War and History Fiction posted November 17, 2015

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Bits And Pieces

World War ll

by country ranch writer

The enemy had a long time to fix and booby trap the beach to keep the military from landing on Omaha Beach. Danger was everywhere and for many death was not far off. Their enemy had done its best to make sure the beach was not taken by anyone. They made it so tanks could not travel across the sand, mines were everywhere you looked or walked across the sand. The enemy had hunkered down, lying in wait just itching to use their snipers to pick off the men coming ashore. As the military started to land, the thought in their minds were like.. We all might die right here and there is nothing we can do to stop it.
Those who never prayed or knew how, began to pray in earnest to be able to get ashore safely. Just before landing, they could see the heavy artillery shells bursting all up and down the beach at the water's edge under well directed fire. Many a shell was landing on the men and vessels trying to land. On deck, the gale was so strong that it caused waves to wash across the deck. Some became sea sick, some were thrown around and injured severely. Some of the men received broken bones and wished they never joined the military since they were just young, scared kids away from home for the first time in their lives. Only having these guys around you to keep you going.
After making the forced landing, they all ran out to head for shore, Grandpa said," the fellow next to him ran on ahead to have his head blown off before he got very far." It made him deathly sick, but he had his objective to keep and that was to get to the beach to fight off the enemy"
Up and down the beach was soon littered with dead and severely wounded men. Sad horrible sights were everywhere one looked. No end in sight. In from the beach were high hills the men had to climb. They were forced to crawl most all the way up. As the weather turned colder by the day they had to improvise to keep warm. They used anything that would help keep the cold out. During that time they were fighting trench foot, which was considered one of the worst problems for the guys. Trying to keep their feet warm and trying to keep their feet from freezing. Some used burlap sacks found in or around the farm houses. The trench foot was noted to be one of the heaviest casualties of war.
Huddling together to keep warm was the norm out there, sometimes if they were lucky they could find fuel to burn in their c-ration cans blocking the view from the enemy by keeping the fires low. One night a soldier ended up in a barn, keeping warm from something he couldn't see, but next morning he discovered he was between a cow's leg. He chuckled at least he was warm and neither one of them complained. Sentry duty for all the men was rough they were afraid to fall asleep after their turn because they might freeze to death in their sleep.
They conquered their setbacks with sheer ingenuity and perseverance. Grandpa was with them taking notes of the happenings around there for the Journal. The cause for which the men were fighting for was liberation and freedom. Mainly wanting to get this damn war over with, the sooner the better.
Grandpa went on to report a group of American soldiers, French prisoners, and yes, German soldiers defended an Australian castle against an SS-division. Grandpa said, "It was the only time in history that Germans and allies fought together during World War ll." It was the only time in American history a medieval castle was ever defended. The terrors of war are essentially unimaginable.
Grandpa,s friend, a General said, " There were stories about the Germans stealing Gold from the Jews an amount of over 400lbs." There are rumors that it was ditched off the coast of Corsica and never found. There are divers still looking for this gold.

Pearl Harbor August 6th, 1945

After the bombings of Pearl Harbor, war was declared the next day. Some say it could have been prevented or maybe it was miscommunications. Anyway, no one will ever know what happened for sure. They were caught with their ships in the harbor and planes on the ground. So many good people lost their lives that day.

During the history of the war, they were journals, letters, and stories written and turned over to be shared with everyone in the world from all sides. Even children had written how the war affected them. The most famous book was written by Anne Frank.

Well the war commenced to continue at an alarming rate with the Japanese. The Japanese put up a hell of a fight only to have the rug pulled out from under them. A b-29 was loaded with the atomic bomb the called little boy. As it approached the airspace over Hiroshima no one paid particular attention to it, calling an all clear. Only it wasn't clear the bomb detonated over 1900 feet over Hiroshima and leveled most of the city within a few thousands of a second. Blowing off the people's clothes and killing over tens of thousands of people in the process. Those that weren't immediately killed, they died of radiation. Still the Japanese refused to be brought to their knees.
Determined to make the Japanese surrender Grandpa said, they sent up a second B-29. They dropped the most powerful of all the bombs called the Fat Boy. Although the bomb was mightier than the other one it ran into problems. The weather conditions weren't right and the hills blocked most of the poison shielding them from the worst effects. All in all this actually got their attention, a cease fire was called and Japan surrender a month later.
For many, including my Grandpa. The war has been never really over. He left as a kid to go to war and came back a man with many horrors to last a lifetime. He also carried with him for the rest of his life, physical and psychological scars of his fighting experiences from the wars of World War l and World War LL
"Having to kill another human to survive was rough on these young, scared kids," Grandpa said, You keep telling yourself it is your job and this is what we'd been trained to do. You learn to deal with it to stay alive and protect yourself and your buddies. You see your friends and others coming in to fight arriving by land, air, sea and trying to storm the beaches. They were mowed down trying to land. "God must have been with me." Grandpa said, as he went on to tell his stories.
Knowing that any moment in time a shell might land and explode beside us in the trenches also in daylight being afraid to lift our head very high out of our foxhole for there just might be a sniper lying in wait to pick us off. Grandpa said,"I know all nations want peace, I also wonder if they wanted it badly enough. We must follow orders and the enemy must do the same; until then we must defend our country as they must do theirs.
At times you wonder, do we really know and fully understand why we were here in the first place? Grandpa says at times, he feels pretty bad about having to shoot to stay alive, but they were taught,"It's either you or them."
The guys that saved us time and time again, were they medics or just fellow fighters? Grandpa said, He, wondered if he could of have been that brave? Could he have run out during all that shooting, mortar shells raining down, being shot at by the enemy? His question was answered many months down the line. Yes, 'During this time it was considered normal for someone to be either killed or wounded along side of him." Grandpa said, "Many time he thought this was going to be it,that he was going to die and he hoped it wouldn't hurt too much."
"Many others besides him," Grandpa said, "Would be telling their own World War ll stories." The stories of many World War ll Veterans will be continued long after he is gone.

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