At the outset of World War II, a disparate group of civilians undergo basic training and prepare to fight - and die - for their country. The recruits include men from all classes, education and professions. At first, they object to their regimented lifestyle and resent the constant supervision of their training sergeant. Gradually, they learn their new skills and develop pride in what they are doing. Destined to be part of the invasion of French North Africa, their ship is nearly sunk. They soon find themselves fighting the Germans and putting their training to good use.