Cross of Iron

Cross of Iron (German: Steiner – Das Eiserne Kreuz, lit. "Steiner – The Iron Cross") is a 1977 war film directed by Sam Peckinpah, featuring James Coburn, Maximilian Schell, James Mason and David Warner. Set on the Eastern Front in World War II during the Soviets' Caucasus operations against the German Kuban bridgehead on the Taman Peninsula in late 1943, the film focuses on the class conflict between a newly arrived, aristocratic Prussian officer who covets winning the Iron Cross and a cynical, battle-hardened infantry NCO.


Corporal Rolf Steiner is a veteran soldier of the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front of World War II. During a successful raid on an enemy mortar position, his reconnaissance platoon captures a Russian boy soldier. As the platoon returns to friendly lines, Captain Stransky arrives to take command of Steiner's battalion. The regiment's commander, Colonel Brandt, wonders why Stransky would ask to be transferred to the Kuban bridgehead from more comfortable duties in occupied France. Stransky proudly tells Brandt and the regimental adjutant, Captain Kiesel, that he applied for transfer to front-line duty in Russia so that he can win the Iron Cross.