When Trumpets Fade

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When Trumpets Fade
DVD Poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpg United States
Directed by John Irvin
Release Date 1998
Language English
Studio HBO NYC Productions
Distributor HBO
Main Cast
Character Actor
Sgt. David Manning Ron Eldard
Corporal Toby Chamberlain Frank Whaley
1st Lieutenant Terrence Lukas Timothy Olyphant
Captain Thomas Zenek Bobby Cannavale
Private Robert "Bobby" Miller Jeffrey Donovan
Sergeant Talbot Dylan Bruno
Capt. Pritchett Martin Donovan
Pvt. Sanderson Zak Orth
Lieutenant Colonel George Rickman Dwight Yoakam

When Trumpets Fade is a 1998 World War II film that originally aired in the US on HBO. The film stars Ron Eldard as Manning, a disgruntled US Army private who reluctantly finds himself promoted to squad leader and put in charge of a group of new misfit soldiers during the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest in the fall of 1944. When Trumpets Fade was directed by John Irvin, who also directed the war films Hamburger Hill and The Dogs of War. The film was released in some countries under the title Hamburger Hill 2 or The Sound of War.

The following weapons were used in the film When Trumpets Fade:



Colt M1911A1

The Colt M1911A1 was the standard sidearm of US Forces during WWII. Carried by several characters in the film including David Manning (Ron Eldard) and Sgt. Talbot (Dylan Bruno). When one of the men refuses to continue with his mission, Manning (Ron Eldard) takes out his M1911A1 and shoots the soldier's flamethrower tank, causing it to explode.

Colt M1911A1 - .45 ACP.
Manning (Ron Eldard) chambers a round into his Colt M1911 as one of his men starts to run.

Submachine Guns

M1A1 Thompson

The M1A1 Thompson is the main weapon carried by David Manning (Ron Eldard). Several US soldiers carry the Thompson throughout the film as well. The rate of fire displayed onscreen appears to be slightly slower than usual.

M1A1 Thompson - .45 ACP.
Manning (Ron Eldard) holds his M1 Thompson as he carries his injured friend Bobby (Jeffrey Donovan) on his back.


German army use the MP40s while defending the German artillery position. Another German infantryman also uses this gun.

MP40 Submachine Gun - 9x19mm.
German soldier holds his MP40.


M1 Garand

The M1 Garand was the standard issue rifle of the U.S. army during WWII. Carried by several characters in the film including Capt. Pritchett (Martin Donovan), Sgt. Talbot (Dylan Bruno), and Pvt. Sanderson (Zak Orth).

M1 Garand - .30-06.
Sanderson (Zak Orth) holds his M1 Garand as he awaits the next mission.

Browning Automatic Rifle

Sgt. Talbot (Dylan Bruno) carries the Browning Automatic Rifle during the final mission to take out the German tanks. Sanderson (Zak Orth) later takes the BAR and continues to lay down fire.

Sgt. Talbot (Dylan Bruno) carries the BAR as the men attempt to take out the German position.

M1 Carbine

The M1 Carbine is carried by various officers throughout the film.

World War II Era M1 Carbine, with Dark Walnut Stock, 'L' peep sight and no bayonet lug - correct for most of WWII, shown with khaki sling and oiler and a period Magazine pouch for buttstock
A M1 Carbine is carried by one of the soldiers as they enter the Hurtgen.

Karabiner 98k

The Karabiner 98k is used by German forces while defending the German artillery position.

Karabiner 98k - German manufacture 1937 date - 7.92x57mm
German soldier fires his 98k.
Another German soldier fires his 98k.

Machine Guns


German forces are also seen with the MG42 near the end of the film as they defend the German tank position.

MG42 Machine Gun - 7.92x57mm Mauser.
German soldier fires the MG42 at U.S. soldiers.


M9A1 Rocket Launcher "Bazooka"

Medic Chamberlain (Frank Whaley) carries an M9A1 Bazooka during the final mission to take out the German tanks.

M9A1 "Bazooka" - 2.36 inch
Chamberlain (Frank Whaley) prepares to fire the bazooka on the German position.

M2 Flamethrower

An M2 Flamethrower is used by Baxter (Steven Petrarca) and Sanderson when Manning and the men go on the mission to destroy the German artillery.

M2-2 Flamethrower
Sanderson (Zak Orth) charges the German position with the M2 Flamethrower.

Mk 2 hand grenade

Mk 2 hand grenades can be seen several times and Manning (Ron Eldard) uses them to take out German enemies.

Mk 2 "Pineapple" World War II-made High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade
Sanderson (Zak Orth) carries Mk 2 hand grenade when he is hiding from the German patrol.
Manning (Ron Eldard) with grenades on his belt.

85mm Air Defense Gun M1939 (52-K)

Two 85mm Air Defense Gun M1939 (52-K) are used as artillery by the Germans. They are incorrectly referred to as 88mm guns in the movie, probably because they stand in for the German "8.8 cm Flak 18/36".

85mm Air Defense Gun M1939 (52-K) - 85x629mm R
Shelling the enemy
The firing handle being pulled.
Ejecting the spent casing and reloading a full cartridge.


Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. H

In the film you can see two German Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. H. Those are mockups built on Russian vehicles. According to some sources they were built on Soviet manufactured 2S1 Gvozdika 122mm self-propelled howitzers.

The two Panzerkampfwagen IV move into position.
The 7.5 cm Kw.K. 40 L/48 main gun.
From the back side.
Firing the main gun with a massive muzzle flash.

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