MikeH

Question: When several soldiers surrender, why was the first one shot? I'm not referring to the end, I'm referring to the opening battle, when several surrendered, and only the first was shot.

MikeH

Answer: In the D-Day scene at the beginning of the battle, when the Germans surrender after a brief Trench Battle, one gets shot. I think this is because one soldier was still very tense and shot the German because he didn't see his hands up in the fight or flight response he was having.

Chosen answer: If you're referring to the very end of the film when the Germans surrendered, the guy shot was the same guy they had found earlier at the machine gun nest when their medic was killed. They had let that guy go. Then it turned out he was the one that shot and killed Tom Hanks, so he was killed because of this.

Quantom X Premium member

Question: Why did Upham tell the soldiers to drop their weapons instead of shooting them? Why did they surrender instead of shooting him? And why did he then let them go?

MikeH

Answer: Upham was not a hardened war vet like the men in his squad. He seen Steam boat Willie shoot Miller which made him furious because of how desperately he tried to save Willies life at the Radar tower so he felt betrayed and guilty for not listening to his squad so he finished the job he didn't have the heart to do before by killing Willie. He let the others go because he didn't have a problem with them. The surrendering Germans knew the Americans were inbound after tank was destroyed so they gave up immediately.

Chosen answer: He was alone and probably couldn't have shot them all before being shot himself. However, he was in a perfect position to make them surrender as none of them wanted to be the one to get shot for aiming their rifle at him. He didn't let them go, he told them to start walking in one direction as his prisoners.

lionhead

Question: Why didn't they just shoot Steamboat Willie on sight? And once they decided not to kill him, why couldn't they call a chopper to come take him? Also, why were they so intent on committing a war crime by killing him once he'd surrendered? I know he killed Wade, but that's just what happens in war.

MikeH

Chosen answer: Rules of war are when someone surrenders you take him prisoner and are not allowed to kill him, they followed the rules of war. They are all very emotional from the battle and losing a friend and fellow soldier though and they wanted a scapegoat. They were behind enemy lines so nobody could come to pick up the prisoner, as the lieutenant explained, and helicopters weren't really around in WW2.

lionhead

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.