Set during one of the Second World Wars most shocking and unforgettable battles - the battle of Hurtgen Forest in the fall of 1944. American forces are under orders to secure a bridge flanked by enemy tanks. Men already trapped in a hellish minefield face death from all sides as shells rain down from the sky. Hundreds of lives have been lost, and the surviving troops are bloodied and shell-shocked. There are only four renegade soldiers remaining, who all have one thing in common: a desperate will to stay alive.
John Irvin directed this gripping and effective WWII drama set amid the carnage and slaughter of the Hurtgen Forest battle when the Allies moved on toward Germany in the fall of 1944. Private Manning (Ron Eldard) hopes for a Section 8 switch away from the frontline combat, but when hes the only survivor of his platoon, Captain Pritchett (Martin Donovan) is so impressed he upgrades Manning to sergeant. This irritates Sgt. Talbot (Dylan Bruno) who views Manning as a coward. Manning is put in charge of a group of awkward recruits, including the clumsy Sanderson (Zak Orth), as the Allies prepare to take a key location, a well-defended bridge. Shown at the 1998 Seattle Film Festival, this television production had its HBO premiere on June 27, 1998.
In WWII Western Germany, Private David Manning (Ron Eldard) reluctantly leaves behind a mortally wounded fellow soldier and searches for survivors from his platoon, only to learn from commanding officer Captain Pritchett that they have all been killed in action. Despite requesting a discharge on the grounds of mental disability, Manning is promoted to sergeant and assigned to lead a new platoon of young inductees.