I haven't really payed all that much attention to it.
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 1:22:25 PM EDT
The 5 brothers that served together in WWII were the Sullivan brothers. They weren't in the Army as they portrayed them to be in Saving Private Ryan. They were in the Navy and served aboard the USS Juneau and all lost their lives when the ship sank in 1942. Here's a website I found called the true story of Saving Private Ryan. John http://www.valourandhorror.com/DB/BACK/Ryan.htm
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 1:23:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TWIRE: I know for certain that the basis for the story about the set of brothers in the movie is mentioned specifically in the Ambrose book. The last name wasn't Ryan though. The rest of the story about defending the bridge/town is more likely a composite of 101st anecdotes.
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It's in "Band of Brothers". Like, one paragraph is all that's said. One of the guys lost his brothers, and a chaplin walked up from the beach to get him. Barely had time to say good bye to his buddies. I don't have my copy on me right now though
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 1:46:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Spade:
Originally Posted By TWIRE: I know for certain that the basis for the story about the set of brothers in the movie is mentioned specifically in the Ambrose book. The last name wasn't Ryan though. The rest of the story about defending the bridge/town is more likely a composite of 101st anecdotes.
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It's in "Band of Brothers". Like, one paragraph is all that's said. One of the guys lost his brothers, and a chaplin walked up from the beach to get him. Barely had time to say good bye to his buddies. I don't have my copy on me right now though
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I stand corrected. It is in Band of Brothers. Page 102 tells the story of Fritz and Bob Niland. Bob was in the 82nd and KIA, Fritz survived and was in the 101st. A third brother was a pilot killed in Burma. The mother got all the telegrams on the same day. The story of the Sullivans is similar. I think I saw an old B&W movie about them once.
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 1:47:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/10/2003 1:52:42 PM EDT by ed1]
Private Ryan is a composite character-he's one part Sullivan brother, and one part Niland brother. Fritz Niland was a trooper in the 101st. He lost a brother in the 82nd airborne, and 4th ID. It was also feared that his brother was lost in the PTO-he was in the Army Air Corps. He later escaped from a Japanese prison camp...
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 1:57:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TWIRE: I stand corrected. It is in Band of Brothers. Page 102 tells the story of Fritz and Bob Niland. Bob was in the 82nd and KIA, Fritz survived and was in the 101st. A third brother was a pilot killed in Burma. The mother got all the telegrams on the same day. .
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Those were the guys. IIRC, Bob was talking to some of the 101 guys in London when he met up with Fritz, and since Bob had seen combat already they asked for advice, and he told them if they tried to be a hero they'd end up dead. Somebody in the group later said they though Bob had lost his edge, so to speak. Later they found out Bob had died manning a machine gun covering his unit so they could fall back.
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 2:43:08 PM EDT
My father, who recently passed away said that it was all pretty accurate eccept the beach fire wasn't as intense as they portrayed it. He also said that the cuss words that were used in the movie weren't used back then,Words like f*ck and sh*t, He said he heard those words for the first time when he was in his 50's. My brothers and I bought him The Band of Brothers set for Christmas with the intention of all watching it together but he went into the hospital Christmas Eve and never got to come back home. I still have one uncle left who served in the Marine Corps in the South Pacific. Both my father and my uncle have been in several PBS and Discovery channel documentaries on WWII. And yes, I am very proud of my lineage!
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 2:57:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/10/2003 2:58:50 PM EDT by Sukebe]
Originally Posted By ed1: Private Ryan is a composite character-he's one part Sullivan brother, and one part Niland brother. Fritz Niland was a trooper in the 101st. He lost a brother in the 82nd airborne, and 4th ID. It was also feared that his brother was lost in the PTO-he was in the Army Air Corps. He later escaped from a Japanese prison camp...
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This is the version that I have heard from sources outside of Ambrose's books. I think it was in B.O.B. that the Niland story is recounted. In Ambrose's version all three Niland brothers Bob with the 82nd, another with the 4th and another with the AAF in the CBI theater were killed within days of each other. In fact as stated, the brother in the AAF did survive. The Niland family was from Tanawanda N.Y. Fritz Niland was sent home from Normandy. The rescue mission in S.P.R. is complete fiction. Otherwise the beach assault sequence featuring Charlie Co. 2nd Ranger Battalion is for the most part accurate. However IIRC as a Captain, the character played by Tom Hanks most likely would have been the Company Commander of Charlie Company. IIRC in reality, Charlie Company's C.O. was KIA on 6 June. Also IIRC the 2nd Ranger Battalion was not in the first assault wave as depicted in S.P.R..
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 3:55:40 PM EDT
wasn't Charlie Co., 2nd Rangers the outfit that scaled the cliffs at Point-Du-Hoc? I believe A and B Companies went into the sand at Omaha, not sure what wave though...
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 8:37:36 PM EDT
A good book to read is Our Finest Day by Mark Bowden. Portrays what really happened from a soldiers standpoint. Very vivid. It leads up to the actual D-Day invasion. Sage, Band of Brothers is acurate. The story behind the 501st, Easy Company, 101st Airborne. The taking of the guns on D-Day is actually tought at West Point.
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 9:08:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sckoyrsht: My father, who recently passed away said that it was all pretty accurate eccept the beach fire wasn't as intense as they portrayed it. quote] Yeah, I figured they really played up the Normandy landing. The only footage of the actual landing is very short (I believe only one cameraman was there and either he was killed or his equipment was ruined), however, when you look at the footage you can see very few men landing at one time and not many rounds hitting around them. One guy does go down after making it out of the water, perhaps two. I wish we had some good footage of the landing with it's fierce resistance so we could shove it in france's face!! They act like we never helped them. Sorry about your father. Those vets are dying off and it's up to us make sure their names are never forgotten, like all vets.
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 10:58:55 PM EDT
Historical accuracy? Well, I dont recall any naval gunfire during the movie beach landing, and there was no sign of allied aircraft till the last frame of the movie. Those guys did look really careless to be living combat vets - walking through fields bunched up and talking. The german assualt tactics on the town was too screwed up to be believed. Tiger crews stuffed thier tanks full of 8mm ammo - much more than the standard loading of several thousand rounds - and used it liberally. Blowing up a Tiger by shooting through the driver's visor with a 45? Those armored glass blocks were almost a foot thick. It was cool seeing a 20mm and a Marder in action.
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 11:05:05 PM EDT
Pogo, a P51 destroyed the tank, the Capt. was just delirious and shooting at the tank.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 4:10:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By pogo: Those guys did look really careless to be living combat vets - walking through fields bunched up and talking.
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That's the necessity of making a movie. Movies don't run too well without dialogue, and you can't have dialogue if people are 30 feet apart.
Blowing up a Tiger by shooting through the driver's visor with a 45? Those armored glass blocks were almost a foot thick.
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As was mentioned, the 45 didn't blow up the Tiger.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 4:24:56 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 4:43:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By meltdown: was that the movie where the guy shot the nazi hiding in the oven like thirty nine times without reloading ?
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Big Red One
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 4:49:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/11/2003 4:56:07 AM EDT by photoman]
Originally Posted By pilot4x4: The 5 brothers that served together in WWII were the Sullivan brothers. They weren't in the Army as they portrayed them to be in Saving Private Ryan. They were in the Navy and served aboard the USS Juneau and all lost their lives when the ship sank in 1942. Here's a website I found called the true story of Saving Private Ryan. John http://www.valourandhorror.com/DB/BACK/Ryan.htm
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They make referance to that in the movie, and the fact that they were in the navy and the whole Juneau incident. They were never portrayed in the movie to be in the army.(just watched the movie last night)
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 7:01:45 AM EDT
My father, who recently passed away said that it was all pretty accurate eccept the beach fire wasn't as intense as they portrayed it. quote] Yeah, I figured they really played up the Normandy landing. The only footage of the actual landing is very short (I believe only one cameraman was there and either he was killed or his equipment was ruined), however, when you look at the footage you can see very few men landing at one time and not many rounds hitting around them. One guy does go down after making it out of the water, perhaps two. I wish we had some good footage of the landing with it's fierce resistance so we could shove it in france's face!! They act like we never helped them. -------------------------- Actually, the volume of fire on the beach may be correct. Unless your father was on that exact same beach at that exact same time, his experience might have been a lot different. The same goes for that cameraman. Some of the beaches were taken with very little fighting and some, like utah and omaha were bloodbaths.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 7:29:46 AM EDT
Having stood on the bluffs overlooking Omaha Beach, I can tell you that the beach was a LOT longer than portrayed in the movie. Those guys had to cross about 150 yards of open beach before reaching the shingle. Also, the movie made the first landing look like a cakewalk, simply because the troops got across the beach and took out the defenses so quickly. In reality, the carnage so aptly portrayed in SPR lasted for [b]hours[/b] as the first waves huddled behind anything they thought would stop a bullet. Ambrose's book, D-DAY, does what I think is the best description so far. I certainly don't wish to go against Sawgunner's dad (I wasn't there, and I'll assume he was), so I will respectfully raise an observation that doesn't quite jive with his. Ambrose's description of the first waves "walking into hell" as soon as the ramps dropped would seem to me to indicate that the fire WAS as intense as shown in the movie, although the bullets whizzing by laser-like was probably a bit of a stretch intended to get the point across. Ambrose describes that the first waves landed all bunched up right in front of the most heavily-defended part of the beach. The firestorm of incoming fire must have been beyond description. Can anyone correct me or support my observation? Either way, I'd love to learn...
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 7:53:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/11/2003 7:54:21 AM EDT by Old_Painless]
I believe Sawgunner101's dad was telling the truth about what he saw. But the important thing to understand is that every soldier tells about what he saw "as he saw it". Someone 200 yards down the beach may have seen it a lot differently. This is why after action reports are often much different depending on who is telling the story. But it doesn't mean they aren't telling the truth; it is just that things look different depending where you were. Hackworth talks about this a lot in his book. He collected hundreds (thousands?) of after action reports when he was assigned to write a history of the VN war and he observed this phenomenon often. The same battle would look many different ways by different people who were there.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 7:55:57 AM EDT
One thing I thought wasn't accurate was when they took out the machine gun position. Who in their right mind would take on 2-3 MG42's with a squad? Beside the fact that it jeapordized their mission, it was just plain stupid. Mark it on a map and call it in to an artillery battalion or FAC. Let someone else deal with it. That was the dumbest thing I saw in SPR.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 8:01:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Sukebe:
Originally Posted By meltdown: was that the movie where the guy shot the nazi hiding in the oven like thirty nine times without reloading ?
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Big Red One
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Although its been a LOOONG time since I've seen that movie, I do recall Luke running empty. Lee Marvin walked up, saw what he was doing and gave him a couple of clips to continue.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 8:08:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Old_Painless: I believe Sawgunner101's dad was telling the truth about what he saw. But the important thing to understand is that every soldier tells about what he saw "as he saw it". Someone 200 yards down the beach may have seen it a lot differently. This is why after action reports are often much different depending on who is telling the story. But it doesn't mean they aren't telling the truth; it is just that things look different depending where you were. Hackworth talks about this a lot in his book. He collected hundreds (thousands?) of after action reports when he was assigned to write a history of the VN war and he observed this phenomenon often. The same battle would look many different ways by different people who were there.
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I suppose that's true. It happens in auto accidents, so imagine what happens in situations where others are trying to KILL you over an extended period of time. Regardless, we all know the fire was literally muderous. At least the movie gets that fact across. It will help teach those who came later and/or who never got a first-hand account from a friend/relative to appreciate what those men went through (literally and figuratively) on that terrible day. [usa]
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 8:28:15 AM EDT
The 2nd SS wasn't that far north that close to D-Day. They were still several days to the south... Mainly what you'd find wandering around the French countryside would be regular German Army units at that time in the war. FYI Alex
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 9:13:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter: As a WWII buff and reenactor, I can tell you the uniforms and gear were better than any movie that preceded it. (snip)But for the most part from a technical standpoint the clothing and equipment was the best ever to come out of Hollywood.
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You are fortunate. I'm a Rev. War reenactor, and going to see "The Patriot" was one of the worst cinematic experiences of my life. The historical bloopers start when the movie begins, and they don't stop until the credits roll at the end..... "Ve haff to haff as much blood as 'Saving Private Ryan.' -attributed to the German director of the Patriot, Roland Emmerich. "You know, kid, it's all bullshit." -Marlon Brando to Laurence Fishburne on the set of "Apocalypse Now", re moviemaking and the film world in general.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 9:55:27 AM EDT
Not entirely sure... but I thought there weren't any camera men on the first wave. The reason the carnage doesn't appear as bad on camera is because the camera didn't catch the initial slaughter. I may be wrong
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 6:43:48 PM EDT
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