I promptly unload the contents of my stomach over the side of the boat once again before returning to my seat.
Why even call it a boat? It's a metal box with a falling front, nothing more. We're all huddled in here, packed tight, all sweaty and seasick. We don't owe all of our convulsions to the murky salty waters though. God the heat. The back of my head is throbbing, pulsating, I can even hear a slight pu-pump sound. Just unbearable.
We're just here to drift along until we hit the shore, load out and give 'em hell. I don't know how we can though, we're bulky and shaken. Part of me knows we won't make it far.
It's early, perhaps six thirty, still no sign of the target. They say this beach is their most heavily guarded. That doesn't sit well for me.
I remember my family back home. How they reacted when I enlisted. Oh, ma told me, she screamed how I'd never come back, how she'd have to sign a death certificate, how she couldn't go on if I would die. My father, just put his hand on my head, shook it a bit, and tried to give me some comforting words. Before I left that house we all shared a hug. I heard my father crying. He never cried. He didn't even cry when we saw grandma in the halfway house a couple days before her death. I promised them I'd come back home.
I realize now that I'm quietly weeping, though apparently not enough that anyone besides those who are right next to me can hear. I break out of my trance due to a series of quiet taps on my helmet. I look up and I see the guy next to me with a half saddened and half...confused look on his face. I sorta suck it up and try to explain but he just gives me a nudge on my shoulder and hands me a shiny flask. I take a sip and he latches his arm around my neck and pulls me in a bit.
Seems I'm not the only one going through this sort of thing.
"Anyone hear that?"
Tommy is the first one to hear the load whistle. It sounds close, but not close enough to cause trouble. Not for us anyway. We hear the loud splashes in the distance for about five minutes, but then we hear another sound. The sound of twisting metal and exploding men. One of those mortars hit one of our boats.
The mist is so dense we can't even make out where the sound is coming from. But I suppose it's not like we could help anyway. Gurgles and screeches fade out in the distance, never to be heard from again.
I miss my family.
Unit 2 is the first to spot the target, nothing good. "My God, we're coming in at the right spot, but look at it! No shingle, no wall, no shell holes, no cover. Nothing!" That doesn't sit well for most of my men.
A soft thud. The ramp goes down, we're unloading. We're waist deep in the water, just trying to get through.
I think the bastards were watching us.
Someone puts their hand on my shoulder and asks if I was okay.
I shoot him a confused look and tell him I'm fine, although it's a bit odd.
Gunfire, they see us, at this point we're all panicking. I duck down as I watch the men fly backward into the waters. I look back at the boat. People are just trying to jump out. The packs are too heavy, they sink like a stone. Some are dead before they hit the water. I see the shores. Men are bleeding bad, the sea is red. Some of them drag themselves onto the shores, but collapse in exhaustion. The tide is what gets them.
Able Company's on the beach now, most are already dead. Commander took a bullet to the neck just trying to get off the boat.
I see Leo get up on the beach, he staggers as he sees the spurting blood. Someone bleeding out screams at him to advance with the wire cutters. We both know he doesn't have any. I see the look of pure despair on his face as he just waits for him to die before he gets up and tries to advance.
I turn to see most of the people are still on the boats. No one left to give orders, no one willing to take them. I only now realize I'm still cowering behind dying men in the swampy waters. And yet I can't move.
It's been an hour. Able Company's dead, my boat's dead, God knows where Boat 5 is, and I'm all alone. I'm inching towards the rest, I'm crawling, I'm praying that they don't see me. I don't know what I'm going to do. What if I die? What's going to happen to my family? What is all this for? Why am I here? Why don't I just stay back and leave the dying to those who are willing to accept it?
And yet here I am, crawling desperately amongst red sand and scalding flesh. Something explodes a couple meters next to me and I'm flopped over.
After I regain my senses I realize that there's a finger on my chest. I see a man staggering, looking for something. There's something so off about him, but I can't see. He looks at me and I can see that his arms are charred to the point the flesh is just peeling off like specs of dust being blown off an antique.
That explains it.
I find ammo amongst the dead bodies of my friends. I see the bones popping out of their bodies, but I don't care, I have this overwhelming feel to get to the flank wall. I feel like I can see it when the bullet clips my shoulder. I flop down on my knees and screech. It's so intense I feel like I'm going to faint. I wait a bit and pour sand on the wound. I don't know why, I'm trying to think fast. Suddenly one jams into my calf. I holler at the top of my lungs until I feel the mixture of blood and phlegm spew from my raw throat. I'm grunting, clenched breathing more like it, and I just keep going.
I try screaming for help, for a medic, but my voice cracks every time I try. I panic.
I just weakly rip my gun from my back and fire. Randomly really, at least one should hit a guy shouldn't it?
Their trenches are pretty well hidden.
I'm helpless, and I feel like my life will slip away at any moment. I just have to crawl.
And then the bullet penetrates the back of my head. To make matters worse, it shoots out the back of my head and clips my spine.
Everything becomes really dark. I can only see a meter ahead before everything just turns black. I can't hear anymore, but I can sense a weak and yet so unpleasant hum. My hand is twitching and shaking, I don't feel it anymore. My vision is starting to fail now, my body is numb.
I can feel my train of thought just grow weaker and weaker, my brain is losing power. I can't remember my name. My family. Their loving faces and memories are just slipping away...and I'm...
can't be complex
i didnt even make it up the beach
my name is gone
i don't feel the pain anymore
i think im just gonna sleep
i love you guys
mama im sorry
i'm so sorry
god why did this happen to me
i do see
they're going up?
did we make it?
i can see our guys going up the hill
we made it?
“And again we bring you the available report, all of them from German sources, on what the Berlin Radio calls, ‘The Invasion.’
There is still no allied confirmation of any sort. Correspondents who rushed to the War Department in Washington soon after the first German broadcasts were heard, were told that our War Department had no information on the German report.
There has been no announcement of any sort from allied Headquarters in London. The first news on the German announcement reached this country at 12:37 AM eastern war time.
The Associated Press recorded this broadcast and immediately pointed out that it could be one which allied leaders have warned us to expect from the Germans.
Shortly after 1 AM EWT the Berlin Radio opened its news program with a so called invasion announcement. Columbia short wave listening stations here in New York head the Berlin Radio say, and I quote,
‘Here is a special bulletin: Early this morning the long awaited British and American invasion began with paratroopers landing in the area of the Somme estuary. The harbor of Le Havre is being fiercely bombarded at the present moment. Naval forces of the German Navy are off the coast fighting with enemy landing vessels. We’ve just brought you a special bulletin.’
End of quotation. ”
Written by The_Zog.