Directed: Boris Sagal
Written: Robert Pirosh
Released: 18 Dec 1962
We find the squad hunkered down in a barn somewhere in France. Some of the troopers are sleeping while rain is pouring outside. Sgt. Saunders enters the barn and sounding cheery, starts a conversation with the guys that soon turn into a discussion about how Braddock won the D-Day pool. They wanted to have a similar pool for when they all go marching into Paris. This brightens up the mood inside the barn as Saunders lights a small cigar to recount the story.
I think this is the first time I’ve seen Saunders light one of these up. He usually smokes cigarettes. I wish I could tell what brand of smokes they’re smoking. If anybody knows, I’d appreciate it.
It all started in England. The guys are lucky if they get to go to London every once in awhile. SSgt Hanley is saying goodbye to his girl Hazel. A blonde cockney accented bombshell, who Hanley says he has “built that fire in town” in a later argument with Saunders. This comical interaction between them is pretty funny because in later time they’re always so serious with each other.
In the meantime, Braddock is desperate to know what the weather is going to be like since he wants to know whether to buy a lottery ticket for D-Day.
What was it like during the long uncertain wait? Each man dealt with their emotions in their own way. Whether playing dice, brooding, singing that annoying French song about sheep to slaughter that Caje was singing with his best friend. That song was so annoying. I’m surprised somebody didn’t put a stop to it because they kept singing it all the way into when they were at sea underneath the decks on their way to Omaha beach for the landing.
All the guys have PA142 on their helmets. I guess that was the landing craft designation?
Also note that Hanley is a Staff Sergent. In the beginning, Doc mentions that Braddock won the lottery before Hanley got his battlefield promotion to 2nd Lt. after D-Day.
The D-Day landing scene was pretty good. Omaha beach was one of the hardest fought landings and they did a great job of showing it.
One sad thing was that Caje’s best buddy get’s it by a German machine gunner. Caje is devastated. This is the only episode, with the exception of one more about a girl named Micheline that I’ve seen Caje act unsoldierly. He actually panicked at one point after they were tasked to go help out some Paratroopers in a farmhouse.
The squad get’s pinned down and Caje runs off in panic. He then meets a couple of Frenchmen and a woman. They exchange dialog with each other and the French are with the resistance and show Caje where some hidden weapons are located.
Saunders readies the guys to all open up at once when Caje comes running up with a Lewis gun that the British had dropped to the French resistance.
They open up on the Germans with small arms and grenade launchers. Caje lays down automatic weapons fire while Braddock fires grenades out of his M1 but is hopeless with it. While Saunders is sneaking up on the tank to drop a grenade in, Braddock keeps launching grenades and almost hitting him. It was all comedic though. I also just noticed something. The rifle grenades Braddock was launching were the practice grenades. Good enough for a prop but might have been noticed by vets.
All during this entire firefight, Braddock keeps messing with his sock that contains the D-Day lottery money that he had won. Finally, he sets the stash inside of his socks on a log and forgets about it. Then after the firefight, Braddock runs back to where the sock is only to see an artillery shell land on it and it blowing the money all to pieces.
Then classic Sgt. Saunders sneaks up behind the tank while Hanley lays down cover fire with a Lewis gun while he’s being accompanied by the beautiful French partisan fighter woman. I thought it was funny how she hung on to her basket containing both the Molotov cocktails and the wine to celebrate after the victory. The action is pretty intense, how Hanley didn’t get hit, I’ll never know.
After winning the battle, the squad round up the German prisoners and Hanley and Saunders is being congratulated by the French girl. They begin their competition once again and has Caje teach them the word for “I love you”, J’taime.
But, it’s Caje that gets the better of both of them in the end by getting the girl.
In this episode, Saunders doesn’t have his trademark Thompson machine gun. He is seen in the last scene carrying a MP-40.
Personally, I would have loved to have had the MP-40 for my own weapon. Finding spare ammo would’ve been problematic though since you would always have to take it off a dead German.
With all the shooting, I only saw Saunders take out the tank which normally has a crew of 4, so assuming everybody in the tank was killed, I would credit him with 4 killed. However, seeings how a Molotov cocktail wouldn’t actually affect the interior of the tank, those kills are assumed and not confirmed so I really can’t credit him with any.
Hanley shot 4 Germans with the Lewis gun.