During the second-half of 1944, various Allied units stationed in Belgium attempt to smash their way through the tough German defenses at the Siegfried Line. If successful, the way to Germany is wide-open. One of these units is the American 3rd Armored Division. The film's story concerns a particular five-tank platoon, commanded by Lt. Rawson, the best platoon in Captain Bob Horner's Company C. During an ambush, the lead tank, California Jane, commanded by Master Sgt. Joe Davis, is seriously damaged by a German Panther tank. Davis is severely wounded and his driver is killed. Soon after, a replacement sergeant takes over Davis' role. However, the new man, staff sergeant Francis Aloysius Sullivan is cocky, heartless and tactless. His behavior frustrates both his men and his superiors. Many suspect that Sullivan is a show-off, and eager for an aggressive combat style in order to receive promotions, medals and praises. Some of the other men in the platoon are Danny Kolowicz, Sgt. Lemchek...
The Happy, Scrappy Story of those Hit-'Em-First Heroes!
Did You Know?
In all of his films, Samuel Fuller
--who wrote the story for this film, but not the screenplay--has a character named "Lemcheck". In this film it's a sergeant, played by Harry Bellaver
. See more
The main characters are assigned to crew an M26 Pershing tank armed with a 90 millimeter gun, with which they breach the Siegfried Line in Germany sometime in the Fall of 1944. In actuality, the M26 Pershing did not become operational until February 1945. Furthermore, the actual tank used in the movie was an M46 Patton, a post-World War II upgrade of the M26 which did not enter service until 1949. See more
Referenced in Family Viewing
The Washington Post
Music by John Philip Sousa
Played when the tanks roll into Mons See more