The shell hits as Easy's men line up with their guns to launch a counter-offensive. Winters barks orders to the men, but he's even gentle about that. Luz pulls a fallen Easy trooper into the foxholes, while Welsh announces there's no sign of the Allied Infantry yet. "Watch the horizon!" Winters yells. Blithe, slumped in his hole, twitches and looks absolutely afraid. Winters establishes a base of fire along the line of the hedgerow, which will ideally help to protect any men who have to creep into the battlefield with heavier weaponry. Gonorrhea and Perconte are both instructed to make their cluster of men fire in certain directions. More mortar shells fly as debris showers Blithe's pit. Holding his arms in front of his face, Blithe shrieks, "No, no!" and holds his ears to best drown out the sounds of war. His screams of terror intensify. Is it wrong that I'm rolling my eyes at this? I'm growing weary of Blithe again -- at least he's along the hedgerow; some of his comrades are in far more dangerous positions. Like Malarkey and a few of his men, who are shown huddled behind a hill, firing what I think are mortar shells at the German side.
Suddenly, tanks appear on the horizon -- but not Allied Sherman tanks. These are German weapons, and Welsh is appropriately freaked. Immediately, Dog and Fox pull back and leave Easy alone in the line of fire, which infuriates Easy's officers. No one knows who gave the order to retreat, the implication being that no one did and someone bolted out of cowardice. Blithe would've been a better fit in one of those companies. (The book claims that Fox retreated without authorization and its CO got fired on the spot; Dog withdrew because it was too exposed after Fox quit.)
Winters notices Blithe hiding and totally wins me over by being encouraging, not angry. Winters is warm. Wow, so that's Winters, Blithe, Easy Company...man, how is it that a non-fiction show gets to ooze with so much irony? It's a bit sick. "Get on your feet, soldier! That's right, Blithe, you can do it!" Winters shouts with a smile. "Fire your weapon, Blithe, get those goddamn Germans!" His hands trembling, his brow furrowed and sweat beading on his face, Blithe gingerly pulls the trigger, then again, and again, and finally he's in a rhythm. Slowly he's fiercer, more in control. "Let them have it, Blithe!" Winters cheers him. Stunned at his own strength, Blithe quickly reloads and starts shooting off another round.
Someone's finger is shot off. The tanks creep closer to Easy's hedgerow; for its part, Easy is holding ground and praying that the infantry shows up to provide relief. Welsh and a Pvt. McGrath lug a bazooka out into the field. "You're gonna get me killed, Lieutenant!" McGrath yells, shaking his head. "I knew you'd get me killed!" Welsh loads the gun as McGrath aims it; they're going to try to hit the tank just as it comes over the hill's crest. Across the field, two other men toting a bazooka get blasted back to the hedgerow by tank fire. An encouraging omen. As Winters screams for covering fire, Welsh gives the order to fire and McGrath hits the tank with a blast right to its front. Score! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! The tank disabled, they scramble back to the pits as someone praises McGrath's aim.