a 1954 photo of audie murphy in the film to
hell and back. lieutenant murphy properly positions his company to
defend the colmar pocket area outside of holtzwihr, france. unfortunately, he is
unable to establish contact with able and charlie companies who are supposed to be on his
left and right flanks. he discovers, after notifying the battalion commander of the
problem, that the other two companies have been held up.
suddenly, two reinforced companies of dismounted german infantry and six enemy tiger tanks arrive and begin pounding baker company. baker company, already decimated from 120 men to 18, immediately suffers more losses. two m10 tank destroyers, which have been placed in direct support to baker company, are lost when one is knocked out of action due to tank fire and the other gets stuck in a ditch. because it cannot depress its gun barrel enough to effectively engage the german tanks, the second m10 crew evacuates the stranded vehicle.
lieutenant murphy tells all of his men to fall back to a protected area but realizes that the colmar pocket must be held. lieutenant murphy also knows that he needs to keep one man forward to call artillery in on the enemy. because of his experience and skill in doing just this sort of mission, he decides that he is the person for the job.
lieutenant murphy begins directing the artillery and manages to turn the enemy tanks around. lieutenant murphy tells the fire support officer over the telephone to continue "firing for effect" at the dismounted infantry despite the fact that enemy is now on top of lieutenant murphy's own position.
when the fire support officer asks lieutenant murphy how close the enemy is, he yells into the land-line "hold the phone and i'll let you talk to them."
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