Merrill's Marauders (1962) Movie Script

January, 1942...
...the high-water mark of Nazi conquest.
Hitler's armies hammered at the gateway
to the Near East.
Their Japanese allies
poured across Asia... irresistible flood of men
and weapons...
...driving to link up
with the Germans to the west...
...crushing the world between them.
Sweeping into Burma...
...they captured the vital air base
at Myitkyina and cut the Burma Road.
Our forces, pitifully weak...
...retreated along elephant trails,
through jungles...
...across rivers and mountains
to the temporary refuge of India.
General Joseph Stilwell
said the last word on the campaign.
I claim we got a hell of a beating.
We got run out of Burma,
and that's humiliating as hell.
I think we ought to find out
what caused it...
...go back and retake the place.
Meeting in Quebec...
...President Roosevelt
and Prime Minister Churchill...
...gathered their strength.
To India they sent our men.
Irish, English, Scot and Welsh.
Australian, New Zealander, Gurkha, Sikh.
And from the United States
came 3000 volunteers...
...seasoned jungle fighters...
...veterans of Guadalcanal,
New Guinea, Bougainville.
Men who responded to a call...
...for one dangerous
and hazardous operation somewhere.
Organized as the 5307th Composite
Unit Provisional...
...and placed under the command
of Brigadier General Frank D. Merrill...
...they became a part of the forces
which sought to regain Burma.
On January 4th, 1944,
the invasion was launched.
Merrill's mission:
To sneak behind enemy lines...
...surprise and destroy
the main Japanese supply base... North Burma, Walawbum.
Moving in three columns...
...spearheaded by an advance platoon,
its point...
...they succeeded
in making their way undetected...
...through 200 miles
of Japanese territory.
After three months
in the cruelest jungle on earth...
...the point was close to its goal.
Bend in the trail.
We better see
what's around the other end.
Come on, Wheeler.
A few miles to the rear...
...the main body reached
the last physical barrier to Walawbum...
...the Tange Ga River.
Private Driscoll, take cover!
Think that Japanese plane saw us?
Let's pray to God he didn't.
Sneaking 3000 men through
this damn jungle's gonna drive me nuts.
Come on, let's go!
- Private Driscoll.
- Yes, sir? Yes, sir?
What happened to you?
That plane could have spotted you.
I don't know what's eating me.
Going through this jungle's
driving me nuts.
Get moving.
I got 3000 nervous wrecks
on my hands, doc.
Ninety days and 90 nights
bellying behind Japanese lines...
...afraid to talk, afraid to breathe.
What do you expect?
Left guard, this is quarterback.
Come in, left guard.
Left guard to quarterback. Come in.
You think that plane spotted
any of your men?
No, sir.
We have good cover here from the air.
Well, what's your situation?
Scouts report 300 enemy
in village of Tange Ga.
Tell your patrols to steer clear of them
and stay out of sight.
Yes, sir.
Right guard, this is quarterback.
Come in, right guard.
Right guard to quarterback.
Come in, quarterback.
Left guard is crossing the river now.
When you reach it, move fast.
That plane's liable to come back
any minute. What's your picture?
Patrols report small enemy force
moving west along river bank.
Don't touch them.
Hold where you are until they pass.
Yes, sir.
Advise point
that we're moving out again.
Another bend in the road.
Wonder what's around this one.
Stock from quarterback.
Stock from quarterback.
Come in, Stock.
Quarterback to Stock!
Knock out that gun!
Quarterback to Stock,
knock out that gun.
See that, officer?
- Yeah.
- He's all yours.
Bullseye gets that officer,
you move in with smoke and frag.
- Aye.
- Bullseye.
Stay away from my ammo.
- Doskis.
- Yeah?
- Any of those Japanese get away?
- No, sir.
- Muley.
- Yes, sir?
- Where have you been?
- Watching out for Eleanor.
She could have got hurt.
O'Brien make it all right?
No, not with that leg.
Stock, you wouldn't leave me here?
You know we don't leave anybody,
I'll radio the column
and have them pick you up.
- Muley.
- Yeah, Stock?
- Stick with him.
- Yes, sir.
Let us go.
I got some extra smokes
stashed away in Eleanor's pack.
I'll dig them up for you.
We knocked out two guns, sir.
What took you so long?
I want news.
Have Taggy tap into that line
leading to those guns.
That line's been hit.
- Well, find another one.
- Yes, sir.
- All right.
Barney, have my battalion commanders
come up here right away.
- Hey, Taggy.
- Yeah?
Do you know enough Japanese to run
interference for me in a geisha house?
- What geisha house?
- In Tokyo, when we get there.
I'll teach you what I picked up
in Bataan.
From there on, you're on your own.
Hey, there's a wire.
I better climb and pick up some gossip
for the general.
Hey, Bullseye, what's eating you?
Come on, something's eating you.
What's eating you?
I'll tell you about one last time.
You stay away from my chow,
you hear me?
- Sir.
- General.
Well, now they know we're here.
In a way, it's a relief.
I can let my breath out.
Heh. I suggest you hold it
until we take Walawbum.
You think we ought to notify the British
we're not such a hot secret anymore?
It might change their plans
to link up with us.
I'd hate to be in the middle of Burma
all by ourselves.
Whether the British get there or not,
we've got to knock out Walawbum.
That's the job we volunteered for.
Chuck, your responsibility is gonna be
the underground ammo dump.
Yes, sir.
Sammy, your responsibility
is the communications center.
Sir, Lieutenant Stockton.
Go ahead, Stock.
Taggy intercepted
one of their messages, sir.
Here's his translation.
"Americans in our rear. Where?
How many? What's their strength?
Identify their units. "
Meet me at 0.33.
All right.
Gentlemen, there's a Japanese battalion
on its way to Walawbum.
We've gotta beat them there.
Twenty-mile march,
have your men drop their packs.
Yes, sir.
- Hello, Stock.
- Hello, general.
How's the voice on the radio
holding out?
Getting a little hoarse, sir.
You lost a little weight,
haven't you?
Look a little skinny yourself, sir.
Well, fatter than the last time
we were here.
It's a lot better when they ran us
out of this rattrap two years ago.
But it's still rough.
How do you like running
your own platoon?
You didn't tell me when you gave me
command, I'd be getting gray hairs also.
Hello, Stock.
Hello, doctor.
- Did you pick up Private O'Brien, sir?
- Mm-hm.
Is he gonna lose his leg?
Not if we can fly him back to India.
Hello, boys.
We'll fly him back
as soon as we take Walawbum.
You know, if someone could get in
behind them at Walawbum...
...and create a diversion,
it'd help an awful lot.
Why don't I get going?
Yeah, why don't you?
Doctor, general look okay to you, sir?
Nobody looks okay to me.
Keep an eye on him, will you, sir?
That's an unusual relationship between
a general and a second lieutenant.
Started a long time ago
when Merrill was a major...
...and Stock was a sergeant.
Some day, that boy's gonna be
a general, if he can lick one problem.
- Stock, Stock.
- What?
When Merrill put those bars on you...
...he made you the big wheel
in this platoon.
Don't be sticking your neck out for us
by taking the point.
Let one of those other knotheads do it.
You're right. Bullseye.
- Yo.
- Take the point.
Lucky boy.
Shut up.
Chowhound, keep him company.
- Hah!
- Ohh...
This way, buddy.
You want me to stay behind?
Squeeze that joker off
while you start the fireworks?
Uh-uh. I got your work cut out
at the ammo dump.
Put a man here to take care of that OP
when we blow up the rear.
Taggy, grenade that ammo truck.
Bullseye, you get that OP.
We attack in 33 seconds.
Right guard, sir.
- Have you lost your watch?
- No, sir.
Then why haven't you told me
you're ready?
You are ready, aren't you?
Just about, sir.
Just about isn't good enough.
Get cracking.
Yes, sir.
- Left guard, sir.
- All set?
Getting my heavy stuff
into position, sir.
What's holding you up?
We don't kick this off in time,
we've lost the element of surprise.
Here, use mine.
Stock's blown the ammo dump.
Okay, you're on your own.
- We're moving in, Frank.
- All right. Now hit them hard.
Put your weapon away, you won't
find any Japanese around here.
We've licked them, sir.
Are you sure?
Well, you better get out of here, sir.
- Nervous, Stock?
- Me?
Hell, no. Let's go.
You know...
...I like that boy.
He's relaxing.
- Hey, what's the matter with you?
- You stay away from my girl.
I recommend this guy for a Section 8.
When are we going home?
I don't know,
the general ain't checked yet.
- Level with us. When are we going?
- When we get replaced by the British.
- What's holding them up?
- The enemy, you meathead.
- Hey, Kolowicz.
- Yeah.
- When are we going home?
- Is that all you guys ever think about?
I've been thinking about it
ever since Guadalcanal.
Sarge, will you make him stop eating
that slop? Turning my stomach.
A little rice with some chocolate bars
chopped in. What's wrong with that?
Hey, Eleanor, want some chow?
- Taggy.
- Hmm?
How many times do I have to tell you?
Tuck in the shirt.
Why does my shirt
always bother you, sarge?
You look sloppy.
- Nobody said I was sloppy in Bataan.
- You ain't on Bataan.
Nobody said I was sloppy
when I escaped from the Philippines.
You ain't in the Philippines.
Nobody said I was sloppy
in that open boat to Australia.
You ain't in an open boat either.
Nobody minded how sloppy I looked
when I enlisted in the Army to fight.
- I'm a Filipino!
- Yeah, just tuck it.
And I will wear my shirt out
until all tyrants are dead.
- Death to the tyrant!
- All right.
- You got O'Brien's?
- Yeah.
- Addresses?
- Right here.
This letter's to his father.
I was with him once on furlough.
They were pretty close.
I can't write letters.
This one took me two hours.
The general, he's a great letter writer.
Wrote one for me once,
that time I was wounded.
He didn't have a home address for me
so he asked me for it.
I didn't have one, so I wasn't about
to tell him that. So I made up one.
He gave me the letter to read.
It was all about me and stuff like that.
I couldn't let a letter like that just go
any place, so I told him the truth.
I told him I didn't have anybody
for him to write to.
You can't guess what he did, Kolly.
He mailed that letter home to his wife
along with a picture of me.
You know what he said?
He said, "Sergeant...
...any time anybody wants to write home
about you, you give them my address. "
How can I write these letters?
- Stock, sergeant.
- General.
Any sign of anything coming
around that bend?
No, sir.
Alert your men
that General Stilwell's expected.
- Lf he shows up, let me know.
- Yes, sir.
How many?
When are those ambulance planes
getting here to pick up our wounded?
Plane was shot down by zeros
from Myitkyina.
Stock, what'd he say?
- When are we going home?
- You mean lieutenant.
From now on, he's the lieutenant,
you remember that.
Now, get back to your gun.
Oh, boy.
Why are you pulling rank for me?
I don't mind being called Stock.
- I like being close to my men.
- You're too close to them.
What's wrong with that?
You've gotta be able to write
those letters.
What'd the general say?
When are we going home?
- We're never going home.
- You talk like you got hit in the head.
Merrill got kicked out
of Burma, didn't he?
I got it from a guy
in the first battalion.
The general won't be happy...
...till every Japanese
is bounced out of Burma.
Come off it.
Merrill wants to get out of this place
just as bad as we do.
Somebody's coming.
Now, Eleanor, you just keep calm.
You ain't got a thing to worry about,
your Uncle Muley, he'll take care of you.
Ha-ha! Here they come, boys!
The British are here!
We've been relieved!
See? Just like I told you.
Just like I told you the other day,
the British are here. Come on!
The British are here!
Muley, Taggy, come look at this!
I told you, Doskis.
Boy, are we glad to see you guys.
Hey, what's your outfit?
The Queen's Own Royal
West Kent Regiment.
- Hey, that's a fancy name.
- How about that?
- What is your outfit?
- The 5307th Composite Unit.
Oh, quartermaster corps.
Do we look like supply clerks to you?
We're the United States Infantry
and death to the redcoats!
- Where you guys headed?
- Myitkyina.
Those poor guys.
Five hundred-mile hike from here.
Yeah, and the 18th Japanese
Imperial Division's there.
Man, am I glad
I'm not in that British army.
General Stilwell, gentlemen.
- Merrill, Bannister.
- General.
- How are you, Frank?
- Fine, sir.
Well, you would say that anyway.
I'll come right to the point, Frank.
You've got to take Myitkyina.
I thought that was a British mission.
It still is.
But Myitkyina's going to need all of us.
Well, my men have earned
a breather, general.
After Myitkyina.
Sir, we've taken a beating.
My people have got malaria, dengue,
dysentery, psychological fatigue.
Being behind the enemy lines
for three months has sapped them.
You've got to beat the monsoon, Frank.
That means moving right away.
We're not the only outfit in Burma.
You're the only American infantry
between New Guinea and Italy.
The British have been fighting here alone
three years now.
We've got to pull our weight.
I suggest you grab their railhead first
at this spot here, Shaduzup.
That will knock out their transportation.
Then cross the mountains to Myitkyina.
Sir, what the general is describing
is a six months' campaign...
...over the worst terrain in the world.
My men have just come 125 miles
through all sorts of hell.
To ask them to go another 500
and then fight a pitched battle...
...when they get there
is not only unfair, it's impossible.
And it's your job to do the impossible.
- Not without replacements.
- Replacements?
Every theater commander
is crying for replacements.
Eisenhower has got
first priority in Europe.
Then come MacArthur and Nimitz.
I'm a low man on the totem pole.
Frank, you're all I've got.
May I remind the general...
...every one of my men
is a two-year combat veteran.
They gave up earned furloughs so they
could volunteer for one mission.
They had one job to do and they did it.
Their job is to keep
the Japanese out of India...
...keep them from linking up
with the Germans.
That's my big nightmare, Frank.
One million Japanese
joining forces with the German army.
Myitkyina is the linchpin to Burma.
And Burma's the road to India.
It's gonna be tough, Frank,
but it's got to be done.
Oh, by the way, the newspaper boys
have made up a name for your men.
They're called the Marauders.
Come on, Eleanor.
Come on, Eleanor, come on.
- Come on, Eleanor!
Come on, Eleanor!
Lieutenant, lieutenant.
General Merrill wants to see you, sir.
Hey, you're gonna get the word now,
Sto... Lieutenant.
Hey, maybe they'll give us
a private plane.
Who cares what kind of a plane
as long as it's Bombay.
How far is Bombay from New York?
Maybe they'll give us a big parade
up Dewey Blvd. In Manila.
- Now, for some real chow.
- San Francisco, here I come.
- You sent for me, sir?
- What shape are your men in?
They're rich.
Our mule just won the race.
- And you?
- I didn't bet.
You know what I mean.
I have to admit, I'm looking
forward to getting back to Bombay.
Those eight men you lost,
that hit you pretty hard, didn't it?
They were my friends.
You think you can face
losing more of your friends?
We're not going back to Bombay,
are we?
Nope. We're going to Shaduzup.
There's a railhead there,
it has to be taken and held.
They're gonna be looking for us.
So we're gonna go there the hard way,
through the swamps.
Yes, sir.
Your men have been out at point
for a long stretch now.
They've got a break coming.
If you want me to,
I'll put another platoon out front.
You leaving me that choice?
That's right.
Well, that's a tough decision to make.
Can I think it over?
We're moving right out.
Why don't I get going?
Yeah, why don't you?
Don't you think you might have
told him about Myitkyina?
It's tough enough for him
to tell them what he's telling them now.
All right, take 10.
Oh, baby.
Well, how's it going, Chris?
Beats milking cows back in Kansas.
Better radio the column,
tell them we're taking a break.
Stock to quarterback, we're taking 10.
Battalion reports are no good.
They're out of food, water.
Sick list is growing.
They need more rest.
Who doesn't?
Behind our timetable now
on account of all this muck.
I don't know how they're doing it.
Typhus, malaria.
We're hurting. We're hurting, Frank.
You better get the column started,
All right, Frank.
What's the matter with you?
You look funny to me, general.
Heh. Funny.
You're not gonna pin
one of those little tags on me.
Pin it on your back,
they'll drag you out of here.
I told you, all I had was a dizzy spell,
maybe a touch of fever.
Nothing to it.
Open your shirt.
Will you stop apple-polishing?
You already took my blood pressure.
Open your shirt.
You're wasting my time.
Would you like me to cough?
How long you been getting away
with this?
Away with what?
- You don't have to lie, I'm your doctor.
- The last physical, I was topnotch.
- I don't believe you.
- A captain always believes a general.
How long have you been having
chest pains?
When was the last time
you had a pain in your left arm?
Did you go in a pool of sweat?
I'm in one now, damn it.
My men are liable to die in this swamp
without firing a shot.
Okay, okay.
I had one about a year ago,
three years ago, I...
In Tokyo, as military attach.
I was treated at a private hospital.
What was the diagnosis?
I'll tell you what it was. Heart.
Coronary thrombosis.
And you're on your way to another one.
Doc, keep this under your hat.
Captain Kolodny,
I'd like you to regard that as an order.
- Hey, Stock.
- Yeah.
Ain't this column got any food?
What do you bet
they're holding out on us?
Nobody's holding out on you,
We're all in the same boat.
Yeah, we could use one around here,
you know.
/I didn't know we have enough blood left
for these damn leeches.
Get Doskis.
Hey, Stock, on the level,
when we getting out of here?
Like I told you,
when we hit the railroad tracks.
Railroad tracks? Heh-heh. Is he kidding?
There ain't nothing at the end of this
swamp except maybe more swamp.
Relax, Bullseye.
Take advantage of the break.
How did you even get into this outfit,
They drafted Eleanor.
Where she goes, I go.
Yeah, you're two of a kind.
Boy, if my mother could see me now.
- You know, there was a time...
Hey, what time is it?
A.M. Or P. M?
A.M., you knothead.
Taggy, it's P.M.
It's night, it's getting dark.
You're out of your head.
It was night already.
Now, I'm watching very carefully.
It's P.M.
Okay, wise guy,
if you're so smart, what day is it?
It's Tuesday.
Everybody knows it's Sunday.
- It's Tuesday.
- It's Sunday.
You been hearing church bells
or something?
You both got battle fatigue.
It's Wednesday.
How do you know? You got a calendar?
- It's my birthday.
- Let's bake a cake.
I got a better idea.
Let's have some steaks.
You better knock that idea
right out of your mouth, Chowhound.
People eat horses. What's the matter?
Nobody eats mule meat
until I tell you to.
Now, get some shuteye
for a few minutes.
All of you.
Whoa, baby. Now, just settle down.
That's it.
When I close my eyes,
I see a mule's behind.
Also when I open them.
What's wrong with Doskis?
Are you sure?
He's got the rash,
and I found a bug bite in his leg.
He's running 105.
Does he know it?
He thinks it's malaria.
Tag him that.
Yes, sir.
All right, knock it off.
Knock it off, knock it off. Come on.
Chowhound. Come on.
You guys wanna fight,
wait till we find some more Japanese.
I caught Chowhound
going through my pack.
This phony muleskinner's
hoarding the food.
What did you do with the K rations...
...I saw you put in that pack?
- I gave them to you last week... crazy tapeworm!
Let's go.
Lieutenant Stockton.
- What's holding you up?
- One of my men's down.
- Who is it?
- Corporal Doskis.
What's the matter with him?
- What did you tag him?
- Malaria.
- Got many cases?
- Got too many.
Railroad tracks
shouldn't be too far away now.
I wonder if he made contact
with anybody.
Over here, general.
I found the railroad tracks.
Barney, send for a food drop.
See, just like I told you, Eleanor...
...Uncle Muley said
he'd get you out of this swamp.
Reached rear base loud and clear
on the radio, sir.
The food is on the way.
All right, everybody, back
in the swamp and keep moving.
Aren't we gonna wait for the air drop,
- These men are starving.
- I'd rather have them hungry than dead.
Parachutes will bring
the enemy to this spot.
We're not gonna be here.
What do we do for food?
Fight for it.
Right at the end of those tracks
is our objective.
We'll eat Japanese food.
I want everybody in the swamp.
Get moving!
All of you, in the swamp!
Get moving!
Stock, let me have that hot one.
I'm not gonna hurt you.
Come on, let's get you over here.
Let's have a look at this, young lady.
Hey, look, hey.
Watch me.
See? Won't hurt you.
That ought to hold it.
Get you over to the doc...
...and see if we can't get
that piece of shrapnel out of there.
Take care of her.
She's got steel in her thigh.
- I gave her some sulfur.
- Sure, Stock.
Hey. Heh.
Hey, he's not gonna hurt you. There.
Hey, it's going to be all right.
Go on now, he's gonna
take care of your leg.
Here you are, Eleanor.
It's genuine Shaduzup H20.
Hey, Bullseye.
Are the landing strips ready?
The wounded all set for evacuation.
Hey, you out of pipe tobacco?
No, I guess I lost my pouch
in the swamp somewhere.
Signal from headquarters.
Northern Combat Command.
General Stilwell is messaging you, sir.
Ben, give him a hand decoding,
will you?
Yes, sir.
Do you have a match?
He sure doesn't waste much time,
does he?
Well, doc...
...what's the score?
You want details?
No, no, just the bottom line.
The 5307th has collapsed.
From a medical viewpoint,
they're finished as a fighting unit.
Could I have that fire? I don't seem
to be able to get this pipe going.
I have never seen human beings
in such condition.
Drained. Physically
and psychologically drained.
I'm not tagging them
for specific ailments.
Simply marking every man
in the outfit AOE.
Accumulation of everything.
They're through.
I have General Stilwell's message, sir.
Read it.
"Three Japanese divisions invading India.
Imperative we take Myitkyina.
Can you do it?"
Frank, he's asking if we can do it.
- That lets us out.
- Does it?
Of course it does. He's not ordering us
to go to Myitkyina.
He's leaving it up to you.
Yeah. Yeah, he's leaving it up
to me, all right.
All right, doc.
Let's have a look at this
washed-up outfit of ours...
...before I make up my mind whether
or not we can go on to Myitkyina.
May I ask you a question, general?
What are you looking for?
Something that's not
in your medical book, doc.
- Can I get out of line?
- No.
All right, forget about the Army.
This is just between doctor and patient.
Answer's still no.
All right, then I'm going to talk to you
as a friend.
If you're thinking about sending
these men to Myitkyina, don't do it.
You'll never be able
to live with yourself.
How do you know what I'm able
to live with?
I wouldn't want it on my conscience.
Nobody wants you to have anything
on your conscience.
You're being paid to make diagnoses,
I'm paid to make decisions.
I hope your decision is as accurate
as my diagnosis.
Checking on your diagnosis
right now.
- Who's going to check on your decision?
- Me.
You're kidding yourself, general.
You got no decision to make.
These men are at the end of their rope,
and so are you.
When you're at the end of your rope,
all you have to do... make one foot move out
in front of the other.
You just take the next step.
That's all there is to it.
Who are you?
Merrill. Who are you?
Did Lemcheck make it?
Did Lemcheck make it?
I saw him get hit.
Poor Lemcheck.
Poor Lemcheck...
He's dead.
Did Lemcheck make it?
He's Lemcheck.
Chris, headquarters needs
another radio man.
Taggy, you go along with him.
They've got some captured
Japanese documents need translating.
Kolowicz, put four men on security.
Bullseye, pick up eight cases of ammo
for the platoon.
What's Merrill volunteering us for
this time?
We're low. Get the ammo.
I don't need any ammo.
Damn it, I'm not fighting anybody.
Pick up the ammo, Bullseye.
Tell Merrill to pick it up himself.
- What did you say?
- I said, tell Merrill to pick it up himself.
I've taken my last order
from that butcher.
I'm sorry, Stock.
I didn't mean it.
I didn't either.
- I'll get the ammo.
- I'll give him a hand, lieutenant.
- They're coming apart.
- Yeah.
Yeah, we all are.
Well, I hope Merrill don't take us
any further than this.
What's left of us.
"I just made...
...the most...
...difficult decision...
...of my life.
I pray...
...I've chosen correctly.
Kiss the children for me.
My love... you, as always.
Frank. "
Hello, Stock.
Message to General Stilwell
transmitted, sir.
Thank you.
I've never asked a favor of you before,
but I've gotta ask one now.
I'd like your permission to tell my men
when they're going home.
Stock, I've just radioed General Stilwell
that I've decided to go into Myitkyina.
- To Myitkyina?
- Yup.
I told him, in my opinion,
we can take the base.
Sir, my men can't make it.
Yes, they can.
- You don't know my men.
- I know them better than you do.
General, it's not that they don't want
to fight. They can't.
They just can't physically fight anymore.
If they've got a single ounce of strength
left in them, they can fight.
Men don't mean anything to you,
do they?
They're just two legs to walk with,
shoulders to carry a pack...
...pair of hands to shoot a rifle,
that's all.
When I pinned those bars on you,
I made a leader out of you.
And when you lead,
you have to hurt people.
The enemy and sometimes your own.
I don't want any more
of my men butchered.
And I request to be relieved
of the command of my platoon.
Request denied. I need you too much.
Pick that up.
Pick up the ammo belt and put it on.
Here you go.
Hold on to that ammo.
You're no good to me dead.
- Go on, O'Steen.
- Yes, sir.
What's holding it up?
Come on, let's move out.
Come on now, Eleanor. Come on, baby.
Now, come on, Eleanor,
you volunteered for this too.
- Ready to shove her over.
- No!
You can't do that, sarge.
She'll be all right after a little rest.
Her load's too heavy.
Muley, she's holding up
the whole column.
Wait, I'll carry her load!
Bullseye, give me a hand
with this pack.
Come on, Eleanor,
we can climb this little old hill.
Just like old Uncle Muley told you.
We made it, Eleanor.
Come on, Muley.
Watch your head, come on.
Over yonder is Myitkyina.
You don't agree with what I'm doing,
do you, Barney?
Well, the textbooks would say
that dividing our forces at this point...
...invites piecemeal destruction.
I wouldn't teach students
this sort of thing.
But if we can make the Japanese think...
...that there's twice as many of us
as there are...
Well, what would you do
if it were your decision?
I'd go through the same hell
that you did making yours.
How long do you figure
before you can hit the base?
In our condition, 24 hours.
Eighteenth Japanese Division
will be waiting there for us.
Do you feel anything?
- Rain.
- Yeah.
Yeah, only a few drops,
but it could be the beginning.
We've got to beat that monsoon.
When this is all over,
you know what I'm going to do?
I'm gonna get married.
I'm gonna have about six kids.
I'll line them up against the wall and tell
them what it was like here in Burma.
And if they don't cry,
I'll beat the hell out of them.
I'll see you in Myitkyina.
So long, friend.
Request general's permission
to bury my man here.
In there.
Get on that radio.
Find out if Bannister's been hit.
Wonder what they're up to next.
There's only one way to find out.
Pass the word. Taggy's going out.
Enemy infiltration increasing along
the first battalion right flank, sir.
- Who's holding that position?
- Stock's platoon, sir.
Hey, sarge?
Kolowicz, where are you?
Sarge, hey, sarge.
Now, you keep your mouth shut.
Don't shoot. It's Taggy, I'm coming in.
- Did you learn anything?
- Banzai when it gets light.
Are you hurt?
A little.
Infiltration's stopped, sir.
Stock's okay, sir.
I just talked to his radio man.
You got good cover in here, Eleanor.
Taggy got some dope.
There's a banzai at dawn.
Terry, pass the word along the line.
- Stock.
- Yes, sir?
That's all.
Stay awake, soldier. Banzai at dawn.
Banzai at dawn, Kolly.
Banzai at dawn.
Banzai at dawn.
Banzai at dawn. Banzai at dawn.
- Here.
- It's your last one, sir.
Go on, take it.
Doc says smoking's bad for me.
Come in, left guard.
We're pinned down
by heavy gun fire from west of here.
Send medics, send medics.
Victor to Tom, I have fallen back.
I am reorganizing and digging in.
Lou hit by enemy sniper.
Suggest you get down at once.
All units! Enemy making
heavy rush through center.
Breakthrough! Breakthrough!
Left guard to quarterback.
Japanese falling back.
Right guard to quarterback.
Enemy pulling out.
- We beat them off, they're running.
- But why?
Quarterback to Bannister.
Come in, Bannister.
This is Bannister. Come in, quarterback.
- What is your situation?
- We've reached the airstrip.
We're attacking. Resistance is heavy.
It's gonna get heavier.
That's the reason
the Japanese are pulling out.
Heading back to Myitkyina to defend
the airstrip. We'd better get a move on.
Notify battalion
to assemble all able-bodied men.
- We're moving on Myitkyina.
- Yes, sir.
I want every man who can walk,
every man who can carry a rifle.
- You cannot order these men to fight.
- Every man who can carry a rifle!
Bannister needs one more push.
With these men we can...
You cannot order them to fight.
They'll never make it.
You'll never make it.
Doc, just give me something
to keep me on my feet 24 hours.
- That's all I ask, 24 hours.
- You're asking for a miracle, general.
I don't have any up my sleeve
and neither have you.
A miracle isn't called for.
Just another step. Just one more step!
All right, everybody, on your feet.
As long as you can breathe,
you can fight.
Come on, boy, pick up that rifle.
Come on, son, follow me.
You can make it.
All you have to do is take that next step.
That's all there is to it,
just put one foot in front of the other.
Come on, let's go!
You heard the general.
On your feet.
Kolowicz, move out.
Chris, let's go.
Move out.
Let's go.
What sort of men are these?
How do they do it?
How can they do it?
But they did it. They did the impossible.
They took Myitkyina.
On that day of victory, of the 3000
volunteers who marched into Burma...
...only 100 remained in action.
On that same day,
Merrill's Marauders were demobilized...
...and thus ceased to exist officially.
But by order
of the president of the United States...
...a special-unit citation
was awarded these men... that history
would never forget them.
Today, their traditions are being carried
on by the U.S. Army Special Forces...
...and the other proud units
of the United States Army.
We salute them all.