Fury (2014): Historical Tactical Inaccuracy Of The Tiger Ambush Scene

Fury is an American film which was released in 2014. Written and directed by David Ayer and starring Brad Pitt, it follows a United States tank crew during the last days of World War II. It was shot in England, because here they could use real working World War II tanks. The Tank Museum at Bovington lent the production team a Tiger 131 which had been used in the production of the 1950 film They Were Not Divided.

The film also used ten M4 Sherman tanks. The tank called ‘Fury’ in the movie was an M4A2 Sherman Tank actually named RON/HARRY. It was also lent by the Tank Museum. Ayer was concerned to be as accurate as he could regarding military uniforms, weapons, and maps. The events of the film Fury and its crew were meant to reflect the real experiences of World War II.

The commander of ‘Fury’ was Commander ‘Staff Sergeant Lafayette G. ‘Wardaddy’ Pool. He landed at Normandy just after D-Day. He and his crew knocked out 258 enemy vehicles. Fury was destroyed in late 1944 during the invasion of Germany. Pool is played in the film by Brad Pitt.

The last fight of the crew of the Fury would appear to be based on a story by an anecdote by one Belton Cooper. According to Cooper, a Germany infantry unit approaches a tank, which has been crippled. A soldier in the tank machine guns the Germans and throws grenades at them. When the tank soldier is found by an American unit the next day, he is still in his tank, surrounded by dead and wounded German soldiers.

Despite Avery’s desire for historical accuracy, the Tiger ambush scene is the movie is wrong. But Hollywood could not allow Brad Pitt’s Sherman to be utterly destroyed by Tigers.


Joris Nieuwint

Joris Nieuwint is a battlefield guide for the Operation Market Garden area. His primary focus is on the Allied operations from September 17th, 1944 onwards. Having lived in the Market Garden area for 25 years, he has been studying the events for nearly as long. He has a deep understanding of the history and a passion for sharing the stories of the men who are no longer with us.

@joris1944 facebook.com/joris.nieuwint