I think it was in the same town and the same night that Craft and I were put on an outpost at the edge of town. At the time we were posted it was so black we had to feel our way and could tell nothing of our surroundings except there was another guard on the road only about 30 yards away. We were almost afraid to breathe and strained to hear the slightest sound. Suddenly the road guard cried "Halt!" No answer. "Halt!" again and then an M-l opened up and a BAR ripped off a full magazine. In the pitch blackness the noise was deafening. Then complete silence again. It was an hour or more later when we were relieved and heard the story. The two guards had seen several figures coming up the road. When no answer came to their challenge, they opened fire. They claimed to have seen one man fall and the others scattered. We pulled out that night, not down the road, so never got to see the results, if any, of the barrage.
We continued our march the following day, cleared several towns without incident. Then, moving down a road in two long, well-spaced lines, we suddenly heard the rat-tat-tat of a machine gun. No one had to tell us what had happened or what to do -- the Jerries had left behind more than a sniper or two....and we hit the ditches. But the firing was only occasional so little by little we moved forward into a shallow ditch in between hills and running at right angles to the road. When the German gun chattered now it cut branches off the bushes over our heads.
From Ed DeFoe, December 18,1991:
Ref: Pages 8 to 11 MUD & GUTS
You are right...taking those towns at first was no problem... pretty easy marching through, looking for the enemy and not finding any. You think maybe the war is about to end and this is all there is to it......uh,oh, "Fix bayonets!" I didn't want to get close enough to anybody to use a knife on him...what would my Mom say?
I remember Billy Bowles was with us on that hill near Rott. His knees hurt him so badly he had tears in his eyes....so, every time he and I had to jam into a foxhole, he would put his knees into the back of my legs to keep them warm. I think that was when Billy shouted at me, "Ed! Am I hit?"
(Page 11, your book) I looked him over, kinda, I couldn't see anything. Then I noticed his ear was bleeding. I knew an 88 had landed near us but nearer to him than me. He then got pulled back by the medic and I didn't see him for quite a while. The screaming and hollering from some of the other guys was proof we were getting slaughtered. Actually, we couldn't see where they were shooting from. (The cemetery? ajc)
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