Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Day and Night (07/10/14)
- TITLE: A battle in night and day
By Robert Douglas Brown
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The cold penetrated the uniforms, weapons, and any equipment that the American troops possessed. To make matters worse, a surprise attack of Hitler’s SS Panzer Division was soon to be released on the US troops.
The winter weather in Western Europe during 1944-1945, had not been that cold in over a century. It was as cold as Siberia.
A few days earlier in the comfort of a military compound in a small Belgium village, allied officers were planning for a peaceful Christmas, and the big flag football tournament scheduled for Christmas Eve that involved companies of the 88th Airborne Division.
Captain Curtis Waycaster, the Zulu Company Commander of the 88th Airborne Division, slowly came out to see what all the noise was about. Corporal Billy Yates loudly knocked on the office door of Captain Waycaster.
“Captain Waycaster, Colonel Gibbs needs you and Captain Pritzger, and all officers of the 88th to meet him in the planning Assembly pronto. It was December 16, 1944, and the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge.
“Hey Pritz, what do you think is going on?”
“Curtis, I hope that we are not going to have to move out in this lousy weather.”
“Gather around men! Six companies of the 88th are all that stand between the North Sea ports and the crack SS Panzer Group; Hitler’s elite goose stepping monsters.
The SS Panzer group is storming through the Ardennes Forest, and is over running our troops in mass numbers.
How are we going to fight over 200,000 SS soldiers with at least 125 Panzer Mark IV tanks with the thin number of troops of allied soldiers stationed in small pockets throughout the forest?
As devout Christian men, we need to pray that the Lord will help our men, and give each and every one of them the courage, bravery, and skill to defeat an enemy with superior numbers and weaponry.”
After the men had finished praying, they set out to contact as many pockets of resistance to inform them of the dire situation. One particular group was nine soldiers of the 88th Airborne Zulu Company.
“Men gather around, I just received a message from Colonel Pritzger, and the news is worse than we could have imagined. We are only 15 kilometers from Nazi SS troops and Panzer Tanks that could arrive here within the next six hours.
There are nine of us, and I do not think there are any better soldiers on this planet. The bottom line is that we are on our own.”
“Sergeant Brackens, did Colonel Pritzger give you any plan as to what to do.?”
“Corporal Richmond, Colonel Pritzger told us to gather and pray. God will lead us down the path that will keep us safe, and get us through this immanent danger.”
Sergeant Brackens knew that the outcome of his men depended on him to show unyielding courage that he knew could only come from the Lord and not of himself.
“Dear Lord, we are in a dire situation in that all nine of us could die in a few hours. Like the nine year-old boy that accepted you as my savior, I trust you with the same level of faith. Please show us what to do.”
Then it became clear to him. Travel in the cover of darkness and the Lord will show you how to find the light.
“Men, we are going to move due east for the next four hours, and dig in to avoid what will be certain death for all of us.”
The group of nine moved quickly through the dense snowfall. The arc-light flares pierced through the falling snow, and the men realized that if they did not keep moving, they would be dead in the water. The men kept their pace until the sergeant spoke.
“Let’s dig in, and cover ourselves in the snow.” ordered the sergeant.
The Nazis moved within 150 feet from the GIs. All of the sudden, a loud boom shook the earth. The Nazis realized that they were being fired on by their own soldiers. The Nazis changed directions to avoid the artillery fire by their own 88 millimeter guns.
The GIs stayed put until daylight. The men united with their division and lived to fight another day. The men knew that God would be with them on any battle field night and day.
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