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The True Story Of The Niland Brothers, Who Fought During World War II And Inspired The Movie Saving Private Ryan

procinemastock - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

In 1998, Steven Spielberg’s film Saving Private Ryan was released. The movie’s realistic portrayal of the events that occurred during World War II never fails to tug at heartstrings.

It is about a group of American soldiers searching for their comrade, Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat.

While the film is a work of fiction, its premise was inspired by the true story of the Niland brothers. The Nilands were from Tonawanda, New York.

Three of the brothers were killed, prompting the U.S. War Department to track down the remaining sibling, Frederick (Fritz).

During World War II, four brothers—Edward, Preston, Robert, and Fritz—were spread out among various units.

Fritz and Robert were in the 501st and 505th Parachute Infantries, Preston was in the 22nd Infantry, and Edward was in the Air Force.

A month before D-Day, Edward was captured by the Japanese and brought to a prisoner camp in Burma.

His team never heard from him again and assumed he had died. On D-Day, Robert was killed in Normandy, France.

He had volunteered to stay behind with two other men to hold off the German advance, giving the rest of their team time to escape. The following day, Preston was killed after storming Utah Beach.

procinemastock – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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