As far as I can tell the movie "Fury" was not supposed to be sci-fi, but rather a realistic WWII movie.

Despite this, it seems that the German troops were equipped with green laser cannons and the Americans with red laser cannons.


green laser

red I'm a bit confused about this. Did these weapons exist in WWII? Was this the basis for the red and green lasers in Star Wars? Or how is this explained?

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    Tracers, I'd say. No relation whatsoever with laser.
    – DaG
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 20:00
  • @DaG Oh ok, good call I didn't think of that. It still seems weird tho. It was almost every bullet in this particular scene (or that's what it seemed like) and if they were tracers being fired that often it seems like it would help to alert the enemy to your position.
    – Hack-R
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 20:00
  • Not necessarily: they help correcting aim, among other things, as explained in the first few lines of WP's article. By chance, they were recently mentioned in another question.
    – DaG
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 20:02
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    according to wikipedia: "The first laser was built in 1960". So no, not lasers.
    – njzk2
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 13:53
  • 1
    @njzk2 haha yes, fair. My confusion over the movie was real but I knew it couldn't be what it looked it. It just made no sense to me.
    – Hack-R
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 15:26

2 Answers 2


They seem to be tracer bullets, often used for instance to correct the aim while shooting. No relation with laser, of course, just a pyrotechnic effect.

As for the colours, a commenter on a gamers' forum (whose reliability I don't know about, but whose remarks seem sensible) observes:

The tracers actually looked pretty realistic for the types of weapons they were firing. Red and green are also accurate colors as were the amounts. Keep in mind countries use whatever metals are most abundant within the area to use for tracers. Germany happens to be rich in phosphorus which burns usually a bright green or bluish-green. The US/Canada happen to have a lot of strontium and sometimes will mix in a bit of magnesium to give it a bright red glow. Another reason there were a lot more tracers is most machine guns on tanks did not have the typical 4 ball ammunition to 1 tracer round, it was usually a 3:1 ratio due to gunners having to typically "free-aim" the MG instead of having a tradition traverse and elevation mechanism for better aim.

As for the abundance and outlook of the effect, it might have been tweaked a little for style purposes. A website about guns remarks:

Also, in the scene where the tank platoon rescued the pinned down infantry in the field, the tracers looked more like star wars laser beams than normal rounds. They first engaged the enemy at what had to be 600 yrds or more, but none of the rounds arched at all and they seemed to be moving at a higher velocity than what they should.

  • I think this is correct, though as I continue to watch the movie it seems like their extremely high prevalence persists from scene to scene. I almost wonder if it was a decision made by the producers/editors to put this in the movie just to help you see the bullets. I've watched lots of WWI and WWII movies and I've never seen anything like this before.
    – Hack-R
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 20:13
  • Right, @Hack-R, I have addressed this.
    – DaG
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 20:43
  • that was a very good update
    – Hack-R
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 20:54
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    @Hack-R - Then you've never been to Knob Creek : VOLUME WARNING.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 2:16

The United States Army, along with other nations, used tracer rounds to aim properly at enemy soldiers. This is only a pyrotechnic effect for aim correction and has no correlation to laser weapons. These types of rounds are still in use today to see where the ammunition is hitting.

I once saw a video on this topic where they had an mg-42 (a high powered German light machine gun with an extremely high rate of fire) and they fired it at night time. The tracers lit up the night sky in the most spectacular fashion, being able to see every three to five rounds fly across the range going faster than the speed of sound and then disappearing inside of the ground or in the target.

  • 1
    some references could definitely help amp up this answer
    – DForck42
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 20:11

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