"A doggie going down as a barrage of 88s burst around us". -- Brodie
Brodie went with the platoon when it advanced on the first of its objectives. "Some Germans and couple of old women ran out onto the field from a house," he wrote. "There was the zoom and crack of 88s. A rabbit raced wildly away to the left. We went down, listening to the shrapnel. I saw a burst land on the running Jerries. One old woman went down on her knees in death in an attitude as though she were picking flowers.
"A dud landed three feet in front of T/Sgt Jim McCauley, spraying him with dirt. I saw a man floating in the air midst the black smoke of an exploding mine. A piece of flesh sloshed by Sgt Fred Wilson's face. Some men didn't get up. We went on. A couple of doughs vomited. A piece of shrapnel cut another one's throat as neatly as Jack the Ripper might have done it.
Then the platoon headed for Hochfeld -- a large building with a courtyard and a number of farm outhouses and sheds. Sgt Brodie stopped to watch an 88 explode over the arched entrance and then followed the riflemen into one of the rooms, where the company exec was reorganizing the platoons.
"A dying GI lay in the toolroom," Sgt Brodie wrote. "His face was a leathery yellow. A wounded dough lay on his belly in the cow shed, in the stench of dung and decaying beets. Another GI quietly said he could take no more. A couple of doughs started frying eggs in the kitchen. I went into the toolroom to the dying dough. He's cold, he's dead, said Sgt Charles Turpen, the MG squad leader. I took off my glove and felt his head but my hand was so cold he felt warm. The medic came and said he was dead.
"Lt Bob Clark reorganized his company and set up defenses. The wounded dough in the cow shed sobbed for more morphine.
Four of us helped carry him to a bed in another room. He
was belly down and pleaded
for someone to hold him by the groin as we carried him: I can't stand
it. Press them up, it'll give me support. A pool of blood lay
"I crossed the courtyard to the grain shed where about 60 doughs were huddled. Tank fire came in now. I looked up and saw MG tracers rip through the brick walls. A tank shell hit the wall and the roof. A brick landed on the head of the boy next to me. We couldn't see for the cloud of choking dust. Two doughs had their arms around each other; one was sobbing. More MG tracers ripped through the wall and another shell. I squeezed in among several bags of grain. Doughs completely disappeared in a hay pile.
"We got out of there, and our tanks joined us. I followed a tank, stepping in the marks of its treads. The next two objectives were taken by platoons on my right and I don't remember whether any 88s came in for this next quarter mile or not. One dough was too exhausted to make it."
K Company's final objective was another courtyard, but this time in a
small town. Brodie's platoon moved toward it behind some tanks which
splattered the town with fire. He saw Lt Lane racing toward a trench
full of Germans and saw one of the Jerries pull a cord, setting off a
circle of mines around the lieu-tenant. The lieutenant was only sprayed
with mud. S/Sgt Eugene Flanagan started shooting at the Jerry who pulled
the cord. He and a few other Germans jumped up and surrendered.
German soldiers and a few women started to come out of the large building. German mortar and 88 fire began to land in the courtyard. Pfc. Ernie Gonzales, Pfc. Bob de Valk, and Pfc. Ted Sanchez brought prisoners out of the basement, and the prisoners dragged two wounded men on an old bedspring and a chair. An 88 crashed though the roof and a platoon leader's face began to bleed, but it was only a surface wound.
"We made a CP in the cellar," Brodie wrote. "The wounded were brought down there, and
the stray Jerries were rounded up and sent to the rear. The jittery doughs relaxed
for a moment on the beds in the basement. Pfc. Frank Pasek forgot he had a round
in his BAR and frayed our nerves by accidentally letting it go through the ceiling.
A pretty Jerry girl with no shoes came through the basement. The CO started to
prepare a defense for a counterattack. Platoons went out to dig in. L and M
Companies came up to sustain part of our gains.
"Most of us were too tired now to do much. The battalion CO sent word he was
relieving us. All of us sweated out going back over the