SPR 2 - Numerous war movies have been produced that have...

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Numerous war movies have been produced that have attempted to portray the atmosphere and carnage of D-Day. The only movie that approaches the reality of what actually occurred is Stephen Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan . The authentic portrayal of the scenes and the horrifying depiction of what occurred are terrifying. It is the greatest representation of the events that happened on that gruesome day. One needs to look at the actual events of the historical battle at Omaha Beach before one can compare fact to the movie. Omaha was a critical, strategic beach, and the events that occurred there became a turning point in the war. Omaha Beach was four miles wide, expanding from Port-En-Bessin on the east to the mouth of the Vire River on the west. Above these 4 miles of sand, stood 100 ft. cliffs, in which Germany had placed several bunkers loaded with machine guns. 1 Unknown to the allies was the fact that Germany had reinforced that position on the cliffs with another unit of men who were well trained and who had already seen combat. The first wave of allied soldiers started their advance on Omaha beach at 0630 on June 6 th , 1944. The sea was very choppy and rough, which caused many of the landing crafts to miss their marks. As recalled by S.L.A. Marshall, the scene was beyond horrific. The first wave of boats numbered seven along with several tanks, which were supposed to clear the beach for the infantry. Only two of the tanks made it to the edge of the shore and not a single tank made it onto the beach. About five thousand yards from shore, the Germans started to bombard the landing craft. As they approached the shore, boats five and three were hit resulting in several deaths; many others drown, before they could reach the shoreline. 2 At 0636 1 “Omaha Beach June 6 th 1944 WWII Allied Invasion” [Internet], [3 February 2000]; http://www.californiacentralcoast.com/commun/map/Omaha_beach.html 2 S.L.A. Marshall, “First Wave at Omaha Beach” [Internet], [3 February 2000]; http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/60nov/omaha.htm
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precisely, the ramps were dropped from the landing craft. This was the exact moment the Germans were anticipating while waiting atop the bluffs. 3 The Germans opened fire on the soldiers, causing the first men out of the boat to killed and torn to bits, before they even hit the water. Most of the soldiers did not make it to shore and if they did succeed in exiting the boats, they had to deal with the fact that the boats had landed too far from the shoreline. This situation caused hundreds of the men to ditch their needed supplies in the ocean in order to afford them the chance to save themselves. Many of the soldiers drown because their packs were too heavy and they did not release the packs they were wearing. The movie brings these terrible events home.
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This note was uploaded on 04/25/2008 for the course SCIENCE mp130 taught by Professor Doumas during the Spring '08 term at United States Merchant Marine Academy.

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SPR 2 - Numerous war movies have been produced that have...

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