Are Abrams tanks overrated

The myth of the superior Tiger tank

Some US critics have already compared David Ayer's war film "Heart of Steel" with "Saving Private Ryan" by Steven Spielberg. For others, the film about the US tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier alias Brad Pitt, which is now showing in German cinemas, is even starting a new chapter in the history of war films. It remains to be seen whether the Academy will come to a similar conclusion when awarding its Oscars. The attention that the director, who specializes in genre food, receives from the critics is due not least to the choice of his subject. Like “Saving Private Ryan”, “Heart of Steel” also plays with America's traumatic memory of World War II.

While Spielberg's film - it was awarded five Oscars in 1999 - deals with the horrific losses in the Allied invasion in June 1944, Ayer takes on the weapon that the US Army particularly feared on its way east: the heavy German tanks. Above all, her successes in the first days of Hitler's Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 - as absurd as it was - were repeatedly recapitulated in cinematic terms. Directors such as Robert Aldrich ("Ardennes 44") or Sydney Pollack ("The Castle in the Ardennes") were always concerned with the question of how the long-defeated Wehrmacht managed to stop the American triumphal march in the last months of the war.

In addition to the inhuman strategy of the Nazi regime and the ideological blindness of his (child) soldiers, Ayer presents a third, highly technical reason: He leaves the US Army's famous Sherman tank against the German tiger