There are plenty of young people who didn’t grow up with “Band of Brothers” or “Saving Private Ryan.” It’s a different generation now. Known as "The Thunderbirds," the unit - as told through voiceover narration - was trained Fort Sill, Oklahoma and consisted of Apache, Seminole, … But he wasn’t overly familiar. That stays in the family. A: I hope and pray that’s the case. Particularly, it focuses on Felix Sparks and his men, an eclectic mix of Mexican-Americans, Native Americans, and cowboys. And it was that photograph that caught author Alex Kershaw’s eye, the catalyst for years of research to set down the tale. Particularly, it focuses on Felix Sparks and his men, an eclectic mix of Mexican-Americans, Native Americans, and … Walsh ordered the guys to start firing. Aptly released on Veterans Day this year, “The Liberator” is a visually unique tale of the courage and heroism of U.S. Lt. Col. Felix Sparks and the 157th Infantry Regiment during World War II. Sparks was surprised when he could keep it together when things got really hard. It tells of exploits of the leadership of Felix Sparks (Bradley James), who eventually reached the rank of lieutenant colonel, of the 3rd Battalion of the 157th Infantry Regiment in the European theater of World War II. The 157th Infantry Regiment — and their respective division — … Q: The 45th ID, and specifically the 157th IR, were very racially diverse units for their time. Follow the 157th regiment from Sicily to the heart of Germany when The Liberator premieres November 11th", Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, Don't F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer, Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Liberator_(miniseries)&oldid=997991589, 2020s American drama television miniseries, English-language Netflix original programming, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages using infobox television with editor parameter, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2020, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 3 January 2021, at 06:23. Sparks' pistol raised overhead, his other hand, palm open, signaling to stop the spontaneous execution. Countless hours of research and interview after interview peeled back more layers of not only Sparks' journey, but the men who served alongside him. Copy to Clipboard. Follow the 157th regiment from Sicily to the heart of Germany when The Liberator premieres this Veteran's Day. Sparks and his battalion of "Thunderbirds" were classic citizen soldiers, and for over 500 days they led a special group of American soldiers from Italy to France to the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp, through some of the most grueling battles of the war, becoming one of the most decorated American combat units of World War II. In a ten-year active duty army career, Sparks rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. It is a story of the disaffected and discarded of the American West —Native Americans, Mexican Americans, poor white cowboys … AK: Yeah, eager for duty. The soldier was 27-year-old Lt Col Felix Sparks, who led the 3rd Battalion of the 157th Infantry Regiment, one of three regiments that made up the 45th “Thunderbirds” Division. Then again, I became absolutely obsessed with World War II when I was nine or 10 years old and found a stash of comics about the war in my grandparents' house. The Liberator on Netflix tells the real-life story of the United States Army officer Felix Sparks, who commanded the 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment. Could you tell us more about him and what you learned in researching the story? A: He’d grown up in a region where he knew the discrimination that Mexican-Americans and Native Americans had faced. The animated war drama is based on the Alex Kershaw book, The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey. Then I became a journalist after college, but in college I studied history and we read everything but World War II. Q: You met Sparks during this process. National Guard troops in Washington in the wake of a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6 talk about the experience of being mobilized to the city in the midst of potential unrest around the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. [10] He also hoped that the company could be part of "bringing nuanced emotional drama to that broader adult animation push. Post-war years. [14], Reviewing the miniseries for Rolling Stone, Alan Sepinwall gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars and said, "The Liberator more often than not is an effective reminder about why pop culture keeps revisiting World War II material again and again. [1] It is based on the book The Liberator: One World War II Soldier’s 500-Day Odyssey by Alex Kershaw. The enthusiasm of an Englishman and a member of the Kiowa for a regiment only tenuously connected to either of them was an incredible tribute to the 157th … Of them, Gen. George S. Patton would say they were “One of the best, if not the best division in the history of American arms.”. But every guy who put his life on the line for him knew he was going to look after them. The Liberator is based on a true story. Years later he said it was something people couldn’t get their head around, something beyond what people could process. The series offers a thrilling immersion into the battlefields of the war, but suffers from its short length and occasional lapses in narrative. Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Follow the 157th regiment from Sicily to the heart of Germany when The Liberator premieres this Veteran's Day. I’m still fascinated by him telling Maj. Gen. Robert Frederick, the division commander, “You just got my entire company killed. Crowley and Grzegorz Jonkajtys, the technique gives off “unprecedented level of emotion and fidelity to the animated drama experience.”[11], A teaser trailer was released on October 9, 2020. An already accomplished author of six books chronicling World War II, Kershaw was looking for his next story when he stumbled upon that frozen moment. But most of the actual camp guards had fled. Alex Kershaw’s acclaimed WWII nonfiction book The Liberator is now a bold new animated project. Follow the 157th regiment from Sicily to the heart of Germany. Based on a true story, The Liberator is a Netflix original miniseries surrounding Felix Sparks and the 157th regiment comprised of Seminole, Sioux, Apache, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Mexican Americans. "The Liberator," by Alex Kershaw, is the book on which the four-part Netflix series of the same name is based. [6][8] Later, the animation team behind the series launched Trioscope Studios, with the show as its first series in production. He lost his entire company other than one man at Anzio in February 1944 and almost all of his battalion to the SS in January 1945 in the Vosges. Summary: The four-part World War II animated series (using new patent-pending Trioscope Enhanced Hybrid Animation) is based on Alex Kershaw's 2013 book of the same name about U.S. Army officer Felix Sparks and the 157th Infantry Regiment from Oklahoma that included cowboys, Native Americans and Mexican-Americans as they invaded Italy and freed The four-part World War II … Editor’s note: The following has been edited for clarity and length. The show follows the 157th Infantry Regiment in its battles from Italy through Germany. He didn’t like people abusing their power. Follow the 157th regiment from Sicily to the heart of Germany when The Liberator premieres this Veteran's Day. As a journalist I eventually went down and did a story about the Channel Islands, one of the only British lands occupied by the Germans during the war. The Liberator takes place during World War II where maverick U.S. Army officer Felix Sparks and the 157th Infantry Regiment fought for over five hundred days alongside the Allied forces during the Italian campaign. The show is an adaptation of the book titled, 'One World War II Soldier’s 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau' that hints at the depth of drama that happened. Upon returning to civilian life, Sparks attended the University of Colorado Law School, graduating in 1947. Netflix’s new show The Liberator is yet another chapter in a larger attempt to make World War II the new multicultural founding myth of the nation. Any resemblance to news may be purely coincidental. They went through the complex and kicked out anyone in an SS uniform. It was one of the primary Allied forces to enter the Dachau concentration camp and liberate its prisoners. The show is trending really high in Italy now, where much of it took place. The four-part World War II series is based on Alex Kershaw's 2013 book of the same name about US Army officer Felix Sparks and the 157th Infantry Regiment from Oklahoma By Anoush Gomes Published on : 22:00 PST, Nov 10, 2020. Sparks led the US Army's 157th Field Artillery Regiment – part of the 45th Division – on a 500-plus day campaign, beginning in 1943 in Sicily and ending in … Netflix just released a hyper-realistic animated series where the main characters are Mexican-American, Native American, and African-American soldiers. Sparks would receive the Silver Star Medal for valor in combat. A move against Hollywood's cliches. A diverse, deeply brave crew of ragtag soldiers become some of the most heroic fighters of the European invasion in World War II. Yes, for the … The US Army 157th regiment,… And if this does, that would be amazing. Follow the 157th regiment from Sicily to the heart of Germany when The Liberator … The series, at times heart-pounding, other times full of a profound stillness, presents timeless slices of the combat experience — fear, chaos, confusion, bravery, despair, callousness, tenderness and camaraderie. The Liberator is a war story like you've never seen before. He actually demanded that he be given a leadership role. The teaser for Netflix’s upcoming series, The Liberator, ... An infantry officer with the 157th Infantry Battalion of the 45th Division, Sparks led … The division spent more than five hundred days on European battles and participated in the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp prisoners. Known as "The Thunderbirds," the unit - as told through voiceover narration - was trained Fort Sill, Oklahoma and consisted of Apache, Seminole, Cherokee, Sioux, Choctaw, and Mexican Americans. Based on Alex Kershaw's eponymous 2012 book and developed for Netflix by Jeb Stuart, The Liberator released in November 2020. The Liberator One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey From the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau (Book) : Kershaw, Alex : The true story of the bloodiest and most dramatic march to victory of the Second World War: the battlefield odyssey of a maverick U.S. Army officer and his infantry unit as they fought for over five hundred days to liberate Europe - … The Liberator on Netflix tells the real-life story of the United States Army officer Felix Sparks, who commanded the 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment. Along with the trailer of the series, Netflix has provided the plot synopsis. I’m a blatant booster for anything that gets people into history. But long before it was a Netflix series, it was a book by the same name. Sparks had left Lt. Bill Walsh in command of soldiers in the coal yard while he went to inspect the rest of the camp. British author Alex Kershaw’s book, “The Liberator,” tells the story of World War II hero Felix Sparks and his men in the 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, which has a … Drawn from more than 50 Native American tribes and Mexican-American recruits, some who couldn’t speak English, the unit would see more fighting than almost any other in the war. A lot of them were very keen on handing out some kind of vengeance. Alex Kershaw’s acclaimed WWII nonfiction book The Liberator is now a bold new animated project. The website's critics consensus reads, "The Liberator's eccentric animation gives it some creative gloss, but clichéd storytelling and stock characters keep this World War II tale from being wholly salute-worthy. The Real Liberator. Those same men, the Army’s 157th Infantry Regiment, part of the 45th Infantry Division, had borne the war on their backs from Sicily to the heart of Germany during more than 500 days of combat in less than two years.. Sparks, and the regiment’s companies under his command, are now the focus of a four-part animated series released on Veterans Day on Netflix, “The Liberator.” "[15] On contrast, Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter called the show a series which is "very watchable" but is infuriating due to its "inconsistent focus and narrative choices" even though his interest never wavered due to the interesting and "eye-popping" animation. directed by Grzegorz Jonkajtys. Starring Bradley James as Sparks, The Liberator centers on the U.S. Army's 157th regiment. Follow the 157th regiment from Sicily to the heart of Germany. He kicked the machine gunner and shoved him off the gun and said, “There will be no firing unless I give the order.”. You made a decision and my guys paid for it.” But he did it. He led from the front, business all the time. He was very, very smart and very calm under pressure. Starring Bradley James as Sparks, The Liberator centers on the U.S. Army's 157th regiment. A chilling black-and-white photograph freezes Lt. Col. Felix Sparks in time. A: First I found the photo and learned some of the story, then I called up the 157th Infantry Regiment Association and met Jack Hallowell. The Liberator is an American adult animated war drama miniseries created and written by Jeb Stuart. Alex Kershaw's acclaimed WWII nonfiction book The Liberator is now a bold new animated project. His own troops were enraged as they arrived at Dachau concentration camp to find piles of dead naked bodies in train cars and dying prisoners behind barbed wire. Interviews: National Guardsmen in US capital for inauguration, Capitol riots aftermath, and a new push for counter-drone efforts - Defense News Weekly 01.17.21, Reporters Roundtable: Defending the Capitol, National Guard at the Capitol | Military Times Reports, Meet the OnlyFans model and neuroscience student who’s giving back to the troops, USO brings drinks, snacks and a ‘warm welcome’ to Guard troops at the Capitol, DC pizza shop is helping feed the National Guard, A definitive ranking of troops’ extreme napping positions, Liam Neeson takes down the cartel as a retired Marine in ‘The Marksman’, https://www.militarytimes.com © 2021 Sightline Media Group. His job was to keep records to make sure that people got the right medal recommendations. [16], 2020 American war drama television series, "Netflix Orders World War II Animated Drama Series The Liberator", "Best New Shows and Movies on Netflix This Week: Dash & Lily, The Liberator", "Netflix Orders Innovative Animated World War II Drama Series 'The Liberator' From A+E Studios, Unique Features & Jeb Stuart", "Trioscope's Gripping WW2 Animated Drama 'The Liberator' Premieres Today", "The Liberator: Netflix Enlists Medici's Bradley James for WWII Animated Series", "Trailer: Animated WWII Drama 'The Liberator' Lands on Netflix Veterans Day", "L.C. He wanted to lead men in combat, and he got his wish. ‎ _____ The true story behind the hit NETFLIX drama From the invasion of Italy to the gates of Dachau, no World War II infantry unit in Europe saw more action or endured worse than the one commanded by Felix Sparks. So, she never really had a father. Their motto was “eager for duty,” and they were, and they were astonishing. The Liberator on Netflix tells the real-life story of the United States Army officer Felix Sparks, who commanded the 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment. Summary: The four-part World War II animated series (using new patent-pending Trioscope Enhanced Hybrid Animation) is based on Alex Kershaw's 2013 book of the same name about U.S. Army officer Felix Sparks and the 157th Infantry Regiment from Oklahoma that included cowboys, Native Americans and Mexican-Americans as they invaded Italy and freed … The Real Liberator Texas-born Felix Sparks began WWII as an executive officer with 157th Infantry Regiment. One of the biggest battles highlighted in the series is the Battle of Anzio, which lasted from Jan. 22, 1944 until June 5, 1944. Major General Henning Linden led the 42nd Division into Dachau at about the same time as Sparks did as commander of 3rd Battalion with the 157th Regiment. The proudest point in his life was being a company commander. Q: Do you think that the series might appeal to people who might not normally look for books on World War II? Alex Kershaw’s acclaimed WWII nonfiction book The Liberator is now a bold new animated project. I remember my mom saying she saw me walking along a street and worried I’d run into a street sign because I had my head buried in these comics. They didn’t know what they were seeing. Just as The Pacific offers a different look at World War II by focusing on three U.S. soldiers from the 1st Marine Division, The Liberator similarly tells a unique story with the inherent diversity of the 157th regiment. They’d show it on the news, all these rows and rows of World War I veterans, and my dad would tell me about them because my grandfather had served in the trenches. [1][2][3][4], The Liberator takes place during World War II where maverick U.S. Army officer Felix Sparks and the 157th Infantry Regiment fought for over five hundred days alongside the Allied forces during the Italian campaign. He memorized all the names of his more than 200 soldiers, their wives, children, where they were from. The Liberator is able to tell a more complete version of America’s contribution. Follow the 157th regiment from Sicily to the heart of Germany when The Liberator … What is it about the conflict and the stories that continues to bring you back? The four-part Netflix series is based on a true story that follows Captain Felix Sparks and his regiment that is coolly named “Thunderbirds” — they were the 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Division who were in combat for an intense 500 days. directed by Grzegorz Jonkajtys starring Bradley James, Jose Miguel Vasquez, Bryan Hibbard, Martin Sensmeier, Ross Anderson, Billy Breed, Finney Cassidy, David Elliot, Sam Gittins, Kiowa Gordon, Tatanka Means, Matt Mercurio The Liberator premiered this Veteran’s Day 2020. Those memories of what human beings did to other human beings and how depraved and dark humanity could be ... for the rest of his life he was very outspoken about Holocaust denial and would get very angry if anybody questioned if it ever happened. Bodies slumped against a wall, weapons still hot, smoking. Upon returning to civilian life, Sparks attended the … Cutting-edge technology offers a unique glimpse at the Allied invasion of Italy. Sparks rushed back and ordered the guys to stop. The irony is that before this if somebody told me they would turn one of my books into an animated TV series, I would have thought it was an odd choice. The Netflix original tells the story of one of the bloodiest battles that ever occurred in World War II and follows US Army officer Felix Sparks of the 157th Infantry Regiment … The remaining SS were frontline soldiers recovering from wounds and hadn’t been involved in the camp. Army Times spoke with Kershaw on the eve of the series release. The heroic real life figure and his men fought for 500 days to liberate Europe. Fienberg concluded that people should check out the show for the animation, for a commemoration of Veterans Days but to be prepared for frustration over "how much more complicated, and how much richer" the actual history is and how the show could have been better. Q: What did you learn from Sparks and your research about the incident at Dachau? For nearly two years, he and his group went from the invasion of Italy on … [5], The Liberator is a character-driven action miniseries based on the true story of World War II infantry commander Felix "Shotgun" Sparks (played by Bradley James), who led the members of the 157th Infantry Battalion of the 45th Infantry Division, an integrated group of white cowboys, Mexican Americans and Native soldiers drawn from across the west. ", The miniseries was the first to use Trioscope Enhanced Hybrid Animation, a technique that blends live-action actors with CGI. The universal fear in World War II for officers — and I think it’s still very common — was how they were going to perform. The Liberator focuses on Sparks' life as an officer who was part of the 157th Infantry Regiment. [12] An official trailer was released on October 22, 2020 and the limited series was released on Veterans Day, November 11, 2020. The book we discuss today is The Liberator: ... Company E of the 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division. “The Liberator” centers around the men of the 157th Infantry Regiment. Post-war years. Sign up for the Early Bird Brief - a daily roundup of military and defense news stories from around the globe. A: Some of his guys went crazy. Now, after 20 years of writing about it, it gets into your blood. [1] In January 2019, Bradley James was cast in the leading role of Felix Sparks and Martin Sensmeier was cast as Samuel Coldfoot. The television show "The Liberator" was based on his command of the 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment. Get the military's most comprehensive news and information every morning. Texas-born Felix Sparks began WWII as an executive officer with 157th Infantry Regiment. I started talking with him, but still couldn’t work out a way to tell the story. But it also brings forth issues of racism, the challenge of leadership and the internal battle to retain one’s humanity in the face of utter savagery. Alex Kershaw's acclaimed WWII nonfiction book THE LIBERATOR is now a bold new animated project. Netflix just released The Liberator, a ... Sparks was a real army officer for the 157th Infantry Regiment from Oklahoma. A: In the 70s when I was young we had only two or three channels on TV. [9] On November 9, Brandon Barr, chief content officer at Trioscope Studios, was interviewed. [2], On Rotten Tomatoes, the miniseries holds an approval rating of 64% based on 11 reviews, with an average rating of 7.15/10. But from the beginning they fought as excellent soldiers. He participated in four amphibious operations, first leading men into combat in September 1943 as captain of E Company, 157th. A move against Hollywood's cliches. He stated that the project was "particularly challenging" and a lot of work, while arguing that anime opened the door for other visual techniques and styles. He participated in four amphibious operations, first leading men into combat in September 1943 as captain of E Company, 157th. He didn’t worry about their own abilities but he did wonder, would they fight for Uncle Sam when Uncle Sam’s done nothing for them? A: It was amazing. [1], Directed by Greg Jonkajtys, the miniseries was released on November 11, 2020 on Netflix. You’re aware of what it cost. One of the biggest battles highlighted in the series is the Battle of Anzio, … There was always a movie on Sunday nights. It takes place during World War II and tells the story of the U.S. Army officer Felix Sparks and the 157th Infantry Regiment. The four-part, live-action animated series tells the story of Col. Felix Sparks and the diverse soldiers he led in the 157th Infantry Regiment. The four-part World War II series is based on Alex Kershaw's 2013 book of the same name about US Army officer Felix Sparks and the 157th Infantry Regiment … Additionally, the 500+ day trials of the 157th Regiment helped to paint a broader picture of the war. But with this they can really learn what America did at its best. Lost among the fallout after the presidential election was the debut of a compelling four-episode on Netflix, The Liberator.It tells of exploits of the leadership of Felix Sparks (Bradley James), who eventually reached the rank of lieutenant colonel, of the 3rd Battalion of the 157th Infantry Regiment in the European theater of World War II. 'The Liberator': Meet Bradley James, Martin Sensmeier and rest of the cast of Netflix's animated World War II series . The 157th Infantry Regiment — and their respective division — were the most diverse set of soldiers the war had seen. 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