In Saving Private Ryan, Captain Miller had the idea of using sticky bombs to hit a tank's tracks and disable it.

But in this scene:

The soldier carried the sticky bomb, and instead of crouching immediately after approaching the tank to stick it in the track, he remained standing and it looks like he was going to stick it on the tank's armor instead. He blew up before he had a chance to.

They were briefed and they know that it was meant for the tracks so why did he do this? Wouldn't it be easier to just throw it and run away since it would stick anyway? In a later scene, two soldier just threw the bombs on the tracks, it stuck and disabled the tank.

2 Answers 2


You are right. Good point.

But you have to consider that they are in action. And many times soldiers forget a part of instruction given to them due to chaos or nervousness (also happens in exams).

If you observe that soldier lit the fuse and kept standing. When he began to run towards the tank fuse was burnt almost halfway through.

So my guess is that he forgot the instructions in nervousness.

  • 1
    Hm. I can't argue with the thing about the fuse so it may have exploded prematurely. Not sure why he wouldn't just throw it away from him, though, regardless if it hit the tank or not, if he was so nervous about it blowing prematurely...I guess nervousness tends to lead to bad decisions in real life?
    – I. Am
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 10:00

I never noticed this before, but now that I watched it I think he had a hard time getting near to the tank tracks, which are the only place on the outside of the tank that is vulnerable, and just lost track of how fast the fuse was burning.

  • 1
    If you haven't noticed it was as sticky bomb. It was meant to be thrown at the tracks of tank from a distance and it would stick and blow them. He was never meant to go near tank.
    – Rahul
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 11:17

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