In 1944, during D-Day plus two, American sergeant Edward Baxter and a platoon of American infantrymen depart Omaha Beach in Normandy and proceed inland. At the nearby French village of Verville, the platoon encounters a farm house that is heavily fortified by a group of SS soldiers. The Germans also hold a number of local French villagers as hostages. After a short negotiation between the Germans and the Americans, a violent battle ensues. The American soldiers prevail, despite some losses. The French hostages are freed. Together with them is a humane Wehrmacht Major who used to be the Commandant of the area during the German Occupation. He is wounded and unarmed. The villagers protect him on the account that he once saved their lives during German reprisals for acts committed by the French Resistance. An American colonel and his staff officers arrive in a jeep and order sergeant Baxter to evacuate the French civilians and the German Major to the beach.