Battle of the Bulge

   

 

              Our column has made the farthest advance! We have outrun the other Panzers! The eye   

                      of Germany are on us! The Fuhrer himself will decorate me. We have done it Conrad!        

                                       We have done it!

 

Lt. Colonel Daniel Kiley and his pilot, Joe, are flying a reconnaissance mission over the Ardennes forest, spotting a German staff car. On the ground, Colonel Martin Hessler is briefed by his superior, General Kohler. Kohler points out a clock with a 50-hour countdown: the time allotted for the mission, beyond which the odds of success will fall off. At the same time, German soldiers disguised as American soldiers, led by Lieutenant Schumacher are given the task to seize vital bridges behind the Allied front lines. Meanwhile, Kiley returns to headquarters where he warns that Germany is planning one more all-out offensive.  His superiors, General Grey and Colonel Pritchard dismiss it out of hand: all intelligence points to Germany not having the resources and manpower to launch another attack.

Hoping to uncover more proof, Kiley visits a U.S. infantry position on the Siegfried Line under command of Major Wolenski (Charles Bronson). A patrol led by Lieutenant Weaver and Sergeant Duquesne  capture some young Germans. Kiley concludes experienced German troops have been replaced by these men and withdrawn for an offensive, but Pritchard dismisses this as well.  Hessler launches his attack the next day. Awakened by the noise of German tanks, Wolenski leads his men into the wooded area of the Schnee Eifel where his men try to stand their ground but are overrun. A group of Allied tanks led by Sgt. Guffy, attempt to slow the Panzers, but the tanks' weak guns and thin armor make them ineffective, forcing him and his crew to retreat.

Lt. Schumacher and his disguised troops capture the only bridge over the River capable of carrying heavy tanks. Hessler continues his spearhead toward Amel|Ambleve, while being observed by Kiley. Schumacher later takes control of a vital intersection of three roads connecting Ambleve, Malmedy, and the Siegfried Line.  Schumacher sabotages the road signs, and the rear echelon of Wolenski's troops take the wrong road to Malmedy, and almost the entire unit is captured and Malmedy massacre|massacred. Lt. Weaver manages to escape, but Duquesne is killed.  U.S. soldiers become suspicious when they witness his military police lay explosives incorrectly on the Our bridge, and Schumacher's masquerade is revealed. Hessler's tanks and infantry storm Ambleve, finally taking the town. Although many Americans, including Wolenski, are captured, Grey, Pritchard, Kiley, and others escape to the River Meuse.

American forces regroup and begin to reorganize for a counterattack. Facing the dangers of a foggy night, Col. Kiley conducts an aerial reconnaissance in an attempt to locate the main German spearhead. He orders the pilot to shut off the engine and glide in an attempt to listen for enemy tanks. Suddenly through a gap in the fog he spots the jackpot: Hessler's tank column heading toward American lines. Kiley radios in the coordinates, but is hit by German fire and crashes near an American fuel depot.

Meanwhile, General Grey's forces, with the river Meuse at their back, prepare to fight off Hessler. The outgunned, out-armored American tanks are systematically destroyed, but at the cost of the Germans burning up much of their fuel. Guffey, Weaver, and the surviving Americans head to the depot. Aware of the fuel shortages, Hessler leads a detachment toward the depot to capture its stocks. Weaver and the stragglers arrive first, taking out Schumacher's men who had taken control of the fuel dump. The U.S. defenders flood the road with gasoline where they are set ablaze. Nearly all of the German tanks are destroyed in the fire, including Hessler's. The remaining Germans give up the attack, marching back to Germany.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Movie Script

Directed by Ken Annakin
Produced by Sidney Harmon
Milton Sperling
Philip Yordan
Written by Bernard Gordon
John Melson
Milton Sperling
Philip Yordan
Starring Henry Fonda
Robert Shaw
Robert Ryan
Music by Benjamin Frankel
Distributed by Warner Brothers
Release date(s) December 16, 1965
Running time 167 min.
Language English
Budget  

 

 

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