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True Story -- Saving Private Niland

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  • True Story -- Saving Private Niland

    Last night while at work, I read Stephen Amrose's book on D-Day. On pages 316-317 he tells the story of a set of brothers who were killed in action. The story sounds freakishly familiar like that of Saving Private Ryan.

    Here goes the story. Sgt Niland was ordered to act as a reaguard to cover the withdraw of 3rd platoon, D company, 2nd battalion, 505th PIR near St. Mear Eglise. He was eventually killed when the machine gun section he commanded was over ran and destroyed. He had a brother named Robert who was a Lt. in the 4th division and he was also killed at Utah earlier that morning. His other brother was killed in action in BUrma earlier that week. It gets even weirder. In the movie Saving Private Ryan, after the landing sequence it jumps into the office scene where all the women are typing up the reports of the dead. Thus sending the three letters up the chain of command till hits General Marshall Chief Of Staff of the Army. He then sends orders out to find the fourth brother Fritz Niland who was misdropped with the 101. Now I swear if I did not read it from Stephen Amrose I could have mistaken this for some Hollywood script from either Tom Hanks or Steven Spielberg.
    Govenour Of Texas and all southern provinces. Kepper Of The Holy Woodchipper.

  • #2
    That was the inspiration for SPR. I believe Niland or his family is from Michigan.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by RetPara
      That was the inspiration for SPR. I believe Niland or his family is from Michigan.
      Only it was the regimental priest who went looking for him, not a squad.
      Lance W.

      Peace through superior firepower.

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      • #4
        SPR bonus content?

        In SPR their is a special bonus content about the real private ryan, I think that was what abmbose was refering to!

        Thanks

        CURRAHEE
        Peter Williams

        "We're not lost private, we're in Normandy"-

        Lt. Richard Winters 101st 506 pir

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Lance Williams
          Only it was the regimental priest who went looking for him, not a squad.
          A priest with a gun knocking off jerries to save a fellow soldier!? Man, I would have went to the premiere if Spielberg adopted that idea to the screen!
          :P
          All your ACG posts are belong to us!

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          • #6
            Amazing! I always figured SPR was just a "what if" story based on the Sullivans.

            JS
            Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
            Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


            "Never pet a burning dog."

            RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
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            http://www.sca.org
            http://www.scv.org/
            http://www.scouting.org/

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            • #7
              Ambrose makes reference to it in Band of Brothers also. He states that Fritz was best friends with Skip Muck. They all met with brother Bob Niland in London who had seen action with the 82nd. in Sicily and North Africa. And then later in the book Fritz came and said goodbye to Muck and Malarkey after finding out about his brothers.
              Now for the true story, (one brother survived as a Pow.) go here and scroll down to the saving Pvt. Niland section.
              http://www.101airborneww2.com/bandofbrothers2.html
              "War is God's way of teaching Americans geography."
              - Ambrose Bierce

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              • #8
                Actually Janos, not to sound like a smart blank, but there were 5 Sullivans, and the ryans were 4
                Govenour Of Texas and all southern provinces. Kepper Of The Holy Woodchipper.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jeremy Scott
                  Actually Janos, not to sound like a smart blank, but there were 5 Sullivans, and the ryans were 4
                  Roger. But Hollywood changes facts all the time. I figured they had done it again.

                  JS
                  Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                  Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                  "Never pet a burning dog."

                  RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
                  http://www.mormon.org
                  http://www.sca.org
                  http://www.scv.org/
                  http://www.scouting.org/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Patrocles
                    A priest with a gun knocking off jerries to save a fellow soldier!? Man, I would have went to the premiere if Spielberg adopted that idea to the screen!
                    :P
                    No the chaplain just walked over to Niland and told him he gotta go home.



                    ______
                    Bacchus hath drowned more men than Neptune.
                    -Dr. Thomas Fuller
                    I hate it when I see one of those road signs that says "Draw Bridge Ahead" and I don't have a pencil.
                    -Lou Chiafullo

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                    • #11
                      Jeremy Scott Wrote:Last night while at work, I read Stephen Amrose's book on D-Day. On pages 316-317 he tells the story of a set of brothers who were killed in action. The story sounds freakishly familiar like that of Saving Private Ryan.

                      Here goes the story. Sgt Niland was ordered to act as a reaguard to cover the withdraw of 3rd platoon, D company, 2nd battalion, 505th PIR near St. Mear Eglise. He was eventually killed when the machine gun section he commanded was over ran and destroyed. He had a brother named Robert who was a Lt. in the 4th division and he was also killed at Utah earlier that morning. His other brother was killed in action in BUrma earlier that week. It gets even weirder. In the movie Saving Private Ryan, after the landing sequence it jumps into the office scene where all the women are typing up the reports of the dead. Thus sending the three letters up the chain of command till hits General Marshall Chief Of Staff of the Army. He then sends orders out to find the fourth brother Fritz Niland who was misdropped with the 101. Now I swear if I did not read it from Stephen Amrose I could have mistaken this for some Hollywood script from either Tom Hanks or Steven Spielberg.
                      That was the reason why they made SPR.

                      Skoal!

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