Seventeen- 28th April 1945
The bombs were hitting us hard. We were losing men and we were falling down in groups, like being pushed over by a bully at school. Captain Rhys caught my attention above the gunfire and explosions. “We need to fire back Jackson!” He screeched, “Give your men the order!”
I turned to my team, crouching low on the floor above the deafening shells. “On the count of 3, we run and fire. Nod if you understand!” I exclaimed as my crew nodded in cannon.
I turned to an impatiently waiting Rhys and nodded. He spoke in his radio as I said in sync with him, “3…2…1! Go, go, and go!”
We sprinted across the battlefield, dodging and weaving ant attacks. We were the lucky ones. Hope was on our side. We did not look back, stumbling over hundreds of dead bodies.
I followed Rhys and other battalions to cover behind a half destroyed building. I settled down next to Ethan, reloading and preparing to re-enter the devil’s hell. We had been in action for three days, fighting non-stop in the west of Berlin. We had also been informed that the Yanks were in the south and Russia occupied the other half of Berlin.
We were in the sector with the French. Patrick saw it as a chance to show off his language skills. Captain Rhys showed his language skills to Patrick, but it was in a more aggressive, abusive situation.
Once again we waited for the order to move before we were joined by some of the English speaking French troops. It helped but Patrick was willing to speak their language to make it easier for them.
Captain Rhys got orders from Dempsey and counted down. The French did the same but in their subtle language. After the countdown we burst into a bombed building to bombard over forty Nazi soldiers.
We fired dodging their returning fire. Then everybody took cover and I dived towards what looked like a kitchen. It was a dead kitchen now though.
My mind went blank. I thought about my mother and my father; his last words, “Marshall! Marshall! MARSHALL!” I dropped my gun and I looked ahead of me to see a dead troop with a bazooka by his side. I steadily crawled up to it and salvaged it.
I took a deep breath as I stood up. All I had to say was, “Move!” I leaped into the room and fired straight away, building explosions in my footsteps. I was leading the Second Army, Lancashire 42nd Infantry division. Captain Rhys looked at me with astonishment.
Every single Nazi fell. I threw the weapon to the floor and walked over to my final victim. I crouched down and searched his wallet. ‘Captain Mirosalv Eurwew, 33 years old, a wife and 2 kids’. Then I found his pistol and retrieved it as I did with his rifle. My ammo was out so I needed a new gun. Then I stood up and walked back to my team.
They very well knew I was in a bad mood because all I wanted, like many, was for the war to end. I wish it was simpler. We were once again prepared to go out fighting. I had my machine gun, the bayonet and the pistol. I took the machine gun out.
Our movement would come as soon as the bazookas were fired. We waited until finally the wall fell through from the impact and we ran through shooting. We were all close to each other, taking cover. We were forced back by unwanted grenades as we threw some back.
We were both running low on men before it happened.
I stopped as I watched Ray fall to the ground. I saw my life flash before my eyes: everything I had done. Anger filled my mind as I took my bayonet out and charged tenaciously at the Nazi murderer. I struck him right through the chest, watching blood ooze out, thundering to the ground.
It was upsetting when I saw Ricky run towards us. “Ray! No!” His eyes were like glass, filled with tears. I stopped him and held him back as I confirmed the time and date of death. Ricky dropped to the ground and turned around and looked at me with the type of look on his face that I dreaded. It was revenge.
The trucks arrived, avoiding enemy fire. The medics ran over and took him to one of the trucks, which was well hidden. I helped Ricky off the ground. I knew it was hard for him. We arrived at our secret basement to honour his life.
Later that night all I could think about was Ethan. Ricky had lost his twin brother that day and I was determined not to follow in his footsteps. It was a long night.
We were woken by gunfire as Jacobsen came rushing in. “They’ve found us!” We speedily prepared and ran outside and up to the ground. We fired and fired. Gaz managed to salvage a flamethrower. “I’ve always wanted to do this…” he chuckled. A jet of fire began to sentence the Nazis to their deaths.
We gave the bunker extra security as we went for a quick meeting. There were a dozen more bunkers like ours and we had taken half of our sector.
“We have found their secret bases and of course they occupy main buildings such as main halls etc.” Jacobsen smiled, “So we are going to infiltrate them buildings. First, second and third battalions will do so where fourth and fifth will return to the city to fight.”
The plan was clever as we entered the tree filled park. I immediately noticed about fifty bunkers surrounding us so I warned the others.
This time though, we had flame throwers as every one of us took out the bunker guards. We then threw grenades into the bunkers and burned them to the ground as cries of mercy came from the entrance.
Some of them escaped and killed some of our men but we sustained well and killed every single one of them. Our next objective was to head back to the city to support the allies. I was not too confident; after all, there were 200,000 of them.
We had just fewer than two hundred thousand and the French had fifty thousand. It was a big challenge and I was not going to allow any more deaths; a promise that was impossible to keep.