It’s August 1944, and a small band of Marines find themselves perilously close to an approaching Nazi patrol in eastern France. Running for their lives, the Americans take refuge in a nearby village to regroup and perhaps come up with a plan to escape.
And as fire comes in from all sides, the situation looks desperate for the trapped Marines. Cut off from the rest of their group, three men – Major Peter Ortiz and Sergeants Jack Risler and John Bodnar – attempt to dodge the hail of German ammunition by darting between dwellings. The U.S. soldiers try to give as good as they get, however, by returning fire.
Given their heavy artillery, though, the German forces look set to come in and take the village. And Major Ortiz realizes the ramifications of that situation for the locals: the villagers would likely suffer reprisals from the Nazi troops for having seemingly helped the Marines. So, the major does something rather unexpected: he tries to negotiate with the enemy.