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Towards the end of the movie Saving Pvt. Ryan, most of the soldiers led by Capt. Miller (Hanks) are dead and he himself too is fatally injured. It is obvious that they have been overwhelmed by the enemy forces and he is going to die.

There is a scene where he is sitting with his back supported by a truck and a Tiger tank is approaching. If my memory serves me right, they have already fired quite a few bazookas at it to no avail.

At that moment Hanks takes out his .45 pistol and starts firing at the tank. Had he gone delirious because of his injuries or the war at large? Or was it his resilience in the final moments?

Why would a person fire bullets at a tank?!!

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up vote 27 down vote accepted

It was definitely the last resort of a desperate man. Broken and dazed, his company in tatters, Miller doggedly pulls out his pistol and fires at the tank in a futile but defiant gesture.

His mission was over, Ryan had been found and given the message, Miller's trusted sergeant lay dead at his side, as far as Miller was concerned this was the end of the road.

So, in answer to your question, it was a combination of resilience, defiance and resignation that caused Miller to unload his pistol at the approaching tank.

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+1 Beautiful answer.. – bragboy Jul 12 '13 at 14:01
I would consider it an act of resilience too, except for the dazed look in Hank's eyes. He looked kinda lost, and not exactly of sound mind! – KeyBrd Basher Jul 15 '13 at 6:45
I always assumed that he was aiming for the barrel, hoping for the ultra unlikely chance to hit the tanks explosive projectile (I don't know if that is technically possible). Look at his aim when he fires the last shot, right when the tank is destroyed. I thought of that scene as that it leaves it open to the viewer if Miller somehow contributed to destroying the tank. But your answer is probably correct. – Rev1.0 Aug 19 '13 at 19:16
Interesting POV @Rev1.0 – KeyBrd Basher Aug 20 '13 at 5:42

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