Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Granddad blogging: Taking prisoners

Last week in Granddad blogging, my grandfather was holed up at Colmar, this week he describes going on patrol and taking prisoners - sort of.

And sometime while we were in that mess, they put a patrol out and told us we had to capture somebody. They needed em for information or something or other, and we went down through a vineyard that had wires strung through it. In that cold weather those wires were so tight that they sung, made a racket.

They told us where there was a foxhole with two SS Troopers in it. They had a sergeant with another boy and myself sent down there to capture these two people. Well, we got pretty close to ‘em down there in this grape vineyard and he said “You all go on up there to that hole, and slip up on ‘em and jerk those two men out and I’ll cover you.”

Well we didn’t understand exactly how to do that and he got disgusted with us and he said alright “You all cover me, and I’ll go down there and get both of ‘em.” Well, OK with me.

And so help me, he did go up there and get both of them. One of them was asleep. He slipped up on the one that was supposed to be on guard and got one gun on him and got another gun on that one that was asleep in the hole brought them both out of there and brought them both back to where we were and said let’s get them back to where our headquarters are. And these Germans were nervous as they could be, they were saying “Mach snell”. Go, go, go. They were afraid that the Germans would shoot them and everybody else. But they didn’t. And we went on back. I don’t how we got away from there, but later on we did.

This sergeant's name was Carl Allen. My grandfather talked about him later and I include that here out of sequence.

[Pointing to a picture of a soldier, Carl Allen, in a book describing their campaign.]

That was the bravest little old man I ever saw.

[What did he do?]

Well, he would do anything. He was the fellow that pulled those SS men out of their hole. And they told him that they were gonna send him back to England, on a rest area, but they didn’t. And I went out with him one night on a stormin patrol, you go out and make racket and try to attract the enemy. And I didn’t want to make a lot of racket, and I asked him while we was out there “Why do you do all of this? Why are you so brave about all of this?”

And he said “Well, I have a wife and two children at home and I figure if everybody will do what they ought to and fight like they ought to, we’ll get this thing over with and we can go home.”

You couldn’t argue with that, so when were up there at Colmar we were supposed to go out on these night patrols, he couldn’t wait for it to get dark. When it started getting dark he’d want to get down off that hill. Well, I was sitting in my hole with my head out about that high, lookin’ as it was getting darker and darker. And I knew where the patrol was and I saw a shell come in on the patrol, and of course I didn’t know what happened then, but that’s where they got killed right there. That’s where he got killed.

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