So, I left it alone for a year or two. I’m a blatant booster for anything that gets people into history. By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. 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. It was one of the primary Allied forces to enter the Dachau concentration camp and liberate its prisoners. He wanted to lead men in combat, and he got his wish. 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. Sparks was surprised when he could keep it together when things got really hard. The 157th Infantry Regiment — and their respective division — were the most diverse set of soldiers the war had seen. Follow the 157th regiment from Sicily to the heart of Germany. 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 series offers a thrilling immersion into the battlefields of the war, but suffers from its short length and occasional lapses in narrative. [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. [12] An official trailer was released on October 22, 2020 and the limited series was released on Veterans Day, November 11, 2020. 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. Upon returning to civilian life, Sparks attended the University of Colorado Law School, graduating in 1947. Bodies slumped against a wall, weapons still hot, smoking. Netflix just released a hyper-realistic animated series where the main characters are Mexican-American, Native American, and African-American soldiers. The soldiers in "The Liberator'' were from the 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division -- also known as the "Thunderbirds." Starring Bradley James as Sparks, The Liberator centers on the U.S. Army's 157th regiment. It’s entertaining, informative and extraordinarily accurate. I started talking with him, but still couldn’t work out a way to tell the story. 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.”. The division spent more than five hundred days on European battles and participated in the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp prisoners. Sparks had left Lt. Bill Walsh in command of soldiers in the coal yard while he went to inspect the rest of the camp. Follow the 157th regiment from Sicily to the heart of Germany when The Liberator premieres this Veteran's Day. A lot of them were very keen on handing out some kind of vengeance. [1] In January 2019, Bradley James was cast in the leading role of Felix Sparks and Martin Sensmeier was cast as Samuel Coldfoot. The show is trending really high in Italy now, where much of it took place. 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 … 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 … A diverse, deeply brave crew of ragtag soldiers become some of the most heroic fighters of the European invasion in World War II. Sparks' pistol raised overhead, his other hand, palm open, signaling to stop the spontaneous execution. He memorized all the names of his more than 200 soldiers, their wives, children, where they were from. But from the beginning they fought as excellent soldiers. 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. 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 … He participated in four amphibious operations, first leading men into combat in September 1943 as captain of E Company, 157th. 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. It tells the true story of U.S. Army officer Felix Sparks as he leads a ragtag group of soldiers in the 157th Infantry Regiment during World War II. Q: You met Sparks during this process. They went through the complex and kicked out anyone in an SS uniform. The Liberator is an American adult animated war drama miniseries created and written by Jeb Stuart. Jack called me later and said Sparks was dying, so I went out to Colorado to interview him on his deathbed — he died later that spring. Particularly, it focuses on Felix Sparks and his men, an eclectic mix of Mexican-Americans, Native Americans, and … The proudest point in his life was being a company commander. Q: What do you think of the Netflix series? I think his men respected him because he was prepared to stand up. The idea that a teenager or anybody from 16 into their 20s wouldn’t be interested in these stories would be insane, because these stories are about them. [1] It is based on the book The Liberator: One World War II Soldier’s 500-Day Odyssey by Alex Kershaw. But every guy who put his life on the line for him knew he was going to look after them. 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. The Netflix series acknowledges that the unit was comprised of Apache, Seminole, Cherokee, Sioux, Choctaw, and Mexican Americans — the problem, however, … The series offers a thrilling immersion into the battlefields of the war, but suffers from its short length and occasional lapses in narrative. The Liberator focuses on Sparks' life as an officer who was part of the 157th Infantry Regiment. Along with the trailer of the series, Netflix has provided the plot synopsis. One of the biggest battles highlighted in the series is the Battle of Anzio, which lasted from Jan. 22, 1944 until June 5, 1944. Q: What did you learn from Sparks and your research about the incident at Dachau? You made a decision and my guys paid for it.” But he did it. The US Army 157th regiment,… Countless hours of research and interview after interview peeled back more layers of not only Sparks' journey, but the men who served alongside him. T&P: Do me a favor, describe the 157th Infantry Regiment in just a few words. But long before it was a Netflix series, it was a book by the same name. Follow the 157th regiment from Sicily to the heart of Germany when The Liberator … If you’re a young American and you don’t know about World War II, what was sacrificed, what was earned, and understand what it really came down to, then you can’t know what it means to be an American. The Liberator, available to stream on Netflix, is a rugged World War II odyssey that's presented through unique hybrid animation similar to rotoscoping. Observation Post articles reflect author observations. Sign up for the Early Bird Brief - a daily roundup of military and defense news stories from around the globe. directed by Grzegorz Jonkajtys. The television show "The Liberator" was based on his command of the 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry 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. Now, after 20 years of writing about it, it gets into your blood. 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. Mexican Americans and Native Americans were part of the famed 157th Infantry Regiment in World War II, and they're featured in a Netflix series 'The Liberator,' based on a book. 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. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War. Alex Kershaw's acclaimed WWII nonfiction book The Liberator is now a bold new animated project. 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 new Netflix miniseries The Liberator is a World War II story about brave men who bond through that terrifying experience. The Liberator premiered this Veteran's Day 2020. 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. 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. 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. The Liberator is based on a true story. By John Ruberry. 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. Alex Kershaw’s acclaimed WWII nonfiction book The Liberator is now a bold new animated project. He participated in four amphibious operations, first leading men into combat in September 1943 as captain of E Company, 157th. He was a very outspoken guy. Follow the 157th regiment from Sicily to the heart of Germany when The Liberator premieres this Veteran's Day. 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. [6][8] Later, the animation team behind the series launched Trioscope Studios, with the show as its first series in production. Sparks rushed back and ordered the guys to stop. His job was to keep records to make sure that people got the right medal recommendations. A: It was amazing. Then I became a journalist after college, but in college I studied history and we read everything but World War II. Copy to Clipboard. A: Some of his guys went crazy. The Liberator focuses on Sparks' life as an officer who was part of the 157th Infantry Regiment. Known as "The Thunderbirds," the unit - as told through voiceover narration - was trained Fort Sill, Oklahoma and consisted of Apache, Seminole, … [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. The Real Liberator. A chilling black-and-white photograph freezes Lt. Col. Felix Sparks in time. There was always a movie on Sunday nights. 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 heroic real life figure and his men fought for 500 days to liberate Europe. Yes, for the … Across four episodes, The Liberator revisits the gallant true-life tale of US Army officer Felix Sparks and his 157th Infantry Regiment as they play a … Q: You’ve written at least nine books to date on World War II. He kicked the machine gunner and shoved him off the gun and said, “There will be no firing unless I give the order.”. 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. Based on Alex Kershaw's eponymous 2012 book and developed for Netflix by Jeb Stuart, The Liberator released in November 2020. The new Netflix miniseries The Liberator is a World War II story about brave men who bond through that terrifying experience. And it was that photograph that caught author Alex Kershaw’s eye, the catalyst for years of research to set down the tale. 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.”. Follow the 157th regiment from Sicily to the heart of Germany when The Liberator … According to its developers, L.C. The teaser for Netflix’s upcoming series, The Liberator, ... An infantry officer with the 157th Infantry Battalion of the 45th Division, Sparks led … Their motto was “eager for duty,” and they were, and they were astonishing. 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.” In a ten-year active duty army career, Sparks rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. 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. 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. "[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. 'The Liberator': Meet Bradley James, Martin Sensmeier and rest of the cast of Netflix's animated World War II series . He was a hard ass and a stickler for discipline. Walsh ordered the guys to start firing. 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. He led from the front, business all the time. 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. Next, it was a friendship with a veteran of the 45th ID that drew him into the research. 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. The Real Liberator Texas-born Felix Sparks began WWII as an executive officer with 157th Infantry Regiment. They’d seen all sorts of horrific things, but that was very disturbing on a profound level. He actually demanded that he be given a leadership role. Netflix just released a hyper-realistic animated series where the main characters are Mexican-American, Native American, and African-American soldiers. That stays in the family. In a ten-year active duty army career, Sparks rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. I cried my eyes out and laughed very hard. Crowley, Brandon Barr & Greg Jonkajtys, Team Behind Netflix's 'The Liberator', Launch Trioscope Studios", "TBI In Conversation: Trioscope's CCO on launching Netflix's 'The Liberator' & an animation revolution", "Courage is a decision in Netflix's animated WWII drama miniseries The Liberator", "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. 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. 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. “The Liberator” centers around the men of the 157th Infantry Regiment. A: In the 70s when I was young we had only two or three channels on TV. “The Great Escape,” “The Dam Busters,” “Battle of Britain.” I remember Veterans Day, or Remembrance Day in England was always a huge deal. The Liberator is a war story like you've never seen before. A move against Hollywood's cliches. Finally, a fortunate trip allowed him to interview Sparks only months before his death in 2007. Editor’s note: The following has been edited for clarity and length. 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. Lost among the fallout after the presidential election was the debut of a compelling four-episode on Netflix, The Liberator. So, she never really had a father. He was very, very smart and very calm under pressure. [1], Directed by Greg Jonkajtys, the miniseries was released on November 11, 2020 on Netflix. "The Liberator," by Alex Kershaw, is the book on which the four-part Netflix series of the same name is based. 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. 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. 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. It was a desk role, and he hated it. Particularly, it focuses on Felix Sparks and his men, an eclectic mix of Mexican-Americans, Native Americans, and cowboys. The universal fear in World War II for officers — and I think it’s still very common — was how they were going to perform. 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. "[13] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100 based on 7 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". [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. And if this does, that would be amazing. The animated war drama is based on the Alex Kershaw book, The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey. 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. One of the biggest battles highlighted in the series is the Battle of Anzio, … 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 … 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 - … Could you tell us more about him and what you learned in researching the story? But he wasn’t overly familiar. 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