Saturday, 25 August 2012

Everyman's War Sgt Don Smith

Whereas a great deal is known about Audie Murphy, his wartime exploits and his film career I suspect no one still had heard the name of Sgt Don Smith who is the subject of Everyman’s War and served in the USA 94th Infantry Division. His story is covered by the film title of Everyman’s War. I was not able to substantiate the facts separately from those in the film.

He is portrayed as an ordinary young man who was attracted to a young woman who moved from his home area about the time he was called up as a Private in the Infantry and sent over to Europe via England to take part in the Battle of the Bulge. It is a conventional tale told many times of young men who becomes hardened by the reality of fighting and who suddenly finds themselves in a situation where he is called upon to exercise a significant act of courage which had significant impact on the future lives of his comrades as well as affecting the outcome of an aspect of a battle. In this assistance having been placed in charge of a group asked to take and hold a position having been promoted to Sgt he discovers that the enemy have launched a counter offensive on during sub zero conditions and a blizzard and made his way wounded and unarmed to the local military HQ to warn of the coming attack.

He returns home and decides to follow up the girl he left behind and the film closes with the couple now in the late autumn of their years looking back on their life together and he on his experience still regretting the loss of comrades and that he has become one of the last surviving of those involved. The film was originally released in Spain as Los Héroes de Las Ardenas and is based on a book published and advertised of the site of the 94th regiment.

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