"Band of Brothers: The Breaking Point (#1.7)"
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Having repelled the German forces at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, Easy company are now stationed in the Bois Jacques area of the Ardennes. Heavy German forces occupy the nearby village of Foy. Sporadic shelling from German artillery has been taking place and Easy has suffered many casualties.

Early on, Corporal Hoobler sights a German officer on horseback and shoots him dead. He finds that the officer had a Luger, a highly prized pistol among American GIs. After boasting of his marksmanship, the Luger inexplicably fires and cuts the femoral artery in Hoob's right leg. He bleeds to death as his comrades try to treat him. His death deepens the low morale of the company and Lt. Buck Compton lectures the rest of the men, telling them not to do anything stupid. The men reflect that Compton has changed dramatically since his wounding in Nuenen and since Bastogne; his normally positive attitude has hardened considerably.

Lipton reports Hoobler's death to Captains Winters & Nixon himself, prompting Winters to ask why the company's commanding officer, Lieutenant Norman Dike, did not deliver the report himself. Dike has been a large disappointment as a leader, often shirking his duties and disappearing for hours at a time. Nearly all of the men of Easy have no confidence in Dike either. Winters has great misgivings about Dike and desperately wants to replace him but cannot because Dike is a West Point graduate and favorite of someone higher up in command.

Easy returns to the front line in the forest just outside of Foy. As they dig new foxholes and strengthen the existing ones, they are bombarded several times. A shell hits very close to Joe Toye and he looses half of his right leg. Toye's best friend, Bill Guarnere, rushes out and begins to drag Toye to safety when a shell explodes near both; Guarnere loses his right leg as well. As Compton approaches both men he suddenly has trouble calling for a medic; the shock of the situation has become Compton's "breaking point" and he is taken off the front line. The worst shelling takes place at night and sees the deaths of Corporal Penkala and Sgt. Skip Muck, a moment witnessed by George Luz. The two men were good friends of Don Malarkey who becomes saddened by their deaths. To boost his mood a bit, Lipton gives Malarkey Hoob's Luger for his brother.

Easy later joins "D" (Dog) and "I" (Item) companies in assaulting Foy from three directions. Dike is set to lead Easy in the battle and Winters informs him that their speed in rushing forward will be the key to victory. During the assault, Dike freezes, unable to deliver commands effectively and orders a premature retreat. Winters orders Lt. Spiers to take command. Spiers is able to muster the troops back into formation and the raid becomes successful. Spiers also rushes through the German positions in town to connect with Item on the other side to insure the Germans will not be able to retreat. Lipton remarks about how Spiers not only charged through a dangerous zone but also how he returned to Easy, rushing back the same way. Foy is taken, however, several men are killed by an unseen sniper, who is taken down by marksmen Shifty Powers.

The episode ends with a scene where Easy watches a performance by a young chorus in a church. As the camera moves over Easy's members, Lipton's narration tells who has been wounded or killed in recent actions. Spears, promoted to captain, tells Lipton that he's being given a field promotion to lieutenant.
Page last updated by myturn21, 1 year ago
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