On August 15, 1944 the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team (PRCT) jumped over the south of France. Their mission was to support and protect the Allied Troops marching to Berlin. Landing ... See full summary »
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On August 15, 1944 the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team (PRCT) jumped over the south of France. Their mission was to support and protect the Allied Troops marching to Berlin. Landing in enemy territory, they fell under immediate attack. In their effort to complete the mission and rendez-vous with their unit, three isolated paratroopers come across a group of French resistants in desperate need. They decide to help liberate some of the captive Partisans. Doing so they will risk their lives. Written by
WILHELM SCREAM: a German killed by a hand grenade as the group attacks the tank. See more »
Emelie's sniper rifle is a Mosin-Nagant M91/30 PU. This is a Soviet weapon which would have been found on the Eastern Front and highly unlikely to show up in Southern France (or anywhere in France for that matter). Even the ability for her to get ammunition (during the war) would have been near impossible. See more »
Decent portrayal of isolated paratroopers in WW II operation
Operation Dragoon has long been forgotten as a major campaign and Allied victory of WW II. The invasion of southern France at that time was anti-climactic to the D-Day landings at Normandy more than two months earlier. The Allies were pushing the Germans back in the north. The news headlines were filled with the coming liberation of Paris. It would begin in just four days and end a week later with German surrender of the city on Aug. 25, 1944.
Yet, this Allied operation on Aug. 15 was one of the more successful of the war and least costly to the Allies. Almost 200,000 Allied troops were involved. The operation lasted from Aug 15 to Sept. 14. It routed the German Army Group G from southern France. American and French casualties were about 10,000 each, and German losses were 7,000 killed and 20,000 wounded. About 130,000 Germans trapped by the operation later surrendered.
The resistance to the Allies was much less than at Normandy. The German forces in the area of the assault were less than 100,000 men. Since this had not been a combat front, the Germans didn't use their well-trained and ready combat troops to control the area. So, these mostly were lower tier troops. They included older men, previously wounded, and little trained units from conquered countries. Their weapons and equipment also were sub-standard.
For that reason, the combat scenes in this film, "Saints and Soldiers Airborne Creed," don't seem so outlandish. The American paratroopers were combat hardened by this time, and they were going against much inferior troops. They would indeed be much more effective in downing the enemy.
This film shows three men from the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team that spearheaded the operation with a jump behind enemy lines. This force was formed from the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment and other units. The 517th was a late-organized Army unit, formed in 1943 in Georgia. But, it served in some of the tough battles of WW II in Europe. It saw combat in the Italian Campaign, in Operation Dragoon and at the Battle of the Bulge as part of the 101st Airborne Division. The jump of Operation Dragoon was the only combat jump this Airborne unit made.
The unit was part of the 17th Airborne Division when it was deactivated in 1946. The 17th was slated to take part in the airborne invasion of Japan.
This is a good film in the sense of showing some combat encounters, and its development of the three main characters. The script suffered some in its believability for two things. The first was the repeating of the airborne creed a number of times. Once, in discussion between a couple of GIs I can believe. But as a former paratrooper myself, I don't know that anyone ever went around exclaiming the airborne creed as such. And, I doubt very much if GIs in combat would be doing that. So, this film differs significantly in that from, say, "Band of Brothers." And, not one of these GIs smoked. Nor did anyone else in the film. I'm a former smoker myself, and am glad that's something of my past. But the likelihood of three GIs together during WW II who didn't smoke and then meeting up with resistance fighters and others no one of whom smoked, is a stretch beyond believability.
Otherwise, the acting, plot, action and technical aspects of this movie were quite good. If nothing else, it's a good film to show GIs wrestling with killing, even in war. And, it's a small record of a WW II operation not shown in any other movie to my knowledge.
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