The movie Saving Private Ryan, directed by Steven Spielberg is a brilliant compilation of both fact and fiction. Covering not only the events of the D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach of Normandy during Operation Overlord, a compelling search for one soldier in the midst of many dead, wounded, and missing men scattering the countryside, as well as the efforts of the U.S. to stop the Germans at any cost. Although there are a few untruths, both large and small, this movie is a modern marvel of war movies.
After the opening scenes of an old man standing at a grave, the flashback begins. The viewer is now transported back in time to June 4, 1944 and is now in the midst of the attack waves at the Dog Green Sector of Omaha Beach during Operation Overlord, the code name for the cross channel invasion of France at Normandy. Traveling along with the 2nd Ranger Battalion, the viewer is introduced to a modern day realistic view of the carnage that met these brave soldiers. Now, under heavy attack from the highly trained German 352nd Infantry Division, CPT Miller (Tom Hanks) must lead his troops not only to safety, but to also take the beachhead.
For the sake of truth, the D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach was actually on June 6, 1944. The original plan under Operation Overlord was to begin on June 4th, but was postponed due to unfavorable weather conditions.
Now, upon regrouping, CPT Miller is presented with a new mission. He and his remaining troops are to locate and extract PVT James Francis Ryan. He had three older brothers that were killed in action in the war. He was to be returned home. Along the way, Miller and his squad faced a number of obstacles. The 101st Airborne Division had been scattered all over the area due to pilot error, inexperience, and heavy attack by the Germans. Many died, captured, and wounded, and numbers of them were left roaming the countryside looking for other allied units.