Music Has No Enemies – How Music “Soothed the Savage Beast” At Normandy

Music Has No Enemies is an organization that, according to their website “…is focused on creating meaningful music and film content for socially responsible companies and non-profit organizations around the world”.  The video tells the true story of music bridging the distance between two young soldiers in WWII.

Jack Tueller was part of a US P-47 Thunderbolt fighter group that had landed near Normandy two weeks after the D-Day invasion. They knew that not far from the airstrip was a lone German sniper. Other soldiers did not want Tueller to play for fear he would draw the sniper’s fire. Tueller was caught between reason and compassion.

Watch the video and then read the rest of the story below.

MPs came to Tueller the next morning and told him the German had surrendered and had asked, “Who played that trumpet last night?”

Tueller went to the beach where the soldier was being held as a POW to speak to him. The 19-year-old was in disguise dressed as a French peasant. The young soldier told him “I couldn’t fire because I thought of my fiancé. I thought of my mother and father. My role is finished.”

Then, in tears, he took Tueller’s hand and shook it – no longer his enemy. Tueller says “. . . music had soothed the savage beast.”

How did Tueller know what to play? Years earlier he had a chance meeting with Louis Armstrong. Armstrong gave him this advice: “Always play the melody, man. Look at them, see their age group, play their love songs.”


Jinny McCormick

Jinny McCormick is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE