On June 7, 1944, the day after the Allied invasion of Normandy, a squad of American soldiers under Robertson liberates a number of French civilians held hostage by the retreating Germans and captures the German commander, Goring. The soldiers receive orders to accompany the civilians to
the beach, where they are to be evacuated from the battle zone to England. At the beach, however, beachmaster Justice knows nothing about any evacuation and, although sympathetic, he sends the group back to the village. Later they make the walk to the beach two more times, but each time confusion
and lack of communication make their trips futile. Hungry, they are allowed to steal so...