The First Hand Accounts of Soldiers at War on D-Day in Days of Days and Saving Private Ryan

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Updated: Nov 14, 2022
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The experiences depicted in Days of Days. And Saving Private Ryan, provide and empathetic alternative towards understanding the first hand accounts of soldiers at war on D-Day. Dwayne T. Burns, a private with the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, explained the flight, “the plane is bouncing like something gone wild” (2 D-Day). The atmosphere of the invasion in Normandy was similar to the landing in Days of Days as the soldiers were under fire and receiving turbulence. Nash cited 22 B-17 aircraft casualties along with 1,000 airmen deaths which was vividly depicted in this episode (630).

Although the film did not demonstrate “how quiet it is outside” (2 D-Day). During the drop zone attempts, the wartime atmosphere from the parachuting soldiers showed. The reckless nature in Normandy in 1944. However, according to John Robinson, a pilot in the 344th Bomb Group, every crew member on the their airplane was given pills to keep everyone awake (1 D-Day). In Days of Days a few fighters on the flight were sleeping on the way to their drop zone. Although the last minute prayers and naivenervousness accurately depict soldier actions during D-Day, this scene of fighters sleeping on the plane in unlikely according to Robinson. Thirdly, Saving Private Ryan gave the reader an understanding of the sorrow each gold star mother experienced. The likelihood of an attempt to retrieve a soldier far away from Tom Hank’s naval base is not necessarily falsifiable through Nash’s book; however, it shows the reader the impact the death of a song had on a mother.

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The experiences depicted in The Pacific and Flags of Our Fathers demonstrate several accurate and relatable perspectives from the soldiers in Helmet for My Pillow and Chuck Tatum’s first-hand account of landing on Iwo Jima. In Helmet For My Pillow, Robert Leckie explains the fearful atmosphere of nighttime in Guadalcanal, “It was a darkness without time…I could hear the enemy everywhere about me. whispering to each other and calling my name (72-73).

Similarly, in the Pacific, friendly fire occurred when a soldier went to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The fear inspired by the American soldiers caused some men to unintentionally shoot a moving being in the forest. Furthermore, the “brutal and dehumanizing” (629) tactics used by the Japanese were displayed accurately in this movie.

With American soldiers hung on trees and poked out eyeballs one can understand through The Pacific how ruthless the Japanese were. Another similarity occurs in Flags of Our Fathers and Chuck Tatum’s first hand account of landing on Iwo Jima. Through thousands of casualties and constant stress Tatum describes Iwo Jima as “a 36-day descent into hell”. Although the viewer can not necessarily empathize with the soldiers in the amphibious attack, the portrayal of the merciless Japanese is accurately depicted by their constant will to fight Although outnumbered, the well disguised Japanese in Flags of Our Fathers shoot every soldier they can and fight until their death.

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The First Hand Accounts of Soldiers at War on D-Day in Days of Days and Saving Private Ryan. (2022, Nov 14). Retrieved from