This scene is situated in the Ardennes during the battle of the Bulge. One of the remarkable things is that there is no German in sight but the Americans are driven mad by an irregular bombardment of artillery and mortars. That was standard German practice: in this way the Germans disturbed the cycle of onethird of the men at the front, onethird eating and relaxing, and onethird sleeping. No one could rest, relax or sleep, time and again they had to be prepared to counter the German attack, that seldom and sometimes never came.  And when it comes you see the standard procedure: the man behind the machinegun is killed by a sniper. The Americans should have known that by now and have taken precautions. 


Earlier in november 1944 the battle in the Hürtgen forest had led to a melt down of the American units fighting there. This battle revealed all the weak points of the American Army:


'This hideous battleground illustrated all at one time the deficiencies in the American system of troop replacements, the insufficiencies of American troop training, the failure of American divisional leadership, the innocence or ignorance of large-unit tactics by corps and army commanders, supply and imagination failure resulting in the absence of appropriate cold weather uniforms, and unjustified staff optimism, the result of basing decision-making on rear echelon map study and rumours instead of actual visits to division, not to mention battalion, fronts.'


The forest devoured six American divisions in a month and a half...