5 Movies Based on Real WWII War Heroes
YouTube / Johnny Johnson
Here are the five movies and mini-series that highlighted the story of five real heroes during World War II:
The movie Midway features Dick Best, a highly-skilled American pilot aboard the USS Enterprise during the Battle of Midway. He was known for being fearless and one of the two pilots in history to score a hit on two aircraft carriers in one day.
Best was grounded after Midway due to breathing a bad oxygen mix which damaged his lungs. He would subsequently receive the Navy Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions that day.
4. Enemy at the Gates
Enemy at the Gates captures the essence of the Battle of Stalingrad. It is based on one of the most famous snipers of all time – Vasily Zaitsev.
During the battle, Vasily killed 225 enemy soldiers which earned him the title, “Hero of the Soviet Union.”
The movie also highlighted heroes like the female Soviet snipers in the Red Army, which were responsible for 10,000 kills during WWII.
3. Hacksaw Ridge
The movie took place in the Pacific Theater, during the Battle of Okinawa, and follows the story of Desmond Doss.
Doss served as a medic in the 77th Infantry Division and earned two Bronze Stars in Guam and the Philippines in 1944.
During the Battle of Okinawa, Doss saved between 50 to 100 wounded atop Hacksaw Ridge – while he himself was wounded 4 times.
2. The Pacific
This mini-series focused on the Pacific Theater, covering numerous battles, but particularly highlighted the experience of US Marine, John Basilone.
Basilone was first awarded a Medal of Honor during the Battle for Henderson Field after he and his team held off 3,000 Japanese forces while outnumbered. They fought for two days until they ran out of ammo.
His second trip was at Iwo Jima, where he single-handedly destroyed an enemy blockhouse while leading a marine tank safely through a minefield.
He was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for his extraordinary heroism during the battle, becoming the only enlisted Marine to receive both decorations during the war.
1. Band of Brothers
Though this series didn’t have Medal of Honor winners, they were also not running short of heroes.
This includes their steadfast leader, Richard Winters, who quickly proved his leadership abilities on D-Day. Winters was able to lead a successful attack with only 13 men against 50 Germans defending their artillery positions.
He was promoted to Captain by July and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by General Omar Bradley.