Saving Private Ryan

Discussions on WW2 and pre-WW2 related movies, games, military art and other fiction.
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Raf
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Saving Private Ryan

Post by Raf » 14 May 2002 15:20

In the film Rangers land at the beaches of Normandy along with "normal" infantry divisions. As far as I know the only place Rangers landed at Normandy was at POINTE DU HOC. I think it was 2nd battalion. Can anyone help me out ? Were there others units of Rangers who landed the first day or is the film historical wrong ?

MaPen
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Post by MaPen » 14 May 2002 17:25

There are numerous historical errors in SPR.

For Ranger unit composition on D-Day check this site: http://www.sproe.com/

best

MaPen

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Alex Vasilewsky
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Post by Alex Vasilewsky » 14 May 2002 18:32

I don't think that the Hollywood is capable of making a 100% realistic and historically right movie (although SPR is one of the better ones).
The wide public wouldn't understand it, or just not like it.
And those movies are made for money only.

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Raf
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Post by Raf » 15 May 2002 08:10

Thanks MaPen. Great site.

After all, the film is historical accurate after all. 2nd Ranger did land on Omaha.

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Raf
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Post by Raf » 15 May 2002 08:12

Alex Vasilewsky wrote:I don't think that the Hollywood is capable of making a 100% realistic and historically right movie (although SPR is one of the better ones).
The wide public wouldn't understand it, or just not like it.
And those movies are made for money only.


Right, but thanks to MaPen, I got a better view on the order of Battle of the 2nd Rangers. Looks like SPR is one of the better ones like you say.

My opinion is that a lot of filmmakers don't spend to much time on research.

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Post by Danse Macabre » 15 May 2002 15:13

SPR one of the better warmovies?

I'm sure RAF only saw SPR in that case. Are 'Stalingrad', 'Die Brücke' and 'Das Boot' already forgotten?

RAF seems to think SPR is accurate. I would like him to show me all Waffen-SS (the troops the brave Yankees gunned down by the bushes, as I'm sure you know) who fought in the American sector on June 7, together with all the armour units which had Tigers under their command. Raf, can you show me any REAL account of a battle where a handful of G.I.'s knocked out Tigers and other armoured vehicles with dynamite stuffed in their socks, machinegun elite troops by the dozens, and die in a 101 heroic ways?

SPR = cheap Hollywood patriottic rubbish. 'Mysteriously', one of them is Jewish and gets brutally killed. Boring, RAF, boring as hell. I can't believe I am even wasting words on that piece of trash movie.

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Raf
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Post by Raf » 15 May 2002 15:26

He Danse Macabre, I was only refering to the US units that are shown in the movie. I know that SPR is a typical American movie with only the US troops as the good guys and all the other are less heroic and no match for the brave and clever Americans. When I saw the movie, it rememberd me in some way to the old cowboy and indians films. I admit that, but I don't want to open a discussion about that quality of the film. I was just wondering if the units were right situated, that's all.
You're right about the other films you mention. Those are really the top. The human sight and showing the horror is one of the strongest points in them and I enjoyed watching them a lot (I still have them on tape). Those are the items I do miss in American films who like to show only the patriotic side of the GI. So I fully agree with your point of view but I don't discuss preferences.

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Post by Logan Hartke » 15 May 2002 18:21

Raf wrote:Those are the items I do miss in American films who like to show only the patriotic side of the GI.

Are you putting SPR in that category? I thought it also included the ignorant side (the armored Waco), the helpless and ill-equipped side (bazooka vs. Tiger I), the panicky/cowardly side (soldiers on the beaches, Upham, Pvt. Ryan in the battle), the foolish side (the soldiers getting mauled at the beach, Caparzo), and many other negative attributes. I think the last scene, the MG-42 scene at the beach and the other one in the field show the competance of the Germans in the film. They also make a reference to the competence of the Gemrna 88s and their crews. Many people like to claim that American soldiers faced with that same situation in the movie would've fared far worse in Ramelle. I disagree; one has to remember that the only scene showing regular US GIs (Omaha beach) shows them getting slaugthered. All of the other scenes show battle-hardened and experienced Rangers and paratroopers. The kill ratios in WWII were always very much in the favor of Rangers and paratroopers. Don't blame the fact that you keep forgetting that these are elite troops on the director. Steven Spielberg accurately represented the effectiveness of American paratroopers and Rangers in combat.
The same with Band of Brothers. They explicitly tell you that these are highly-trained, experienced paratroopers that are better than the average GI. They try to convey that throughout the movie. Atleast, that's the impression that I was getting. The kill ratios that tehy show these guys achieving are realistic. Either come to terms with that or shut up.

Logan Hartke

Danse Macabre
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Post by Danse Macabre » 15 May 2002 19:07

Hoi Raf,

Well, alright. It is indeed a wise lesson not to discuss to preferences, as that is useless, but if you try to look at SPR from an objective point, you'd quickly realise it's just worthless. I have always wondered why that movie got so much attention, while the much better 'When Trumpets Fade' was clearly the better of the two. I think that the general audience (which includes a heck lot of Yankees to please with showing heroism and such) only likes to gore, the killing, the blood and the special effects. The are not interested in what actually happend, all the audience cares for is to be entertained. Bread and games. Sure, 'When Trumpets Fade' had also its less credible scenes (the part where they attack and slaughter the 8,8cm battery) but, overall, the atmosphere of that movie is great. SPR creates the atmosphere of a circus where the watcher gets to cheer when the evil Germans are found and shot, or left to burn.

The Spielberg and Ambrose connection always means first-grade hilarious stuff, but, in the final analysis, SPR fits into children's hour TV. What stereotype DON'T we see?

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Post by MaPen » 15 May 2002 19:26

Logan,

I wouldn't go so far and call the members of 2nd Ranger battalion "battle-hardened and experienced", at least not on D-Day.

2nd Ranger battalion was activated in April 1943 and for most of its members this was their first real engagement. Now, without any question they were superbly trained soldiers but this doesn't make them veterans.

The same goes for "Screaming Eagles" (101st AB).

Of course, one can't deny both were excelent fighting units, due to hard paid experiance they gathered.

just my thought,

MaPen

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Post by Caldric » 15 May 2002 20:17

Great movie. All the whinning is just that whinning, in the end the movie was excellent. Raf did you even watch the movie? Because I did not see Americans as the only heros etc. etc. Actually I did not see any that would fall into the "Hero" slot.

Logan Hartke
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Post by Logan Hartke » 15 May 2002 20:58

MaPen wrote:I wouldn't go so far and call the members of 2nd Ranger battalion "battle-hardened and experienced", at least not on D-Day.

Two of the main characters, and the ones credited with doing the most damage are Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) and Sergeant Horvath (Tom Sizemore) are shown as being veterans of North Africa, Sicily, and Anzio.

Logan Hartke

BTW-You guys may want to look at this...
http://www.cinemayhem.com/savingprivateryan/faq/faq.htm

MaPen
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Post by MaPen » 15 May 2002 21:18

Hi Logan,

that is true but I was referring to the sentence "All of the other scenes show battle-hardened and experienced Rangers and paratroopers".

Anyway, let's (let me :D ) not be picky

best

MaPen

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Post by James Patrick » 15 May 2002 22:23

I've got a map of Omaha beach that includes all of the units that were involved with the assault and the sectors they were assigned to. A,B,C Cos. of 2nd Ranger Bn. and all of 5th Ranger Bn. did not take part in the assault of Pointe du Hoc, but instead went ashore on the western end of Omaha Beach with regular infantry regiments. They had the missions of breaching the German defenses on the beach and then to link up with the Pointe du Hoc assualt force (D,E,and F Cos of 2nd Ranger Bn. under Lt. Col Rudder). In SPR, Charlie Co. 2nd Ranger Bn. goes ashore on Omaha Beach and not PdH ( which most people claim as being wrong but is actually historically accurate).

Logan Hartke
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Post by Logan Hartke » 15 May 2002 22:25

MaPen wrote:that is true but I was referring to the sentence "All of the other scenes show battle-hardened and experienced Rangers and paratroopers".

Anyway, let's (let me :D ) not be picky

OK then. No problem.

Logan Hartke

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