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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

D+6

Major Winters, again, describes leading Easy into Carentan:

About 0530 on June 12, 2d Battalion was straightened out and deployed for the attack, and Easy Company was finally on its assigned road...Just as the attack started, a German machine gun, located in a building at the foot of the hill, started to fire up the road. The German gun crew was in a perfect position, at the perfect time, to wipe out our entire attack. From the left-hand-side of the road, Welsh pushed six men toward the intersection. They went straight at that intersection and the enemy machine gun. The enemy fire, however, was very effective.

Our men on both sides of the road kept low profiles in the ditches, heads down, and then they froze in place, leaving Welsh and his six men assaulting the intersection alone. To my rear, Colonel Strayer and his staff, including Captain Hester and Nixon, could see what was happening. They, in turn, were hollering at me: “Get them moving, Winters, get them moving.”

I struggled out of my harness to rid myself of excess equipment so that I could run, since it was obvious what needed to be done. Standing in the middle of the column on the right-hand-side of the road, I hollered, “Move out, move out!” This did no good; everyone had his head down. This was the one and only time in the war that I really blew my top and physically “kicked ass”.

I came out of that ditch with only my M-1 in hand, and hollering, I ran to the head of the column, kicked ass on the left side of the road, then ran to the right side of the road, back and forth, screaming at the top of my voice, “Get going!” I will never forget the surprise and fear on those faces looking up at me. With me running around on the road like a wild man, the German machine gun seemed to zero in on me. I was a wide-open target. The bullets snapped by and glanced off the road all around me. For a short time, I had the feeling of being “blessed.” That feeling didn’t last too long, for I was to find out in a few minutes that I wasn’t so blessed.
...
Before long, we had the intersection under control when Welsh and his team tossed some grenades and killed the machine gun crew that had been firing steadily since our attack had begun. The Germans now withdrew from the intersection and headed south. They still had a surprise in store for us. Knowing exactly where we were, they fired prearranged mortar and machine gun fire at the intersection. Our casualties started to mount up fast.

I received a slight wound when I picked up a fragment from a machine gun ricochet, which went through the tongue of my boot and into my leg. After the fire died down, I immediately established a company defense. Expecting a counterattack, I checked our ammunition supply and redistributed ammo. Next I walked to the aid station, which had been set up in a courtyard about twenty meters to the rear, to check on our casualties. There the medic picked around my leg with tweezers, extracted the fragment, cleaned the wound, and put some sulfa powder and a bandage on it. I left the top of my boot unlaced and went back to work.

If Trump knew who Major Winters was, he would love him because prefers heroes who didn't get plinked in the ass...

ntodd 

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June 13, 2018 | Permalink

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