In 1944 German sergeant Rolf Steiner is on the Russian Front where out of frustration he hits an officer. Steiner is sent on leave to Paris to avoid further incidents. In Paris news of the Allied Invasion of Normandy arrive and Steiner meets up with his unit there being recently transferred from Russia. Steiner finds out that his old company commander from the Russian Front, Major Von Stransky, is his new commander. Steiner and Von Stransky hate one another. The German general in charge of the area is General Hofmann who's a member of the conspiracy to kill Hitler. Hofmann hopes to surrender his troops to the Americans. He reveals his plans to Sergeant Steiner and asks Steiner to meet the Americans to negotiate a possible surrender if Hitler is eliminated. When the plot to kill Hitler fails, the surrender plan is in jeopardy.
Burton...Mitchum...Steiger...Enemies...Yet Allies In Combat With Destiny!
Did You Know?
was felt to be miscast as Steiner, since he looked too old for the character and sounded too English to be convincing as a German. See more
Some German soldiers are seen carrying American M1 rifles, even at the Russian front scenes. See more
Sgt. Rolf Steiner
NCOs cannot resign.
A longer German language version runs at 126 minutes, extra scenes includes:
- An opening scene that starts at the railway station, Rolf Steiner and Paul Anselm meet again and discuss their current predicament. Captain Stransky appears out of the station building and sends Steiner and Anselm to check out a railway tunnel down the line. Steiner and Anselm meet up with Corporal Kruger before returning to the station. (8mins approx)
- When Steiner returns to German lines, the scene where he meets his new platoon is longer and includes introductions to new comrades Rothe, Dorfmann and Keppel.
- An extended scene between Yvette and Steiner at her apartment.
- Steiner is mocked by an old woman as he leaves Yvette's apartment.
- The two orphaned children Steiner looks at, at the end turn up earlier and throw rocks at Steiner.
- The final battle is extended, there is more footage of the American GIs attacking the town, the American tanks cause greater damage to the town. Steiner shoots GIs whilst trying to defend the townspeople.
Follows Cross of Iron