A WWII Soldiers’ Battlefield Perspective…

Rick Atkinson's Liberation Trilogy, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Rick Atkinson’s Liberation Trilogy, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“As the Americans began to pull back a few miles to recuperate, a German courier bearing a white flag proposed a brief truce of February 14 to collect the dead near Cairo.  Soon German soldiers fashioned litters from saplings and shelter halves; an American detail delivered 150 enemy corpses on bloodstained canvass stretchers and carried an equal weight of comrades in olive drab. “There were bodies all over the hill and the odor was bad,” a GI wrote in his diary. During a break the troops swapped cigarettes and family snapshots, chattering about Italian girls and favorite movie stars. An American officer asked auf deutsch, “Wie geht’s bei Hitler jetzt? Wrapped in a slate-blue overcoat, a redheaded sergeant from Hamburg shrugged. “Gut, gut.” Rome was pleasant enough, the Germans advised, but the city could not be compared to Berlin.” From Monte Casino came the rattle of musketry; the local cease-fire was scheduled to end at noon. Auf widersehen, they called to one another, trudging off with a last load of dead. Goot bye. A German soldier trotted forward for a final handshake. “It is such a tragedy, this life,” he said.” ─ The Day of Battle, The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944, Copyright © 2007 by Rick Atkinson, Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, Page 405.

About Michael

Retired military officer; retired Air Force civil servant; retired executive, DS Information Systems Corporation; writer; researcher; reader and avid yachtsman.
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