The opening title cards state that it is April 1945, and the Allies have entered Germany. The Nazis have become desperate and are forcing every man, woman and child to join the military. Though the Nazis are clearly losing, fighting continues, and the US tanks are often overpowered by the German technologically-superior tanks.
A lone Nazi soldier rides his horse through a field where a battle has been fought. He rides among the dead bodies and blown up tanks and vehicles. As he rides past a seemingly busted tank, US Army Staff Sergeant Don "Wardaddy" Collier jumps out and stabs him repeatedly. He sets the horse free and returns to the inside of his tank where the rest of his crew, Gordo, Boyd (also known as "Bible") and Grady, wait. They are clearly tired and battle-hardened as they argue and berate each other as Grady attempts to fix their tank. Collier is tough on his men, calling Grady a dog and kicking him while demanding that he fix the tank and demeaning Gordo for speaking Spanish when he should be speaking like an American as he is in the American army. Bible tells the crew that God was watching over them, and God hasn't called them home yet, much to the annoyance of the rest of the crew. Grady finally fixes the tank and they drive back to base.
After arriving at the base, Collier orders his men to quickly refuel and resupply the tank and get it ready to move out again. He is stopped by a lieutenant who asks what happened to the rest of his platoon and Collier tells him that his tank, Fury, is the only one remaining of the platoon. Collier takes a quiet moment for himself and breaks down briefly, feeling the rigor and stress of the war. He watches as trucks full of bodies of troops are driven back to the base. He also sees German POWs taken to a holding area and he looks on with disgust.
A young soldier, Norman Ellison, approaches Collier and tells him that he's been assigned to his tank crew. Collier is angry that someone so young would be assigned to his crew and questions Ellison. Ellison tells him he's been in the army for 8 weeks and has no tank training as he was trained as a typing clerk.
Ellison meets the rest of the crew who are also dismissive of him. They go through his pack and question him, though they clearly don't actually care about his answers. Bible asks Ellison about his religion and asks him if he's been saved, as he is continually trying to save his whole crew. The crew orders Ellison to get a bucket of hot water and clean out the inside of the tank. When Ellison gets inside, he sees that the previous gunner was killed inside when the tank took a hit. He cleans up the gruesome remains, including a piece of the gunner's face that was blown off, and exits the tank to vomit when it becomes too much for him.
Collier becomes enraged when he sees that an SS officer is being marched through the US base as he is being taken to the commander for questioning. Collier tries to beat him, but his crew holds him back.
Collier meets with three other tank commanders, and they are clearly a tight-knit group. The lieutenant tells them that their new orders are to head out to meet Baker Company and then to take over a small town, and he will lead the convoy in his own tank.
Fury's crew throws Ellison into the tank and tell him to shoot every Nazi he sees. Gordo, the driver, tells Ellison to shoot in small bursts to maximize the number of kills. The crew speaks crudely about how they enjoy killing Nazis, having sex with German women and what to do with Hitler. The crew has clearly been together a long time and despite some occasional fighting, they are very close to each other. As the convoy continues, the soldiers see the bodies of people, including children, strung up with signs around their necks. Collier, who speaks German, translates the signs, which say they were cowards for refusing to fight for the Nazis.
The convoy begins to pass a dense forest and Collier warns them to shoot at anything they see because Nazis could be hiding, waiting to attack the tanks. Ellison sees someone moving through the bushes, but hesitates when he sees it's a child. Gordo calls it out at the last second before a missile is launched at the lead tank, instantly setting it aflame. Everyone fires into the bushes while the lieutenant in the lead tank, completely engulfed in flames, screaming in agony, shoots himself in the head to keep from burning alive. Collier berates Ellison for failing to shoot and tells him the lieutenant's death is his fault. They find the bodies of three "soldiers" who were firing at the tanks, young children, dressed in Nazi army uniforms, in the woods.
The convoy continues, led by Collier, and meets Baker Company. Collier meets with Captain Waggoner, the man in charge. Waggoner asks Collier to take the four remaining tanks and some of his troops and go rescue men who are trapped in a field, fighting a Nazi troop that are armed with anti-tank weaponry. After rescuing the men, they will rendez-vous outside the town they are to overtake and go in together. Collier suggests a different route for the mission, and Waggoner tells him that he knows his reputation and trusts his instincts.
Collier leads the four tanks to the battlefield and belittles Ellison, warning him that he better kill as many Nazis as possible. The tanks reach the field where the US army troops are hunkered down. The tanks turn into the field, approaching a tree line where the Nazis are based. As the tanks pass the troops lying in the field, the troops roll into the trail of the tank, taking cover behind it and joining the troops as they approach the tree line. The Nazis open fire and the tanks return fire. Again, Ellison hesitates to shoot, and when he does, he misses wildly and takes far too long to reload his gun. The rest of the crew is a well-oiled machine, loading and reloading the missiles over and over again. The Nazis fire anti-tank missiles, and the US tanks fire back furiously to take them out before they are killed. One of the tanks is hit and the crew is killed. The troops run out from behind the tanks to enter the fight and soon, the battle is over with all the Nazis killed.
However, the troops find one Nazi soldier in the woods and bring him to the center of a circle of soldiers. They all laugh as they shove him around and taunt him. The solider begs for mercy, showing pictures of his wife and children to Collier. Collier orders him to his knees and drags Ellison out of the tank. He gives Ellison a handgun and orders him to kill the Nazi. Ellison refuses to do so, saying he's unarmed and surrendering, and Collier hits him over and over, telling him that he's endangering the soldiers if he refuses to do his job, which is killing Nazis. Collier tells him that the Nazi's job is to kill him, and it's his job to kill the Nazi, so he has to choose whether he will kill or be killed. Ellison sobs and tells Collier to kill him as he can't bear the war. Collier takes Ellison in a chokehold and puts the gun in Ellison's hand, putting his finger on the trigger and then puts his own finger on top of Ellison's finger on the trigger. He keeps trying to get Ellison to do it himself, and then finally Collier pulls the trigger over Ellison's hand. The other men stand around and cheer.
Ellison is traumatized over what's happened, and the Fury crew tries to calm him down. They speak to him kindly, giving him coffee and telling him about the fears they all faced when they first joined the crew. They tell him that Collier is a hard man, but they wouldn't fight with anyone else, and they've been together as a crew since the beginning of a war, which is highly unusual. Collier reappears and in a more compassionate way tells Ellison he should rest and get something to eat.
Back in the tank, Ellison angrily asks Collier if he's trying to to "teach him to be a man." Collier tells him that he promised his crew that he'd get them through the war alive and that their former gunner was the best gunner in the whole army, and now they're stuck with Ellison, who is endangering them all. Collier tells him that he's been killing Germans in Africa, all over Europe, and now they're killing Germans in Germany, and while the war is winding down, there will be a lot more killing before it's done.
They continue to the town where they reconvene with Waggoner and the rest of the troops. They slowly go through the town, expecting German soldiers to be laying in wait to attack them. Collier asks an elderly German man walking about where the soldiers are hiding, only to watch him be shot through the head by a sniper, setting off the battle. They encounter pockets of Nazis hiding in various buildings, firing on them with tank missiles and gunfire. After firing a missile through one building, several Nazi soldiers come running out, screaming in agony as they are on fire. Several US soldiers just watch them burning alive until Ellison finally guns them down. Gordo congratulates him on his first kill, but tells him that he should have let them burn to death. They continue through the town until they come to a building where a German man holds out a white flag. Collier calls the man out and the German man tells him that the soldiers inside want to surrender. Collier agrees to let them exit the building with their hands up. More children in army uniforms run out of the building, followed by an adult wearing an officer's uniform. Collier asks the German man if the officer is the one who's been stringing up children along the road. The German man nods. Collier orders one of the troops to kill the officer on the spot.
As the troops celebrate taking over the town, they pilfer jewelry, alcohol and other items from the town. They carouse in the streets, and Gordo drunkenly escorts a German woman to the tank while Grady stands by, waiting for his turn. Collier asks Ellison how he feels with his first kill under his belt, and Ellison tells him he surprisingly enjoyed killing the Nazis. They see a woman peer through a curtain in a building, and Collier takes Ellison with him to investigate.
Collier forces his way into the apartment and asks the woman if she's hiding soldiers, and she nervously tells him that he's not. He searches the apartment, before finding a beautiful, young woman, the woman's niece, hiding under the bed. They are both trembling with fear. Collier tells Ellison to lock the door and tells the women to sit down. He speaks to them calmly in German. He tells the older woman, Irma, to bring him hot water. He gives the younger woman, Emma, two packs of cigarettes as a gift. He also gives her six eggs, to prepare for them to eat. Irma and Emma calm down as it seems that Collier and Ellison are not there to hurt them, and they prepare lunch for the men. Ellison sits at their piano and demonstrates that he is a skilled player. Emma is charmed by his playing and sings along to it, while Collier washes his face and shaves in the basin of hot water Irma has prepared. Emma and Ellison see that Collier's back is covered in gruesome scars. Collier catches them looking at his back, and he tells Ellison that Emma is a nice, clean girl and he better take her into the bedroom, or he will. Emma takes Ellison by the hand and leads him into the bedroom. Irma tries to stop them, but Collier tells her to leave them alone as they're young and they're alive.
Ellison tries to break the ice by reading Emma's palm, which his grandmother taught him to do, even though she doesn't understand English. He tells her she has the rare mark of Solomon's ring, as he does, meaning she is kind and helpful. Her love line indicates that she will have one great love in her life. He kisses her gently, and she pulls him onto the bed.
After exiting the bedroom, they find Collier sitting at the table, reading a newspaper. Irma continues to prepare food. Ellison and Emma sit down with coffee and they all seem to be enjoying the quiet, civilized moment. The rest of the Fury crew barges in, clearly put off that they weren't included. Grady and Gordo are both very drunk and start harassing Emma, who starts crying. They tell Ellison he should go have a turn with the German whore they left in the tank and they'll take turns with Emma. Ellison tries to fight Grady off, who pours his beer all over him and slaps him around. Irma fetches some shot glasses and liquor, trying to placate the men. They drink together, though Grady, Gordo and Bible remain hostile. Collier remains quiet, reading his paper. Irma gets more plates out and serves the eggs. Grady takes another egg and Collier chastises him calmly, telling him that the egg was for Emma, and Collier passes a plate to her. Emma cries quietly off to the side, so Grady goes up to her and grabs her egg and licks it and tells her to enjoy her egg. Collier trades plates with her and eats the egg. He tells the crew that they can try to ruin it all they like, but he's going to enjoy this quiet moment. Gordo drunkenly tells Ellison that their crew rolled into Normandy right after D-Day and for miles and miles there were dead Nazis but the horses they rode in on were still alive. So the crew went through the horses, killing them all. To kill a horse, he explains, you pet it to get it to trust you, and then you shoot it through the spine. All the men seem deeply affected by this story.
A solider enters the apartment and tells Collier that Waggoner wants to speak with him. The crew gets up to leave but Ellison tries to talk to Emma, asking for her address so he can write to her. She tearfully embraces him, but Grady drags him away as they reach out for each other.
Waggoner tells Collier that a pilot saw German troops marching toward a US supply base where many medics and supplies are stationed. However, the pilot cannot report anything about the number of troops or vehicles or anything as he was being shot at, so they have no idea what they will be up against. He wants Collier to take Fury and the other two tanks up to a crossroads and to keep the Nazis from disrupting the supply chain, which would be a huge loss to the US army.
Meanwhile, an air raid hits the small town and everyone takes cover. When Ellison emerges from under the tank, he sees that Emma and Irma's building has been reduced to rubble, but he runs to it, hoping to rescue Emma. Grady taunts him viciously, asking if he's Jesus Christ and can raise people from the dead, and if not, to leave the bodies alone. He sees Emma's dead body and returns to the tank, crushed.
The three remaining tanks head to the crossroads, but come under fire from a superior German tank. The three US tanks charge the German tank from across a field. The German tank takes out two of the tanks, leaving only Fury. Gordo tries to maneuver Fury behind the German tank so they can shoot it from behind in its only weak point. They finally take out the German tank, but they are left alone with a busted radio. Bible tells the men again that God was watching over them and wasn't ready to call them home. Gordo angrily asks Bible what God is doing while watching their fellow troops die. They continue on to the crossroads and as they are about to approach the top of a hill, they run over a mine by a farmhouse, disabling the tank tracks. They try to fix the tank while Ellison and Grady check inside the farmhouse to ensure no soldiers are hiding inside.
Inside the farmhouse, they find that it's been turned into a makeshift hospital, but everyone has died. Grady takes a moment to apologize to Ellison and tell him that he's a good man, and the rest of them may not be, but Ellison is. They return to Fury, and Collier tells Ellison to head up to the hilltop to stand watch for the troops.
Ellison heads up to the trees, and sits quietly, eating his rations, enjoying the peace and quiet. Soon he hears the marching song of the Nazi troops and peers out to see hundreds of them marching with several trucks. He races back down the hill and tells the crew what he saw. Grady, Gordo and Bible gather their guns and packs, hoping to find somewhere to hide before the Nazi troops arrive, knowing the five of them cannot stop hundreds of Nazi troops. Collier however says that he's never run from a fight before, and he's not going to start now. Fury is his home, and he won't abandon it. But he tells the men to go and leave him there. Ellison refuses to leave and gets on the tank with him. One by one, Bible, Gordo and Grady all rejoin the tank.
They take stock of their inventory, ammo, tank missiles, grenades and smoke bombs. They retrieve a dead body from the farmhouse, put it on the tank, cover it in a US army jacket and set it along with their packs on the ground on fire. Then they sit inside and wait.
The men smoke and talk to pass the time, repeating a refrain, "best job I ever had" about Fury, at first sarcastically, but then deeply and meaningfully. Collier opens a bottle of liquor, which they pass around. After Ellison takes a hearty drink, Grady remarks that Ellison is now a "fucking, fighting, drinking machine," and they all cheerily applaud him and tell him that his war name is now "Machine." Bible preaches to the men, quoting scripture, telling them that God called out to his people, asking, "Whom shall I send" and a man cried out, "Here I am, send me." Collier surprises them all by telling them it's from the book of Isaiah, chapter 6. They hear the Nazi troops approaching and fall silent, preparing themselves.
The Nazis approach the tank, seeing the body on fire and assuming that the tank must be destroyed. The men inside wait as more and more Nazis get closer to the tank, climbing on board as well as clustering closer together. They throw out several grenades and open fire on the Nazis, catching them by surprise. The Fury crew fire missile after missile and gun down the troops. When the Nazis try to run inside the farmhouse for cover, they fire missiles at the house. Suddenly, a projectile pierces the tank, hitting Grady and killing him instantly. Bible collapses on top of him, sobbing for his friend. Ellison runs out of ammo for the tank gun, and Collier and Bible decide to grab the ammo outside the tank while Gordo and Ellison lay down cover fire from their handheld guns. They pop open the tank cover, throw out smoke grenades and grab the ammo from outside. Bible jumps down to the ground, hoping to grab guns off a dead Nazi when he is tackled by another Nazi. They fight until Ellison suddenly appears, shooting the Nazi dead. Bible and Ellison jump back into the tank with the new ammo but before they are able to close the hatch, a Nazi climbs on board the tank and shoots Collier in the arm. Collier drags the Nazi into the tank, and he turns the Nazi's own knife on him and slashes his throat.
Bible treats Collier's gunshot wound, and Collier quotes from the Bible, "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world." Bible finishes the scripture with the next verse, "the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." They proclaim their work to be the will of God.
Gordo opens his hatch to throw out more grenades, but when he stands, he is shot, dropping a live grenade into the tank. Ellison calls out that there is a live grenade, and wounded, Gordo grabs the grenade and holds himself over it to protect the other men.
Ellison again runs out of ammo, so Collier decides he will man the exterior machine gun mounted to the tank. He opens the hatch to jump out and calls out for Bible to hand him the rest of the grenades. When Bible sticks his head out to hand them to him, he is shot through the head by a sniper. Collier gets behind the exterior gun and guns down as many Nazis as he can until he is also shot several times by the sniper. He crawls back into the tank with Ellison.
Ellison tearfully tells Collier that he's scared, and Collier says that he's scared as well. Ellison wants to surrender, but Collier tells him he shouldn't, as he will still be tortured and killed. He asks Ellison if can see the hatch below him. He replies that he does, and Collier tells him to get ready. The Nazis are on top of Fury, and then open the hatch and drop a explosive inside. Collier tells Ellison to go for the hatch. He opens it and dives down below the tank, hitting the ground, and he hears the explosive go off inside, killing Collier.
Ellison quickly tries to scoop out a hole so he can hide beneath the tank. The Nazi troops seem to believe the whole crew is dead, when one soldier crouches below with his flashlight and sees Ellison. With tears in his eyes, Ellison holds his hands up. The Nazi soldier says nothing and walks away.
Hours later, Ellison abruptly awakes to hear someone approaching. He climbs back into the tank, retrieves Collier's handgun and waits for the hatch to be opened, prepared to shoot them. When the hatch is opened, he realizes that is it US Army troops and medics. They retrieve him from the tank, tell him he's a hero, put him in an escort vehicle, and send him away as the rest of the troops continue on.
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
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Don "Wardaddy" Collier commands a tank called Fury and its crew, Bible, Grady and Gordo during World War II. The tight-knit, battle-hardened crew has fought together for a long time, and despite the brutality of war, they love what they do. When the untrained Norman Ellison is assigned to the team, he struggles with the brutal nature of what they do. After several battles, he finally becomes one of the crew. Fury, and its crew of five, ends up the last tank standing between a troop of several hundred Nazis and a crucial US Army base. The crew makes its last stand, giving their lives for "the best job they ever had," with only Ellison surviving.
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