In the film, as stated by Mel Gibson and producer Bill Mechanic, the facts are almost adjacent to reality. And both, they started from a concept: Desmond Doss was not at all the example of the obedient soldiers who made the history – willingly or unwillingly – of the US Army. Desmond, a boy from Virginia, thin and shy, was a man with strong pacifist convictions and, as a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, he refused to work on Saturdays and, above all, to touch a weapon. For his superiors, Desmond, assigned to the 70th infantry division and engaged in the decisive battle of Okinawa at the end of the Second World War, was a real laughing stock, receiving reprehensible treatment.
Yet after a 1940 law, the US Army could no longer discard objectors, allowing them to enlist without fighting. Thus, on the Pacific front, Desmod served as a doctor and military rescuer in Okinawa, after gaining experience in Guam and Leyte. As shown by Mel Gibson ne The Battle of Hacksaw RidgeDesmond – who had a really difficult childhood, with a violent and alcoholic First Conflict veteran father – on the battlefield managed to save many comrades: he always underestimated the exact number (said 50), but his companions they claimed they were at least a hundred.
As mentioned, for the company, Desmond was the first objector to receive the prestigious Medal of Honor, received on October 12, 1945 directly by President Truman. But perhaps nothing for him was like his wife Dorothy (Teresa Palmer in the film), known in a church in Lynchburg (and not in a hospital, as filmed by Gibson) and married in 1942, having then had a child Desmond Tommy Doss Jr. Indeed, the two were together until 1991, when Dorothy lost her life following a car accident. Desmond, however, died of respiratory problems on March 23, 2006, at his home in Piedmont, Alabama.
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