Merrill's Marauders

Synopsis: Brigadier General Frank D. Merrill leads the 3,000 American volunteers of his 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), aka "Merrill's Marauders", behind Japanese lines across Burma to Myitkyina, pushing beyond their limits and fighting pitched battles at every strong-point.
Genre: Adventure, Drama, War
Director(s): Samuel Fuller
98 min

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!

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Milton Sperling

Milton Sperling (July 6, 1912 – August 26, 1988) was an American film producer and screenwriter for 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros., where he had his own independent production unit, United States Pictures. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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