This drama set during World War II in Algeria is based on a true and tragic incident. A French garrison has been demoralized by the strength of the German forces in the region, so when the Allies land, it gives them some hope. They are put under orders to take and hold a bridge, allowing no one to cross it. When a German company wants to use the bridge (peacefully), a narrow-minded French captain gives the orders not to let the Germans through. At first, the Germans are put off by a series of tricks, but that cannot last forever. Sooner or later, if the captain's orders are followed, an ill-equipped and outnumbered French unit will find itself up against the superior strength of the German contingent.