We marched to the city, back into the centre of Berlin. We were straight into the action using every single choice of weapon we had. Grenades were tossed, rifles were fired, and machine guns let off hell.
I fired the machine gun so much that I realised I was reloading every fifteen seconds. Then I lost ammo so I threw it to the ground and took the bayonet. With everybody else, I charged into the grand library. I went to the nearest set of Germans to me and shot them before stabbing them with the bayonet.
Our battalion made our way upstairs towards the ironically placed war section. It was all guns blazing as I hurried along. “Come on lads, quicker!” I shouted before I came to a sudden halt. I heard gunfire behind me as I feared the worse.
Without hesitation, I and my team started to fire at the sickening Nazis. David lay on the floor coughing, trying to speak. Patrick held him as he tried to talk. Patrick patted his head, “Come on man. You will be ok.” But we all knew that was never the case.
David suddenly lost his life as Patrick closed Dave’s eyes. Two of my men were dead in Berlin. I begged to god that there would be no more. We split into twos in the long corridors. I went with Frazer because he seemed the most tense and he was closer to me.
We ran down the long corridors shooting on our way. Frazer was ahead of me until he went crashing to the floor. Two Germans stood there as one of them chuckled, walking towards me. “Ich denke, wir sollten ihn an der basis folter.” The other one smiled and nodded, “Vereinbart.”
I quickly pulled the pistol from my belt to shoot them but one of them shot my hand. It nearly took off my other finger. I fell to the ground and looked up. There was a large boot and then I blacked out.
I was powerless, tied to a chair. I was definitely alive though. Why didn’t they kill me? I looked around but everything was a blur. A man came and brutally hit me in the face. I felt blood dripping from my forehead.
Then I saw clearly again. “We are torturing you my British friend.” It was a German translator as another man walked in with shiny black hair with a hint of grey. The translators face dropped as the man left the room.
I managed to speak, “what was all that about then?”
The man walked over to me, almost in tears. “Hitler…Hitler is dead.” My eyes widened as I forced myself not to smile. He paused and muttered, “I guess that means I can kill you then.” I was scared.
He pulled out his pistol and put his finger on the trigger. I closed my eyes but nothing happened. I looked up to see Ethan, Gaz, Patrick and Ricky. The Nazi was on the floor as Ethan smiled at me.
“We need to get back to base” Patrick began as Ethan untied me.
I interrupted, “But they found it.”
“Our new base” Gaz smiled.
We marched into the library as I explained about Frazer but to my delight and surprise, he survived and was on his way to hospital. They already knew about Hitler as well.
Next, we were to go to the central city hall. It had only just begun.
4th May 1945
We were up early despite staying up all night, referring to medical problems. I was ready to go back into war, I was ready to re-enter hell.
Our target was the centre of Berlin, the great town hall. The Russians were sending more troops to help the allies. Despite Hitler’s death, the war was not over.
It was a twenty minute drive from the library but we knew there would be stoppages. We loaded up the vans with equipment as we jumped on. It was a warm day, which reminded me of the Normandy landings. We stopped just around the corner where we were instantly in the firing line.
We sprinted across the central park, which was transformed into a battlefield. We were being fired at from all directions. I started limping as one of the shots succeeded at hitting my foot. We crouched down and took place at the sniper stations. We all participated as I took men out off the roof.
Shortly after I was called to machine gun duty as I limped towards the city hall. I dodged every attack but some were unfortunate. I was lucky; it was not skill, it was luck. Most, in fact, died that day. I arrived at a part of the building but we were forced to evacuate immediately as the Soviet Union fired the Panzerschrecks at the wall.
It turned out to be a good move eventually as it left a gap to go through. We took a different route to the Russians and some of the French. The Russians were independent and wanted to defeat the Germans by themselves. We just wanted to get it over and done with. The war was the worst experience of my life.
We climbed hundreds of stairs, defeating the shell shocked Nazis on an early level but as we turned, we were forced to take evasive action. Ten Nazis stood in a nearby room with machine guns being fired continuously. We needed a plan so I took out a smoke grenade. I threw it in as others launched frags in.
I took a deep breath and followed few others who ran through the doorway, shooting. We did not know if we were hitting anyone but as the smoke cleared we realised there was one left and he was shooting at us, going crazy. I stopped, just behind his cover. I pulled out my machine gun and fired over the top of my head.
I looked over and he was dead. We moved on and climbed another flight of stairs where we were led to the roof. There were Nazis, at their last point, they fired and shot down some of the French but they were outnumbered. We shot and killed every last one of them.
We reached the Russians and some of the British where they held the national flags up high. Berlin was soon to be ours.
We waited for four days, guarding the hall, defending our base. We then heard news that the Soviet Union had attained the Nazis central base. Germany had surrendered and the war was over. Well it was VE day: Victory in Europe day. The Japs were still fighting hard against the Yanks but they later on dropped some sort of nuclear bomb, vaporising a whole city. The war was over.
News then scattered to us that we were going home. Every one of us would be honoured and awarded by Montgomery, Jacobsen and possible even Winston Churchill.
I went over to Ethan, smiling and shook his hand but he looked tense. “What’s wrong Eth?”
He paused and sighed, “What if something happened to Mum…”
“She will be ok. I promise. It was another unsure promise; I too, was scared.
We packed our things as the trucks arrived which would take us to the airport. Gaz jumped onto a tank with a bottle of German whisky in his hand and celebrated.
We all needed to celebrate but reflect on the deaths and the downfalls we had suffered. It was going to be a long journey home and a tough remembrance.
It was cold yet the sun was still shining. I was joined by Ethan and my mother as I watched at the joint funeral of Ray and David.
Patrick and Ricky let go of any happy thoughts and emotions showed. Patrick had arrived with Frazer and Ricky. It was harder for Ricky because to lose a twin is like losing a huge part of you.
Gaz gave his thoughts, remembrance and celebrated their lives. Captain Rhys did not show up despite being invited. They received a proper soldier’s funeral with all the medals and uniform. Some of the medals were oblivious to them but I know they would have been proud.
We left the funeral late as I said a final farewell to Ricky and Patrick. Ethan and I sat and told mother of the dreaded war as we both arranged to quit the armed forces. It was a horrid experience but somebody had to do it.
We reflected on lost lives but we put bad thoughts to rest. We had won the war and a celebration was upon request. We managed to enjoy ourselves during it as food and drinks were passed around. Gaz got drunk as usual but it was cancelled out because pretty much all of us did.
It was a memorable street party. I do not usually enjoy party food but I was glad to have proper food and I managed to leave no less than a chicken wing’s bone.
8th May 1945- The day the Second World War was won.