The air is crisp with a cold breeze accompanying it along the ocean. The taste of salt is in the cold morning air as I am staring off into the distance into the fog, searching for any hint of land. As I’m standing in the landing craft, I look around noticing the soldiers around me are reacting differently to our current situation. Some can be seen holding rosaries or necklaces with crosses on them in their hands, saying prayers as they are visibly shaking with fear. Others are also staring ahead or even to our left and right at the other landing craft, thinking about the upcoming battle that is about to take place. I can hear from behind me “Hey Stanton, you see anything yet?“. As I turn around I notice that it is Lieutenant Smith. I wipe the saltwater from my brow as I look at him “nothing yet, this fog is just like pea soup, you can’t see a damn thing.“. As I say that all of the soldiers in the back stare forward as I turn around to see what they were staring at. In the distance, land could be seen starting to become visible in the thick fog. All of us start to ready our weapons in preparation for the landing as in the back of the landing craft the driver yells “landing in 60 seconds!“.
In the front of the landing craft Colonel Cross yells to all of us “Ready up men, this is will be their day of reckoning. Today is the day we take the fight to them. We’ll show them what it means to mess with us Americans!“.
“OORAH” We all chant in unison. Soon gunfire starts to crack across the shoreline with explosions hitting the top of the water all along the sea, some landing craft surrounding ours explode and are engulfed with flames. The poor souls can be heard screaming from the unrelenting heat of the fire as the destroyed landing crafts start to sink to the bottom of the English channel. Soon we are all crouching to avoid the stray gunfire from the Germans as we are insight of their gun nests. A soldier in front of me collapses to the ground as blood gets sprayed onto my face. Blood starts to drain from a hole in his head from one of the enemy mg-42′s. Colonel Cross yells “Stay down men, those Jerries have all their weapons pointed right at our damn boat, keep your head down if you wanna stay alive.“. The boats make it to the shoreline as the doors drop to release the soldiers onto the beaches but as they drop gunfire immediately peppers the opening bringing down many of the soldiers in the boat as any and all surviving men, including Lieutenant Smith and Colonel Cross and me, jump over the side of the boat into the water to escape the gunfire.
As gunfire peppers the sea, I struggle to swim to the shore climbing behind one of the anti-tank barriers on the beach dragging all of my heavy gear with me. As I sit behind the anti-tank trap I look around for either the Colonel or Lieutenant as I saw other boats dropping off troops onto the beach. Men were getting cut down left and right as explosions pepper the shoreline from enemy entrenched artillery as soldiers from each side are shooting each other. I can see dead troops sprawled all over the beach, some in one piece peppered with bullets, while other poor bastards were blown to pieces with artillery or were burnt to a crisp from the burning wreckages of the landing crafts scattered along the shoreline. As I scan the nearby anti-tank barricades, I spot Colonel Cross and Lieutenant Smith ducking behind two of them as they are surrounded by a radioman and medic patching wounded. Colonel Cross looks over at me and yells “Staton, get over here!“. I wait for the gunfire from the mg-42′s to be drawn away from our area as I then make my way over to the Colonel as he’s speaking to a radioman.
“Contact the navy, we are pinned down and need a naval bombardment south of our position” Cross yells to the radioman.
“Roger that Colonel.” The radioman tells the Colonel as he turns away to contact the navy for a naval artillery bombardment.
“The rest of you, fire onto the bunkers to give us suppressing fire! We’re gonna try and move to the first line of barbed wire!” The Colonel yells to the remaining men.
“Sir Yes Sir!“. We all yell back in unison as a small group of soldiers starts to fire onto the bunkers to draw the fire from the German machine-gun nests. As they draw their fire, the rest of us start to make our way to the first dunes that are lined with barbed wire and spiked fencing. We all get behind the dunes to escape the fire from the machine guns above as we look around for explosives. “Where the hell are the explosives?” I yell as I look at all of the men laying behind the dune. A private run up carrying two explosive bangalores as he dives to the sand next to me as he hands me one of them and Lieutenant Smith another one. Both of us push the explosive tubes into the sand as we both yell “Hit the deck!” as everybody ducks their heads away from the dunes. The bangalores explode creating a pathway through the dune so we can start to scale the hill. The Colonel yells “Come on men, we nearly have taken the beach!” As we all get up and sprint through the pathways to make our way to the hillside to start ascending it. Some German soldiers start to appear along the ridge and fire down onto our position, taking out two men in the process as we duck for cover behind the base of one of the concrete bunkers.
“Colonel, we’re pinned down by enemy fire!” I yell towards Colonel Cross
“Smith, take your rifle and get to a vantage point to take out those Jerries. We’ll provide cover fire!” Cross yells to Smith as he motions me and a couple other guys to give him suppressing fire. Lieutenant Smith crawls his way to a pile of debris that gives him an angle on the enemy soldiers. He pulls out his sniper as he aims down the sight and lines up his shot. “gotcha” he says as he pulls the trigger sending the bullet through the Germans’ chest, collapsing immediately. The other German soldier panics and scrambles to find where the shot came from but is put down by Smith, opening up a path to the top of the hill for the rest of the 49th. Cross, Staton, and Smith along with some other infantrymen who formed up with them at the dunes climbed up the hill to reach the ridge. From the vantage point I could see what could be described as chaos, our troops were flushing the enemy out of the bunkers with flamethrowers and grenades. The screams of the dying and the burning can be heard echoing from the concrete along with gunshots and muzzle flashes filling the trench as Allied troops enter them to clear what little resistance there was left. Taking prisoners was no option, every German/enemy troop that was seen would be gunned down without a seconds notice. Even if they did surrender there was no use, they’d be extra baggage on the battlefield. I watched as a pair of surrendering Germans were executed on the spot, they weren’t even armed.
“C’mon Stanton, we’ve got a battle to win here” Cross looks at me as he goes into the trenches to take on the enemy
I snap out of the daydream as I ready my weapon and take out any German who fires upon me. We push the Germans back to their final position along the flak cannons and artillery pieces. To avoid gunfire I duck into a trench following the path with a couple others to the artillery piece. We arrive at it as we take out the remaining Germans guarding it as we latch explosive charges to the sides of it. We set the timer and rush back to the trench as the flak cannon gets blown to bits with shrapnel flying every which way. Finally, as the battle comes to a close the last of the Germans surrender, throwing their guns to the ground as we all cheer in victory. Colonel Cross turns to us and yells “This is a great day men, we have secured a foothold in France and now we are on the Offensive!“. I go and sit down on the ground to relax after the battle, for the path to Iron Throne has opened up.
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