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The 5th Day of Peace

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Dio è con noi (1970)

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Additional Information
The most bizarre execution in the annals of military history.

Two German deserters, Ensign Bruno Grauber (Franco Nero) and Corporal Reiner Schultz (Larry Aubrey) are captured by the Canadians at the end of World War II. They are interned in a Canadian-run POW camp where the senior German officer, Colonel Von Bleicher, is a career officer. Their fellow German prisoners of war, led by Von Bleicher, discover that they are deserters. They are put through a formal military court martial organised by Von Bleicher and charged with cowardice. They are sentenced to death and are to be executed on the "fifth day of peace". Von Bleicher pressures the Canadian camp commandant to allow the execution to be carried out and requests rifles and ammunition to carry out the sentence.
A Canadian general, Snow, persuades (but does not order) the Canadian camp commandant, Captain Miller, to allow the execution to be carried out for the higher purpose of preserving military discipline. He also motivates Miller with a promotion to major.
This movie is based on the true story of two German sailors, leading seaman Bruno Dorfer and machinist's mate Rainer Beck, both executed for desertion on May 13, 1945, after being found guilty of cowardice by fellow POWs. The sentence was carried out by German POWs who were under Canadian command.

In the uncertain days following the end of World War II, disillusioned German soldiers wander aimlessly over the charred countryside of Italy. Two of these soldiers are rounded up by their superiors and charged with desertion--surrender or no surrender. Despite an Allied edict that the Germans are no longer permitted to stage military trials, the two hapless conscripts are sentenced to death by firing squad. The Fifth Day of Peace was based on a true story.

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